Easiest Yogurt Recipe {Ever!}

This yogurt is just 5 simple steps and doesn't require any fancy equipment!

Do you wanna make your own rich, creamy yogurt at home? Are you ready for the simplest, easiest yogurt recipe ever? In this post I teach you my system so you can make successful yogurt as soon as today!

This yogurt recipe is just 5 simple steps and doesn't require any fancy equipment!

The Easy Way to Make Yogurt

1. Heating. Pour milk into a large sauce pan. The amount you use is up to you–I usually make 3 qts. of yogurt at a time, because that’s about how much we eat of it before it would spoil (your homemade yogurt will last 2-3 weeks.)Β Heat milk until it’s simmering–bubbles come to the surface, and it begins to form a ‘skin’ on top. Turn milk off.

Scalding the milk for homemade yogurt

3. Sterilizing. Pour the hot milk straight into the jars you want your finished yogurt in. I use gallon or quart jars. Use whatever size you want, but do use glass. I used to sterilize the jars separately, but realized that pouring the scalding hot milk into the jars effectively sterilizes them and saves me–and you!–a whole step! Sterilizing is important to make sure only the good bacteria you’ll add with the starter is what’s alive and growing.

Sterilizing the jar for homemade yogurt

3. Cooling. Let milk cool until you can comfortably dip your finger into it–warm, but not burning you. (This is about 115 degrees if you must know, but I like skipping the thermometer and just using my finger–saves me another thing to wash.)

If you don’t want to wait the hour or two for the milk to cool, you can hurry up this step by putting your jars into a saucepan or dishpan of cold tap water. I like to do this because this shrinks my yogurt making session to about the length of time it takes me to serve a meal, and I’m less likely to leave the kitchen and forget about it. Just keep checking the milk, because it cools pretty fast this way.

4. Adding Starter. When milk has cooled to a tolerable temperature, it’s time to add your starter. This is simply a bit of plain, store bought yogurt, or yogurt saved from your last batch. You will need 2-3 T. per quart jar, or a half a cup for a gallon. Stir the yogurt gently into the milk in the jars–emphasis on gently–you’re introducing the yogurt to the milk, not incorporating.

DSC00430

5. Incubating. Cap jar(s), and set into your saucepan or dish pan again. This time, fill the pan up with the hottest water you can get from your tap. You want the hot water to reach up to the level of the milk in the jars. This is how you will incubate your yogurt. Leave on counter 8-12 hours (all day, if you make it in the morning, all night if you make this before bed). At the end of that time, transfer yogurt to fridge to cool.

DSC00469

The finished yogurt will have thickened and have some separated whey on top. It will firm up further in the fridge.

Is it Really That Easy?

Now, a lot of people ask me if that little hot water bath is enough to incubate the yogurt–“don’t you have to switch out the water?” they wonder. And my answer? No, you don’t. I’ve been using this method of incubating yogurt for 5 years, and never had a batch that didn’t work. So, save yourself the trouble of putting your yogurt in the oven, dehydrator, or wherever else you’ve heard works, and just leave it on the counter (or in the sink) in a pan of water. It works great, I promise.

Special Circumstances:

  • If your house is on the chilly side, you may want to use a cooler as your incubation container–again filling it with hot water up to the level of the neck of the jars–the insulation of the cooler will keep the water and yogurt cozy even if your house isn’t. πŸ™‚
  • It seems the only time this style of incubation doesn’t work is when making less than a quart of yogurt at a time–a small jar or amount just doesn’t hold the heat long enough to give the yogurt a good incubation. If you’re doing smaller jars or less than a quart of milk, again, try the cooler for an incubator, or look into making crockpot yogurt.

Also, if you want to use a thermometer, heat the milk to 185, and cool it to about 115.

Thick, Creamy, Plain Yogurt

The resulting yogurt is so thick and creamy, you’re gonna be amazed. And, you’ll notice I don’t add anything to my yogurt–no sweeteners or flavor. That’s because around here, yogurt is usually a vehicle for fresh or frozen fruit, or other yummy additives, and we find we don’t need the sweetener. If you do want to make a sweeter, vanilla flavored yogurt, you’ll find an equally simple recipe (that tells you the best time to add flavor and sweetner) in my book, Real Fast Food.

One more question I get a lot is…

What kind of milk do you need to use to make yogurt?

Ah, that’s the glory of it, people. This recipe works for raw milk, pasteurized and homogenized milk, and everything in between. Cow milk, Goat milk, Vicuna Milk–it works for all of them. (I haven’t tried the milk from a South American Camel, actually, but this method works for all animal milk!) As I mentioned in my post on What to Do If You Can’t Find or Afford Raw Milk, making store bought milk into yogurt is a great way to make the milk easier to digest, and it can also save you money!

Yogurt with plant or nut based milk is another method, and not one I’m familiar with, so, google away, friend!Β 

Want to learn another fantastic, fermented treat you can make in your own kitchen? Why not try Kombucha?Β And, yes, I teach people to make kombucha, too–with videos of each step and amazing flavor formulas. Β My ecourse, Kombucha Made Easy, walks you through step by step–I select a limited number of students every few months–sign up here to be notified when the doors open!

245 responses to “Easiest Yogurt Recipe {Ever!}”

  1. Gladys Avatar
    Gladys

    Amaazing! I’ve always wanted to make my own yogurt. I’ve seen so many recipes but this is by far the easiest. And when I tried it, it was a success! First-time and I got my own yogurt in the fridge, all thanks to you!

  2. Mary Avatar
    Mary

    Love your instructions, and ALL the comments. This will “date” me, but I used to make yogurt back in the early 70’s. before we had kids, and this is the same way I made it. I do remember that one of the cautions was to not move or “jar” the yogurt while it was fermenting…It was an important step, but now I can’t remember why…. I”m going to try a batch and see if it is something my grand kids might like. They’re pretty picky, so I’m not sure if they would eat it unsweetened. Any suggestions on how or when to add sugar?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Sure, Mary–add the sugar in the beginning when you’re heating it–this will ensure it disolves and doesn’t mess with the incubation period.

  3. Nadine Avatar
    Nadine

    I use a couple wide mouth Thermos Bottles when I make my yogurt and it turns out great. Didn’t have any whey on the top the next day. Maybe it was because I used more starter than necessary? I heated it to 180 and then let cool to about 150. Or like you said, ( just use your finger for testing ) πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Sometimes there isn’t whey–I don’t know why! Maybe the milkfat content of the milk?

  4. Lizbeth Herbert Avatar
    Lizbeth Herbert

    Hi Trina,
    Thanks for the recipe. I accidentally forgot to incubate, so just capped them and put them into the fridge…I had a lot of stuff going on, (was also making crackers.) This a.m. I poured everything back into the pot (sans the yoga started), reheated (it was thicker than milk since it had yogurt in it, re-bottled and added the yogurt that I used before back in. They are incubating now. I have a feeling I made cottage cheese, which would be OK. My question: Is there any reason that you know of that that this might be unsafe to eat? I reckon I sterilized because I boiled the milk again. Maybe I should have pitched the whole thing, but I hate waste! Thanks again for your fun blog!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Liz, as long as you heated the milk, it will be sterile and thus safe to eat. whenever i have a messed up batch of yogurt (and this happens to me, too!) I just use it in baking!

  5. Nan Loyd Avatar

    I googled “easy” yogurt recipes as I don’t have a yogurt maker or any yogurt-knowledge! Now I know I can do this and am so glad. I will be making some as soon as I hit the grocery store. I had a wonderful Mennonite lady who made it from fresh cow milk and it was amazing. Unfortunately she moved and I was afraid to try it on my own – UNTIL your post above. I a no longer nervous about it so am confident I will be eating fresh yogurt in 2018!! Thank you for this recipe.

  6. Marianne in France Avatar
    Marianne in France

    Dear Trina, thank you so much for this amazingly simple method of making yoghurt in any desired quantity. You liberated me from a yoghurt maker with 5 tiny pots… I wish I had had this knowledge some 8 years ago when I moved from Scandinavia to France. In Scandinavia one can buy all kinds of milk products in one or two liter cartons. Here in France yoghurt is sold in very small plastic containers – dessert portion size, an environmental nightmare. Since our family of 4 has yoghurt for breakfast, for snacks at all times of the day and as dessert our kitchen waste in terms of plastic containers was enormous and it bothered me a lot.
    I have been making yoghurt with your method for 3 months now and am still thrilled. I have used all kinds of milk, raw, pasteurized, UHT, sheep, goat, cow and all kinds of starters with and without flavouring, Greek, Bulgarian, probiotic, ordinary… your recipe never failed me. Incidentally, the yoghurt seems to be firm already after 4 hours but I just leave it to set during the night.
    I am also grateful for the interesting questions and observations in discussions with your readers. I know now that I can make yoghurt in the original milk carton using a cooler or a warm sweater cum warm water bottle during outdoor events.
    Thank You Thank You Thank You – this has made my life so much easier πŸ™‚

  7. Abigail Avatar
    Abigail

    Hello Trina I would like to try it but I’ll do just 2 cups of milk and I live in a hot country so I’m thinking I’ll pour them out in two mason jars, wrap kitchen towels around them put it in an insulated bag, put hot water in a bottle and add it to the bag to keep temperature and then in a cooler. I don’t have an oven. Do you think it could work?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Yes, that sounds like it would be warm and cozy!

