To make no-fail yogurt in Instant Pot, or your favorite yogurt maker in just three steps, sanitation, inoculation and incubation. None of these steps can be skipped!

yo1You can use any kind of milk you like, I prefer to use whole cow’s milk. See my tips at the bottom of this page for getting extra-thick yogurt!

Step 1: Sanitation
Ensure that all of the equipment, containers and utensils to be used in the yogurt-making process are carefully cleaned. This ensures that no other bacteria compete with the yogurt starter during the incubation.

If you’re making the yogurt directly in Instant Pot’s stainless steel container, sanitize the cooker by running Instant Pot on the pressure steam program for one minute with 1 1/2 cups of water. Set the valve on the lid to “Sealing” push the [steam] button and then the [-] button until you get down to one minute. When the program is finished, release the pressure and then pour out the water. Then, scald the milk by pushing [yogurt] button and [adjust] until the screen says “Boil” for the DUO model; for the DUO Plus, push the [yogurt] button, until the screen says “Boil” (there is no adjust button); and, for the ULTRA choose the [yogurt] program, and then select the recommended Temperature under “more” (181°F).

For all models, let Instant Pot bring the milk to a boil until the screen says “Yogt”.

If you’re going to make yogurt in little jars, anyway, you can sanitize the jars and scald the milk at the same time (as shown in the video). Add a cup of water and the steamer basket into Instant Pot. Pour the milk in the jars and place the jars in the cooker. Set the valve on the lid to “Sealing” push the [steam] button and then the [-] button until you get down to one minute. When the program is finished push [cancel] to turn off the instant pot and let it cool down naturally.

For both milk that has been scalded in the pot or little jars, wait until the yogurt cools down to at least 115°F/46°C before proceeding to the next step. That can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour (make sure to take the temperature with a clean thermometer). If you don’t have a thermometer handy, you’ll want to wait until the jars are cool enough to handle.
Preparing for yogurt making.

Step 2: Inoculation
To the scalded milk, add the yogurt inoculate according to package instructions or, use a high-quality plain yogurt with live active cultures. Once you get going, you can use the yogurt from a previous batch to make the next- as long as it’s under two weeks old. Measurements do not need to be exact, but you’ll want to aim for about one teaspoon per cup (250ml) of milk.

Mix the inoculate or yogurt into the milk until it dissolves completely (as shown in the video).

Making yogurt.

Step 3: Incubation
Close the lid with the pressure valve in any position or place the freshly cleaned glass lid to run the yogurt program by pressing [Yogurt] for the DUO model; for the DUO Plus, push the [yogurt] button, until the screen says “08:00”; and, for the ULTRA choose the [yogurt] program, and then select the recommended Temperature under “med” (107°F).

For all models, the default time is 8 hours, and I’ve had great results with this time but you can adjust the time by pressing the [+] or [-] buttons to get different effects.

Longer time will produce a more tart yogurt. Most yogurt strains will begin to solidify after bout 6 hours – for less tart results check to see if the milk has already solidified after this time.

When the program is finished the letters “Yogt” will appear in the display.

Storage
Top the jars with clean lids, or pour the contents of the inner pot into a clean container, and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Finished making yogurt.

Extra-thick Greek-Style Yogurt
There are three ways to make a thicker yogurt.

  1. Nonfat Milk Powder – add 1/2 teaspoon of milk powder per cup of milk at the beginning of the process.
  2. Boil Milk a little longer – during the scalding process, boil the milk for an extra 10 minutes. When scalding milk directly in the stainless steel insert, simply run the scalding program (Boil) one or two extra times depending on the thickness desired.
  3. Strain the Yogurt – after the yogurt making process is complete. Pour the yogurt into a cloth-lined fine strainer that is positioned over a bowl. Place the whole set-up in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours depending on the desired thickness.

Straining yogurt to thicken.

