Yogurt for Newbies
By :Frieda Franchina
Votes: 37
Rating: 4.57
Rate this recipe!
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Course Breakfast
Cuisine Modern
Difficulty Medium
Cooking Technique Yogurt
Main Ingredient Milk, Yogurt
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8-10 hours
6-8 servings
  • 8 cups milk whole or 2% work best
  • 1-2 tablespoons yogurt of your choice, greek preferred
  • Digital thermometer crucial for temperature accuracy
  • strainer of choice metal mesh strainer paired with coffee filters, cheesecloth, muslin fabric
  • whisk
  • Sweetener of choice optional if you want sweet yogurt
  • Vanilla optional for sweet yogurt
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Modern
Difficulty Medium
Cooking Technique Yogurt
Main Ingredient Milk, Yogurt
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8-10 hours
6-8 servings
  • 8 cups milk whole or 2% work best
  • 1-2 tablespoons yogurt of your choice, greek preferred
  • Digital thermometer crucial for temperature accuracy
  • strainer of choice metal mesh strainer paired with coffee filters, cheesecloth, muslin fabric
  • whisk
  • Sweetener of choice optional if you want sweet yogurt
  • Vanilla optional for sweet yogurt
Votes: 37
Rating: 4.57
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
  1. Sterilize and clean all equipment before using, including digital thermometer, whisk, cup, and the jars for storing yogurt.
  2. Set 1 to 2 tablespoons of yogurt in a cup and set aside to come to room temperature.
  3. Place 8 cups of milk into the inner pot. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot and set the valve to Sealing. Alternatively a glass lid can be used for this entire process, but I prefer the original lid.
  4. Press the Yogurt function on the Instant Pot and adjust to High / More. The display will read "boil". This process does not boil the milk, but scalds the milk. This process will take 25-30 minutes for 1/2 gallon (50 minutes for a full 1 gallon), adjust the time if needed.
  5. When cycle is complete, the display will read "Yogt", and the Pot will turn off. Open the lid of the Instant Pot and check the temperature to ensure the milk has reached 180°F)>. Check in a few areas to ensure temperature is consistent.
  6. Remove the "skin" from the surface of the milk for yogurt to have a creamy consistency.
  7. Place ice and cold water into a bowl large enough for the inner pot to fit. Place the inner pot into the ice bath. Keep milk in the ice bath, stirring with a whisk until temperature consistently reaches 110°F) throughout. Do not scrape the bottom of the pot while stirring, there is scalded milk at the bottom and this will give the yogurt a gritty texture if incorporated. After about five minutes of stirring, desired temperature should be reached.
  8. Remove pot from the ice bath and wipe dry.
  9. Ladle 1 cup of the milk into the cup with room temperature yogurt. Whisk until smooth, eliminating all lumps of yogurt.
  10. Stir yogurt mixture into the milk, being careful not to scrape the bottom of the pot.
  11. Place the inner pot back into the base, making sure the outside of the inner pot is completely dry. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot and place the valve to Sealing position.
  12. Press the Yogurt Function and adjust time to 10 hours (the automatic 8 hour program can be used, but 10 hours will provide a thicker and tangier yogurt). When time is up, the display will read "Yogt" and the Instant Pot will turn off. You can either store yogurt as is if you prefer a runnier, drinking style yogurt, or continue to the next steps.
  13. Strain the yogurt for 3 to 4 hours in the fridge. If you want to immediately strain the yogurt while it is still hot, use a tightly woven material, coffee filters inside of a mesh strainer is the best option for this, or Muslin cloth. If you prefer to use cheesecloth or a looser woven material, completely chill the yogurt first. Clear whey is an indication the strainer is working effectively.
  14. Once strained you have the option to add in your sweetener of choice and vanilla, or store as is if you prefer to use the yogurt as sour cream or in a dressing.
  15. Option to sweeten: add in desired amount of sweetener (2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of sweetener is recommended for a 1/2 gallon batch), along with 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Store in the fridge in desired containers for up to 2 weeks.
80 replies
  1. Greenie G
    Greenie G says:

    Foolproof recipe! I make this regularly and never have a problem. Seems like a lot of steps but it’s easy and so worth it! I don’t put any sweetner in it and use it as sour cream as well!

