Easy-Peasy Yogurt

Easy-Peasy Yogurt (in the crock pot)


My family goes through a lot of yogurt…we eat it for snacks, pack it in lunches, and serve it for breakfast and dinner. We use it for smoothies, dips, and salad dressing. We use it to soak grains.

But yogurt made from high-quality, organic, whole milk is insanely expensive. Plus it comes in plastic tubs that will fill up your recycling bin at an alarming rate.

(And please don’t get me started on the whole concept of “kid-friendly” yogurt; that single-serving, dyed, sugared, made with “natural” fruit flavors and sprinkles on top CRAP that is touted as a healthy snack. Which is also insanely expensive, but which will not fill up your recycling bin because your kids will throw all that packaging away at school. Grrr…)

Fortunately, it is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey to make yogurt in the crock pot.

What you need:

A crock pot

½ gallon of the best milk you can find (we use whole, vat pasteurized milk that is not homogenized)

About a half-cup of yogurt – any plain yogurt with live cultures is fine

A thermometer – optional, but helpful

What you do:

Easy-Peasy YogurtPut the ½ gallon of milk into the crock pot. Turn it to LOW for 2 ½ hours. (UPDATE: I now heat it for 2 hours and 45 minutes and am getting better results!)








Easy-Peasy Yogurt

Then, turn the crock pot OFF and leave it to sit, covered, for about 3 hours… until the milk is between 110 and 120 degrees.

You may (or may not) notice that a “skin” has formed on top of the hot milk. This is perfectly normal. Ignore it and it will go away.




Easy-Peasy Yogurt

 Once the milk is below 120 degrees, stir in the yogurt, known as a “starter.”







Easy-Peasy Yogurt

Keep it warm for 8-24 hours. An easy way to do this, is to unplug the crock pot and wrap the whole thing in a couple of bath towels. I have also put the whole crock in a cooler and added a couple of bottles full of hot water to keep it warm.

I prefer to leave it for at least 12 hours… and have left it for at least 36 hours with no harm done! The longer you leave it, the tangier (and usually thicker) it is!


Easy-Peasy Yogurt

 You may find that this yogurt is runnier than the stuff from the store, and you will likely find some liquid floating on top. This is the whey, and it is supposed to be there.  Some batches are runnier than others… and I don’t know why.






Easy-Peasy Yogurt

 If you like, you can save some of the yogurt to use as a starter for your next batch of yogurt. I find that I can usually make 3-4 batches of yogurt before I need to buy a new starter. Make sure you store your starter in a glass jar.







Easy-Peasy Yogurt

 If you don’t mind runny yogurt, or if you intend to use it for smoothies, on cereal, or for soaking grains, you can simply stir the whey back into the yogurt. Otherwise, you will want to drain it. I find that a colander lined with a coffee filter works wonderfully. I always save the whey in its own glass jar… and use it to soak grains or to lacto-ferment things. Or sometimes I feed it to the dog!



Easy-Peasy Yogurt

 It is best to only drain enough yogurt for a day or two… it keeps longer undrained. And 15-20 minutes is usually more than enough time to make a nice, thick yogurt. Obviously, the longer you drain it, the thicker it becomes.

Milk in = yogurt out… So a ½ gallon of milk, plus a starter will make about ½ gallon of yogurt, plus a starter.


Pictured here is almost 2 quarts of undrained yogurt, plus about a half-pint of drained yogurt, plus the whey. The starter is already in the fridge! Way in the back so no one eats it by accident!!!


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13 Responses to Easy-Peasy Yogurt

  1. Vickie says:

    I had no idea you can make yogurt in a crockpot! And the part about all that recyclable plastic – I hear you! Yes, it is recyclable, but jeez-louise when did everything have to be packaged in individual portions! Can’t we all just share one big carton?! Thanks for this recipe – I think I will try it tomorrow!

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Yup! It’s easy-peasy to make yogurt!
      Thank you for stopping by, and thanks for commenting! 🙂

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  3. Amber says:

    I’m so happy to read that you’ve cultured yours for 36 hours. I’ve made yogurt for most of the last yeast, but on Thursday evening I went to bed with the flu and forgot to tell the husband that the yogurt was in the oven, wrapped on a towel to cool slowly. It was right at 37 hours when I remembered and jarred it. You think this is still safe to eat? It tastes and smells right. Just thick and tangy, as we like.

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