Picture of No Mess Yogurt Making
This is the easiest way to make your own fresh yogurt. I make it everyday- it's just that simple! It has saved me so much money and you can also just as easily make a spreadable yogurt cheese from the technique.

Whole milk produces a bit more than non-fat and is also quite a bit thicker when finished. I like a really thick yogurt so I usually strain out a lot of the whey when I'm done. The whey strains out quicker in the non-fat than the whole, but again you're left with less of a yield that way.

Step 1: What you will need.

Picture of What you will need.
All you need to make your yogurt is:

- milk
- a large pot
- a glass jar with a lid (sterile)
- a starter (can be a couple tablespoons from store bought yogurt with live cultures)
- a spoon (sterile)
- a candy thermometer (optional)
- a wash cloth (optional)
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Takelababy2 years ago
I use my small slow cooker to bring to temp. then turn it off, then remove the ceramic dish with the milk and lid and wrap thickly in towels and set in a picnic cooler and leave overnight.
Yogurtdad3 years ago
I needed a reliable method to maintain temperatures for my bread making. I ended buying a brot &Taylor proofing box, http://brodandtaylor.com/purchase/buy-it-now/, and it has allowed me to make yogurt in a much simpler and reliable way. Most all yogurt maker machines in the market are too small for a family of four and the proofing box has allowed me to do large batches. It is also used for germinating seeds. I was not being very succesfull with the other "artisanal" methods. It is all about the right tool for the job. Great Comments from all. Thank you!
Ray Power3 years ago
Thanks spuds, for the great instructable (the simple ones are the best). I've made a few batches already but I'm wondering: If I use UHT milk can I skip the milk heating step? I believe UHT stands for ultra high temperature and refers to the pasteurization of the milk. It has a fairly long shelf life and is not refrigerated until opened.
quinault6 years ago
I tried, it become too sour to drink.
Add sugar and vanilla? People normally add sugar to plain yoghurt when eating anyway.
Poe-tate-o (author)  quinault6 years ago
Try a very very fresh starter or get a a starter from the a health food store. It helps quite a bit.
coorodden3 years ago
Did as you said with towel on the bottom and water half way up. Broke my jar. Lost my good rich raw milk. What did I do wrong? I started with cool water in the pot, turned the ceramic burner on medium, then on high. It was fine at medium.
Blaik4 years ago
Another method that works well and especially in making bigger batches (I normally do about a half gallon at a time) is to get a cheap styrofoam cooler and put your jars in there and then fill with warm/hot water to keep the temp where you want it. The insulation of the cooler keeps the water at temp w/o any need for adjustment (at least with mine) for about 2 hrs, but I keep my water on the lower end of the temp range, so if you did it warmer I'm sure it'd stay warm longer,
kensbest5 years ago
How Much?
jamina kensbest4 years ago
1 - 2 tsp should be plenty.
jamina4 years ago
If you're using unpasteurized milk, heating it to 185 essentially defeats the purpose of using unpasteurized milk to begin with. Most sources state that heating to just under 110 is perfectly fine for raw milk, and you retain the benefits of the raw milk cultures.

Store bought milk is full of weird stuff though, so I'd heat the hell out of it just to be safe.
mguer1336 years ago
What a WAIST of energy! Using your oven vent for 4/12 hours, warming the milk before processing and then putting it straight into the fridge to cool down (doing so, warming up the whole fridge!). Where do you think global warming comes from.... Why not using a yoghurt machine that will keep your yoghurt starter / milk base warm for the same time? It's much more energy efficient and you don't end up wasting your money and proper energy. Please, keep things simple and efficient.
Simple and efficient doesn't involve buying yet another single purpose machine.
This is very true, unless you can use this type of low heating machine for yogurt, cheese or just keeping something warm (yeast).
That being said, a yogurt machine can easily be found at car boot sales for under 10$.
I make yogurt or cheese every week and it's only the two of use.
My point is that wrapping in towels, placing the ferment in a cooler is more efficient and much simpler. If you want to complicate it a bit, put a container of hot water in the cooler as well to act as a heat sink. I use this process with great results for fermenting yogurt, wine, sauerkraut, raising dough, etc. I love my yeasties!

When you are finished with the yogurt, you can take the towels and cooler out to the beech or for a picnic.