  8. Mama Rachael Avatar
    Mama Rachael

    Hi Trina —

    I used to make yogurt all the time. The first round was good. But the second was grainy, and the third even more grainy. I didn’t want to have to keep buying yogurt from the store to only get one batch and it was so frustrating, I quit. Any idea what I was doing wrong? The yogurt would be nice and thick, and creamy, but with lots of little ‘grains’ or balls of something (milk fat? yogurt culture?). Would love your thoughts. Found your site after googling “high protein muffins” and that post brought me to this post. So fun!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Rachael–this was my experience as well until I learned to sterilize my jars so ONLY the bacteria I wanted would grow. Have you tried that?

  9. OverInEngland Avatar
    OverInEngland

    Fantastic yoghurt recipe! It’s going to save so much money, and stop me from having to buy all of our yoghurt in big plastic pots! (Currently trying to go ‘zero waste’). Thank you!

    1. Trina Avatar

      you’re so welcome! Glad this post was helpful!

  10. Amy Lewis Avatar
    Amy Lewis

    Hi Trina
    I love this recipe!!! My question is do you have a suggestion to make the yogurt more tart? I used whole milk (homogenized/paturizrd) and 3T of tart Bulgarian yogurt.
    Thanks
    Amy

    1. Trina Avatar

      the longer you ferment or incubate it, the more of the sugars the culture will consume, leaving you with a tarter yogurt. 24 hours would make a good, tart yogurt!

  11. tina Avatar
    tina

    Wow is an understatement. Made this last night and ate it this morning with fruit, peanut butter, oats, and chocolate syrup and it was delicious. It gets better as it chills. I will continue to make this a staple in our house. Thanks!

  12. Connie Avatar
    Connie

    All I can say is WOW!! Thank you so much for this recipe Trina!!!!
    This was so easy and my yogurt came out amazing!!!! I had so much fun and I tasted it today and it is so good and crazy thick!!!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Hooray! Congrats, Connie!

  13. Claire Avatar
    Claire

    Hello Trina, I love this series of home made super foods! Thanks for sharing.
    I have a question, can I use kefir style yogurt for the starter? Would that be the same quantities to add as regular yogurt?

    Thanks.
    Have a great day ?

    1. Trina Avatar

      By kefir style yogurt, do you mean a kefir that’s been strained so it’s thicker, like yogurt? If it was originally kefir, it’s a different strain of bacteria than what makes yogurt–it would probably do something to the milk πŸ˜‰ but not make thick, creamy yogurt.

      1. Claire Avatar
        Claire

        I have a super fancy Swedish drinkable yogurt called filmjΓΆlk in the fridge that I paid “fancy hippy drink” price for at the health store. It is an equivalent of kefir, from Sweden. It’s really yummy as well.
        But I’ll go to the store and buy regular yogurt to make my yogurt starter, because I want thick yogurt.
        Thanks for your quick answer!
        And congratulations on Kombucha made easy. I’ll get it as soon as the budget allows it!

  14. Dharia Avatar
    Dharia

    Hi Trina,
    The way we make yogurt, is we buy regular pasteurized milk, then heat it just enough to put a finger in it and hold it for 2-3 seconds without burning. That is the right temperature, no need to heat it over and then let it cool if the milk is already pasteurized. Then we stir any type of yogurt with live bacteria (I like to buy the really expensive ones, because they have lots of good bacteria and it makes it cost efficient to let all that goodness multiply for free on the counter:) and sometimes mix different types of yogurts. Then I cover with a lid and let is sit overnight.

    In case the yogurt does not set (as it happens sometimes in winter), what I do is heat the whole pan for a minute or two, just enough to make it warm, but not kill the bacteria and it sets in like 5 minutes. That is for those who had a bad experience with their yogurt. Most of the time, it is either the temp was too low or people bought pasteurized yogurt that does not have any live bacteria left in there.

    Thank you for the recipe, and greetings from Israel.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Dharia, I love the simplicity of your method! I’d like to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

    2. Ale Avatar
      Ale

      Dharia, do you dump all the yogurt out into the pan and only heat for two minutes? Or let it get warm and start to boil and then take it off to set? Or do you keep the yogurt in the container and then boil it in the container like a double boiler for two minutes? Thanks

  15. […] have a good recipe! I’ve tried a lot and haven’t found one quite as successful as the yogurt recipe from my friend, Trina Holden. Scald the milk, add the yogurt and incubate on the counter overnight […]

  16. Soleil Avatar

    Hi Trina, just wanted to tell you how much I adore your blog! I’m a huge fan :)) I loved your yogurt recipe! I normally make mine with Jersey raw milk, although when I heat it I just add blankets to the jars to keep them warm. I usually leave them for 2-4 hours but your post has inspired me to try 8-24- thanks so much for the great write-up and inspiring words!

    1. Trina Avatar

      You are so welcome, Soleil! Glad you’re making such lovely yogurt!

  17. […] stove and poured it into 3 wide mouth glass quart canning jars. Β  I followed the suggestion onΒ Easiest Yogurt Recipe EverΒ to cool the milk down quickly by placing the jars in cold water until I could test it by dipping […]

  18. Taylor Avatar
    Taylor

    Well I didn’t have some much luck on my first try. I followed the recipe but it turned out very thin. Not sure what I did wrong. I used organic non-homogined milk and Greek yogurt for a starter. I did use a metal measuring cup for the yogurt starter, does that matter? Or maybe I stirred the starter in the milk too much? Also I left the lid off of the pot of hot water for overnight incubation. Does that matter? My home also drops into the 60’s at night…not sure if that could be part of it. Your advise is appriciated!

    Thanks,
    Taylor

    1. Trina Avatar

      Taylor, it sounds very much like your incubation was not a warm enough environment. Try again with some of the suggestions I made for keeping the heat sustained, like a small cooler or a heat pad.

  19. K Avatar
    K

    Thanks for the recipe and post.
    Side note: Y’all is spelled incorrectly throughout. It’s a conjunction of you and all = y’all (rather than a conjunction of ya and will, which is what the spelling in your blog, ” ya’ll,” implies). If you moderate your comments, please feel free not to post this one. I’m aharing to be helpful, not humiliate.

  20. Bronwyn Avatar
    Bronwyn

    Hi Tina
    I made my first ever batch of homemade yoghurt last night following your simple step-by-step instructions. We thoroughly enjoyed our fresh fruit and yoghurt breakfast this morning. Thank you!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Yeah! so glad to hear that, Bronwyn!

    2. Magnus Dahlgren Avatar
      Magnus Dahlgren

      Too complicated. even for this man.
      My method takes about one minute, literally, to prep and clean up. Here it is: First, mix some starter into the milk. Then, incubate. Chill. Enjoy.

      I use ordinary, standard Vitamin-D milk, which is already pasteurized and denatured by the dairy. It’s labelled “UHT”, or “ultra-high temperature” pasteurized, or “ultra-pasterurized”. This means that my sealed carton, or jug, of milk contains all the sanitary milk I need, in a sanitized container. I simply put some starter, powdered or bought yogurt, into the carton with the cold milk, replace the cap, and shake it up. I don’t bother using a pan to warm the milk, nor whisk, nor extra bowl to prep the starter. Next, I put the carton, or jug, with the inoculated mixture in my oven, which I set to 115 degrees F and let it sit undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours, depending on how tart I want my yogurt. If you wonder how I can set my oven as low as 115 Degrees F, it’s because I spent US$25 to modify the oven slightly. Essentially, the oven can now be used as an incubator or leaving box.
      Granted, if you use raw milk, then the initial heating and cooling step is vital, due to the risk of rogue bacteria being present, but I just don’t see a reason to re-pasteurize milk that has already been pasteurized for me.

      1. Trina Avatar

        That’s awesome, Magnus.

