Sunday, March 25, 2012

Homemade Yogurt - Crockpot Method

Contributed by Kathleen PierceOriginal Source:

I remembered someone on here posting about making yogurt in a crockpot, but then I couldn't find the post so I ordered a yogurt maker on Amazon. But then I got to thinking...why spend $40 when I already own a crockpot and know it's possible? So I canceled my order and did a quick internet search. And...this morning I have yogurt sitting in my crockpot! Real easy too - here's how:
1. Turn crockpot on low and add 1/2 gallon milk (any - whole, 2%, etc. I used whole organic).
2. Leave for 2 1/2 hours on low.
3. After 2 1/2 hours, turn crockpot off and leave for 3 hours.
4. At the 3 hour mark, take 1/2 c. yogurt starter (this could be an actual starter you buy online or just plain yogurt you buy at the store, but make sure it has "live" cultures listed in its ingredients. I used some raw milk yogurt donated for this experiment by a friend (thanks, Heidi!)). Anyway, take the 1/2 c. starter and, in a separate bowl, mix in 2 cups of the warmed milk with the starter. I also at this point added 1 c. nonfat milk powder as this is supposed to add a creamier texture. Pour the milk/yogurt (and milk powder) mixture back into the crockpot and replace the lid.
5. Now, still keeping the crockpot unplugged, wrap a big towel around it to keep it insulated. Then just leave for 8 hours and come back to your yogurt!

I was a little skeptical, but it works! The yogurt is quite a bit thinner than what you buy in the store, but that is actually better for cooking. And what we plan to eat, I'll run through some cheesecloth and a strainer to thicken. I also have some yogurt cheese going, which is delicious as sour cream (I'll never buy sour cream again!).

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