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.

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


Similar Posts


  1. Hi M. Kelsey,

    I was using 3 liters in the inner pot without a jar so the first method as described by Laura a few posts up.


    1. I use a gallon of milk every time I make yogurt. The last time I did it, i checked the temperature. I have a Thermapen, a really accurate Instant Read thermometer, and found the milk reached 185 degrees.

  2. Hi Gerry. If I were you, I would try “boiling” half as much milk and taking its temperature. Perhaps 3 litres gets to the requisite 180 degrees on the bottom but not at the top? If you want to do that much you can always do it in two batches and get the first batch cooling while the second one heats…… Otherwise I would say perhaps you should talk to the techies. Hope this gives you some ideas.

  3. This is all very strange? kkarin, I use a Thermapen also, great tool for yogurt making.

    I spoke with Instant Pot and they say the Duo 6 will only reach 162F and that is all I should expect.
    I am going to send mine back for a refund. If I could get one that would reach 180F I would ask for an exchange. (I have had it for only 3 weeks or so)

    It seems odd that some will reach the proper temp I wonder if a change was made in the newer pots?

    I will keep an eye on the market and see if any news comes of this.


    1. I’m really surprised that customer support said that since all the literature about making yogurt says that the temperature should be brought up to 185 degrees. I bought mine about two years ago. I can’t imagine that they would change that element of the design. Maybe you should call back and speak to someone else.

  4. Hi kkarin,

    Yes I agree it is very weird but I talked to one person in support for quite some time and he put me on hold and came back and confirmed that they could not send me a pot that would reach the proper temp.

    Then I spoke with another support rep by email and suggested I would prefer to have a replacement instead of a refund and asked is it not possible to get a pot that reaches 180 f.

    She said Unfortunately our pots will reach the same temperature.

    I am hoping this might get sorted out in the future and if it does I’ll purchase a new pot.

    I make a gallon of yogurt every week so this would be a good option.

    I agree 180F is the minimum temp needed.


    1. Gerry, with this much milk you just need to stir it during the boil phase. The thermometer is measuring 180F on the base and the top will not reach that by itself.

      Stir. It’s as simple as that.



  5. Very interesting.

  6. I find that really odd especially since I just checked the temperature of my pot. My yogurt always comes out lumpy and I thought it might be a temperature issue (I use an immersion blender after I drain out some of the whey). I have one other suggestion. You could use the boil function to bring it to 160 and then use the saute function for / few more minutes to get it to the temperature you want. Someone suggested I try 190 or 195 degrees to make my yogurt thicker so that was what I did. It took just a few more minutes (it didn’t seem to change the final outcome for me though).

    1. Kkarin,

      Lumpy yogurt has nothing to do with the initial boil temperature. Yogurt can also be made without the initial boil – but it’s not recommended because you’re also incubating whatever other bacteria is sitting around (when I tried I got brown and pink streaks through it).

      Lumpy yogurt signifies problems with the inoculant – either it’s added too soon (too hot), no strong enough, not mixed well enough, or an ingredient is interfering with its growth.

      Personally, I’ve gotten spotty results with in-the-pot yogurt making (even using a SMART script) so I always recommend doing the in-the-jar (or bowl) method. That works out for me every time.



      1. Laura, thank you so much for the explanation of why my yogurt might be lumpy. I seem to always get the same result and since I mix the starter in fully, use fresh high quality yogurt with no additives as starter and use 1 teaspoon of yogurt per cup of milk … I will assume that my problem has to do with inoculating the milk at too high a temperature. I’m very impatient. It takes so long for a full pot of milk to cool. I’ve been waiting until it was about 112 degrees. Should I leave it longer? I haven’t made it in pots because I can’t do large quantities like that. I like doing a full four liters each time.

        1. I am impatient like you … last time I took the stainless bowl out and put it in a cold water bath in the kitchen sink to speed up the cooling …. took only a few minutes….
          would not do this with the glass jars!!! stainless pot only

          1. what size jars and how many will fit in this unit? I love making yogurt but would also like to do small batch canning.

            1. Trish, it depends on the brand of jars you’re using. You can only do “hot water bath” canning and not pressure canning with your Instant Pot or any electric pressure cooker.



  7. Hi kkarin,

    It is very odd. IP has changed the spec on the online manual and spec sheet to 160 ~ 180F
    The person I talked to suggested that 160 was good enough. I of course disagreed.