  21. Christine Williams Avatar
    Christine Williams

    Do you remove skin that forms on top of milk when it bubbles?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Christine, you can! it does end up to be a chewier chunk in the finished yogurt, but we don’t mind it. πŸ˜‰

  22. Alissa Avatar
    Alissa

    Hi, thank you so much for this tutorial! I’m picking up 5 litres of fresh goats milk tomorrow, and one of the first things I am going to do is make yoghurt! So excited!
    Just one question… What is the purpose of the initial heating? If I am using raw milk, will this pasturise it?
    Thank you!
    Alissa

    1. Trina Avatar

      Alissa, to make yogurt with raw milk, you have to mail order a specific starter. It can be done, but these instructions are for making yogurt with the starter from yogurt you can get right from the grocery store.

      1. d. philips Avatar
        d. philips

        Hi there! We’ve been making kefir for years. Need to make more yogurt. Love your recipe here. This response to this question is confusing. We use raw milk. From your recipe, I thought you could use any starter (i.e. purchased greek yogurt), but you’re saying here that for raw milk, it needs to be a “special starter”. Am I interpreting either your recipe or this response wrong? Please explain. I’m looking forward to trying your method!

        1. Trina Avatar

          d. phillips – sorry I wasn’t more clear. For a completely raw yogurt you need a different starter. If you don’t mind the step of warming the milk, then you can use storebought yogurt as starter.

    2. betty delaney Avatar

      Thanks for the post .. It really did work , http://homemadeyogurt.net/

  23. John Avatar
    John

    Please excuse the bad paraphrase…
    you say something like ‘So easy even my man could do it. Here’s what I’d tell him to do.’

    Well, yes I’m a man, and yes I did it…and yes it was easy! – or beginners luck!
    But there was no whey. Almost as thick as ricotta, but no whey.

    1. Trina Avatar

      John, congrats on a job well done! I think I need to edit this post so it’s less degrading to the male cooks in my audience. πŸ˜‰

  24. Amanda Avatar
    Amanda

    I’ve just tried this for the first time and am really thrilled with the results! I used Greek yogurt as a starter (which has slightly different bacteria) because that was what I had on hand. I really is even easier than it sounds. Thanks very much for the recipe and explanation!

    1. Trina Avatar

      You’re so welcome! Excited for your success!

  25. Mike Avatar
    Mike

    Nice comprehensive site with great instructions. I am new to this process. Made my first batch and incubated for 7 hours. It tasted fine. Second batch incubated 10 hours and it was slightly sour but thick enough. Today I tried a 4 hour incubation and it seems to look ok and tastes great. Thick enough for me. I heated my milk (3.5%) to 180 degrees and held that temperature for 15 minutes, then transferred to sterilized quart mason jars. When temperature was about 120 degrees, I introduced a couple tablespoons of starter into each jar. I placed the jars inside a large crock pot with water bath about 115 degrees. I put lid on and covered top with heavy towels. Four hours later it was thick. Crock pot was not turned on.

  26. Aubrey Harris Avatar
    Aubrey Harris

    Hey there! I am excited to try this easy yogurt recipe πŸ™‚ I want to use Raw milk and don’t want to kill all the “good stuff” in it, can I heat it to 100 or 110 and follow the rest of the steps? I had seen a few other recipes using the raw milk that said to not scald it… what do you think?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Aubrey, this recipe is for use with the starter you would get from regular store yogurt. There is a starter specific to making yogurt with raw milk, but you must special order it.

  27. stefanie Avatar
    stefanie

    I’ve tried another method of homemade yogurt and while it was yummy, it definitely wasn’t thick, rather watery maybe due to the crockpot method? When you mention the whey forming on top, do you discard that or leave it and mix in later? My kids do love yogurt with fruit or homemade granola and I love it too but often sacrifice my own portions to fill their bellies!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Stefanie,
      I don’t get a lot of whey, but when I do I mix it in or pour it off into something I’m baking–whatever’s easiest. πŸ˜‰

  28. Joybird6 Avatar
    Joybird6

    I have a much more basic question than most in the comments section – I’m truly a newbie!!! πŸ˜‰ While heating the milk up the first time, do you need to stir it??? At all, occasionally, constantly? Looking forward to trying this soon!!!

    Thanks!
    Joy

    1. Trina Avatar

      Joy, you can stir occasionally, but I usually forget, and it turns out fine πŸ˜‰ Not a dumb question at all!

  29. Candace Avatar
    Candace

    ok, question. I make my own milk Keifer with the grains….would it work to use that as a starter. I would love to since homemade Keifer if full of the good goodies ?.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Candace, kefir is a different strain of bacteria than yogurt, so, no, you can’t use one to make the other. Sorry!

  30. Denise Avatar
    Denise

    Made some yoghurt but it has not separated into yoghurt and whey. I incubated it for 10 hours in water as you suggested and then transferred it to the fridge. It is creamy and has body but is a lot thinner than normal yoghurt. Not sure what I did wrong. Do you think I can still use it?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Denise, Occasionally a batch may not turn out–it could be too cool an incubation period or having the milk to hot or cold when you added the starter. When I have that happen, I will use the yogurt in smoothies and cooking! I hope you’ll try again–you’re almost there!

  31. nkem anene Avatar

    please can i use tiger nut milk for this plain yogurt, and how can i process this.

    1. Trina Avatar

      You must use a different starter for milk made from nuts

  32. Ilona Avatar
    Ilona

    Hi!, Thank you for such an easy yoghurt recipe! I have a question though-usually to make yoghurt it needs to be kept in yoghurt maker for 24H. You are keeping milk in hot water for 8-12H…Is this time enough? And also-water will cool pretty soon in the pan, do you warm it up, checking temperature?
    I have started my son on Gaps diet (we are trying to do it on budget) and your blog i very useful πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Ilona, I have used this recipe for 24 hour yogurt when I was on the GAPS diet. You do not have to keep the water warm that long, just keep the yogurt out for 24 hours. The water usually stays warm in a large pot for 4-6 hours, and the yogurt continues to ferment even at room temperature until you transfer it to the fridge. Congrats for beginning the GAPS journey–so glad I could help!

  33. carter Avatar
    carter

    Hi, I was just in India and a lady told me how to make yogurt, much like you say but even simpler but I will try both ways. Thanks for your posting.

    I am in China and the milk I want to use here is UHT type, any thoughts if you think this will work well? Thanks for your help, Trina.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Carter, I’m not familiar with UHT milk–sorry!

      1. Alissa Avatar
        Alissa

        UHT = ultra heat treated, or long life milk. It does not need to be refrigerated, at least until it is opened.

        I’m not an expert, but I’m guessing that the fresher, and less processed the milk is, the better. Are you able to get fresh, refrigerated milk? If not and UHT is really all you can get, then by all means give it a go!

        1. Gwyn Avatar
          Gwyn

          UHT is fine for making kefir, I mean it makes kefir so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be fine for yogurt. The difference really is just that more of the bacteria and nutrients in the milk have been processed out because it has been heated either more or longer (I’m not exactly sre) but when making yogurt, just like when making kefir, you are introducing a starter and the milk won’t change what you get from the starter. Hope that made sense. As I think was mentioned earlier making yogurt is a great use for more processed milk since it’s about adding new bacteria and making it more nutritious in a different way. I would always choose to drink raw milk and make things like yogurt or anything else, from processed milk since raw tends to be so much more expensive and harder to come by. That is of course if I was partial to raw milk, I just don’t happen to be.

  34. Gabby Avatar
    Gabby

    I do not get it I am looking at this to get myself some yogurt because I have none at home but the recipe says I need yogurt in that to and it really annoys me because if I had the yogurt I would need for making yogurt then I would not need these…

    1. Trina Avatar

      Sorry, Gabby–you need a small amount of yogurt to start another batch. That’s how you introduce the right cultures to the milk.

    2. Gwyn Avatar
      Gwyn

      The good news is once you make a batch you won’t have to buy anymore as long as you remember to hold some aside from each batch you make!

  35. Nick Avatar
    Nick

    I don’t want to assume this so; Do you use the same amount of milk as the amount of yogurt you’re trying to make? so for 1qt of yogurt you use 1qt of milk?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Yes, Nick–that’s right.

  36. […] followed roughly this recipe from Trina Holden: Easiest Yogurt Recipe Ever. And I can confirm, it is super […]

  37. helen Avatar

    Hi trina, this yogurt is awesomme. I made it and it came out exactly the way I want ut and better than the ones I get from the store, this is the first time am trying this and it came out perfect so excited, for the incubating process I used a hot water bottle, placed the yogurt jar in a cooler bag, placed the hot water bottle along side it and left it over night and wala!!! My lovely yogurt. Thanks trina

    1. Trina Avatar

      Congrats, Helen!

