Last week, I went and promised to post directions on how to make yogurt at home with a slow cooker.
The following directions come from a website called Pounds4Pennies.com, although I have added my own notes and observations and tips. You might like browsing there; they have lots of how-to information on all sorts of things.
Anyway, I delayed relaying this recipe because I thought I would try one little thing different, and that is I thought I would try to see if putting a couple ice cubes in the milk would help keep a heavy skin from forming on the bottom. Well, that doesn't work because the ice cubes float – duh! – so I took them out.
Buy yourself a gallon of milk (any type, whole or 2 percent) and a single serving of plain or vanilla yogurt. You really only need about 2 Tablespoons of yogurt or commercial starter culture, but I just work in the whole 4 or 5 ounces or whatever size the cup is. You can save a few ounces of your previous batch of yogurt to use to start your next batch, although I have not done this because I just eat the whole thing up!
You should also have a candy thermometer or something of the type that you can hook on the edge of your slow cooker or other pan. I use a slow cooker but you do not have to.
One- Pour milk into slow cooker; mine will not hold a whole gallon but probably three quarters of a gallon. Heat the slow cooker or pan to 175 or 180 degrees. I turn my slow cooker way up to get it to that temperature.
Two- Once you are at that desired temperature, let it cook for 2 or 2.5 hours. Turn down your slow cooker to Medium High; that seems to work OK at keeping it at the desired temperature.
Three- Turn down the heat and let the temperature slowly drop down to 110 or 115 degrees. It helps to take the cover off to cool!
Four- At this point you can add your yogurt or starter culture. – spoon it in gently. I also like to add a few drops of vanilla flavoring
Five- Slow cooker should be warm to the touch but if it is not, you can turn the heat up high for a few minutes to warm the container.
Six- Pounds4Pennies says to have the oven warmed up but I have not found this to be necessary. If you do warm up the oven, turn oven OFF before inserting the pan and towel or towels.
Seven- Replace cover on slow cooker. Wrap your pot in one or two towels and place inside the oven. Leave in oven overnight, or for 8 to 12 hours.
Eight- You can put your yogurt in refrig to cool first, OR --- Take out of oven and scoop into your container that you want to store it in the refrigerator. (Note: it will look a little thin but it sets up more after being in the refrigerator. There will be a thick skin on the bottom of the slow cooker, which you can either toss out or eat. Enjoy the yogurt!
Also, you can strain the yogurt (with a cheesecloth) to get the thicker, Greek-style yogurt if you wish. I have not done that so I have no tips to offer on how to get it done efficiently.
Hope some of you will try this out and enjoy homemade yogurt.