Instant Pot Greek Yogurt

Making homemade Greek yogurt in the Instant Pot has become a routine weekly task for me. The process is so easy and the result is perfectly creamy, smooth and tangy Greek yogurt. It’s so much more cost effective than store bought yogurt.

It’s a perfect snack any time of day. We like adding different flavoring and sweeteners to it, like jam, fresh berries, fruit, honey, maple syrup, granola or nuts. It’s also really nice to have on hand for baking and can be substituted for sour cream. You can make the yogurt on the thinner side, like regular yogurt, or strain it through a cheesecloth to make it thicker, like Greek yogurt. 

Ingredients:

1 gallon whole milk
4 Tablespoons yogurt with live cultures (I use Chobani Whole Milk Greek Yogurt)

Instructions:

Pour the milk into the Instant Pot.

I use whole milk because that is what we buy. I’m pretty sure it will work with reduced fat milk, but it might not be as thick and you will have more whey. I have never tried making yogurt with other non-dairy milk (almond milk, cashew milk, etc.) so I have no idea if it works, how to adjust it, etc.
Turn the Instant Pot to the “Yogurt” setting and adjust it until it says “boil”. Cover the Instant Pot with a lid and wait for the milk to boil. It has to reach at least 180-185 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure you are using a clean sealing ring on the lid of the Instant Pot. I have different colored lids that I use for different things, because the lids absorb odors and if you use the same lid for yogurt that you used for chicken and soup, the yogurt will have a very distinct flavor of chicken and garlic, and other savory flavors.
Cool the milk to 105 -115 degrees Fahrenheit. I usually take the inner pot out of the Instant Pot so it cools off faster. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the cultures in the yogurt and the milk will not turn into yogurt.
When the milk cools off, discard the “skin” on top of the milk and whisk in 4 Tablespoons of plain(unflavored, unsweetened) yogurt or plain Greek yogurt.

Make sure the yogurt has actual live cultures in it, not stabilizers and other weird ingredients. You can use store-bought yogurt (I like Chobani Whole Milk Greek Yogurt). There are also cultures that you can buy and once you’ve made your own yogurt, you can use that to make yogurt and have a never ending supply.

Turn the Instant Pot on to the “Yogurt” setting again, adjusting it to 8 hours. Mine also has the 24 hour option, but I use the 8. The longer the yogurt stands, the tangier it will be. I prefer a more mild yogurt.
Cover with the lid and turn the valve to “Sealing”.
After 8 hours, the yogurt will have a nice, thick consistency.

Scoop out the yogurt and let it drain over a fine mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth. Even if you don’t want the yogurt to be thick, you still have to strain it, otherwise there will be to much whey and extra liquid will be seeping out from the sides. Drain the yogurt for 15 minutes or so if you want it to have a thinner consistency and up to a few hours if you want it to have a thicker consistency, like Greek yogurt.

You can discard the whey or use it to make bread, crepes and other things. Substitute the water/milk in the recipe for the whey.
If you want the yogurt to be a thick, creamy texture, let it drain for a few hours or overnight.

Store the drained yogurt in airtight containers in the refrigerator, for 1 – 1 1/2 weeks.

As the yogurt stands in the refrigerator, some of the liquid will start to separate. Just mix it into the yogurt before serving, or simply pour it off.
I don’t add any sweeteners or flavorings to the yogurt until it is completely done and drained. You can sweeten it with honey, maple syrup, agave syrup or jam. You can also add vanilla extract, fresh fruit or berries (mango, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries are our family favorites.) Granola, coconut flakes, chocolate chips are also great toppings.