Poorganic Greek Yogurt

Use two-spoons if you must.

Poorganic Greek Yogurt

It costs me about $3 to make 5-6 cups of Greek-style yogurt this way. :)

Ingredients & Supplies

1.  Whole milk (preferably raw)  Throw in a little cream if you’re crazy like me. (10 cups)

2.  Whole plain yogurt (5 Tbs)

3.  A day at home

4.  A big pot

5.  A crockpot

6.  A thermometer (I use a digital meat one with a corded thermometer that beeps.)

7.  Big ol’ blanket

1. You will get about half as much yogurt as you use milk, so decide how much yogurt you want and use double the milk. Heat milk  to between 160-180 degrees F*.  I do this on the stove, but you can also just heat the milk in the crockpot. I’m too impatient for that though.

2. When it is between 160 and 180*, turn the heat off.


3. Let it cool until it is between 110 and 115 degrees. (It cannot be hotter than 117, or you will KILL the yogurt enzymes and waste your milk.)

4. Once it has cooled, put 1 Tbs good quality full-fat plain yogurt per 2 cups yogurt in your crock pot. I recommend Stoneyfield. Once you’ve made good yogurt, you can use that to make more.  Basically use about 1Tbs yogurt per 2 cups milk.

5. Pour a little of the 110 degree milk into your crock pot.  Stir yogurt and a little of the milk together. Then pour the rest of the warmed milk in.

6. Put a giant blanket around your crockpot. Alternate the crockpot between “warm” and “off” to maintain a temp between 100 and 110. Don’t let it get to 117.

7. Do this for between 6 and 24 hours. (I like about 8-10 hours.)

8. Put it in the fridge to cool.

9. After it’s cool, take a colander, line with coffee filters, place inside a large bowl and pour the yogurt through it.

10. Let it sit in the fridge for a long time or overnight, letting lots of whey drain out. (You can see a tiny whey seeping out. In the AM, I had 5 cups.) If you drain a shorter time, you will have traditional yogurt with whey rather than Greek yogurt.

11. Remove the creamiest thickest, most delectable yogurt you’ve ever seen.

12. Drizzle with honey, plop on a spoonful of jam, sprinkle with granola, or eat plain. Delish!

Sorry this is fuzzy, but this is super thick yogurt that cannot fall even with gravity. I will just have to eat it. Yum!

13. You can save the whey to put in smoothies or as a bread conditioner in baking! It contains wonderful milk proteins that are very good for you.

There is some trouble-shooting involved with yogurt-making just like any homemade item, but it is definitely worth it! Let’s just say that this yogurt is WAY better than my photography and messy kitchen show (but I like to keep it real. :/) See for yourself, and then share your tips and tricks, please! :)

(* As for heating the milk to 160, raw milk purists will say this destroys some of the enzymes. That is true, and you can make yogurt at lower temperatures. BUT the higher heat results in a more consistently thick product that is not wasted in my home; therefore, I heat.  If you don’t mind a more runny product, try only heating the milk to 110 to start and then adding yogurt directly.  Unraw milk purists will be glad to know heating the milk to 160 essentially pasteurizes it.)

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23 Responses to Poorganic Greek Yogurt

  1. Johanna Fenton January 6, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Katrina, I’m so thrilled to find this today. It was just last week that I was cruising YouTube to figure out how to make homemade Greek yogurt. You would not believe the insane processes I was finding! I was like, Okay, I guess this Greek yogurt-homemade stuff is not for me.

    By the way, I love point #3: A day at home.

    You crack me up.

    • katrina January 6, 2012 at 9:13 am #

      It is SO easy. You just have to be willing to babysit it for a while. There are other recipes that suggest less observation, but they also seem to get less consistency. If the temperature falls too low or gets too high, the product is effected. It’s worth it to me to just make it on a day that I’m hanging out in the kitchen anyway. (This is pretty much every day anyway.)

  2. Megan January 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    I don’t think I’d have the patience to make yogurt in a crockpot. I found an electric yogurt maker for $2 at a yard sale, barely ever used. Once I reach the step of mixing in the starter and mixing that with all the warmed milk, I pour it into 8 little containers. Put on the lids and turn it on, and it beeps when it is done. Yogurt makers brand new aren’t real cheap, but if you make a lot it might seem worth it to you. I have not tried straining it to make it a thicker Greek style–maybe I will at some point, but for now the boys love it the way it is. I do thicken it up some by adding some powdered milk before I heat the milk. Tonight Nathaniel stirred blueberries into his yogurt and was thrilled.