 

See Also:

Instant Pot DUO Discount Code: hippot

yogurt made in electric pressure cooker

 

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350 Comments

  1. Thanks for the suggestions. I don’t think my issue is vinegar since yogurt is the first thing I made in the pot. I only used vinegar to make your hot sauce recipe (which made me happier than I can say …I’m a heavy user of Tabasco and had always wanted to make my own). The yogurt hasn’t changed though since making it. I have a feeling it’s related to temperature too. I can’t imagine that it is during the first phase. The heating to 180 degrees is meant to denature the milk proteins and I don’t think it matters how quickly that is done. I think it’s probably the incubation period temperature. Perhaps I will try the Ju Niang setting for the incubation period and see if that changes things. I may also try incubating it out of the pot if it doesn’t work. I will let you know the results.

  2. Hi Laura-Yesterday I did a variation on your directions & M. Kelsey’s directions for making yogurt in the IP. The end result was just wonderful!
    After adding 1 cup of water to the SS pot, in a 7 cup glass bowl I combined 4 cups of 1% milk & 1/4 cup of powdered milk. I set the bowl on the trivet in the SS pot, closed the lid, sealed the IP, steamed for 1 minute & used natural release.
    After cooling the milk to about 110’F, I combined 1 cup of the milk w/1 packet of Yogourmet starter & then added that mixture to the milk in the glass bowl. I put the glass bowl back on the trivet, closed the lid, clicked the Yogurt button & incubated the mixture for 8 hrs.
    The end result was a firm yogurt which tastes fantastic.
    I had tried making yogurt 4X directly in the SS pot. Only one batch was a success. I think/hope the compactness of the glass bowl made the difference in how successful yesterday’s attempt at making yogurt was.
    Thanks for all the wonderful comments about making yogurt in the IP!

  3. Hi Laura, and others!

    I have a question about the little jars Laura used in the video, they are so cute!

    Are they 6 oz volume?

    How many jars the I/P can have at one time? 4 or 5?

    And the most important thing: what’s the brand name of these jars? where to purchase?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. They are Rocco Bromioli jars. I get them in Italy but I found them on amazon for you- although the description says 5oz (maybe that’s with leaving head space for canning) I just measured mine with liquid and they were 6oz for me. You can fit 6 jars in a single layer, but if you want to make more, you can just stack a second layer of jars on to first – balance the second layer between jars (offset) so the bottom layer jars are not completely closed.

      Here’s where you can find them:
      Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni Canning Jar, Set of 12

      Ciao,

      L

  4. I just made my first batch of yogurt in the my new IP-DUO (which supplements my 1-year-old IP-LUX…), and it came out perfectly. Well, almost perfectly.

    I used two 1-pint canning jars with whole milk, a bit of dry milk, and I used some yogurt from the fridge as a starter. I like my yogurt a little tart, so I ran the program for 9 hours, which gave me just level of tartness I was looking for. (I can’t imagine how tart 12 hour yogurt would be).

    The only less-than-perfect aspect was that the yogurt tasted slightly of what I’d cooked in the IP earlier (which was lamb with cardamom from Madhur Jaffrey’s book). Luckily, however, it turns out that yogurt with a very slight hint of cardamom is really good, so I’m kind of happy with it.

    But I’m also soaking my gaskets in vinegar and will probably order a glass lid for making yogurt in the future.

    1. What a fantastic “accident”!

      Next time, be sure to also clean the Instant Pot lid very carefully ( also removing the valve and screen that covers it underneath). Also, wedge a sponge in the outer edge under the metal lips and give that good cleaning, too!

      BTW, Instant Pot inner pot is a standard width, so root around in your cupboards to see if one of your existing lids might already fit!

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Thanks Laura.

        I’ve now made yogurt a couple of more times, this time using the glass lid for the sanitize and incubation phase (although I did order a new gasket, too), and I’ve been very happy with the results.