  2. LeanneNM
    LeanneNM says:

    Easy, even though there seems to be a lot of steps!! Creamy and delicious on its own or fresh berries (I didn’t add anything to sweeten it)

  3. Diana Wilkerson
    Diana Wilkerson says:

    If the temp of the milk has not reached 180 degrees, what step is there to get it to correct temp?

  4. HinicV
    HinicV says:

    The simple and most reliable recipe for yogurt so far! I only use 24 hours fermentation so it is lactose free.

  5. Vallemar2
    Vallemar2 says:

    Can someone tell me what “adjust once” means? I domt have a buttom labelled “adjust”
    Just the yogurt button

  6. Hollyhoc
    Hollyhoc says:

    This is the first and only recipe I use. It has been foolproof, a never fail recipe that I make 2x weekly.

  7. jesawyer
    jesawyer says:

    My 3 qt instant pot duo plus is brand new and my 1st recipe to try is for yogurt today. After the boil step, I measured the temperature but it was only 154 F! There are no instructions what to do if that happens. Now I’m worried that I have a defective instant pot. I have been making yogurt in a crockpot, and the main reason I purchased the mini 3 qt is to simplify making yogurt.

  8. Deb E
    Deb E says:

    Great recipe! I made half a recipe and strained it overnight. I have a mini so I thought maybe half a recipe would work easier.Beautiful, think and great taste! Definitely making this again.

  9. Banjo Grandma
    Banjo Grandma says:

    The yogurt came out with a perfect unflavored taste but slightly lumpy. Allow 1 hour
    mostly active time to sterilize and prepare the yogurt for the 10 hour cycle, plus another 10 min to set it up to drain and another 10 to put it intp

  10. Wiersmak
    Wiersmak says:

    My instant pot doesnt say “boil” after i push the yogurt button. What an i doing wrong?

  11. pverlaan
    pverlaan says:

    As others have asked re: step 4:
    ‘Press the Yogurt function on the Instant Pot then adjust once. The display will read “boil”.’
    What does “adjust once” mean??
    On what Instant Pot does the display read “boil”?? I have the Duo 60, which only displays numbers.
    ‘This process will take 25-30 minutes for 1/2 gallon’
    I put in a 1/2 gallon (2 litres) of milk, and opened if after 46 minutes. It was at 107 deg F.

  12. pverlaan
    pverlaan says:

    @Wiersmak and @Vallemar2:
    I have the IP Duo60. I guess “adjust once” after pressing the ‘Yogurt’ button means you need to press it a second, or even a third time. When I press once I get “10:00” on the display, and the 2nd press shows “08:00”. After the third press it reads “boil”, and the yogurt making process begins.

  13. MirandaH
    MirandaH says:

    This was the first recipe that I made with my Instant Pot. Turned out absolutely perfect. I prefer my yogurt to not be too tangy/sour so I did 8 hours then chilled for several hours and strained the whey. Added a bit of berry compote also done in IP. So good!

  14. dreyno
    dreyno says:

    I saw where Miranda H liked less sour yogurt. Me too. So: that 8 hours she refers to – was that in place of the second 10 hr session?

  15. Jregner
    Jregner says:

    Pretty Good instructions however i added more base yogurt to the mix than recipe suggests. Also, the straining Took a really long time. The time roi on this doesnt match for busy users. Any suggestions on how to streamline the process. Only ended up with 4 pints of yogurt with 1 gallon of milk

  16. Bromdeluna
    Bromdeluna says:

    Adjust once means press the adjust button once. If it is with milk consistency, maybe you added yogurt while the milk was too hot or the yogurt didn’t have active live bacteria.

  17. sucie49
    sucie49 says:

    What do you do if you don’t have a yogurt setting on your instant pot? What steps should you do?

  18. Chillablered
    Chillablered says:

    This was better than my old yogurt machine recipe. Super easy and so smooth. Recommend adding about 2 tsp of yogurt as base. I also sterilized my canning jars first.

