How to make homemade yogurt in a crock pot!

Before I share my crock pot yogurt-making experience, I wanted to share some interesting information from Women’s Health.

  • Cardio burns more calories than strength training: FICTION.
  • You can reduce cellulite through exercise: FACT.
  • Exercise improves your ability to learn: FACT.
  • Morning is the best time of day to exercise: FICTION.
  • Running a marathon increases one’ss risk of a heart attack: FACT.
  • Skinny people are always healthier than overweight people: FICTION.

There were a few others, but I wanted to highlight the ones that I enjoyed most. I’m not sure about the cardio vs. strength training as far as calories burned? That doesn’t sound right to me, but any fitness experts care to comment??

The last 2 were the most exciting to me – I’m always more accepting of my weight knowing it doesn’t make me less healthy than my lesser weight counter-part.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

On to the YOGURT!

When I made homemade Greek yogurt last week in my friend’s yogurt maker, some of you commented that you can make it in the crock pot, or you simply wouldn’t buy a “uni-tasker” to make yogurt (loved that term!). And I agree…uni-taskers in the kitchen typically don’t get used much and take up valuable cabinet and pantry storage. Therefore, I bring you CROCK POT YOGURT!

I followed these directions on crock pot yogurt making. And here’s how it goes:

Put 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of milk in a crock pot, on low, for 2 1/2 hours. I used 2% milk.

After 2 1/2 hours, unplug the crock pot and let it sit for 3 hours. DO NOT remove lid.

After 3 hours, remove ~2 cups of the milk and mix in either 2 packets of live and active yogurt starter cultures -OR- 1/2 cup store-bought yogurt with live and active cultures.

Put the mixture back into the crock pot, stir, and re-cover. Wrap a heavy towel all the way around the crock pot and allow it to sit on the counter 8+ hours, or overnight (I left mine for about 10 1/2 hours).

In the morning, you will have VERY thin yogurt. It was more like buttermilk to me.

So, I strained the yogurt through coffee filters for 10-20 hours in the fridge (longer strain = thicker yogurt) as though I were making Greek yogurt…

And I ended up with some tasty, thick yogurt!

Remember to save 1/2 cup of your homemade yogurt to use as a starter in your next batch of yogurt!

1/2 gallon of organic 2% milk made approximately 2 cups of yogurt — about 4 servings, 1/2 cup each. That estimates to $0.50 a serving, which is significantly less than the retail cost ($1.00-$2.50 per serving) of Greek yogurts.

So, do I recommend getting a yogurt maker? If you have the storage space, it is quite a bit easier. More importantly, the yogurt firmed up MUCH better in the yogurt maker. If I hadn’t strained the yogurt from the crock pot, it would’ve been inedible to me, personally. It was literally soupy. But it did make good, thick, Greek yogurt after being strained!

Bottom line: If you want homemade yogurt with the option of Greek yogurt — buy a yogurt maker. Only interested in Greek yogurt? Stick with your crock pot and save the money on the yogurt maker.

I’ve learned some valuable lessons in yogurt-making here lately!

Question: What’s your most commonly used kitchen appliance (other than stove, microwave, range, etc.)? Knowing you can make yogurt in the crock pot, will you be giving it a try?

Last day of work in one of my clinics 🙁 I am training a new RD, so I will be swamped today teaching her the ropes and seeing my 12 scheduled patients (ahhh!)…and I have a hockey game tonight. So I will probably catch up with y’all tomorrow!

Crock pot love,

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50 Comments

  1. July 13, 2010 / 5:37 am

    I use the crock pot a lot, but probably my food processor and stand mixer. I use them almost every day.

  2. July 13, 2010 / 6:51 am

    Other than my coffee pot, which I can not bear the thought of living without, I LOVE my food processor, crock pot and bread machine. They make (cooking) life so much easier! Thanks so much for posting this, can’t wait to give it a try. I think my kids will love making it, I don’t know if they’ll eat it – but they’ll be all about making it!

  3. July 13, 2010 / 6:57 am

    I don’t own a crock pot either, so I guess it’s Fage for me! I give you credit for making your own twice this month, though! My most-used appliance is an iced tea maker I got years and years ago. It’s well worth the $3o someone spent on it.

  4. July 13, 2010 / 6:58 am

    I love these fact/fiction tidbits! I’m no fitness EXPERT but I think the thing about cardio/strength training has to do with the fact that you tend to keep burning more calories AFTER strength training since muscle burns more calories than fat and strength training builds muscle. That’s what I’ve always heard anyways.

    I love this crockpot Greek yogurt recipe! I have shied away from making yogurt because of all the crazy equipment you need. But a crockpot is one thing that my kitchen is fully stocked with.

  5. July 13, 2010 / 6:59 am

    Very cool!!

