Homemade Yogurt

Another post for you lovely, frugal homesteaders to get excited about!
Homemade yogurt.

In the crock pot.

Homemade yogurt is rockin’ because it only has one ingredient.  Milk.  No crazy sweeteners, no colors, no artificial flavors, and no preservatives.  Just the good ‘ol milk the Lord gave us.  Well, technically he gave milk to cows.  Not sure why we drink it…or for that matter, why someone in history ever looked at a lactating cow and thought “Self, that looks tasty.  You should try some”.  That has never been my response when I see a lactating animal.  Unless it’s a cow of course.  I digress.

Onward and upward.

Homemade Yogurt

Step One:  Turn a crock pot on low and dump a half gallon of milk in.  Cook on low for two and a half hours.  We use organic, whole milk for this. 

Step Two:  After two and a half hours, unplug the crock pot and let it hang out on the counter for three hours.

Step Three:  After three hours, stir in half of a cup of “starter yogurt”.  For this, you can use a half cup of whatever kind of yogurt you normally eat.  Plain yogurt works best. 

Step Four:  Once you have thoroughly mixed in your starter yogurt, put the lid back on the crock pot and wrap a towel around it to keep it a little warm.  Then, let it hang out on your counter for 8-12 hours.  Overnight works well for this step.

Step Five:  After 8-12 hours, remove the lid and SHAZZAM! Yogurt is born.  It will be a little runnier than your typical yogurt, but it works perfectly for smoothies or for granola.  If you like a thicker yogurt, spoon the yogurt into a cheesecloth lined strainer and allow the liquid to drain off.

After your yogurt has been born, save a half cup for your next starter yogurt!  You can flavor the yogurt with vanilla, sweetener, fruit, or even cocoa (this makes a great fruit dip!)  I usually keep it plain so I can also supplement it for mayonnaise or sour cream in recipes.

Depending on what type of yogurt you typically buy, this can help save a significant amount!  We pay roughly $5.50 for a gallon of organic milk and use half of a gallon to make a batch of yogurt, so roughly $2.25 in milk.  This yields us 2 1/2 to 3 32 ounce containers of yogurt.  If we buy a 32 ounce container of Nancy’s Organic Yogurt, it typically costs us about $3.75.

Home: $2.25 in milk = 96 ounces of organic yogurt
Store: $3.75 = 32 ounces, $11.25 = 96 ounces of organic yogurt

A savings of $9!

Pretty cool, huh? 

Not as cool as the brave hero who risked his health, and reputation, to first try milk, but cool none-the-less.

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I appreciate the support and love y'all have shown this 'ol blog and will only recommend products that I use, love, or covet. The end.


  1. says

    Been reading your blog for an hour now. :) love it! Before I knew about using “real” foods my children ate the junk filled yogurt and they now use Stonyfield organic. They only seem to like the vanilla flavored option which is still sweet. What could I use to sweeten mine? I assume using real vanilla will get the vanilla flavor? I know this would save us a lot of money!

    • says

      YOu could use stevia to sweeten your yogurt. I use it for a sweetener a lot, even bake with it. My husband hasn’t complained, so that’s progress. :-) Some stevias leave an aftertaste. I like the NOW brand, called Better Stevia.

    • says

      You could also try honey. That is what we use to sweeten our yogurt or smoothies. I have also flavored the yogurt with small amounts of jam, pumpkin butter, homemade fruit syrups, or bananas.

    • Anonymous says

      I have used 1 cup maple syrup per gallon of milk, or 1 cup unrefined sugar per gallon. My kids love homemade yogurt!

  2. says

    If I strain my yogurt, is “whey” what is left over? Can I use that to soak my breads in? This yogurt recipe is very fun and easy. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  3. says

    Me and hubby also make our own yogurt and it is runnier than the ones you buy, but it’s still delicious. I eat it as is. Love your method of the crockpot. We use a cooler box to develop the yogurt over night.

  4. Anonymous says

    I thought I knew the recipe so I tried to wing it. I put the milk in the slow cooker on low for three hours then added my starter. I thought I had unplugged the crock pot but half an hour later I realized I hadn’t. Does this mean I killed off all the good stuff?

    I love your blog and use a recipe from it nearly everyday. Thanks for sharing everything and congrats on your beautiful boy!

  5. sierrar says

    I thought I knew the recipe so I tried to wing it. I put the milk in the slow cooker on low for three hours then added my starter. I thought I had unplugged the crock pot but half an hour later I realized I hadn’t. Does this mean I killed off all the good stuff?