        My current go-to approach is to make a gallon at a time in the SS pot. I add 1/3 cup of dry milk before the “boil” phase, and then, after the temp has dropped add about 1/3 cup of old yogurt and let it incubate for 9 hours.

        I keep a quart of this yogurt as regular yogurt, and then filter the remainder using a giant coffee filter and colander for about 2 more hours; this gives me about 2 quarts of greek yogurt.

        This yogurt is better than any I’ve ever bought (I like the extra tang I get with 9 hours), and much cheaper – I get $15-$20 worth of yogurt for the cost of a gallon of milk. (Which is less than $3).

        As a bonus, I just my ice cream maker to make frozen yogurt, which came out tasting a lot like Pinkberry’s vanilla – sweet and tangy.

        1. It’s great to hear that you’ve found a system that works, so thanks for coming back to give us an update. I would love to see your frozen yogurt recipe, too!

          Ciao,

          L

  5. The frozen yogurt recipe was simple:

    3 cups Greek style yogurt (720 gr).
    3/4 cup sugar (150 gr).
    1 teaspoon vanilla.

    Mix the ingredients together until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then place in ice cream maker and follow manufacturer instructions. (I used a Cuisinart with the freezer insert).

    It will be good but soft when first made, but firms up after a couple of hours in the freezer.

    Enjoy!

  6. I just got my Duo 60 and cooked ribs and wings in it, yum!!! Now it’s time to try yogurt and I have a question for anyone who used pint jars. I’m using Ball’s wide mouth pint jars, but they are almost to the top of inner pot while standing on the rack. Is this safe? Should I use shorter 8oz jars instead? The 8oz standing on the rack will be below the Max line. Thanks! I’d rather use the pint jars if it’s safe since that’s what I’ve got.

    1. This, as you imagined, is only a problem if you bring the cooker to pressure for one minute to sterilize the milk/jar at the same time. To be on the safe side I would use a shorter jar or as Meg mentioned you could make the yogurt directly in the pot.

      I’m already in my second year of regular yogurt-making and to save space I now use a single low-wide 1L/35oz jar (not lots of little ones) because it takes up less space in the refrigerator and it is low enough to fit on any shelf. It looks a little bit like this one (http://amzn.to/1v3EWX7) but is twice as large. Keep your eyes peeled for a suitable container!

      Ciao,

      L

  7. Hi Gloria,

    You don’t say how many jars you hope to do, but I’m assuming you can fit four. I tried Laura’s method with a number (3 or 4) of pint jars and found the milk did not get hot enough in the sterilization step with 1 minute steaming. It is important that the milk reach 185’F to denature the proteins which results in a nice thick yogurt.

    So why not do the sterilization step directly in your stainless steel pot (very accurate temperature control) then pour it into your jars? Then, as long as you can get the lid on, the incubation cycle will go just fine. Don’t forget the water under your rack for this step!

    Meg

  8. Laura P.,

    Can you possibly make a step-by step-guide on how to make yogurt directly into the I/P stainless steel Pot? We at the house consume tons of yogurt and for this reason I bought an extra Stainless Steel Inner Pot and the Tempered Glass Lid. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    P/S – I just bought your book and I love it!!!

  9. Hello Laura, thank you for your thorough and easy to understand videos as well as helping all of us who are new to using an IP.

    I have two questions about making yogurt:
    1) My husband is allergic to cow’s milk but is able to enjoy goat’s milk. Is there a difference in the process when you substitute goat’s milk?

    2) I follow a plant-based lifestyle and would like to make yogurt out of coconut or almond milk. Do you know if that’s possible and if so, does the process change when using either coconut or almond milk?

    Thank you, in advance, for your help!

    1. Testarosa, I don’t have any experience in making plant-based yogurt or using either goat or sheep’s milk. However if it can be made in a regular yogurt-maker it can be made in the Instant Pot.

