Make sure you have first read Page One of this Article, before continuing. There are very important and helpful tips (and things to avoid doing) on the first page, which will ensure that your first yogurt attempt is a huge and great success!
Pour the entire gallon of milk into the cold Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Cooking Pot and Lock on the Lid. I like to close the steam vent. The Yogurt Function is not under pressure, so the lid can be removed at any time.
Some people prefer to do a half a gallon instead of a whole gallon, so just cut the ingredients in half. We eat so much yogurt and use it in place of sour cream, so I always make the whole gallon.
Press the Yogurt button on your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and then the “Adjust” button until the display says “boil.”
By the way, you are all invited to join my Instant Pot and Pressure Cooking Facebook Group!
Whisking the milk during the boil cycle will help the milk come up to temperature quicker. Just remove the lid and give the milk a Whisk. I’ve been doing this lately and I’ve been hitting 180 degrees on the first try, with a full gallon of milk!
When the boiling cycle is done, a beep will sound and the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker display screen will say “Yogt.”
I’ve been seeing more and more that people are ending up with thin Yogurt and I think I have figured out the problem.
It’s really important that you take the temperature and get your milk to 180 degrees. Stir the milk first and then use your Digital Thermometer to check the temperature of the milk. You can either do another boil cycle or hit Sauté and then adjust to low and whisk continuously (scraping the bottom too), until you get to 180 degrees. (I like to get to 182-185 degrees.)
There will be hot spots, so make sure you stir prior to taking the temperature, to get a more accurate reading.
If you think about it, give your milk a whisk halfway into the boil cycle (and again later on, if you remember). I’ve been doing this lately and I’ve been hitting 180 degrees on the first try, with a full gallon of milk!
If you do need to use the Sauté feature, remember to whisk the milk constantly. The bottom will get hotter quicker and you want an accurate reading, plus you don’t want the bottom of the pot to burn. If you started with a hot pot, rather than waiting for your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker to cool down, you probably will have a skin or scorching on the bottom.
Remove the Cooking Pot from the Instant Pot and place it into your kitchen sink, full of cold water. During the cool down, use a whisk to aerate the milk to help it cook down quicker. Allow the milk to cool down to 95-110 degrees, making sure to whisk before taking the temperature.
Using an ice bath will cool the milk quicker, but I get better results when I just use cold water. You can also just let the Cooking Pot sit on a cooling rack to cool naturally, but that will take at least half an hour.
The yogurt that you use as the “starter,” needs to contain live cultures and milk; nothing more.
I like to temper the starter, rather than just dumping it into the pot. So, I remove about a cup of the milk and add the starter and then whisk it in really well, then I pour the milk back into the Instant Pot cooking pot and whisk it up well.
I prefer using just 2 Tablespoons of starter and incubating for 8-10 hours. It yields a much thicker and creamier yogurt, without being overly sour. For a milder taste, try 4-8 hours
If you want to add sugar and/or vanilla, now is the time to do so. However, I recommend that you wait until after incubation, so that the bacteria in the milk doesn’t fight with any flavorings. The milk will look bubbly, which is fine. Place the cooking pot back into the Instant Pot and get read to incubate.
Push the Yogurt button and the Instant Pot display will show 8:00. If you want a more tart yogurt, adjust the time up to 10:00. Using only 2 Tablespoons of starter, will make the hungry bacteria, work harder to achieve a better result.
Be mindful if you press the adjust button twice, as the Instant Pot will adjust to 24:00 hours. You don’t want to incubate on the “Less” option! Don’t just use the “-” to get it back down to 8:00 or 10:00 hours.
The Instant Pot needs to be on the “Normal” function not the “Less” function!!!!! The Less function is used by many people to retard their bread quicker, as it provides a warm environment .
After you set your time, the Instant Pot will start to count UP. Since I do 10 hours (many other people use 8 hours), I try to time my yogurt making to have the incubation happen while I sleep.
After incubation, place Seran Wrap or a Glass Cover on your Cooking Pot and place it in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours to chill and firm up. I have a spare Cooking Pot, so that while the Instant Pot Greek Yogurt is sitting in the refrigerator cooling, I can still use my Instant Pot for cooking other food.
Since I start my yogurt in the evening at around 9:00 – 10:00 and I incubate overnight while I am sleeping, my yogurt will get moved to the refrigerator, first thing the next morning. Don’t feel tempted to stir the yogurt. It needs several hours to set up properly.