  19. TXWanda
    TXWanda says:

    Adding 1/4 Cup of powdered milk to the milk before heating or after heating will give the yogurt a smooth and creamier taste. It will also boost protein and thicken your yogurt a bit.

  20. TXWanda
    TXWanda says:

    Easiest way to make yogurt is to buy UHT milk. Skip heating it to a boil/cool down. I preheat the pot with boiling water. Then whisk the room temp starter and UHT milk in the pot and push the yogurt button. Set time for 8 to 20 hours depending on how tangy you want it and walk away. When it beeps 3 times and displays the YOGT you are ready to chill, strain or put into containers.

  21. Mossie
    Mossie says:

    I don’t have a yogurt button on my instantpot, what do i choose? Seen this question here multiple times but no answers? Thanks

  22. Mousey77
    Mousey77 says:

    My first recipe i tried with my IP. I used chocolate milk. As hubs had left some in the fridge when he went away. Turned out ok. A but runny but tasted great. I cooked fermented for 10 and a half hours and was a bit too tangy for me so will do 9 hours this next time. Now tryin with silk coconut/almond milk. Tryin to cut the sugar. So will post after i tried it. Thanx so much for this recipe.

  23. JeanneK
    JeanneK says:

    Great yogurt. I used the 8 hour time and drained out whey till greek level. I serve dishes made into parfait. Yummy.

  24. sam
    sam says:

    Is there anyone that can help me? Milk does not like me. Is It possible to make yoghurt using an alternative milk such as: coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk? IF so, How?

  25. Goldenberg4
    Goldenberg4 says:

    This was a fail proof recipe! Followed instructions step by step. I did have to “boil” twice to get a consistent 180 degrees. Added some honey and mixed fresh fruit when serving. My go to now!!!

  26. Susan
    Susan says:

    Just made my first batch in the InstantPot. Like most people I was confused by the, “adjust once” comment. Thank you to @pverlaan I got it!

    I used an Icelandic heirloom Skyr culture. I set it to 10 hrs but didn’t have time to deal with it this morning, I put it out on the front porch to keep cold. It was super thick, had to spoon it into a strainer. It’s not very sour, just tastes fresh and slightly tart.

  27. Lorianne60
    Lorianne60 says:

    First time here and looking for how to make yogurt. I love the comments and questions, but do not seem to be able see any replies to them. Help?

  28. Hunter309
    Hunter309 says:

    I have the instant pot smart wifi. The boil setting using the yogurt button does not get up to 180 degrees. It only reaches 160. What setting can i use to get 180? Are there any scripts available now to do this? The app won’t let me write my own cooking script

  29. betsysf
    betsysf says:

    Could someone please change “adjust once” to say ” then press a second time so it says boil” or “press the yogurt button twice”? It is confusing a lot of people and is easy to fix. I certainly was confused.

  30. David
    David says:

    1. Cleaning with boiling water definitely is a good idea. Then dry the inner pot thoroughly before putting it into the Instant Pot.
    2. I like making larger batches, so I use a gallon of milk—any where from skim to whole according to your taste.
    3. Put 2-3 tablespoons of cultured yoghurt (you can use your own from a previous batch, but this is the only use I have for store-bought yoghurt) into a bowl when you start the process; you want it to be at room temperature when you need it.
    4. Cooling the milk is THE most critical part of the whole process—if the temperature is too high or too low, your yoghurt will not set. A candy thermometer works well, but be sure to test multiple locations and depths to ensure you are in the 105 – 110º range.
    5. Ice in a large bowl into which you then place the inner pot does really help cool the milk down quickly.
    6. Stir a cup of the 105 – 110º into the now room temperature yoghurt.
    7. Put the mixture back into the rest of the milk and whisk for a minute.
    8. Replace the inner pot into the Instant Pot.
    9. On the Instant Pot, make sure the setting still is on yoghurt (or you can cancel and reset). Set the temperature to medium—you do this by pushing in the dial and turning it. The screen will alternate between time and temperature. Set the time for 10 – 10½ hours; it adjusts in ½ hour increments.
    10. Don’t worry if you are not around (or asleep) when the time is done; if your yoghurt, it is content just to sit in the pot a while.
    11. This is the critical point where you know whether your yoghurt has set or not. If not, start again. There is nothing you can do to fix it.
    12. Wipe the outer surface of the inner pot dry and place it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
    13. If you want thick and creamy Greek yoghurt (you can tell what I prefer), strain the chilled yoghurt through a cheesecloth into a fresh container.
    14. The longer you let it sit, the thicker your yoghurt will get—I usually end up with 3-4 pints.
    15. You can use the whey that sifts through the cheesecloth for other purposes.
    16. Use a wooden spatula or spoon carefully to scrape the yoghurt into a container(s).
    17. I eat it with a little bit of dark honey and maybe 1/3 cup of berries. This is my daily breakfast and sometimes my lunch as well. It is filling, healthy, low calorie and just really tasty. I never eat store bought yoghurt any more.