  38. helen Avatar

    Love your self explanatory way of preparing yogurt, its awesome. Thanks

  39. vanessa Avatar
    vanessa

    Can I do this with Almond Milk?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Vanessa, you need a different starter to make yogurt with plant-based milks. Check out Cultures for Health website–they have great info there!

  40. Deborah Avatar
    Deborah

    Hello Trina!

    I must admit that I was apprehensive about trying this extremely easy way to make yogurt! Anything easy has to have a catch somewhere right? But to my delight, it worked wonderfully well! I even used skim milk and made the most beautiful creamy thick yogurt, so much better than store bought! I even strained it and made “Greek” yogurt!

    Thanks for sharing your method!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Congrats, Deborah! Your yogurt sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing your success!

  41. Clarita Avatar

    I’m trying to print out your yogurt recipe and am having difficulties. It is printing with images superimposed on the words making it difficult to read. Any suggestions?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Clarita, sorry for your trouble! I myself am technically challenged, so my method for printing recipes is to copy and paste a section at a time to a word document, which allows me to discard the photos entirely, or place them where I want to. Hope that helps?

  42. Margaret Avatar
    Margaret

    Thank you for this user-friendly yogurt recipe. I am excited to try it. No big deal, but if you want to, #3 is repeated twice in the instructions πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Thanks, Margaret. πŸ˜‰

  43. London Accountants Lady Avatar

    I like the idea of making your own yogurt because there’s so many weird flavour combinations I’d like to try!

  44. Mr. Victor Avatar

    Wow, that’s crazy… I seriously had no idea it was this easy to make yogurt. Thank you so much for this recipe, you rock.

    1. Trina Avatar

      you’re welcome, Victor!

  45. JUSTINE Avatar
    JUSTINE

    WILL SURELY TRY IT

  46. Azfar Avatar
    Azfar

    If I want to make a gallon per batch, what is the most suitable substitute for the jar? Thanks. You’re a diamond.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Azfar, you can incubate right in the pot, you just have to be able to keep the whole pot warm. Maybe the cooler method will work for you. Put the lid on the pot and set in a cooler of hot water.

  47. Nicole Rasmussen Avatar
    Nicole Rasmussen

    I’m going to try your yogurt. You make it sound so easy. Thank you!

  48. Alanna Avatar
    Alanna

    Hi Trina, I completely failed the yoghurt!! Made it last night and woke up this morning to a jar of… room temperature milk! I did cool the milk using a cold water bath, so maybe it was too cold? I added about 1/4 cup live yoghurt to a 1 litre jar and left it next to the wood fire all night. Maybe that wasn’t enough heat? I’m discouraged to try again πŸ™
    And what do I do with the failed yoghurt? Can I treat it just like milk or do I have to throw it away?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Alanna, I’m guessing your milk might not have been warm enough to activate the starter or incubate the yogurt. Don’t be discouraged! You are not a failure–you tried, and now you know what doesn’t work ;).
      You can regrigerate the failed yogurt and use it in any recipe that calls for milk or butter milk!

  49. Joanne Avatar
    Joanne

    I made a batch of yogurt and it’s really runny. Can I re-use this batch and do it over again?
    Thanks,
    Joanne

    1. Trina Avatar

      You can try again, or just use the milk for baking!

  50. SULAIQOH Avatar
    SULAIQOH

    I avn’t try it,bt i think it wil help alot cus i really like yogurt

  51. bukky Avatar
    bukky

    this is gooooooooooooooooooood.Thank you.

  52. Jordan Avatar
    Jordan

    Hi! Thank you for your recipe!! Tried it today with success!! Firtst batch of homemade yogurt and I’m hooked! One thing I wish there was a recipe book/print friendly option πŸ™‚ .

    1. Trina Avatar

      Jordan,
      I’ve included my yogurt technique in both my cookbooks, which you can order lovely, full color copies of. πŸ˜‰

  53. Katherine Avatar
    Katherine

    I made some yogurt and it tastes great but is very runny, not at all the consistency of yogurt (there were a few lumps in it that were more like regular yogurt). I tried straining it with cheesecloth and that didn’t seem to help thicken it at all. Maybe my cheesecloth isn’t thick enough? What thickness should I be using? Or do you have any other tips on how to thicken it? Thanks!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Katherine, I’m guessing you just had a runny batch–which happens occasionally to even a seasoned yogurt veteran as myself. Things to check to keep it from happening again:
      was your milk too warm when you added the starter?
      was your milk too cool when you added the starter?
      did your milk stay warm and good a good enough incubation, or do you need to try a different method (like a crockpot, heat pad, or hot water bath in a cooler)?
      was the yogurt you used as your starter pasteurized? It needs to contain “active, live” cultures.
      It may be a small tweak that will get you a truly thick result next time. Wishing you success!

  54. Julia Avatar
    Julia

    Hi I am trying this recipe right now, was just wondering if the 2-3 T is teaspoons or tablespoons, I’m not familiar with that description, English πŸ˜‰

    1. Trina Avatar

      Hi, Julia! Capital “T” stands for tablespoons, lower case “t” stands for teaspoons, so you want to use Tablespoons of yogurt for starter. πŸ˜‰

      1. Julia Dowler Avatar
        Julia Dowler

        Hi Trina,
        Yes I worked it out, eventually! πŸ™‚ I bought your book ‘The Real Food Journey’ by the way, and I’m loving working through it all. So far I have made the yoghurt, oats and pancakes. I’m trying to use butter or coconut oil for cooking, and including the live yoghurt everyday. I don’t have access to raw milk at the minute so I’m making do with organic shop bought. My only concern is that I had a high cholesterol reading last year and I’m worried that all the dairy might cause it to be high again and cause me harm. I recently had a cyst removed from beneath a root canal and feel that this has caused me health problems related to that, so like as you said about your own problems I would really like to get myself feeling more healthy again ASAP and am hoping that your regime will help me to do that. I’ve only just started so obviously need to give it a little time. Anyway thanks for your response, all the best.
        Julia

  55. Lorie Avatar
    Lorie

    When incubating the yogurt does the lid of the pot have to fit on top? The pot cannot full close with my quart jars in there.
    Thanks!!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Lorie, mine does not when I’m incubating half gallon jars! You just need to make sure it stays warm. If need be, change the water out to hot again after a few hours, or try using a cooler with hot water for the incubation.

  56. Kayla Avatar
    Kayla

    Hi I’ve been trying to make yogurt with no luck πŸ™ if I use organic store milk and a yogurt from the milk as a starter will I be getting any Probiotic benefits or no since it’s all been pastureized or does it make its own Probiotics regardless?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Kayla, can you clarify your question? I’m not quite sure what your asking. Are you wondering if pasteurized yogurt can be used as a starter? If that’s your question the answer is no because you need live cultures. Look for a yogurt that says “contains live and active cultures” on the package, and use that for starter.

      1. KKaylayla Avatar
        KKaylayla

        Hello, sorry, I mean like if I use store bought milk will I still get good Probiotics even though it’s pastureized? Also, you mentioned to warm the milk at first. Is this necessary for already pastureized milk or just raw? Thanks! πŸ™‚

        1. Trina Avatar

          Kayla,
          there are no probiotics left in milk that has been pastureized. the probiotics come from the yogurt you add as starter.

          I heat the milk first because with pastureized or raw, there can be bacteria present and to ensure your yogurt turns out, it’s best to kill all bacteria to give you a clean slate before adding the starter.

          And yes, there are yogurt methods you can use with raw milk that don’t require heating the milk, but they require a starter you have to mail order, and I prefer the ease of making yogurt with the readily available storebought yogurt as starter.

  57. Lisa Woodbrey Avatar
    Lisa Woodbrey

    I’ve been making yogurt using your directions for almost a year now – it is so easy peasy and works great, however, sometimes I would just love to open up an already flavored batch, vanilla, strawberry etc. Is there an easy way to flavor it without changing its density?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Lisa, that’s a great question, and one I’ve been asking myself lately. πŸ˜‰ I experimented with vanilla yogurt the other day, but even with just a small addition of maple syrup for sweetener, it was not nearly as thick. I’m guessing a dry form of sugar would help the thickness factor, but I’m unwilling yet to make that compromise.

      Meanwhile, I get my ‘yogurt cup fix’ by making up little jam jars of yogurt with a spoonful of jam at the bottom and storing them that way in the fridge.

    2. Gwyn Avatar
      Gwyn

      Hi Lisa. I haven’t tried with yogurt but i have flavored kefir by leaving a vanilla bean (opened) sitting in it in the fridge for a while and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with yogurt too. The bean doesn’t add any liquid so doesn’t change the consistency and for me sweetens it enough but I’m not a sweets person so you might find you want something more. Maybe some mashed banana mixed in for sweetness?
      Good luck!