      M. Kelsey, thanks for your advice!

      Ciao,

      L

  10. Hi Testarosa,

    Before I got the Instant Pot I had successfully made goat milk yogurt. It was delicious and so very white! Sadly, not popular with other members of the household, so I did not repeat the exercise.

    No reason you would not be able to use the Instant Pot except that, being a case of allergy, you will want to find an appropriate starter and, to make it nice and thick, either source some goat milk powder or hold the temperature at 185′ – perhaps with Saute on low – for a bit to evaporate some of the water.

    I’d love to experiment with almond or soy milk. My yogurt-loving granddaughter is sensitive to cow’s milk. Let us all know how your experiments turn out, please.

  11. Good morning M. Kelsey!

    Thanks so much for your input, it gives me hope and will make my husband a happy man, and who doesn’t want that? When you say “starter,” are you talking about some already made (from the store) goat milk yogurt? If so, that will be very easy to find, if you are talking about something else, I’m not sure what you mean. I’ve seen goat milk powder at Whole Foods so that’s doable too.

    I’ve tried almond milk yogurt and it’s okay. It has an odd gelatinous texture, not creamy like its coconut or soy counterparts. It would be interesting to see how it turns out so I plan to try it!

    Thanks again,
    Testarosa

  12. Hi again, Testarosa,

    If you can find already prepared goat milk yogurt to use as starter, that would be perfect. I live in a small, remote community so was imagining you might have to mail order some powdered starter. I have never seen goat yogurt on the shelf.

    I have seen soy yogurt and soy milk is widely available here so perhaps that’s where I’ll start. Many thanks for your input.

  13. Well I tried making some yogurt last night.
    Used whole cow milk.(3 cups)
    However, the only yogurt I had on hand was Essential brand Vanilla yogurt. It said live cultures on the container so I went ahead with it. (Added 2tbl)
    Steamed the pot for 1 minute.
    selected the boil feature
    Let it cool to 112 degrees
    added the culture.
    incubated for 8 hours.

    Now I think the yogurt sat in the instant pot for about 45 minutes after the 8 hours concluded because I was sleeping (It was 3:30am when I put it all in a bowl and saran wrapped it, putting it in the fridge).

    Can the yogurt sit for a bit? I read some people leave the yogurt out while it strains for two hours so I figure this didn’t hurt.

    4 hours later I checked it. There were some “solidified” areas of the yogurt but it was still liquidy. I read the instructions again and it said it could take up to 6 hours but too late because I dumped it down the sink before leaving for work.

    I’ll try again tonight this time using plain high quality yogurt.

  14. I don’t think that the flavored yogurts work for making yogurt though I’m not certain since I’ve never tried. I have always read that you should use plain yogurt with active cultures. I’ve always purchased brands that have clean ingredient labels without gums or gelatin for my starter. I often let the yogurt develop for 12 hours rather than 8 for convenience. I also let it sit out for several hours afterwards to drain out the whey for thicker Greek yogurt. The two hours it sat out after the Instant Pot finished should not have been a problem. Let us know how the next batch works.

  15. Thanks for the reply Kkharin. I read that too. I wanted to experiment though and that’s all I had. I will do it right tonight.

    And wow…12 hours?! I was actually thinking of doing 7.5 hours. Does the 12 hours make it really bitter?

    When you say you let it sit out afterwards… can you explain? I see the part about straining it but which part do you keep? The stuff that strains through or the stuff left on the top of the strainer? I’m guessing the top stuff since the liquidy part would drain down.

  16. I haven’t found it bitter, perhaps it’s a bit more sour but that doesn’t bother me. We mosly eat the yogurt with granola that I make and it is a perfect contrast to the yogurt. The whey drains out of the strainer and you are left with thick Greek yogurt. I use a large strainer and place paper coffee filters over the interior so that only the whey drains out. I’ve also used a nut bag to strain the yogurt. Some people do the straining in the refrigerator, but mine is always too full. I usually strain the whey into a container and have used it for making smoothies. I think people sometimes add it to soups and use as the liquid in making bread or fermenting vegetables like sauerkraut.

