INSTANT POT SKYR RECIPE
Skyr is similar to yogurt, but is actually a fresh cheese, since rennet is added. It has been made in Iceland for centuries.
Our Instant Pot Skyr recipe makes it easy to make skyr at home. Instead of the two step process of activating the starter, or the old fashioned method of wrapping the pot up in towels, we went with the Instant Pot method. The Instant Pot has one setting for scalding the milk, then another one for culturing it, and they both worked perfectly.
MESOPHILIC VS. THERMOPHILIC
There are a variety of different cultures for culturing dairy products. They can be grouped into two categories – mesophilic and thermophilic. It is important to know what category your starter is in because they thrive at different temperatures.
Skyr is a mesophilic culture. This translates to “medium-loving”, indicating 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 F. This worked perfectly for making skyr.
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING INSTANT POT SKYR
We wanted to make homemade skyr so that we could choose exactly what was in it.
We used high quality nonfat milk, since it is traditionally made with nonfat milk and not whole milk. We use Horizon milk because we think it tastes better, but also because it is organic and the company is working to fight climate change.
The culture is a real skyr starter culture from Cultures for Health, and the rennet that came with it. The starter culture comes in powdered form in tiny packets along with rennet tablets. It conveniently stores for months in the refrigerator.
That’s it, no sugar or additives.
MAKING SKYR 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.
Scald the milk, by bringing the temperature on the milk to 181 degrees F. This 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 skyr starter culture and rennet.
After adding the starter and rennet, the Instant Pot is then set to the yogurt setting on low and this will keep the mixture at 91 degrees. After 24 hours the milk will separate from the whey, indicating that the skyr is ready to be strained.
Straining the skyr through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth will give you a product that is similar to cream cheese. The skyr is then whipped to make it light and airy, a cross between cream cheese and whipped cream.
It is possible to make successive batches of skyr 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.
MAKING SKYR IN AN INSTANT POT FITS IN WITH OUR PLAN TO EAT BETTER
We have listed the brands for some of the ingredients because ingredients are everything. We have found that these brands give superior results. And by using brands like Horizon dairy products and Wholesome sugar we cut our carbon footprint in half and are helping to control climate change.
We use produce from the farmer’s market or a local farm stand. Locally grown fruit makes all the difference. Farmers who sell locally choose which variety to grow based on flavor instead of how well it survives transport and storage. It is picked when ripe, often just the day before, or the day of the market, so it tastes incredible. Buying local also creates a smaller carbon footprint in transportation, and it helps our local economy, giving jobs to people in our community.
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.
No Affiliates Statement
We call this our “no affiliates” statement because we accept no advertising, have no affiliates and accept no gifts or payment. We are not paid to mention brands – we just love buying the best, sharing that information and saving the planet at the same time. The effort put into writing and photographing the blog is solely based on our dedication to the cause.
- 1-4 quarts Horizon milk Nonfat
- 1 package Cultures for Health skyr starter culture and rennet
- 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.
- 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 90 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. Crush a tablet of rennet and add it to the milk and 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. The skyr starter culture is mesophilic, so change the setting to “low” and the time to 24 hours and push start.
- Check the thickness of the skyr 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 fine mesh strainer over a bowl to remove the water (whey).
- Once it is the desired thickness, whip it until smooth.
- Traditionally served with berries or jam.
- It can be stored for 2-3 weeks.