  58. Cheryl Avatar
    Cheryl

    Hi Trina! Can I use 2% or skim milk to make the yogurt?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Cheryl, you certainly can, but it probably won’t be as thick because of the lack of fat.

  59. Amina Avatar
    Amina

    Hi. You’re saying this method doesn’t work if you’re using small jar- but the first picture on this post shows a small jar, ie less than a quart. Was that yogurt made using a different method? I will probably try making yogurt with a quart of milk but I don’t have a 1 qt jar, so I’ll be using smaller jars.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Amina–I have big hands–that’s actually a quart jar in the picture. πŸ˜‰ If you do it in smaller jars, you’ll need to replace the hot water regularly, or use a heat pad to keep it warm for the incubation period.

  60. Amanda Avatar
    Amanda

    Just made the yogurt last night and it turned out great, thanks!Β But mine doesn’t look as thick as yours, but it is the consistency of yogurt.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Amanda, congratulations! keep experimenting–there’s a lot of factors that even I can’t advise on that contribute to thicker yogurt. If you like greek style yogurt, then you can strain your finished yogurt through cheesecloth for a while. πŸ˜‰

  61. Susan Avatar
    Susan

    I was so excited to find this recipe. I looks simple and easy, will be giving a try and I have shared it with some friends also.

  62. Gerri Avatar

    In an effort to get healthier I have started to make several things I previously only bought. I was able to find a local source for fresh goat milk. Last weekend I made some cheese and this weekend I am trying your method of making yogurt with goat milk I picked up last night. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. It is in it’s water bath getting happy on the counter right now. Thank for the post. I loved the ease of it.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Gerri! So happy for you! hope your yogurt turned out!

  63. judy Avatar
    judy

    Hi, Trina—I have not made yogurt since the seventies–what a mess it was then. Now I want
    to start making it again. Your recipe gives me hope. Can I make this with unsweetened almond milk and do you know if I have to make any adjustments? I assume there will be no whey? I appreciate you site and am looking at your books. Thank you so much in advance for your time in
    answering this old lady’s questions.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Judy, to make yogurt with almond milk, you will need to get a vegetable starter. You can’t start it with a dairy-based starter.

  64. Laura Avatar
    Laura

    I just came across your site as we are trying to eat more whole foods and no processed. I am very interested in trying this yogurt tonight with my daughter. I just wanted to know does it matter if we start with plain Greek or does it need to be regular? I am sorry if you answered somewhere and I missed it.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Laura, as long as the yogurt says it contains active cultures, you can use it–I’ve used greek for starting a batch!

  65. Jennifer Avatar
    Jennifer

    This may be obvious but it does not state the amount of milk you are using. Its states you make 3 quarts of yogurt- does that mean you start with 3 quarts of milk-perhaps I’m reading too much into this πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      3 quarts milk will make 3 quarts yogurt πŸ™‚

  66. Karen Mulraine Avatar
    Karen Mulraine

    Can we add any flavour to this yougurt like pineapple or a little sugar to taste?

    1. Trina Avatar

      It’s best to add flavorings after, and save some unflavored out to start your next batch

  67. Jessica Avatar

    ive tried this method since I never had luck with any other. It’s currently being refrigerated. Although I noticed when I put it in the refrigerator that it didn’t seem thick— does the thickness come when it is cooked for a while? It looked thin like milk is why I ask !

    1. Trina Avatar

      Jessica–how did it turn out? it is not always completely thickened after incubation, and gets thicker after refrigeration.

  68. Caren Chong Avatar
    Caren Chong

    This method works very well though. Before I found your blog, it was a mess making yoghurt. So firstly, thanks for your tips. πŸ™‚ I have a question. When the bacteria inside the yoghurt is growing, I notice that there’s a lot of translucent yellowish liquid floating on top. What should I do? Throw them away? Or I just put the whole jar into the fridge and mix the liquid all together? Your reply is so much appreciated as I don’t really know how old this recipe is! Thank you in advance, too!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Caren, that liquid is whey, it’s very good for you–stir it into your yogurt, or strain it off and use it in smoothies or cooking or fermenting things

  69. […] nourishing options right in my own fridge, with cultured vegetables, simmered bone broths, and homemadeΒ dairy products. Real foodΒ is the slow, steady approach toΒ nourishing my family. I rest in […]

  70. Elizabeth Avatar

    Trina, I heard you share on the God-Centered-Mom podcast and came over to your site right away. Real Fast Food is on my Christmas list now. I’ve tried making yogurt but have had little luck with the incubation process so I will have to try this. Thanks!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Hey, Elizabeth! Let me know how it goes!

  71. Kate Avatar

    Can I just say -Wow!!
    I have been making yogurt for a while and I could never get enough at the right texture. It was either runny and the right amount or a tiny amount of strained yogurt.
    This was awesome I forgot about the crockpot while the milk heated up and it didn’t scald.
    It came out perfect and plentiful πŸ™‚

    I’m going to try using my crockpot to make cheese today – wish me luck!
    -K

    1. Trina Avatar

      Kate, how’d the cheese turn out? I’d love to hear! Are you going to blog about it?

      I’m so excited your yogurt was successful–congrats!

  72. c. Avatar
    c.

    Hi, you donot need to heat the milk first so much, if your milk is from the super, only if it is straight from the cow (because it is not sterilized etc yet) !
    I leave the milk yoghert mixture on the stove when it is 40C, and cover it with a towel to keep the temperature…The rsults are always ok !

  73. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup Avatar

    This is wonderful! Thank you. I’m sharing and pinning.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Thanks for sharing, Heather!

  74. Claire Shuman Avatar

    Hi Tina!! I made your yogurt today with raw milk and let it sit 14 hours overnight and it is absolutely perfect, thick, creamy and delicious!!! I have a question though, can I use the freshly made yogurt to culture my next batch? If so how many times can I do this and not loose the bacteria count. I want to get as many good bacteria as possible!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Claire, the fresh yogurt can be used for starter for another batch and you can reuse it for months! I’m so excited that your first batch turned out so well! Congrats!

  75. Julie Avatar
    Julie

    Thanks for this recipe. This looks super easy and yummy. I would rather make raw yogurt, can I simply warm the milk to the 115ΒΊ then add the culture and incubate? I used to make raw goat cheese that way, do you see a problem in doing the yogurt that way as well?
    Do you do anything to flavor or sweeten it? If so what are your favorite recipes?
    Thanks,
    Julie

    1. Trina Avatar

      Julie,
      you need a different culture for raw milk yogurt–you can find what you need from a company like Cultures for Health.
      I don’t sweeten anymore, but when I did I would put about 2 T. honey or maple syrup per quart and a dash of vanilla during the scalding stage.

  76. Chalyn Avatar
    Chalyn

    Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s the first batch of yogurt I’ve had come even remotely close to turning out since I can’t even remember when. It was a bit thinner than I’d hoped though. Maybe you can help me troubleshoot it? I think the problem may be one (or more) of the following: the starter, the temperature of the water for incubating, or the size of the pot.

    All I could get locally was a large container of unflavored Dannon yogurt. I’ve read that, while the standard commercial yogurts do have live cultures, they often don’t contain enough to culture a batch of homemade properly. One article I read suggested using a yogurt with added probiotics (e.g. Activia), but the only ones our store carries are flavored. If the starter is the culprit, could this be remedied by adding more? Or should I just forget the local stuff and order a starter? (We live in a fairly rural area, so it’s unlikely that less-than-average ingredients are going to be available here.)

    The other two issues sort of go together. First, I used a Ball wide mouth quart jar. The only pot I have that would allow me to add water up to the level of the milk is a very large stock pot. (I could probably fit four, maybe even five jars in there.) But I only made 1 quart, so I thought maybe the water held its heat for longer than it would have with a smaller pot or with more jars and maybe the average temperature was higher than it should have been. Also, our tap water gets very hot, between 140 and 150 F. Is this too hot? I worried that maybe it killed off enough of the starter cultures around the edge of the jar that the rest couldn’t make up the difference.

    TIA for your help! And thanks again for the recipe! I have high hopes that I can get this figured out and be churning out perfect yogurt in no time. πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Chalyn,
      your water may be too hot–I would suggest using tap water that is just a bit hotter than what you can stand to swirl your finger in–it will cool down from that point quite quickly and the jar will protect your starter from overheating.

