Homemade yogurt, take 1

Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a hard time tossing plastic and glass containers in the recycling bin. I just think there’s so much potential there for reusing them for…something. But recently when putting away the dishes I noticed the huge stash of big 32 oz. plastic Greek yogurt containers. That was the moment I decided to finally try my hand at homemade yogurt.

To get started, I followed this guide for making homemade yogurt, and then the accompanying recipe.

Process notes

  • 4 c whole milk in a sauce pan over medium heat until it reached 185°
  • remove from heat and set pan in ice bath for a few moments until the milk was 110°
  • mixed about 1/3 c of the warm milk with 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt (whole), then whisked this into the rest of the milk
  • poured milk into three jars and loosely lidded
  • heated 2 towels in the microwave for 30 sec.
  • nestled a towel in a foam cooler, placed the jars on top of the towel, then topped with the other towel
  • placed lid on cooler and left for 6 1/2 hours, then checked and noticed it wasn’t at all warm anymore, so re-heated a towel and placed back on top of the jars for another half hour
  • after a total of 7 hours, moved tightened lids and moved to refrigerator


My yogurt never thickened up, and turned out more like thick milk (or super runny yogurt). There are a few things I’ll do differently next time (essentially incorporating the instructions here):

  • use Dannon or Yoplait plain yogurt (not Greek — I read that some people have difficulty making Greek style work right)
  • use one of my new 1-quart canning jars (the 4 cups of milk should fit nicely)
  • briefly heat the oven, turn it off, then place the filled jar in the oven overnight

I refuse to let this first attempt go to waste though! I’ve got my eye on a few baking recipes that call for buttermilk that should work, like biscuits, yogurt cake, and a chocolate cake.

Update: Hurray! I discovered that my oven has a Proof setting. I did some testing and it looks like if I turn the oven on for a moment and warm it up to 110°, then turn it off and turn on Proof, it will hold the internal temperature there. Super excited to try this!

Homemade yogurt POSTS