  31. Z-bug
    Z-bug says:

    @Frieda Where am I supposed to be looking for the “updated video” for this recipe “for all models of IP?” Can’t wait to try this yogurt recipe. Thanks so much!

  32. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi Ellen,

    For the fermentation stage you would set the Yogurt Function on “Normal” or “Medium”.

  33. Sk.garber
    Sk.garber says:

    First time making yogurt. I also have a wifi 60 model and the boil dor sure definitely does NOT reach 180•, you can restart the boil 10 times and it never got past 165•. I read on a fb thread that once it reaches 160 you can switch to saute and whisk without scraping the bottom until it gets to 180. Then move it to the ice bath and continue.

  34. saragruninger@gmail.com
    saragruninger@gmail.com says:

    How do you strain the yogurt? Just pour it all into a wire seive? This is my first time making yogurt. Also can i use just any regular yogurt as my “starter”?? Thank you!!

  35. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    There are yogurt filters or cheese clothes. The metal sieve may be too porous.

    You need the live active bacteria in the yogurt. That’s why it calls to add yogurt as a starter culture. There are also yogurt starter packages you can buy.

  36. Joan Goegan
    Joan Goegan says:

    I am new to this appliance, and had worries about the steps to the recipe….but I followed them to the letter. The end result is amazingly good, and i would not hesitate in recommending this recipe.
    (Just dont do the instand release thing after the milk has been heated to 180°. It is a tad messy)

  37. Gayle Tosello
    Gayle Tosello says:

    I’ve successfully made this yogurt several times, and it has come out great. Last night I forgot to add the culture! I’m remaking the yogurt using the same milk. Is it safe?

  38. Jesslittle
    Jesslittle says:

    Very easy to follow and turned out great. I did sweeten at with some honey. You also add vanilla extract (pure) and instead of honey, can use maple syrup or jam

  39. Rjpatel
    Rjpatel says:

    I am unable to perfom step 12. Is this something with my instant pot. Tried making yogurt first time and the step 12 did not work

  40. aL-eX vegan
    aL-eX vegan says:

    Instant pot definitely does not get to 180, takes multiple “boil” cycles to get from 160 to 180 and they start to last about 2 mins before saying yogurt, so be prepared to stand by your pot for about 45 mins just to get to 180. This is an absolutley ridiculous recipe, across the board all over the web everyone says 180, have fun, it aint that easy.

  41. aL-eX vegan
    aL-eX vegan says:

    Another issue, what does “set the finished yogurt in fridge to strain for 4 hours” mean?Thats pretty unclear. Do you have a self straining fridge? Do you get inside your fridge and strain yogurt? Does the yogurt make its own strainer and strains itself?

  42. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi aL-eX Vegan,

    The temperature of the inner pot is measured at the base, it could read 180 at the bottom but near the top is cooler. Please stir and run the program again if it hasn’t reached 180. At 160F the milk has reached pasteurization temperatures required for milk.

