I am a person that does not like to have a lot of appliances. I like to just have a few that are versatile and use them for a lot of things. I thought about making homemade yogurt for awhile and looked at various yogurt making appliances but was hesitant to spend the money and then give up the counter space for something else. Then I found out how to make yogurt in my crock pot, and life was beautiful! :)It is SO easy that I cannot imagine going back to store bought ever again. I control the quality and fat content, there are no chemical additives, and it is a great money savings. Check it out:
Put 8 cups of milk into your crock pot (cover) on low for 2.5 hours.
After that time, turn the crock pot off. (don't take the top off) and leave it alone for 3 hours.
After the 3 hours, add in a half cup of plain yogurt (yes, you're going to have to buy some plain yogurt to start with, and once you make your own, save a little of it to "feed" the next batch) (use a whisk to mix it in--be kinda quick about it), put the top back on, and wrap the whole crock pot up in a thick bath towel.
Come back in 8 hours or more and your yogurt is done. Easy!If I get around to starting the yogurt before 8am and I'm going to be home most of the day, I can finish the batch before I go to bed at night. Alternately, this works well to start at around 4pm, and you wake up to yogurt in the morning, which is perfect for adding to your morning smoothie!
It is not all that important that the yogurt be put away directly after the 8 hours of incubation. it could stay in there for longer. Obviously don't leave it out on the counter for days, but it is fine if you just get around to putting it away after 10 or 12 hours or whatever. It'll be alright.
I use glass canning jars to store my yogurt in the refrigerator. Very easy!
You can use anything from skim to whole milk. At my Kroger they mark down organic milk pretty often, so when I see that I try to buy extra and make yogurt then. Even if I pay full price for the organic, though, it is cheaper than buying organic yogurt.
And did you know that pets benefit from yogurt too? You can add a little to your dog or cat's food and let them have some good probiotics as well!