    I use my food processor nearly every day, and my vita mix is basically as important to me as my husband. 🙂

  6. July 13, 2010 / 7:03 am

    I have a love/hate relationship with my crock pot, and I do crockpot yogurt a little different. It comes out pretty thick , so it may be worth mentioning how I do it.

    Crockpot yogert

    I put the crockpot on high to preheat.

    4 cups of instant, non-fat dried milk
    3 1/2 quarts hot water
    1-8 oz container of plain yogurt with live cultures ( Dannon plain nonfat)

    I usually mix half the milk powder with some of the water in my bread mixer with wire whisk attachment, pour into crockpot. Mix the other half with some of the water and add to crock pot. I usually “take its temperature” at this point. I hold back some of the water (when mixing with milk powder) so as to be able to adjust the temperature with it. I shoot for 118-120 degrees, adding the same straight hot out of the tap or a little cold mixed in if the milk is too hot. Then I add the yogurt into the crockpot and stir well. Put lid on.
    Cover with a towel and turn the crockpot off. I will usually do this about 8 PM and when I get up in the morning it’s yogurt! If I mess up on the temperature and it’s a little cooler, I just leave the crockpot on a little, being sure to set the timer so I don’t forget. I have let it get up to about 135 degrees and it’s still turned into yogurt, although it was grainy textured. In the morning I put the yogurt in the refrigerator and by lunch it’s cold enough to eat.

  7. July 13, 2010 / 7:04 am

    I’ve never heard of making yogurt in a crock pot. I seem to be one of few who rarely uses a crock pot…Mine is actually stashed away in the basement and rarely gets to see the light of day. I’ve been wanting to make my own yogurt for awhile now tho!

  8. Midgetkeeper
    July 13, 2010 / 7:07 am

    I use my blender at least twice a day. My husband is addicted to green monsters.

  9. July 13, 2010 / 7:12 am

    I read those same fact/fiction stats :). My toaster is the most used appliance ;).

  10. July 13, 2010 / 7:21 am

    I definitely want to try making yogurt in my crock pot. I’ve got a gourmet appliance that makes frozen yogurt and it is awesome. My most used small appliance would have to be my hand mixer because I always seem to be baking. 🙂

  11. July 13, 2010 / 7:22 am

    This is awesome! I’m so glad you tried and posted this. Another reason to get my hands on a crock pot asap!

  12. July 13, 2010 / 7:27 am

    I never thought to make yogurt in a crock pot! While it seems like a lot of work, its mostly resting time. I may give this one a try!

  13. July 13, 2010 / 7:36 am

    I love my toaster oven… never had one before last year and now I can’t imagine life without it!

    I hope you have a wonderful day and don’t get too down about it being your last day at that clinic- you have so many exciting things ahead of you! 🙂

  14. July 13, 2010 / 7:46 am

    Joanne hit the points I was going to make on the cardio vs. Strength fact. My blender gets used the most.

  15. July 13, 2010 / 8:08 am

    I think idea of calories burned in cardio vs. weight training is that when you weight train you build muscles which raises your BMR so that you burn more calories at rest. You really have to raise your heart rate to an aerobic level in order to burn a lot of calories DURING a workout though.

  16. July 13, 2010 / 8:12 am

    I had a lady that came in to see me with her mother (who was trying to lose weight). She was pretty rude and kept saying how lucky she was in an annoying “ohhh…. I’m just so thin and can eat whatever I want” kind of way (which made me feel bad for her mother, who was struggling with losing weight).
    BUT here’s the kicker, I tested their body fat, and the “skinny” girl’s was higher!! HAHA.
    Skinny does not always equal healthy.

  17. July 13, 2010 / 8:46 am

    Most used kitchen appliance? Right now that would be a tie between my food processor and my blender. Most of the time it would be my blender (almost daily smoothies) but right now I’m using my food processor constantly for banana soft serve, hummus, pesto, and other treats.

  18. July 13, 2010 / 10:02 am

    I LOVE my crock pot, but I haven’t used it since the weather got warm! My favorite way to use it is for soup or stew when it’s nice and chilly out. It has me so excited for fall just thinking about it. 🙂

    Gosh, I never realized it was so easy to make greek yogurt in my crock pot! I’m definitely going to keep this in mind. Greek yogurt, I love you – but you are an expensive “habit”!

  19. July 13, 2010 / 10:06 am

    Hey girl…the cardio versus weight lifting and calories thing…if you do both exercises for an hour you will burn more calories in that one hour by doing cardio BUT lifting weights engages your muscles and metabolism and makes you sustain a higher caloric burn in the hours that follow the exercise. Does that make sense?

  20. July 13, 2010 / 10:09 am

    Very COOL!!! You are always impressing me with your skills in the kitchen!! 🙂 I bet your homemade yogurt is way better than store bought!!

