INSTANT POT YOGURT

INSTANT POT YOGURT

Yogurt, or Yoghurt, is easy to make in an Instant Pot, you just need to know if it is mesophilic or thermophilic

We wanted to make real yogurt (or yoghurt as it is spelled in Europe) so that we could choose exactly what was in it. The yogurt would be made from high quality milk with a yogurt starter culture – that’s it, no sugar or additives. But making yogurt at home can be a bit tricky. With some yogurt, you need to scald the milk. Also, there are many different kinds of yogurt. To culture it, the temperature needs to remain constant for a number of hours, and different kinds of yogurts require different temperatures. They fall into two categories, mesophilic yogurt and thermophilic yogurt, based on the different temperature requirements. Making yogurt in an Instant Pot is perfect for this. It has a special yogurt setting that easily scalds the milk, and then another setting that allows you to select the temperature and it will hold it there for hours.

Instant Pot yogurt
Instant Pot yogurt

MESOPHILIC YOGURT VS. THERMOPHILIC YOGURT

There are a variety of different yogurt cultures. They can be grouped into two categories – mesophilic and thermophilic. It is important to know what 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). The Instant Pot Ultra has a yogurt setting that can be adjusted to low, where it will maintain a constant temperature of 91 degrees, which will usually work for culturing a mesophilic culture.
  • 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). The Instant Pot Ultra has a yogurt setting that can be adjusted to medium. The medium setting will maintain a constant temperature of 115 degrees F, which will culture a thermophilic culture. Most yogurt cultures are thermophilic.
Instant Pot yogurt
Instant Pot yogurt

NOTES ON MAKING YOGURT (YOGHURT) 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 and thoroughly wash the inner pot, the lid and the ring with very hot water.

Scalding the milk, by bringing the temperature on the milk to 181 degrees F, will kill any unwanted bacteria, and also help produce a thicker yogurt. The Instant Pot Ultra has a yogurt setting that can be adjusted to high. The high setting will scald the milk long enough to kill unwanted bacteria and produce a thicker yogurt. The milk must then be cooled to below 91 degrees F before adding the starter culture for a mesophilic yogurt and below 107 degrees F before adding the yogurt starter culture for a thermophilic yogurt.

The milk and starter is kept at a constant temperature where the culture will thrive. The longer it is cultured the thicker and more tart it becomes. The thickness and texture can vary greatly, depending on the yogurt culture used, the culturing temperature and time, and the type of milk used.

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.

Helpful tip: Before starting to make a batch, figure out what time it will be ready, so it isn’t ready at an inconvenient time – and remember to add the time it will take to scald and cool the milk.

We get starter culture from Cultures for Health. Most of the varieties they carry are thermophilic cultures, but they also have some mesophilic cultures from Scandinavia (Viili, Filmjolk, Matsoni and Piima). The starter culture comes in powdered form in tiny packets and conveniently stores for months in the refrigerator.


Instant Pot yogurt with berries and a drizzle of honey
Instant Pot yogurt with berries and a drizzle of honey

NOTES ON HOW INSTANT POT YOGURT (YOGHURT) 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 not just easier, it is a great way to use less energy. This helps us eat less meat, and also saves money.


Instant Pot yogurt with berries and a drizzle of honey

INSTANT POT YOGURT

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Finnish, French, Italian, Swedish, Swiss
Keyword: Instant Pot yoghurt, Instant Pot yogurt, yoghurt, yogurt

Equipment

  • Instant pot

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Scalding the milk will make the yogurt thicker. If you have decided to scald 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 below 91° F before adding the starter culture for a mesophilic yogurt and 107° F before adding the yogurt starter culture for a thermophilic yogurt. 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. If your starter culture is thermophilic, set it on medium and the time to 8 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. It may take longer to become the thickness you want. Culturing it longer will also make the yogurt more tart. 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.
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