For those of you who start your yogurt in the morning and then incubate during the day, you would place your pot of yogurt in the refrigerator after incubation and then just leave it there undisturbed, until the next morning.
The Instant Pot Yogurt will be thick at this point. You can pack it up now and you have regular, creamy yogurt. However, if you want Instant Pot GREEK YOGURT, strain the Yogurt it in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
My preference is to use my Euro Cuisine Greek Yogurt Maker, but I wanted you to be able to make the yogurt right away.
What constitutes Greek Yogurt is just using milk and the starter (no powdered milk is used) and then STRAINING the Yogurt to remove whey. That’s all it is…..strained regular yogurt.
Unstrained Yogurt is just Regular Yogurt.
Strained Yogurt is called “Greek Yogurt.”
It’s that simple! The above photo shows Yogurt that was strained overnight. All you need is two to three hours is fine to achieve a nice, thick Greek Yogurt. I love very thick yogurt, so I usually strain mine most of the day and I get 14-14 servings.
I love fresh fruit, Agave and homemade Orange Ginger Pecan Granola on my Instant Pot Greek Yogurt. I like to store the yogurt in little Kerr Half Pint (8 oz) Mason Jars with fruit toppings, so that I can grab one and go.
For the rest of the yogurt, I store it in larger Reditainers Extreme Freezer Containers. We use yogurt in place of sour cream.
This way, we can take out a dollop and use it on top of my Pressure Cooker Competition Chili Con Carne, Instant Pot Drive Thru Tacos, Pressure Cooker Chicken Enchiladas and anywhere else where sour cream is used.
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot Smart DUO60
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- RSVP Stainless Steel Strainer Basket
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- Rösle Stainless Steel Flat Whisk or Rösle Silicone Flat Whisk
- Kerr Half Pint (8 oz) Mason Jars
- Euro Cuisine Greek Yogurt Maker
- Good Digital Thermometer
- King Size Ice Cube Trays (for starter)
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Here is the handy printable recipe:
- 1 Gallon Milk (Whole, 2%, 1% or Fat Free)
- 2 Tablespoons Yogurt "Starter" (Yogurt made w/milk & live/active cultures only)
Add three cups of water to the Instant Pot cooking pot, lock on lid and close Pressure Valve. Push the Steam button and adjust to 5 minutes. When Beep is heard, open Pressure Valve (Quick Release). When all pressure has been released, remove lid and dump out the water. Dry and cool off cooking pot.
Pour milk into cold/cool Pressure Cooker cooking pot. Cover with IP Lid or Glass Lid. Close the Pressure Valve, if desired.
Push Yogurt button and then the Adjust button, until it says "boil." A few times during boil cycle, remove lid and whisk milk.
When Beep is heard, open lid, whisk and take temperature. If the temperature is not 180 degrees, repeat last step or use the Sauté/Low function to get it up to temp, whisking continuously.
When 180 degrees is reached, remove cooking pot and place in kitchen sink full of cold water. Cool down to 95-110 degrees, whisking often.
Temper starter - scoop out some milk and whisk in the starter. Pour milk (w/the starter) back into cooking pot, whisk thoroughly.
Place cooking pot back into the Instant Pot and cover with IP Lid or Glass Lid.
Press Yogurt button. The display screen will say 8:00 (hit again or Adjust, if necessary). Adjust time up to 10:00, if a tarter tastes is desired. Make sure display says "Normal." The program will end after 10 hours, or whatever time you have set to incubate.
When Cycle ends, remove cooking pot (covered) to refrigerator, until cool, 6-8 hours (undisturbed).
Use a Yogurt Strainer and strain the yogurt in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Your whey should be translucent/clear. If the whey is cloudy, add another layer of cheesecloth/butter muslin to your straining device. The Euro Strainer should produce clear whey.
Whisking the milk every 10 minutes during the boil cycle will help the milk come up to temperature quicker.
Getting milk to 183-185 degrees and holding there for a few minutes, will yield a thicker yogurt.
Boil Cycle will take about 45 minutes.
Cool Down will take about 10 minutes.
Greek Yogurt is simply yogurt made from milk and a live culture starter and then strained for at least two hours.
Don't forget to save some of the strained yogurt in ice cube trays to use as your future starter.
Whole Milk works best and give the most creamy and thick consistency.
Featured photo courtesy of Beth Braznell.