    • katrina January 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

      That sounds great! We had a yogurt maker in PNG, which I loved. BUT, I love being able to make as much as I want in one fell swoop. Most of the makers only make 1 quart or the equivalent, which would be half as much after straining. Next time I make it, I think I’m just going to do a whole gallon! :)

  3. Johanna Fenton January 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    Very cool. Yeah, Katrina, my family goes through about 3 quarts a week. So I might want to try the gallon approach … but let me try it on a smaller scale before I make a gigantic yogurt-cooking experimental mess.

  4. Anita January 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    so i’ve been making yogurt a lot. trying to get my fam some healthy probiotics. this is what i do… i use UHT milk because it’s pretty standard here and the other stuff is really expensive. I fill my jar with the stuff, add a tbs of yogurt and stick the whole jar in the hot oven (after I bake something). i leave it overnight and in the morning it’s done. love it.

    • katrina January 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

      So you don’t heat the milk first? Hmmmm, tempting. I guess with UHT milk all the bacteria that might fight the yogurt cultures are already eliminated, so the yogurt can just grow. This sounds delightfully easy. What is the consistency like? Do you make sure the oven is a certain temp before you put the jar in? I’d be worried that my milk would get to hot and kill the culture.

  5. Rachel M. January 8, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    So how do you store so much yogurt? Or does your family eat 5 cups in one week? That is an expensive yogurt in stores, I avoid it because it’s like double the price of regular yogurt, sounds like this effort is worth it if the entire family loves it!
    Rachel M. recently posted…One Word to describe 2012My Profile

    • katrina January 8, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

      It keeps about 2 weeks and our family definitely eats 5 cups in that amount of time or faster. Also, you can freeze it to use as starter for future batches that you make. The starter will degrade over time, so after you’ve made 6 or so batches, you may want to buy some again to make sure that all the probiotics are alive and kickin’.

  6. Joanne S. February 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    I am making this right now….but I unfortunately lost track of time and the temp shot up to 123 degrees! Yikes! I turned it off real fast, uncovered it a bit to let some heat out and am waiting patiently to see if I have in fact ruined this yogurt! Ugh….hopefully I didn’t but only time will tell.

    • Katrina February 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

      Well, it might not be totally ruined. Even if it isn’t the right consistency for “normal” yogurt, throw it in the freezer and then you can blend it up with some fruit and honey for smoothies. In general I would say that once you pour it into the crockpot, you barely ever have to turn it to warm. Maybe once or twice for five minutes. Actually, you could probably just put a heavy blanket over the crockpot and be fine.

      • Joanne S. February 23, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

        Yes…I’ve had the blanket on it ever since I transferred it to the crockpot. It’s been slowly brewing for almost 9 hours now. I’m going to turn it off now, it has about 20 minutes left. Then I am throwing it in the fridge for an overnighter to cool it all down. We shall see what becomes of it in the morning! Fingers crossed! And if it doesn’t work in the end, oh well….Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? I will try again because the way my mother (who is Greek!) has shown me how to do this has never really worked for me in the past so….

        • Katrina February 24, 2012 at 5:54 am #

          Are you draining it now? Let me know how it turns out. I’m really curious.

          • Joanne S. February 24, 2012 at 10:04 am #

            Yep…been draining since a little after 7 am. It looked like normal yogurt as I was scooping it out of the crockpot and I was curious about how it would drain too. But it’s draining as I write this so something is working! Should I keep it in the fridge for 24 hours or just until this evening?

            Thanks again for all your help and for posting this recipe! :)

  7. Christa @ BrownSugarToast February 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Mmmmm…I made this last week and it is marvelous!!! So thick and creamy! I’ve been using it in my smoothies and wow – it is fabulous! I don’t think I can go back to aldi brand now! :P

    • Katrina February 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      If you have to go back to store bought, just drain it yourself rather than paying the extra for the Greek. :)

  8. Joanne S. February 25, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Katrina! It worked! I have two big Fage tubs filled with the yogurt I made! Just over 4 cups.

    Thanks so much!

  9. Tara June 18, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    I make yogurt weekly. I heat mine, and then mix in my starter when is cools to 115. Then I put a lid on the pot, wrap in a towel. I put it in the oven with the oven light on and leave for 16 hours. It turns out perfect everytime.

    • Katrina June 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      I would TOTALLY do it your way if I had an oven light, but I don’t. :(

  10. Christi June 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    Finally — a straight-forward yogurt recipe!!!! I have been looking for one that made sense for years and they all seemed too difficult. I do use Raw Milk so I really appeciate you explaining the heat temps for raw milk and the reasoning behind it. I just found your blog from this recipe, so I’m going to go check out more of your blog. thanks!

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