    I love your blog and use a recipe from it nearly everyday. Thanks for sharing everything and congrats on your beautiful boy!

  6. Ramona says

    I have a question about the how much yogurt your getting. One half gallon of milk is 64 oz. so how do you get 96 oz. of yogurt? I made this, LOVE IT, but only got 64 oz of yogurt including the whey. This makes sense to me, but was curious how yours seemed to ‘grow’.
    Is there potentially something wrong in my technique? BTW, I heated the milk in two quart jars in a water bath on the stove (less pouring and one less pot to really clean), mixed the milk and starter (plain Greek yogurt) like the recipe indicated, added it back, then added the rest of the starter, put lids on and shook well. I kept my jars in my roaster with a damp towel in the bottom for moist heat and it will maintain a constant low temp. Should I have taken the lids off?

  7. Cindy Barrington Alewine says

    My husband could have easily discovered this. He’ll eat anything as long as it looks old and gross. What does that say about my cooking? lol

  8. Stacey says

    I forgot to take the yogurt off at the 12 hour mark and didn’t get to it until the 16 hour mark. It smelled ok and tasted ok. Is it still good? It tastes a little like buttermilk. help! :) I put it in the fridge and tried a little. Hoping I don’t get sick. :)

  9. Sharon says

    The first batch I made, ended up very runny, so after draining the yogurt, I put the runny milky whey back in the crockpot and turned it back on for the 2.5 hours. Well, I didn’t get back home until the “whey” had been cooking for about 3.5 hours. Anyway, it looked horrible, but I went ahead & let it sit unplugged for a while…at which time it still looked horrible. I drained it again and lo and behold, I figured out (with the Internet’s help) that I had made curds and whey (shades of Little Miss Muffet here). It’s quite good in fact! So glad I didn’t just throw it all out!

  10. Celanie says

    I made this yesterday from fresh raw milk and was BLOWN AWAY at my amazing yogurt this morning in the crock! Let it go for 13 hours over night and it was perfect, hardly sour and a bit sweet! I used 1 quart cream and 1 quart whole milk and there was absolutely no straining necessary! It was so thick and creamy and only cost be $2.50 if I count the half cup of Greek yogurt for the culture I added! CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH for a recipe I finally don’t have to mess with pots and thermometers for!!!

  11. Sadie says

    Yes, I am also wondering if you are still using this recipe with your raw milk. I have an extra half gallon of raw milk that I want to use to make yogurt but I hate to waste it by heating it. Do you have a recommendation for a raw yogurt recipe? And would I need a starter or could I still just use store bought yogurt as a starter (organic and full fat of course!)?

    • says

      Yes, I am. I usually strain the yogurt after the culturing for a thicker yogurt and then run it in the blender (since it’s not homogenized it tends to culture a bit ‘chunkier’) but it works great! Store-bought starter is fine.

  12. Amber says

    I’ve been using this recipe for several batches and it has worked perfectly. Great taste! I am wondering, would the heating/resting time change for using one gallon of milk?

  13. Amanda says

    This is the easiest yogurt recipe I’ve come across. Question, what is the best “starter yogurt” to use? Especially if I don’t want to buy yogurt at the store. I always have extra raw milk to use so I want to try this recipe.

  14. Cori says

    This is the first time I’ve ever made yogurt and I am amazed!!! I feel like I’m making free food :)

  15. Michelle says

    I love this recipe! I have done it several times and been perfect. Then yesterday I did it and when I woke up this morning it was just milk! A few pieces of yogurt but ultimately no yogurt. What happened?!? I live Georgia and it was humid yesterday. Did that affect it? I’m so sad that I wasted a half gallon of milk.

  16. Stephanie says

    Hi Shaye,

    I Love your site. Made your eczema cream and it cured my icky eye lid rash, thank you.
    This yogurt making business is not working for me.
    I am a brand new convert to raw milk. And have been trying to find a recipe to make yogurt from raw milk.
    Does putting the raw milk in the crockpot on low for 2.5 hours kill all the beneficial bacteria I WANT in my yogurt? Do you know?
    Thank you.

  17. Jessica says

    Any ideas why my yogurt goes bad quickly? I start with raw milk. I get mold on it in less than two weeks sometimes, I thought that it should stay good longer than that or is that a normal amount of time for it to go bad?… I do love the recipe though, so simple to make awesome yogurt.

  18. Amber says

    This worked great at first, but when I got a new slow cooker it did not. I think different brands of slow cookers have different temp settings.

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