    I will send it back for now as it has all been arranged but may buy again in the future.

    Because this unit is controlled by a microprocessor I think it could be reprogrammed to heat a little more slowly to prevent burning on the bottom and heat until it reaches 180 or 185 which should be where it heats to.

    Hoping for an updated model but we will see what happens.


    1. Hi Gerry, it actually isn’t strange at all that the information was changed. I wrote to the President of the company yesterday to ask him directly about the issue – we have had contact about something else recently so I thought I would ask hiim about this. By the way, the Instantpot is my most loved purchase ever. If you cook (in addition to making yogurt), I think you would love it. I use it daily and everyone I know that has one loves theirs too. Here is his response;

      For milk pasteurization, 160F is sufficient. Please see the following references: One of the most popular yogurt culture store.
      “for pasteurized thermophilic yogurt, the milk must be heated to 160ºF, then cooled to a culturing temperature of 110ºF, before adding the yogurt starter culture.”

      “HTST milk is forced between metal plates or through pipes heated on the outside by hot water, and the milk is heated to 72 °C (161 °F) for 15 seconds.[26]:8 Milk simply labeled “pasteurized” is usually treated with the HTST method.” International Dairy Food Association

      “The most common method of pasteurization in the United States today is High Temperature Short Time (HTST) pasteurization, which uses metal plates and hot water to raise milk temperatures to at least 161° F for not less than 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling.”
      “New pasteurization conditions of 145°F (62.8°C) for 30 minutes for a batch process, or 161°F (71.7°C) for 15 sec for a continuous process, were adopted in order to inactivate Coxiella burnetii, and these conditions are still in use today.”

      The Pasteurize program in Instant Pot IP-DUO and Smart series is designed to achieve 160~180°F. There’s a mistake in the printed user manual on the specification. However the PDF version is the latest

      Due to the volume of milk, there may be fluctuations in each user’s readings. But the temperature should be in the range.

    2. One more thing – I just found this article about heating the milk. The author talks about the reasons why and her experience. She doesn’t heat it past 110 F and seems happy with the results. I find the process of heating it and waiting for it to cool very time consuming and if the results are not significantly different, I would much prefer skipping it. I will try it this way tonight. Here’s the link:

      1. I don’t recommend skipping the boiling step. There is a reason it’s there.

        I’ve made yogurt in just-washed jars using shelf-stable ultra-pasteurized milk and once I had pink streaks in the yogurt and another time I had brown streaks. While the milk is incubating you are also growing other bacteria. There are at least 4 hours where milk is sitting out at warmer than room-temperature conditions before the yogurt culture has sufficiently grown to make it inhospitable – during that time you’re incubating other bacteria and molds.

        What you do is up to you, but I have tried it myself and I do not recommend it.



      2. Hi kkarin,

        I agree about the temperature to pasteurize milk being 160F. The milk has already been pasteurized before I purchased it I am trying to sterilize it as per this statement from epicurious.

        “While yogurt can be made from room-temperature milk, for the best, most consistent results, most experts recommend first heating the milk to at least 180°F or the boiling point. Heating the milk makes for a richer end product, and also kills any bad bacteria in the milk. Mendelson points out that there is also a tradition of boiling the milk for 30 minutes or even longer “to concentrate it for extra-thick yogurt.”

        I guess we all need to decide for ourselves what we need or want for a temperature when making yogurt. My experience has indicated I get a better product if I heat to at least 180F

        You said
        “it actually isn’t strange at all that the information was changed”

        I think it is strange a company that has sold ten of thousands of these units while claiming they will heat to 180F now changes the spec and tells us you don’t need the 180F we told you your unit would reach and the 160F that it actually capable of is good enough??

        I decide what is good enough for me, then select a unit that will accommodate my needs based on the specs listed by the manufacturer.

        I think IP is not going at the problem the right way by just telling us we don’t need 180F.
        I think it could come back and bite them in the form of a forced recall due to not meeting the spec listed when sold.

        I think they did me right by returning my money but had no choice because of the 30 day Amazon return policy. I wonder where they will stand if other people want their money back after the 30 days.


