- 1/2 gallon of whole milk (or three cans of coconut milk, blended smooth)
- 1 tsp unflavored gelatin or collagen powder (this helps to ensure thickness without straining!)
- 1 tsp yogurt, saved from a previous batch (if storebought, make sure it has active cultures) You can save your yogurt starter in small jars in the freezer and then thaw before using, or just scrape the jar from your previous batch in the fridge.
Whisk milk with gelatin or collagen powder together in your instant pot liner. Set instant pot on "Yogurt" and hit adjust, if needed, until screen says "boil". Cover with lid and when it has reached 180 degrees it should notify you. Here is where I use my thermometer to double check that it has reached 180 degrees. If it hasn't, simply set your IP to saute for a minute or two, and whisk to keep the milk from sticking to the pan, until it measures 180. This step will improve the texture of the finished yogurt.
Next step is to remove the liner from the IP, and place it in a sinkfull of cold water to cool the mixture. You can add some ice to the sink to speed this process. (Make sure water & ice don't get into your milk pot.) Whisk the milk and check the temperature; it is safe to add the starter once it reaches 110 degrees. The best way to add the starter is to first whisk about a half cup of the cooled milk mixture with your starter in a small bowl or jar, and then incorporate that into the pot.
Finally, you are ready to jar up your yogurt mixture. Culturing yogurt in directly in jars, rather than in the pot and then transferring it later, helps it to firm up properly. Make sure your jars will fit into the instant pot with a steamer tray in the bottom. You can use four pint jars, or one half gallon jar if you IP is large enough. Place lids on the jars; it will not get hot, so plastic lids are OK. Wash out your pot, add 1 cup of water to the bottom, and place jars on the steamer insert. With the IP on Yogurt function, hit adjust as needed until it displays "8:00". Your yogurt will be ready in 8 hours!
A note on timing: Because it takes 8 hours, it's best to either start your yogurt in the evening, so it can be finished in the morning, or start the process in the morning and let it culture all day. Your yogurt will last a couple weeks in the fridge. I think you'll find it's so good, and really so easy, that you never need to buy it again.
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