  17. Okay! So I picked up a gallon of whole milk last night, some powdered dry milk and some Stonyfield plain yogurt (local yogurt company) which has 6 strains of bacteria.

    Hit the boil button 3x and incubated it for 10 hours.

    Processed it this morning around 7am. It was set up so much better than the last batch. I also have a large strainer (mesh type) I lined it with coffee filters and strained out a quart of whey liquid in about an hour. The yogurt looks so creamy and smooth. I had to head off to work so I poured the whey into a container and wrapped up the yogurt in a stainless steel bowl to set up in the fridge.

    Can’t wait to try it out!

    Now I have to start making compote.

    Any suggestions on making it a bit flavorful without too much sugar being added?

    I was thinking of adding some splenda perhaps

    1. BTW, you can use just one of the three recommended ways to thicken yogurt – you used all three so your yogurt must be fantastically creamy!

      Ciao,

      L

  18. Congratulations. It sounds like you made a perfect batch of yogurt. I make jam regularly and we use it with yogurt. In the winter, you can even use frozen fruit. Costco sells big bags that are perfect. I generally use the low sugar pectin and sugar but I believe the low sugar pectin has an option for an alternative sweetener. Take a look on the Internet. If you only want to make a small quantity at a time and don’t care whether the fruit is runny, a simple compote would be delicious.

  19. I’ve been trying to make yogurt in jars with the steam then yogurt functions. When I steam, I select the steam function and press “-” until it displays 1. The program starts and goes on for a looong time – the milk gets so hot I think it’s no longer good. I let it cool and put some yogurt in each jar and run the yogurt cycle but what comes out is liquidy and not at all tart.

    How long should the steam function take? When does the one minute start?

    1. Amy the steam function is “pressure steam” that means the Instant Pot lid needs to be in position (not the glass lid) and the cooker needs to reach pressure before steaming (that could take 15 min). Then you’ll see the steaming time count-down to 0 and the cooker will go into keep-warm mode. You should wait for the pressure to release naturally (20 minutes) and for the lid to un-lock before opening.

      Here is a chart that explains the steps your Instant Pot goes through to reach pressure:
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/infographic-the-pressure-cooker-trouble-shooter/

      Then, once the jars have cooled to the appropriate temperature, continue following the directions on this page.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. The 1 is a typo – I set the instant pot to steam for 10 minutes.

        15 minutes to reach pressure then 10 minutes of steaming at pressure seems like about how long it is taking. When I open the lid, the milk is yellowish and clearly has boiled over. I think that is much too long and/or hot to just sanitize the milk.

        I let it cool (takes quite awhile, if I rush it jars break) then stir in starter and start “yogurt” setting for 8-10 hours.

        Result is more like kefir and not like yogurt.

        1. The “1” is the pressure cooking time to steam the jars under pressure. In addition to that time, there is the time to pressure and time to release. It is not a type-o.

          The “boil over” happens when you release pressure through the valve, and not wait for the pressure to come down on its own.

          Please follow the instructions exactly as stated in the article and video – including the pressure cooking time, pressure release type, temperatures stated, and types of milk (whole) and starter (with active live cultures) and quantities.

          Ciao,

          L

  20. Hi Laura,

    I just got an instapot duo and am in the process of making my first batch of yogurt. I cannot wait to see how it turns out, I’m so excited!

    Question: Can you also make cottage cheese in the duo?

    Thank you so much for your helpful blog and cookbook. I’m a newbie but very enthusiastic about this new appliance. I know it will give me years of cooking pleasure. I even bought one for both of my daughters in law.

