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Making Yogurt Without a Yogurt Maker Recipe

User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (6 Reviews)


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You can make yogurt in a thermos, an oven, on a heating pad, in the sun, on a wood stove, and in a crockpot. See links below for yogurt machine methods.


  • Milk
  • Plain yogurt


Here are Phyllis Hobson's techniques for making yogurt if you do not have an appliance designed for it.

With a thermos
Almost fill a thermos bottle (preferably widemouthed) with milk heated to 100 degrees F. Add 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt and mix thoroughly. Put the lid on and wrap the thermos in two or three terry towels. Set it in a warm, draft-free place overnight.

In an oven
Pour 1 quart of milk into a casserole dish and add 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt. Stir well and cover the casserole. Place in a warm (100 degree F.) oven with the heat off. Let it sit overnight.

On a heating pad
Mix 1 quart of milk and 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt. Set an electric heating pad at medium temperature and place in the bottom of a cardboard box with a lid. (A large shoebox works well.) Fill small plastic containers with the milk-yogurt mixture; put on the lids. Wrap a heating pad around the containers, then cover with towels to fill the box and let sit, undisturbed, for 5 to 6 hours.

In the sun
Pour 1 quart warmed milk into a glass-lidded bowl or casserole. Add 3 tablespoons plain yogurt and cover with the glass lid or a clear glass pie pan. Place in the sun on a warm (not too hot) summer day and let sit 4 to 5 hours. Watch it to make sure it is not shaded as the sun moves.

On the back of a wood-stove
Many grandmothers made clabber by setting a bowl of freshly drawn milk on the back of the stove after supper. Make yogurt this way by adding 1 cup starter to 2 quarts milk and let it sit, loosely covered with a dish towel, on the back of the cooling wood range overnight.

In a crockpot
Preheat a crockpot on low for about 15 minutes, until it feels very warm to the fingertips. Put covered containers of yogurt mixture into the Crock-Pot, cover it, and turn off the heat. At 35- to 45-minutes intervals, heat the Crock-Pot on low for 10 to 15 minutes.

See also: Homemade Basic Yogurt and Homemade Flavored Yogurt.

Recipe Source: 500 Treasured Country Recipes by Martha Storey and Friends (Storey Books)
Reprinted with permission.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Microwaving works just fine, Member mburkhar

I make yogurt without my yogurt maker all the time. The microwave is simpler than the stovetop AND it was recommended in the yogurt making guide I got with my yogurt maker. I forget the lady's name but the author was Armenian. I take 1/2 gallon of 1% organic milk and put it in a Pyrex pitcher. I microwave it on high for 15 minutes. It bubbles but does not ""cook"". This kills off the miscellaneous bacteria in regular milk. Then, I use my yogurt thermometer and let it cool down to about 100 degrees (I forget the precise temp because the yogurt thermometer does not have numbers on it). I stir in one or two packets (5 - 10 gms total) of yogurt starter that I had previously mixed in warm but not hot milk from the pitcher. You could also use regular yogurt but I sometimes do this without any yogurt left in the house. We eat a LOT of it. Once the starter is stirred in, I put plastic wrap on the pitcher and place it in my oven. (the oven was previously heated to the bread proofing cycle around 90 degrees). I specifically bought this GE oven for that reason. I set the timer for 8 hours or leave it over night and poof, I have 1/2 gallon of yogurt that is normal texture. If I leave it longer it gets tangy like store bought yogurt. Liking Greek yogurt better, I generally strain the 1/2 gallon to get the solids. I place 2 sets of two paper towels in a mesh strainer and put that in a bigger bowl and dump the entire 1/2 gallon in. I gently cover even the top with paper towel to prevent a skin from forming. Over time, about 2 cups of liquid come out and I get the thick and creamy yogurt or yogurt cheese. The mixture comes apart from the paper towel very easily. I am sure cheese cloth would work better but I always have paper towel, but don't always have cheese cloth. (My Greek chef friends use cloth). If I want to thin it, that's easy and for parfait use, I thin it with apricot nectar, or other fruit juice. I keep this final yogurt in a yogurt cheese container or a flat ""snap lock"" box and it's dandy for weeks. It might need more liquid poured off in a week or so. YUM OH and so much cheaper than the store. If I buy store bought, I use Fage, the original yogurt from Greece. Some newer brands are grainy and terrible, or worse, I have gotten some with mold,, ICK!! I never buy Greek yogurt with junk in it because I like to add my own and control the sugars. I use it for cooking, salad dressing, dips and breakfast (with honey and nuts). It's the bomb and 1% is very low fat without having to add additional ingredients.

155 out of 171 people found this helpful.

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