How to Make Yogurt in 5 Easy Steps

Believe it not, it’s super easy to make yogurt! I started making my own yogurt when I was in high school. Back then, the method I used involved putting the milk mixture in a mason jar, then setting the jar in a casserole dish of warm water. That got put in the oven (turned off) overnight. In the morning, I either had a quart of yogurt – or a quart of sour milk.

How to make yogurt in 5 easy steps

How I make yogurt – in 5 easy steps

I made yogurt every week, and got disgusted with the iffy results, That’s when I discovered that there were yogurt makers! I got my first yogurt maker back in the 80s, and have always had 100% perfect results.

Yogurt ingredients
Yogurt ingredients

What you will need for making your first batch of yogurt:

Milk and one small container of yogurt with active cultures (you can use plain yogurt, or vanilla if you don’t mind a faint vanilla flavour). If I have a little whipping cream in the fridge, I use that in the mixture, since it makes a thicker yogurt. You can also use soy milk, but it must be less than half of the mixture, otherwise the yogurt won’t set. My batches are normally 1 cup of cream, 2 cups of soy milk, and 2 cups of whole or 2% milk, and this makes 8 jars of yogurt.

Step 1

Measure out the milk (and cream and/or soy milk) in a large liquid measuring cup.

Step 2

Pour the milk mixture into a sauce pan, and heat at medium until the milk is just about to boil.

Heat the milk
Heat the milk

Step 3

Let the mixture cool to 110 degrees. Most yogurt makers come with a thermometer that has an “Add Starter” range marked on it. Add at least two tablespoons of the active culture yogurt, which is your starter. Stir until smooth. After your first batch, just save a few tablespoons of yogurt to start the next batch.

Add the starter to the cooled mixture
Add the starter to the cooled mixture

Step 4

Carefully pour the mixture into the cups that come with the yogurt maker, and put the plastic lids on. Set the timer for 10 or 11 hours for the best results.

Fill the containers with the milk mixture
Fill the containers with the milk mixture
Set the timer for 10-11 hours
Set the timer for 10-11 hours

Step 5

Once the yogurt has finished “cooking”, place all the jars in the refrigerator and chill.

That’s it!

Homemade yogurt.

Now that you have a batch of yogurt, you can add vanilla extract, bananas, strawberries, or anything you like.

Frozen Yogurt Popsicles

In the summer, I use those plastic popsicle molds to make peach or strawberry popsicles. YUM!

Yogurt Cheese

You can also use your homemade yogurt to make yogurt cheese! It’s a soft cheese, somewhat like cream cheese. To make it, put yogurt in cheesecloth, and let it drain overnight in the fridge. I like to use the Donvier wave container.

Once the yogurt has drained, add herbs and/or spices and a little salt.

My favourite mix is a little oregano, basil and garlic salt. This tastes great on crackers!

What do you think? Will you be making your own yogurt from now on?

7 thoughts on “How to Make Yogurt in 5 Easy Steps

  • Carrie

    We make our own yogurt also! My children love it, and I appreciate how it is healthier and more cost efficient than most store bought varieties.

    • Donna Post author

      You have got to try making it, Angela! You won’t believe how easy it is. And it tastes better than store-bought. 🙂

  • Gee Nonterah

    It looks delicious Donna !

    I did not know there were yogurt makers. As a matter of fact I learned how to make yogurt about 3 years ago and it basically involved me adding 1 cup of yogurt with active cultures to a quart of milk and then leaving it overnight in my turned off oven. Like you mentioned my results always varied but I guess I know why now – variable temps on different days definitely plays a role.

    Oh another lesson I learned the hard way is to not try to use Greek yogurt to make yogurt. A friend of mine is a food scientist and she mentioned that the cultures in Greek yogurt take longer to convert the milk over. I never tried leaving my mixtures longer than 24 hours though so I don’t know.

    Thanks for the info !


    Thank you for sharing. I make my own yogurt as well. I’ll have to try adding cream to see how that changes the texture. I generally do plain yogurt so I can customize each jar – fruit, nuts, preserves, honey, etc.

  • Liz

    I have to tell you, I am impressed by anyone who makes their own yogurt. Or bread. Do you think there is a cost savings to making your own? I know with bread you would definitely save. I wish I had your discipline!

    • Donna Post author

      Yes Liz, there IS a cost saving of about 50%! The ingredients cost me about $1.50-$2.00 to make 8 containers of yogurt. The same size yogurt at the grocery store is 50 cents/container.

      By making my own, I know exactly what is in it – especially since I frequently do a soy/cream/milk blend, which I have never seen in the store. It’s really not that hard to make, as you can see. Heat milk; add starter to cooled milk; cook in machine & done!

      As for bread-making, that is also very cost effective. The 2 lb. loaves I make cost roughly $1.00/loaf.

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