        1. I also had the same temperature problem. I emailed “Instant Pot” about the temp only reaching 162 deg F using a calibrated thermometer from a commercial kitchen. I was advised to try again with the cover on in venting position…same result. Called IP and advised to return to Amazon since “this won’t” happen again. Next Instant Pot Ultra… 172 deg F. Because the “Ultra” has a custom temp adjustment I could set it for the low 190’s 194 i think. It then hit 182. Since it had gone on for so long I only got Amazon credit. No problem. I’ll spend that before the end of summer. Duo plus 8 Qt goes on sale for $100 the same day for 1 day. Same issue. 162 deg F. My problem was that if this temp was a problem, what were the temps when under pressure and I could not measure them? The work around is to boil, measure, if low… cancel, saute while wisking and taking constant measurements and cancel when achieved. then start the yogurt function again, cool after YOGT. I’d advise testing the temp an hour after inoculating.

  8. Reading the latest comments, I recalled that a secondary reason to heat the milk is to denature some of the protein which improves the “set”. I think the following article is well worth reading:

    And Laura, it looks like someone has inserted a number of totally irrelevant videos into this thread. Or am I the only one having a problem?

    1. Thanks, M. Kelsey. It looks like there was a bug in an update to my content management system that changed any number in the comments into a random vimeo video. For once, being on a different time zone helped – someone had already found the solution while I was sleeping. I’ve just updated the software and you shouldn’t be seeing random videos in the comments anymore.

      Thanks for letting me know!



  9. Gerry,

    Obviously, you will have to decide what works for you. I wrote back to the president yesterday actually regarding denaturing the proteins because after thinking about it, I had the same concern (I believe it happens at about 170F) – though it isn’t an issue actually with my pot. Anyway, his suggestion was to use the steam pressure function to bring the temperature up to boiling without it overflowing the pot (since it’s under pressure). I was originally going to try making yogurt by only bringing the milk to 110F but then decided to try the steam function instead. He didn’t mention the timing so I used the 10 minute default. It brought the temperature up to about 220F. It took a bit longer to cool and I haven’t tasted the yogurt yet – it’s just been 8 hours and I usually leave it for 12 – but it looks good.

    1. Hi kkarin,

      Using the steam function sounds like an interesting solution. I am curious if you will get burning on the bottom of the pot? Please let us know how it turns out.


  10. Laura,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with making yogurt without the initial “boil”. I was tempted to try it, but didn’t as I explained to Gerry, above. I used four liters of very expensive unhomogenized organic milk and it would have been awful to find it contaminated. I’ll let you know how this batch comes out. I used the steam function so the milk got to actual boiling temperature, not just 180F. I also made sure to wait until it was below 110F to add the starter. I am hoping it won’t be lumpy.

  11. I tried the steam function. I used the default 10 minutes and while it looked okay when I made it, it was had quite a bit of a caramel color after straining. While I’m not certain, I assume that it is because the milk got too hot. I tasted it and it tastes okay (and wasn’t lumpy!), but I find the color a bit disturbing. I definitely won’t do it again. I think maybe the pressure steam for a minute might get better results but I assume it must get to 220 F even then for the clock to start and it may be too high a temperature for milk. There was a tiny bit of color on the bottom of the pot, but not much.

    1. Hi kkarin,

      That was my fear with the steam function. I know they tweaked the temperatures with the DUO v2 I wonder if that is when they quit heating to 180 F. in the yogurt setting?

      I downloaded the manual for the new DUO-80 to check the specs on it and it says
      “Instant Pot will then boil the milk to 180° F/83° C. When it’s done, it beeps and displays “yogt”.

      Then I checked the date of the document, it was created Sept. 18, 2015 so it is probably not accurate.

      Thanks for letting us know how it turned out.


  12. I didn’t know that there was a second version of the Duo. I just saw that there was an 8 qt one the other day. I’m going to let them know the results of using the steam function. I wonder why they would adjust the temperature downward for the yogurt function. I imagine you could set it to whatever temperature you wanted with the Smart Pot. Maybe I’ll have to get that one when I need to replace mine.

    1. Hi kkarin,

      I thought about getting a Smartpot but I don’t have a phone that would work with it.

      I decided just to keep the Duo-60 and deal with the temperature problem by heating to the proper temp after the boil cycle. It is less convenient but is still less work than my old process.

      I thought the temp problem might get resolved in a future version but it is not worth sending it back.


