Yogurt Made Simple – 5 Easy Steps


Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt

I have been so intimidated to make my own yogurt! Even after pouring over all the amazing posts over at Kitchen Stewardship telling me how easy making yogurt is, I still dragged my feet. My family eats quite a bit of yogurt each week and we were spending a lot of money on the “good stuff”. Recently, the farm where I get my raw milk started selling yogurt. It’s delicious and it made me want to take the plunge into yogurt-making even more! Last week, using my farm’s yogurt as the starter, I made delicious yogurt of my own without a yogurt maker! It was so incredibly easy! I don’t know what I was so afraid of.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 quarts to 1 gallon of milk – preferably raw and organic from grass-fed, Jersey cows

1/4-1/2 cup yogurt for starter – store-bought or from a previous batch

Medium-sized pot

Wooden spoon

Candy thermometer

2-4 quart jars with lids

Cooler – I use a soft cooler

Towels to wrap jars

To make the yogurt:

1.  Attach candy thermometer to pot and immerse in milk. Pour the desired amount of milk into the pot.

2. Slowly heat milk to 180 degrees, stirring occasionally, and hold at 180 for about 2 minutes. It’s ok if it goes a degree or 2 above 180.

3. Turn off heat and let cool down to 118 degrees, stirring occasionally and skimming and “skin” that forms on the top.

4. Whisk the milk into the starter, immediately pour into jars and lid.

5. Wrap the jars with towels, place into cooler, pack cooler with remaining towel(s) to trap in the heat, and leave them undisturbed for 12 hours.

I usually prepare my yogurt in the morning and then at night when I am getting ready for bed I take them out and put them into the refrigerator.

That’s it! It’s so easy and the result is amazingly simple, tangy, creamy yogurt! I love to add some organic, raspberry jam to it. It’s addicting! Knowing that I can make an entire *gallon* of yogurt for the cost of a gallon of raw milk is just icing on the organic cake!

Additional tips:

If you want to culture a 24-hour yogurt, you have to add a heat source like a heating pad set on low. If you have a crock pot with a keep warm setting, you could use that as well. I have not tried either of these options yet so I cannot personally vouch for their effectiveness.

Also, you can put the cooler in your oven with the light on overnight to regulate temperature even more. I find the yogurt to be creamier with the oven method.

I would like to experiment with making a truly raw milk yogurt. I have been heating my raw milk and adding the culture after heating but I know that there are ways to keep the milk in its raw state and still make it work.

If you make some of the yogurt in little 4oz mason jars, they make perfect yogurt cups! Great for kids, or on the go!

Always save 1/4 cup of yogurt per quart for the next batch!

I’ll be posting more about this as I continue my experiments. In the meantime, Enjoy!


This post is part of Traditional TuesdayReal Food Wednesday, Whole Food WednesdaysSimple Lives ThursdayFight Back Friday, Foodie Friday, Pennywise Platter, and Freaky Friday.

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  1. says

    Who knew it was so simple…I’ve been wanting to make my own frozen yogurt and love that I can go from this level. How different is this from the “greek” yogurt?? I love that yogurt but don’t understand the difference except for the thickness of the product.

    • says

      Hi Louise! It’s much thinner than Greek Yogurt. To make it more Greek-like you can strain it through a cheesecloth a couple of times. It’ll take quite a while to drip out the extra whey but the result will be a thicker yogurt. You could also try using a starter from store-bought Greek yogurt for that tangy taste in your end result. Good luck!

    • Kimberly Brown says

      Don’t use the crockpot!! The first time I used the oven method and it turned out fantastic! This time I used crockpot on warm, and it turned brown and separates. Gross! The warm setting must be too warm.

  2. Rebecca says

    Great, easy yogurt instructions! I do the same, except I heat my raw milk to 185 degrees (probably doesn’t make much difference) and I cool it down to 105- 110 and then put it in the cooler in jars with 2 Tbsp starter per quart. Lastly, I put a pot of just-boiled water in with it. That way I culture it for about 12 – 15 hours before removing it, and it’s still warmer than room temp when I get it out. It took me forever to find something that worked, but it works every time for me now! Yay!

  3. Linda says

    Interesting post. I grew up in the mountains of Albania (located in the Balkans). My mom and grandmother made their own cheese, yogurt, butter – you name it all my life. We now live in NY and finding raw/unpasteurized milk is nearly impossible from my experience anyway.
    My mom uses organic whole milk to make yogurt, however her method is quiet different but her yogurt is incredible. She brings the milk to a bubbling boil, removes from the heat and lets it cool. I am not sure how many degrees she cools it down to, she test by her ability to keep her (clean) pinkie finger dipped in the milk for about 15-20 seconds. She then adds about 3-4 tbsp of yogurt per gallon of milk. She covers it with multiple towels to keep warm and after about 3 hours she had greek style yogurt. 🙂


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