Yes I've seen those yogurt machines cheap at yard sales. I couldn't justify even this small expense and energy use compared to insulating methods that have served our ancestors so well.
 too bad you misspelled "waste". apparently you "waisted" 18 years of teh edumacatshunz.

good instructable!
misspelling when you are originally a none English speaker is not that important, you got the point, didn't you?
And btw, can you speak any other language...?
Poe-tate-o (author)  mguer1336 years ago
Thanks for the input!
Okay, I followed this to a key, but when I got up this morning and pulled the yoghurt out of the oven, it is all just liquid still. And my dad forgot it was in there and heated up to 285 for a minute............is it dead?
You should be able to start over with this batch. Just warm it to the incubation temp and add more starter. Then tape a note to the oven dial to remind Dad you have a project going.
pstuart5 years ago
If you are starting with pasteurized milk then bacteria shouldn't be an issue. That said, this step helps denature the milk proteins which makes for a much thicker, creamier yogurt.
It's not that it's the bacteria in the milk itself, its external bacteria in the instruments that can mess with the fermentation. They do it for the same reason they do in making beer and wine.
And it can be that the milk was contaminated by bacteria in the air.
dimitris14 years ago
Also why do your take out of the refrigerator the starter?
dimitris14 years ago
By turning your oven to warm, how this results to avoid temperature fluctuation since the yogurt is placed into the refrigerator.
Btw thanks for sharing with us this simple process to make yogurt.
thanks for helping me finally make pizza you guys :D
friezer6 years ago
I'm not following something... do you leave your oven on all night for the incubation phase when you do this?
beanco friezer5 years ago
There is no need for the oven to be on at all! I jus made a batch, I simply heated the milk, let it cool, mixed in a couple tablespoons of yogurt placed it all in a jar, put the lid on loosely, ie. i just laid it on and stuck it in the oven because it was not in the way on the counter . I could have just left it out but I need the counter for making bread.... turned out just fine. I did not/do not have a thermometer, I did it by feel. Ppl have been making yogurt far longer than heat measuring devices and electricity and ovens have existed.
Poe-tate-o (author)  friezer6 years ago
I usually do, but you can keep it heated anyway you want to. I just do it this way because it has been fail proof for me. I've even heard of people just keeping the jar on top of there fridge wrapped in a blanket and the appliance radiates enough heat to keep it in the right range.
wokwithme5 years ago
Why don't you try Kefir Cultures(grains)? Works in 24 hours without the need for oven.
CargilB5 years ago

Ive been wanting to do this for ages, hav ei known how easy it was i would never have waiting this long!

I am into the whole eat raw thing and was wondering if the scalding of the milk is a necessary process? Would it work if I used fresh raw milk?


Also what cultures can I use if I don’t want to use shop bought yoghurt?

lubinka CargilB5 years ago
You DO need to boil the milk - I've tried it otherwise (for the same reasons with you) and it doesn't work.
m3harri5 years ago
I wonder if powdered milk can be used
cfuse m3harri5 years ago
Yes, I use powdered milk (exclusively - for reasons of economy. It is way cheaper than real milk is, and the end product is just as good).

You can use some, or all powdered in your mix, and the real beauty is that I don't have to strain my yoghurt like the author does - I just start out with double or triple the amount of milk powder for making milk.
osp0016 years ago
I use a digital thermometer probe ($20 here in the US) with an alarm; I put the milk on low heat, and the alarm goes off at 185F. There's no need to boil it, and makes cleaning the pot easier. There's no reason to stir if you keep the temperature low enough. Secondly, when you need to cool it down, either just let it stand, or put it in a pan of water in the sink. That'll keep from heating up your refrigerator. Third, if you have an electric oven (no pilot light), check the temperature inside when you just leave the bulb on. Ours stays right at the perfect temperature for making yogurt. Pop it inside, leave the light on, and let it ferment for 24 hours. Works great.
mtjohnson66 years ago
RE: My post on 10/24/2008. I tried the Jello and...it was a MESS!!! The knox gelatin did work just fine but regular Jello was a horrible mistake. Next, I need to try pudding. I have some banana cream in my cabinet that I want to use. I plan to whip up a batch this weekend. So I will post once I know the outcome. ~me
See my post on 9/20/2008. The comment below this one is regarding that post not the 10/24 post. Sorry!!

Romaida6 years ago
Thanks for the instructable. I made some and its great! How long will it keep in the fridge? I don't want to eat spoiled yogurt... yuck!
Poe-tate-o (author)  Romaida6 years ago
It should keep up to week if not longer. We always run out before the week is up, my husband and son love yogurt. I'm glad it turn out!
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