    P.S. Thanks for leaving such sweet comments for me about my baby news! You always make me smile!! Thanks you!! 🙂

  21. July 13, 2010 / 10:14 am

    I’m not an expert, but from what I understand, cardio burns more calories while you are doing it, but strength training makes you burn more in the 24-28 hour period AFTER your workout session. Win!

  22. Mo
    July 13, 2010 / 10:16 am

    Ahh, cool! That’s a lot simpler than the Alton Brown method haha. I might try this! 🙂

    As you probably could have guessed, I use my food scale the most. It makes everything so easy, and while it only has one fuction I can use it for almost everything I make, and if I for some reason wanted to weigh something that wasn’t food I could do that too… 😉

    Hope you have a lovely last day!

  23. July 13, 2010 / 10:31 am

    It’s true, some of my “skinniest” friends are the least healthy!
    I had no idea you could make yogurt in a crock pot! By the way, your counter tops are gorgeous 🙂
    Most used kitchen appliance hmmm my toaster, lol!

  24. July 13, 2010 / 10:36 am

    I’m having a hard time believing the strength training vs. cardio one as well. The main thing I can think of is if they are including the post workout burn. Your body works harder after strength training to repair the muscles which will take energy (or calories) to do and we all know muscle burns more calories, but as for the workout itself – cardio certainly burns more. Who knows if that made any sense typed outside of my head. LOL

    And I would never have guessed you can make yogurt with a crockpot!

  25. July 13, 2010 / 11:38 am

    I would have NEVER thought about making yogurt in a crockpot…that is so interesting.

    do you think they mean because you burn more calories when you done doing strength training?

  26. July 13, 2010 / 11:44 am

    I am totally going to try this in my crockpot! Do you think it would work with a different type of milk? Soy, almond or hemp maybe?

  27. July 13, 2010 / 1:10 pm

    So cool! Never would I have thought about making yogurt in a crock pot.

    I use my stand mixer A LOT. I use the crock pot quite a bit, too.

  28. July 13, 2010 / 1:46 pm

    I’m not an expert, but I think why they say weight lifting burns more calories is because ultimately it builds more muscle and muscle will burn more calories. That would be my guess on that one.

    I don’t know if I would use a yogurt maker enough to buy one, but knowing I can make yogurt in a crockpot is pretty cool! Thanks for the info!

  29. July 13, 2010 / 2:21 pm

    It is a toss up for me between the pressure cooker or slow cooker. I ended up getting one that was a combo pressure/slow/rice cooker that I LOVE and it is hands down my most used appliance.

    As for burning more calories strength training if I work really hard strength training my heart rate monitor says I burn more than if just do cardio.

  30. July 13, 2010 / 2:39 pm

    That’s quite ingenius about using the crock pot…it’s like putting it in the oven except more energy efficient.

    I didn’t know running a marathon increased the risk for heart attack! Interesting facts!

  31. July 13, 2010 / 3:40 pm

    Interesting facts! Thanks for sharing!

  32. July 13, 2010 / 6:01 pm

    Nice recipe. I can’t wait to make the yogurt – it seems so simple! (My mom will also love that she doesn’t have to spend $1.50 on my Greek yogurt for a while! :-D)

  33. July 13, 2010 / 7:42 pm

    I can’t get over those seven fact/fictions you posted up front. I didn’t know exercise could reduce cellulite! I did know about marathons increase heart attack rate. You produce so many free radicals from all of that stress on the body. I believe it.

    This is awesome what you did with the yogurt. Who needs to buy a yogurt maker?! hehe, me. No, I won it 🙂

  34. July 13, 2010 / 8:02 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this! I’ve been wanting to make my own yogurt but I never knew it could be made in a crockpot!

  35. July 13, 2010 / 11:10 pm

    Im super excited that you posted this, because I was seriously considering buying a yogurt maker. Now I dont have to!

    My most commonly used kitchen appliance is my blender. I use that sucker every single morning.

    I hope you had a good last day!

  36. July 13, 2010 / 11:31 pm

    I use my blender most often :-). And I think making yogurt in a crock pot is a great idea!

  37. July 14, 2010 / 1:00 am

    i usually bring it from outside, never tried doing it at home…must try it once…yours look perfect nicole

  38. July 14, 2010 / 3:03 am

    I’m happy to see healthy fact & fiction lists! The information is really good. 🙂
    You are so creative making yogurt in crockpot!
    I really wanna try it.
    I use food processer, rice cooker and ice-cream maker often 🙂

  39. August 18, 2011 / 4:10 pm

    Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board and I find It really helpful & it helped me out much. I’m hoping to offer one thing back and aid others such as you helped me.

  40. September 6, 2011 / 3:25 pm

    Wow this is great! I love yogurt and buy it all the time, but would love to have some homemade!

  41. Tess
    August 1, 2013 / 6:36 am

    My 2.5 y.o. And I love Greek yogurt. It’s the only dairy I eat, my breastfed baby struggles if I have anything else. N

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