      I have never had trouble using just plain old yogurt from the store for starter. Sometimes I have had to use flavored because that was all I had access to, and the flavor just wears out after 1 or 2 batches. Faintly flavored blueberry yogurt is a little weird, but it fades. πŸ˜‰

      I’m wondering what kind of milk you used? Because the thickest yogurt is made from whole milk. Also, how long did you culture it? you can culture it as long as 18 hours and that can also make it thicker.

      If you’re used to greek yogurt, though, you will only get that consistency by straining your yogurt a bit through a light cloth. You will get whey off your yogurt that you can use in other recipes!

      Hope this helps! Congrats on your first successful batch!

  77. Heather Avatar
    Heather

    This is incubating on my counter as I type! I made a couple mistakes – I learned not to research dehydrator recipes while waiting for milk to simmer (the pot boiled over) & then I mixed up a couple steps. I waited until the milk had cooled a bit before pouring it in my clean jars. Sigh! Hoping my homemade yogurt still works out! πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Heather–I do that a lot. πŸ˜‰ other than the messy stove top, it doesn’t usually hurt the yogurt πŸ˜‰ Hope it turned out for you!

  78. Brilliant Avatar
    Brilliant

    Can we use cmc for yogurt? That’s as stabilizers? And when is it necessary to add it

    1. Trina Avatar

      Not sure what your question is, what is cmc?

  79. Kate Avatar
    Kate

    Thank you so much for your blog! This is the best method & recipe ever!! I have tried other methods which ended up in a thickish milky messy disaster! This recipe was so easy & worked perfectly!! Thank you so so so much!! I strained mine through two layers of cheese cloth for a couple of hours at the end to make Greek yogurt and it worked perfect…super thick & creamy! Thank you Trina!!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Kate, you’re awesome! this comment made my day. Thanks for trying my recipe and sharing your success!
      Trina

  80. Myra Wright Avatar
    Myra Wright

    what about powdered milk? I tried this today and only got about 1/3 of a container of yogurt . Not so happy! We are in Africa now, so I was excited to see this idea!

  81. Amber Avatar
    Amber

    I scored a deeply discounted display model greek yogurt maker that does the incubation step for me plus came with a strainer to magically convert my yogurt to strained (Greek) yogurt. I’ve used it several times, it works well and I have not yet have to make yogurt ‘by hand.’ Looks easy enough!! I might try it, especially for a large batch. My system makes only 3-4 servings at once. I wanted to play devil’s advocate for sterilizing the jar. I sterilize jars used for canning by covering in water and boiling for 10 min. I would have to look up the specifics on the times and temps you’d have to achieve to technically sterilize a jar (like doing it in the oven for example), but I’m willing to bet that simply pouring hot frothy milk (185 degrees for my recipe) is NOT effectively sterilizing a jar. I want your readers to have successful yogurt batches every time and truthfully don’t know what downside there would be to using a jar that is less than clean / sterile, but don’t want anyone to find out the hard way!

  82. Kylie Avatar
    Kylie

    I’m trying the yogurt now for the first time! I left it to cool on my counter and left to run some errands. When I came back it was 109 degrees and then I added the starter and put the lids on and put it in a bowl of hot tap water. When I checked it an hour and a half later it was too cool. The milk went down to like 85 degrees. I heated up my oven and put the jars it to heat them back up to 110 while I brought the water back up in temp on my stove top. Then I put the jars back in the water and put a lid over it. I’m just waiting now. Will it still work even though the temp dropped? Or do I have to start over?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Kylie, 85 degrees should still be warm enough for incubation, but you may want to try putting your jar into hot water into a cooler next time to retain the heat better.

  83. Alexa Avatar
    Alexa

    Hi! What a blessing to find your site!! Happened to come across it when I googled homemade yogurt. Having four small kiddos, we go through waaaay to much yogurt to be paying store prices. I “thought” I followed your directions pretty well, lol, but it came out pretty runny. Going to use it in smoothies and try another batch- any hints on what I did wrong, or need to do differently next time? ( I used 2% milk and vanilla Kroger brand as my starter- I made 2 quarts). Thanks SO much! Looking forward to trying again!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Alexa,
      hooray for trying out yogurt! My first thought on getting a runnier result is to check your incubation period–maybe try insulating in a cooler filled to the level of the jars with hot water to retain the heat longer? The other thought was, try full fat milk πŸ˜‰ That could make a big difference!

      1. Alexa Avatar
        Alexa

        Thank you for the quick reply! I will definitely try both ideas next time. It had a good flavor, but it literally was drinkable. Our tap water does not get very hot- would it be too hot if I boiled the water and used that? I’ll keep experimenting πŸ™‚ Blessings on your family, and thanks again!

        1. Trina Avatar

          Yes, Alexa, if your tap water does not get real hot, I suggest heating a pot of water to a simmer, and pouring that around the jars for the incubation.

  84. Emily Avatar

    Trying this tonight! Will the whey absorb back in after chilling in the fridge? Can I drain it off? Stir it in?

    1. Trina Avatar

      it won’t re absorb back into the yogurt by itself. You can shake or stir it back in, or strain it off to use in something else. πŸ˜‰

      1. Emily Avatar

        Okay, I have a little bit of troubleshooting to do. It’s like it really wanted to be yogurt but didn’t quite make it…

        Potential suspects:

        1. My jars were not a full quart (3 cups, not 4).
        2. Not quite enough starter yogurt (2 T, not 3).
        3. The cooling process seemed to go rather quick, like 20 minutes. I used really cold water, maybe I should have gone the au natural way so the milk would have cooled evenly? (When I checked the temp, the bottom of the jar was measuring below 100 and the top was measuring much higher. I waited for the top to measure 115.)
        4. Non-fat milk.

        I will absolutely try again!

        Have you ever tried with almond milk?

        1. Trina Avatar

          Emily,
          1. it does seem to affect the incubation if you reduce the bulk of the yogurt. I’d try for fuller jars.
          2. possible–did you stir it in, or just ‘introduce it’?
          3. This is where I think our problem could be. If this cooling too fast happens again, I’d encourage you to reheat the milk up to 115.
          4. Get yourself some full fat milk, lady! ;)Fat is good for you, I promise.

          I’ve heard you can make yogurt with almond or coconut milk, but you will need a different starter entirely.

          1. pamela Avatar
            pamela

            Hello Trina,

            Last nights first try didn’t come out quite right. I had some Organic Half and Half and decided to give it a go with some Open Nature Plain Yogurt, 3T to make 24oz total in a 32oz Ball jar. (I see that another made this mistake of not filling the jar to capacity?)

            I incubated in a 6 qt pan filled with hot water to cover the mixture (I did spoon and move the starter yogurt back and forth a bit with a slotted knife after the milk cooled to finger warm) then inserted the whole lot into a warm oven with light on and warm setting for 13 hours overnight.

            I see a few butter like puddles on top of the yogurt/milk and more in a layer about a 1/4 up from the bottom of the jar where the milk appears to be thicker?

            Reading through the comments and want to verify…Can I actually reuse these same ingredients to start the process over again? Should I add more starter after the milk cools to touch? Or should I just start over with all new ingredients?

            So excited reading all the success stories. I love this recipe and I’m determined to keep trying until it succeeds. ツ

          2. Trina Avatar

            Pamela, you can try starting over with the same yogurt, although if it tried to culture at all, it may curdle upon heating. Did you try refrigerating the yogurt? Sometimes it’s still a little runny at room temperature, but will thicken after you put it in the fridge.
            I’m cheering you on, keep trying!

          3. Gwyn Avatar
            Gwyn

            Pamela, it sounds to me like it probably worked just fine and the reason you have the two sections of “butter puddles” is because you used the half and half. What you are seeing is layers of fat and whey so they can either be mixed back in or left separated by spooning out the thicker white part that look like yogurt, it’s all good for you and the whey in particular has lots of good stuff. I could be all wrong however, I’m not experienced with yogurt making but have been making kefir for a while and am basing my guess on that.

  85. Jessica Avatar
    Jessica

    This sounds soooooo easy. Have you made raw yogurt? Would I have to heat it so high in order for it to still work?

    1. Trina Avatar

      I’ve not made raw yogurt because it requires a special starter. For this recipe you do need to heat the milk that high.

  86. karen Avatar
    karen

    “It only takes about 10 min. of preparation.” Really? Face it, you are tied to the kitchen for an hour while it slowly heats up and cools down to the correct temperatures. Totally worth it, but let’s be real. Thanks for the tips!

  87. Mechelle Avatar
    Mechelle

    I love that I can use goats milk to make this! I just have one question though. What do I use for my starter if I can’t have cows milk, even in the form of yogurt?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Mechelle, can you find goats milk yogurt? That should work as starter!