  43. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi aL-eX vegan,

    When you have finished incubating your yogurt you would put it in a strainer and have in strain while in the fridge. Step 13 provides more information on how to strain after mentioning to “set the finished yogurt in fridge to strain for 4 hours”. I use a coffee filter as it is available in most kitchens in a colander over the inner pot to strain.

  44. Anita Barkley
    Anita Barkley says:

    What is the sterilization process for the items you need. I’ve made yogurt before but have only needed to wash and dry these items….

  45. Anita Barkley
    Anita Barkley says:

    I just made this recipe; turned out very well!
    The biggest issue I found, like many others here, was getting the milk to 180 F, in the instant pot. So I actually heated the milk in a heavy pot on the stove instead. Much quicker! Then poured it into the inner base, cooled it and added the yogurt culture. I set the base into the instant pot and pressed the Yogurt button and just let it go for 10 hours. Turned out fantastic and really didn’t need to even strain.

  46. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    At what temperature does the Instant Pot ferment the yogurt? Is it possible to ferment it longer (up to 24 hours)? (I don’t own an Instant Pot, but am thinking about buying one.)

  47. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    It ferments 90 – 104 F on Normal, we also have a lower fermentation temperature option. You can definitely ferment for 24 hours.

  48. Annette
    Annette says:

    I like to keep my half gallon of milk at 180 for 10 minutes, so I microwave it on high for 12 minutes( this brings it up to 180 degrees or so) and then at power level 7 for 10 minutes so it doesn’t overflow. Then I pour the milk in the IP pot. I follow most of the rest of the directions to cool it to 105 degrees. By the way, I use Siggi yogurt for my starter. I have a 3 qt Ultra Mini and want my yogurt to maintain a temperature of about 107 degrees. That was not happening with the yogt setting, so I selected yogurt and pressed the knob again and saw the custom function as an option. I selected it and set my temperature to 107 degrees. Perfect for me after 8 hours! If someone can set their temperature even though they don’t have a yogurt setting, these directions would work for them.

  49. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    For what it’s worth, Jeffrey at Pressure Luck recommends the Euro Cuisine yogurt strainer. I have not bought it, but I am considering.

  50. WeeChi4Me
    WeeChi4Me says:

    Second batch here and have no issues, turns out fabulous. My starter is Fage and I strain in refer after about 18 hours fermentation. But it’s yogurt after about 10 hours.

    QUESTION: I’d like it MORE tangy. So today I’m shooting for 24 hours as I’ve read that might help. Also read warmer fermentation would help. Any advice on how to ferment warmer?

  51. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi WeeChi4Me,

    Longer fermentation time is the best route. The Yogurt program is a set temperature and cannot be adjusted.

  52. eyeambrian
    eyeambrian says:

    I had to use the sauté setting on my 8-quart duo in order to get the milk up to 180-degrees F as my yogurt bottom would struggle to get the milk to 170-degrees. Once my milk was at 180, I cooled it down to 112-degrees F and added my cultured yogurt to it and let it go for 24-hours. After the 24-hours, i measured my yogurt throughout and was very disappointed to find out that the temperature ranged from 98-degrees to 102-degrees. In order for the yogurt to culture, it’s suppose to be between 108-111 degrees. I just purchased my Instant Pot from Amazon and followed the instructions. The silicone seal was properly in the lid. Do I have a defective machine?

  53. K.Anderson
    K.Anderson says:

    Can you substitute coconut or almond milk in this recipe? (soy is not an option) Thank you!

  54. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi K.Anderson,

    We have recipes specific to making dairy free yogurt on our site. This recipe works best for dairy yogurt.

  55. Johnstsj
    Johnstsj says:

    I first made a modified version with a borrowed Lux model because it didn’t have a yogurt button. My purchased pot does have the button, but the initial scalding/boiling part is so slow I used the “old” method instead (which was saute on medium with lid off, whisking frequently, until reaches 83C/181F). Takes less than 20 minutes. Otherwise followed recipe as it says and love it!

  56. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Even though with a stove quicker due to the element begin able to reach higher temperatures but heating gradually is better to not have a milk skin form on the bottom or burn.

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