Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe and Temperatures for Homemade Yogurt
Santa Cruz, California. We made Matsoni yogurt from milk and a starter culture. This post includes an Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe and temperatures for making all kinds of Homemade yogurt.
Matsoni Yogurt is an heirloom yogurt, which means it can be made again, indefinitely, by adding some of the previous batch to milk to make the next batch. It is also mesophilic, which means it is cultured at a lower temperature. The mild, honey-like flavor makes this perfect as a dessert. We sweetened it and served it with blackberry juice, blackberries and blueberry powder.
We wanted to make real yogurt, so that we would know exactly what was in it. The yogurt would be just high quality milk with a yogurt starter culture – no sugar or additives. But making yogurt at home can be a little tricky, because you need control the temperature for a number of hours, and not all yogurts are cultured at the same temperature. Also, you may want to boil the milk before culturing, which requires another temperature.
THE SCIENCE PART OF MAKING YOGURT
There are a variety of different yogurt cultures. They can be grouped into two categories – mesophilic and thermophilic. It is important to know which category your yogurt starter is in, because they thrive at different temperatures.
- Mesophilic, which translates to “medium-loving”, indicates that it thrives at medium temperatures (around 68-100 degrees F) and is destroyed at a higher temperature (around 113 degrees F).
- Thermophilic, which translates to “heat-loving”, indicates that it thrives at higher temperatures (around 105-115 degrees F) and is destroyed at a higher temperature (around 130 degrees F). Most yogurt cultures are thermophilic.
MAKING YOGURT IN AN INSTANT POT
Making yogurt in an Instant Pot is perfect for this. It has a special yogurt setting that scalds the milk, and then another setting that allows you to select the temperature and it will hold it there for hours. The Instant Pot Ultra has a yogurt setting that can be adjusted to low, where it will maintain a constant temperature of 90 degrees, which will usually work for culturing a mesophilic culture. The medium setting will culture a thermophilic culture.
NOTES ON MAKING MATSONI YOGURT IN AN INSTANT POT
Because this is a cultured product, it is important that everything is clean. Start with milk that is not near its expiration date. Remove the sealing ring on the Instant Pot lid. Thoroughly wash the inner pot and the lid with very hot water and put the sealing ring back on.
For this yogurt, boiling the milk is not required, but will produce a thicker yogurt. If you decide to boil the milk, use the boil setting on the yogurt setting to bring the temperature of the milk above 180 degrees F and then let it cool to below 70 degrees F before adding the Matsoni yogurt starter culture. This will kill any unwanted bacteria, and also help produce a thicker yogurt.
The milk and starter culture must be kept at a constant temperature where the culture will thrive. Matsoni yogurt is a mesophilic variety, so it needs to be kept between 68 and 100 degrees F. The low setting on the Instant Pot is 90 degrees F, so this setting will work. The longer it is cultured the thicker and more tart it becomes.
Since Matsoni yogurt is an heirloom variety, it is possible to make successive batches of yogurt from a few tablespoons of a previous batch, but we usually start with fresh starter culture to make sure the culture is strong and the milk is kept clean. The starter culture comes in powdered form in tiny packets and conveniently stores for months in the refrigerator. We get starter culture from Cultures for Health.
NOTES ON INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING YOGURT IN AN INSTANT POT:
We use Horizon organic milk because of the taste and quality. The yogurt starter culture from Cultures for Health.
NOTES ON HOW MAKING YOGURT IN AN INSTANT POT FITS INTO OUR PLAN TO EAT BETTER:
By selecting better brands and eating more healthy foods we cut our carbon footprint in half and are helping to control climate change. We use Horizon organic milk because we like the taste and quality and also because the company is taking action on climate change to be carbon positive in just 3 years. Also, making it in an Instant Pot is easier, and a great way to use less energy. We use an Instant Pot Ultra, that has a special yogurt setting. This creates incredible yogurt, allowing us to eat less meat, and also saves money.
- Instant pot
- Remove the sealing ring and thoroughly wash the sealing ring, inner pot and the lid with very hot water, and put the sealing ring back on. This is a cultured product so it is important that everything is clean.
- Add 1-4 quarts of milk to the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- If you have decided to boil the milk first, place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock. Check that the valve is in the sealed position. Select the "yogurt" setting and adjust it to “high” where the display reads "Boil". When the program has finished press cancel until it reads off.
- Release the valve, open the pot and remove the inner pot.
- Cover the pot with plastic wrap and allow the temperature of the milk to drop. Allow the temperature to drop to 70 degrees F before adding the starter culture. This could take a while, but you could place the bowl on ice to speed it up.
- Remove the plastic wrap, add the starter culture and whisk it in for a few seconds.
- Return the inner pot to the Instant Pot. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock. The valve can be in either the sealed or unsealed position. Select the "yogurt" setting. If your starter culture is mesophilic, change the setting to “low” and the time to 24 hours and push start.
- Check the thickness of the yogurt a few hours before the time when it’s supposed to be ready, since the time required can vary. When it has thickened and pulls away from the side of the bowl, transfer it to a glass container and store it in the refrigerator. It can be stored for 2-3 weeks.
- The yogurt can also be strained using a fine mesh strainer to remove some of the water (whey) which will make it thicker.