      1. Mechelle Avatar
        Mechelle

        Thank you! I will check the co-op.

  88. Rebekah Smith Avatar
    Rebekah Smith

    Trying this recipe this morning. During the incubation period,do I need to keep adding hot water, or just leave it? Hoping this works…I have not had much success with other recipes in the past.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Rebekah, if you’re using a big enough pot of water (or a cooler with hot water) the mass of the water should keep it warm enough long enough for good incubation. If you’ve had trouble with this in the past, then you could try replacing the water once or twice.

  89. Maria Rogers Avatar
    Maria Rogers

    The yogurt recipe sounds great,so easy! I am going to make a big batch soon, my hubby got liking yogurt, seeing me adding fruit, bran cereal,etc. to mine got him interested lol πŸ™‚ I was wondering….is it possible to use flavored yogurt for the starter??? my hubby mistakenly bought flavored yogurt, so I’m wondering if I could use some of it, maybe with gelatin?? πŸ™
    Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Maria, I’ve used flavored yogurt in a pinch. πŸ˜‰ it just means your batch will have an ever-so-slight flavor, and then subsequent batches will be fine πŸ˜‰

      1. Maria Rogers Avatar
        Maria Rogers

        Thanks much for answering my question Trina πŸ™‚ I’ve heard so often that using flavored yogurt would ruin it, thank you for making me feel better, I won’t freak when/if I can’t find any plain yogurt πŸ˜‰
        xoxo

  90. Lelia Avatar
    Lelia

    I’ve never tried making my own yogurt and I’m concerned that, if I try, mine would be one that didn’t turn out. If it doesn’t, as the case with a few other readers, is it a total loss or can the liquid be used for other things?

    1. Trina Avatar

      yes, the liquid can be used in baking! (buttermilk pancakes and such)

  91. dakota Avatar
    dakota

    Hey, amazing recipe. But i just couldn’t get mine to thicken. Any idea what i might have done wrong? Not added enough old yogurt? maybe not hot enough when adding the yogurt? i really want to try again but i was so bummed because it kind of just came out as a little bit thicker milk.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Dakota, I’d be glad to brainstorm with you–why don’t you talk me through what you did when you made your batch and maybe I can pinpoint the problem. If your yogurt didn’t thicken, you may have
      1. killed the starter by adding it when your milk was still too hot
      2. never activated the starter because the milk was too cool when you added it
      3. didn’t fully incubate the milk because it wasn’t warm enough for long enough
      It really comes down to the temperatures being right at the right times.

  92. Bree Avatar
    Bree

    I just made my second batch of this yogurt today, and I LOVE this stuff in my morning smoothie! I’m very glad it’s so easy, cheap, and healthy, thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚

    However, I was thinking; since you heat the milk up above 185F (effectively pasteurizing it, basically) wouldn’t it be a waste to use raw milk, since you’re killing the good bacteria? Especially since raw milk is more expensive than a good organic milk (where I am, anyway). Just something I thought worth mentioning/asking about πŸ™‚

    However, I am really intrigued about the room temperature cultures for raw milk, I’ll have to look into them if I can get my hands on some raw milk!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Bree, you’re right in noticing that my recipe effectively pasteurizes the milk as part of the process…if you have access to non homogenized, low-temp pasteurized milk, then that would probably be a great option for your yogurt making. Right now I’m living in Alabama and we can get raw milk from Georgia for $7/gallon and local, non homogenized, low-temp pasteurized milk for $5/gallon so I am using the local, cheaper milk for cooking and yogurt making, and the raw milk for drinking. πŸ˜‰

      I’d love to try the room temperature culture for yogurt–but just haven’t gotten to it yet. I appreciate the ease of making yogurt with the store bought yogurt for starter.

      Congrats on your successful yogurt making!!!

      1. John Avatar
        John

        The ONLY source of raw milk where I am…over $15 a gallon – which is better than $5.50 per quart of yogurt. Last week I used your recipe to make a half gallon from raw milk. Yesterday I found “flash pasteurized non homogenized” for $4 per half gallon from a small family farm that never pools their milk with milk from other farms.

        1. Trina Avatar

          John, that milk sounds like the best choice for where you’re at right now! I wish I had that option!

  93. Cori Brooke Avatar

    Hi, I tried this last night and am ASTOUNDED at the results! What a great recipe!!! The yoghurt I made is the perfect consistency and is so creamy and beautiful. Thank you for this amazing recipe.

  94. Robbie Avatar
    Robbie

    I have tried making yogurt, but I couldn’t keep it warm enough long enough to set. I’m bookmarking your page and trying your method soon! I’ve been paying over $4 a quart for my yogurt and can buy Promise milk cheaper than that. Thank YOU!
    Robbie

  95. Catherine Avatar
    Catherine

    Hi! I’ve never made yohurt before…I just about bought all sorts of thermometers, heating pads, pots etc and then found your recipe and gave it a try. Easy and delicious,I thought it was some complicated task but your recipe made it so easy, thanks! It has worked flawlessly twice now and I’m very excited about making my own yogurt from now on. Thanks again. Catherine

    1. Trina Avatar

      Yeah!!!! I love to hear stories like this!!!!! Thanks for sharing, Catherine, and congratulations on your yogurt!

  96. […] easy yogurt recipe is my latest food venture for probiotics and healthy fat. Unfortunately, it seems to upset […]

  97. Tina@GottaRunNow Avatar

    Thanks for posting the recipe and instructions! I made a quart of yogurt yesterday and it really was easy.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Yeah! Good for you, Tina! Thanks for letting me know it worked for you!

  98. Heather Avatar
    Heather

    Ive always wanted to try homemade yogurt (all the store bought have things I can’t pronounce, if I can’t pronounce it Im sure I shouldn’t eat it!) but this is the first recipe Ive seen that makes it seem easy. Im going to try it this week πŸ™‚ Maybe Ill make it into a school project and have the kiddos help me with it πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Heather, I’m so excited that my recipe made yogurt sound doable to you! Cheering you on!

  99. Shannon Payne (@SimplySaidMom) Avatar

    Trina, what a simply and easy recipe/method! I just purchased a yogurt maker (well incubator really) and my first batch of raw milk – cannot wait to start enjoying the healthy rewards πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Hooray! Let me know how it goes, Shannon!

  100. Ashlee Avatar
    Ashlee

    I just wanted to add a side note. I tried this recipe 3 times before I finally got it to work. When I figured out the problem it was amazing how fantastically easy this recipe is!!!! Make sure the temperature in your house is above 70 degrees, and you are good to go. πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Thanks for sharing, Ashlee! Congrats on your success!

    2. Gwyn Avatar
      Gwyn

      70 degrees? Now that could be a problem…does the house need to be that warm for the water bath to hold the right temp?

      1. Trina Avatar

        If your house is cold, you may want to consider using a cooler with hot water for your incubation, or replace the hot water bath a few times.

        1. Gwyn Avatar
          Gwyn

          What are the temp ranges that it needs to maintain? I’m wondering about using the crock pot on low or warm…

        2. John Avatar
          John

          Cooler with hot water?

          I feel a bit silly. I think I finally figured out what your all talking about. Out here on the west coast a cooler is an air-conditioning unit. What you call a cooler we call an ice chest.

          1. Trina Avatar

            Thanks for clarifying this, John!

  101. […] easy yogurt recipe is my latest food venture for probiotics and healthy fat. Unfortunately, it seems to upset […]

  102. Anu Avatar

    πŸ™‚ im glad you didnt ask to buy a starter online… For most South Indians this is a regular morning ritual – Wake up, boil milk – use some for tea and the rest is used to make yogurt. We use steel bowls to make yogurt on a daily basis and since the weather in Southern India is usually on the warmer side – the incubation part you mentioned is not required. Im in LA and I usually place the milk with the starter in the oven and turn on the light.
    I have noticed that the texture of the yogurt is different with the type of milk you use. In India the milk is usually Buffalo milk and the taste and texture of the yogurt is completely different from cows milk.

    Another favourite way to make thick creamy yogurt is to make it in earthen pots – which is almost like straining yogurt because of the porous texture of the earthen pot or matki πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Anu, I just love this glimpse into a culture that makes cultured food part of the daily routine! I would love to try making yogurt in clay pots. Hmmmm…gonna look into that.

      1. Claudia Liliana / rasamalai Avatar

        Earthen pots! I have to try this, we keep water in them and it tastes amazing plus it becomes very cool, much nicer than the one kept in the fridge.

        I want to mention Shrikhand, which is a very thick yogurt from India, made by straining the yogurt in a cheesecloth, of the tightest weave you can find, just let all the whey drain out and you can turn the container upside down and the yogurt will stick.