    Donna

  21. I noticed in the video you have several different size jars. it looks like from half pint up to 2 quarts. how many quart jars fit into the Instant Pot at a time. what is the tallest jar. thanks

    1. The jars in the video are Bormioli Quattro Stagioni (Four Seasons) jars in european 1L, 500ml, 250ml, 200ml sizes. Unfortunately I don’t have any American Ball quart and pint jars to try. However, the internal space (minus the space taken up the by the steamer rack) is 5 1/3″ (13.5cm) high x 8 1/2″ (21.5cm) wide.

      Ciao,

      L

  22. Hello. I have been using my instant pot to make 24hr SCD yogurt. I use a half gallon of local raw whole milk, plus a pint of raw cream (from the same farm). It is super delicious; very thick and tart! Yes I realize the milk is no longer “raw” after scalding, but I still feel it is better than the homogenized/pasteurized stuff in the store.

    Anyway, I also use my instant pot for lots of other things, including bone broth, soup, chili just to name a few. As I’m sure everyone knows, it is possible the get the smells out of the stainless steel liner and even the lid and valves, but completely impossible to get it out of the silicone sealing ring. As more time goes on, my yogurt is starting to get the faint hint of chili or whatever the last thing I made. It’s still delicious, but I definitely don’t want to make another batch with that ring. I have ordered both a replacement ring and the glass top. Do you find any difference between your batches of yogurt using the sealing top or the glass lid? If so, what are your findings? I would still have to use the sealing lid to scald the milk first right? Thank you in advance :)

  23. If I pour 4 quarts of milk in, do I need to stir it while it comes to 180 degrees? And do I bring it to 180 with the lid on or does it matter? Also, throughout the process, does it matter if the knob is on vent or seal?

    1. If you put the lid on, the milk will heat-up faster, if you leave the lid off the milk will reduce a little bit making the yogurt more creamy. Since the pot is fuller it will take a bit of time to come up to temperature.

      The knob position does not matter in every step except for the pressure sterilizing step (the valve should be closed).

      Ciao,

      L

      1. I made this yesterday, I can’t believe how much easier it is using the pressure cooker! I’m so excited about this. My kids ate a whole quart of it for breakfast and usually I dread when I run out of it that fast because it’s been such a chore to make it using other methods, but now I could make it every week and it’s not that big of deal! Yea! I’m still wondering if I need to bother stirring it while it’s coming to the 180 degrees. I made it directly in the pan and I stirred it a few times because I was a little worried, but it would be awesome if I could just turn it on and walk away til it beeps. Thanks for the amazingly helpful video!

        1. It sounds like you’ll need to make a lot more to last you a week! You can try not stirring, you may find a small scorched film adhered to the base of the cooker – it’s easy enough to clean off. ; )

          Ciao,

          L

  24. Can I speed up the cooling down of the scalded milk to below 115 degrees by placing it in the refrigerator?

    1. You could, but you would raise the temperature of your refrigerator and put any dairy, meat or eggs at risk. Also, be sure to wipe off any condensation from the base of the inner pot with a cloth before putting it back into the pressure cooker base.

      Ciao,

      L

  25. Marcikae, I have never made such a large quantity as you, but my feeling is that the convection currents caused by the bottom heating are sufficient to “stir” the milk fairly well. I am working in metric here, but my batches are about a quart and a half. If you just let it sit a few minutes after the end of the “boil” phase, the heat will even out throughout.

    Mark, of course the milk will cool faster if you put it into the refrigerator, but that may not do your refrigerator any favours and you risk a heat shock accident with your container if it is glass. It does take time…. but not YOUR time. Go do something else for a bit… like reply to posts!

    1. Thanks, M!

      Ciao,

      L

    2. Well, at about 2pm, I was so excited about making my first batch of yogurt that I didn’t want to wait to start until the next day. So the quicker I could get it done the quicker I could go to bed. :)

    3. Btw, It turned out not exactly lumpy but not smooth either. It finished fairly thick so I just stirred in the liquid that was on top. And it was still almost thick enough. It just had little bitty lumps in it. I think I am going to just pour the liquid off next time and see how it turns out.

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