  13. Well, despite the temperature issue for the yogurt, it is a fabulous device. I love love love mine. I made chickpeas this morning which I soaked last night and cooked according to Laura’s directions (15 minutes). I make lots of beans in my pot but I generally don’t soak them the night before. These were so quick and so perfect. I am so surprised that I liked them so much. I’ve never had such a good chickpea. I never felt excited about any device like this one and I have every kitchen tool imaginable. I hope you will like it too.

  14. Laura –

    I made this Greek yogurt from Cultures for Health using the Hip Yogurt In-the-jar script which is linked to this article. My yogurt never set, it was going for about 9 hours at 115 degrees. The script seems to go to 115 degrees and the attached directions say 110 degrees so did I overheat the culture? Or did it just need to go longer do you think? Any suggestions?


    1. Hi Laurance, the 115°F is the temperature of the water in the base of the cooker. Your milk and starter are sitting in a jar on the rack above the water – so they will be a slightly lower temperature (I measured them about 5°F lower during testing). Let me click over and take a look at their instructions to see if anything jumps out at me – though they are usually a very trustworthy source!



  15. Laura – link is here: it wouldn’t upload, it was too large a file.


    1. OK, did you see the note in the document that says…

      “Liquidy activation batch? If it has a fresh, tangy aroma, it’s cultured and can make yogurt. It can take 2-3 batches for the flavor and texture to even out.”

      Did you already “activate the starter” or is that what you were doing with the SMART script?



  16. Laura –

    Well I guess that what I was doing with the SMART script, so use that to make another batch? But it may take a little longer a whole possibly a whole other batch too?


  17. Some people can’t get their milk up to 180 degrees. I just steamed mine for 1 minute in pint jars, and it boiled over in the pot. It was in the water below and all over the inside of the lid. The milk was at 185 degrees even after I let the pot release naturally. Something doesn’t seem right about this.

    This is my first time using my pot. I could use some advice.

  18. Hi,

    I thought I would update my previous posts. Laura hit the nail on the head when she said you have to stir the milk.

    My method now is to put in 3.5 liters of whole milk set the Instant pot to boil and let it run for about 20 minutes or more then open it up and give it a good stir. Then put it back on boil and wait to complete. Then when it beeps I open it up put a thermometer in and set it on saute low setting. I stir and bring it up to 195 F. It does not take long.

    I then put on a glass lid remove the pot to the sink and fill the sink with cold water to reduce the temp more quickly. I remove it at about 115 to 120 give it a stir make sure it is around 115 then stir in some store bought yogurt and set it for yogurt 24 hours on normal setting. I use 24 hours to reduce the lactose content.

    This gives me nice thick yogurt and is not much work.

    Thanks to Laura for her tip that got me pointed in the right direction.


    1. I’m glad to read that this is working out for you – and sharing your method. I’ve never fermented my yogurt for 24 hours, how is the flavor?



  19. Hi Laura,

    Fermenting for 24 hours give the yogurt a nice tart flavor. I have mine with fruit so it seems a nice contrast to me.


  20. Thanks for all the comments everyone! Has anyone tried putting the glass jar in the pressure cooker with the steam function without using the steamer basket? The jar I am using is a little too tall with the basket, but I was afraid to try it without. Any thoughts would be great :-)

  21. So glad I stumbled on this article! My Instant Pot yogurt has been glorious in terms of thickness, but much too sour. I had no idea I could adjust the incubation time! Going to try a six hour cook for the next batch – luckily, a little maple or agave is all I need to make the current batch decent.

  22. Has anyone tried to make yogurt with either almond or soy milk?

  23. Oh no! I followed step by step the video, not the written directions. I thought you said to cool to 150, and now I am reading it was 115! I am half way through the 8 hour cycle. Do you think it will turn out or have I ruined it by adding the started while the milk was too hot?

    If it does not turn out, at least I know the reason why!!

  24. Is this script written for making yogurt in jars? Can I use this script to make yogurt directly in the liner?

  25. These methods all seem so unnecessarily complicated. I microwave three cups and of whole, fluid milk to 180 degrees and let cool to just over 100 degrees. I add a quarter cup of whole milk powder, mix in about a quarter cup of yogurt from the last batch, and put it into a one-quart Pyrex round glass bowl with a lid. Next it goes into my thermal cooker with hot water in the bottom pan, where it sits for three hours. Comes out perfectly every time. Very thick; very sweet!

    1. The only difference is that you’re using a microwave to sterilize the milk, or am I missing something? The electric pressure cooker with yogurt setting, would take the place of the thermal cooker in this case.



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