  103. April Avatar
    April

    I was always afraid to make yogurt and really felt I needed the fancy equipment until I saw this post. I have made it several times always with success. I LOVE it and it is so easy. Thank you so much Trina for doing all the experimenting for me. I bought your e book and have used so many of the recipes with success and deliciousness. I am passing the word about you to everyone I know and will pin to my boards to promote you. Again thank you so much I have always loved nutrition and providing healthy meals for my family. Many blessings to you and your family. BTW loved the recent post on Facebook I have never been a fan.

    1. Trina Avatar

      April, I am SO excited to hear the yogurt worked for you and the cookbook is a blessing. Thanks for sharing!

  104. Ashleigh Avatar
    Ashleigh

    This is great! I made the mistake of using pints and not wrapping them in towels. BUT… I put them into the sauce pan and turned the stove top on low to keep the water warm and it is working like magic! Crazy fast too. Thanks. I was bummed when I failed at first, now I know what to do.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Hooray! Thanks for sharing your method!

  105. Jenny Avatar
    Jenny

    Hi Trina,

    Thank you for this recipe. I plan to try it this next week after we get more milk. What fresh or frozen fruit do you add to it when you serve it? I’m intrigued since you said you don’t add any sweetener, I’d like to not add any sweetener either.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Jenny, blueberries are my kids’ favorite!

      We also often enjoy our yogurt mixed with equal parts homemade applesauce. looks like gross baby food…but I LOVE it. πŸ˜‰

  106. Amy Avatar
    Amy

    Is there something I can do (like strain this through cheesecloth) to make it more like a greek yogurt texture? I’ve been eating Greek yogurt for so long that I can stand the consistency of regular yogurt anymore.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Yes, Amy, you can take the extra step to strain the yogurt for a while in cheesecloth and you will get that thick, greek style yogurt. And you can use the whey in sauerkraut! πŸ˜‰

  107. Allison Avatar
    Allison

    Loved your real food series! I have a question about heating up raw milk, does heating it to 185 kill the good bacteria too? I’ve read that it shouldn’t be heated past 115, but I get really runny yogurt and it gets a strong taste to it. Thanks for your help!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Allison, yes, heating the milk to 185 kills ALL the bacteria, allowing you to control which bacteria grows during the incubation period. If you do not heat it as much, you are going to have a little war going on, and sometimes the bad bacteria will win. It sounds like that could be happening with your yogurt. πŸ˜‰

  108. Heather Avatar
    Heather

    Alright so I tried it again with the same milk I originally used and this time…it worked! πŸ™‚ I used a thermometer this time to make sure the temp was right, I incorporated the starter a little better, and I did change out the water just a few times because my house is freezing right now and as I said I used smaller jars. Not sure if one or all of these things helped but it came out right, thank you so much!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Hooray!!! These success stories make my day! Congratulations!

  109. Amy Avatar
    Amy

    This summer I tried a starter from Cultures for Health instead of using store bought yogurt as a starter. They have a starter (a couple actually, I think) that cultures at room temperature. Since I have been making raw milk yogurt, I was pretty excited. I just let the milk sit on the counter to get to room temperature, then add the culture, then put it in the cupboard. It needs to be between 70-78 degrees, so if your house is extreme either way, you might have to be choosy about a spot. I loved the convenience of this type.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Amy, I’ve heard of these starters for raw yogurt, would love to get my hands on some!

  110. Heather Avatar
    Heather

    Well I tried it and was sadly unsuccessful. Too runny, didn’t set, really still just resembles milk. I am determined to try again, it was my first time after all. – I used 1 tablespoon of starter per pint, maybe that wasn’t enough. Or maybe I didn’t heat the milk long enough? I had it heating on high (wasn’t sure what temp to use) so I stirred it the whole time so it wouldn’t burn, I don’t have a heavy bottomed pot. Didn’t check the temperature so maybe it just wasn’t hot enough. I also may have let it cool for too long as I realized I didn’t have any yogurt and had to run to the store to get some, took about an hour. It’s all still sitting in the fridge, it smells good but I’m not sure what to do with it! πŸ™‚

    1. Trina Avatar

      Oh, Heather! I’m so sorry! You were wise to try a small amount at a time, but that may have been part of the problem…such a small jar would not hold heat well, so your incubation period may have been too short/cool. I think for smaller amounts of milk, you might try the old towels in the cooler method, or your oven on warm.
      And yes, it very well may have cooled off too much before you added the starter–if I have to run out for yogurt in the middle of making yogurt (I’ve had to do it, too!) I reheat the milk back up to 115 before adding the starter.
      Rule of thumb is heat the milk till it simmers, then cool it till you can stand to keep your finger in it, but if you want to use a thermometer, heat the milk to 185, and cool it to about 115.

      1. Heather Avatar
        Heather

        Thanks Trina πŸ™‚ I actually heated 2 quarts of milk but I had to put it in pint jars because that was all I had. Thanks for the pointers though, I’m definitely not giving up – and I’ll let you know when I’m successful πŸ™‚

  111. Kristi Avatar
    Kristi

    Trina-I’m really new to making yogurt and apparently I am struggling with the knack. When I heated my milk, it totally separated like into curds and whey. I’m assuming I heated it to fast-is that correct? Any extra info would be greatly appreciated for this newbie. Thanks.

    1. Trina Avatar

      kristi, It does sound like you boiled the milk, which would curdle it. Sounds like you’ll have to try again. If you’re a complete newbie at yogurt, I suggest trying to make a quart at a time till you get the hang of it, just so you don’t waste too much milk. πŸ˜‰ The curdled milk can still be used in baking!

  112. […] Easiest Yogurt Recipe {Ever} from Trina Holden Making Homemade Yogurt: Easy Picture Tutorial from Kitchen Stewardship Coconut Milk Yogurt (no yogurt maker required!) from Delicious Obsessions Coconut Milk Yogurt from Real Food Forager How to Make Yogurt from Nourishing Joy Matsoni: The Easiest Yogurt You’ll Make from Nourished Kitchen […]

  113. Victoria @ Creative Home Keeper Avatar

    You pretty much spelled this out for me that even I can make this. I have been wanting to try a hand a yogurt for a while now and this seems pretty easy and reasonable. Thanks for sharing!

  114. Pat Baker Avatar
    Pat Baker

    Wow this sounds too simple to be true! I will try it tomorrow. Thank You…

  115. Naomi Brignola ~ Omily Avatar

    I just made yoghurt for the first time 2 weeks ago. I used raw milk and it is ever ever ever so good! My friends mom gave me the recipe, it’s the same as this only she said to put it in a cooler. Since I don’t have one I wrapped it in 3 blankets;) I will try skipping this step next time!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Hooray! I’m so proud of you for taking this step!

  116. Claire @ Lemon Jelly Cake Avatar

    I’m so excited to try both this and your bone broth recipe (making a roast chicken tomorrow night). πŸ™‚

  117. Lizzie Avatar
    Lizzie

    This recipe looks great! I’ve been wanting to try making my own yogurt, but all the complicated recipes had me scared to try. Now I think I can do this! I do have a question, though: does 3 qts of milk make 3 qts of yogurt? I had gotten the idea from other recipes that the finished yogurt product is less than the amount of milk you start with, but that doesn’t seem like it’s the case with your recipe. If that’s true, even better!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Lizzie, 3 quarts of milk will actually make a little more than 3 quarts yogurt, because you also have to add in that 1/2 cup starter.
      Let me know how it goes when you try this!

  118. Heather Avatar
    Heather

    Excited to try this because it’s so simple. Simple is my language. πŸ™‚

    1. Alyssum Avatar
      Alyssum

      If it turned out like yogurt tasting milk, is it possible to use the same stuff and try the recipe again?

      1. Trina Avatar

        Yes, Alyssum–it’s ok to try again–this time make sure that
        a) you don’t add the starter while the milk is still too hot (you may have killed the starter)
        b) you incubate it long enough and warm enough for it to culture
        Hope that helps!

        1. Bnish Avatar
          Bnish

          Thank you so much for the simple yogurt recipe! Before I used to be so afraid to try any yogurt recipe but your simple method convinced me to try and I AM GLAD I DID! My yogurt turned out PERFECT!
          I changed the warm water bath midpoint to ensure my yogurt continues to regulate the temperature.
          Ohh and I even strained the yogurt for an hour to make GREEK yogurt and it was way better than store bought.
          Now I will be telling my mother who thinks crockpot/oven is the only method to make yogurt. πŸ™‚

          1. Trina Avatar

            Hooray! Good for you, Bnish! πŸ˜‰

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