So I finally bought us an InstaPot a few months ago, figuring with a new baby and a busy family something like that would just fit better in our lifestyle. First, I didn’t pay full price for it. In fact, I happened to find mine at the local Kohls store. It was a 7 in 1 InstaPot which must have been packaged incorrectly in a 10 in 1 box. Personally 7 in 1 was fine with me and at around $60 out the door it was the perfect price! So armed with zero InstaPot knowledge and a new piece for my kitchen I have driven forward with my family into the InstaPot culture. At first I was nervous because my grandma was so nervous about pressure cookers, but she was nervous about lots of things. Plus the new ones electric and have several safety features built in.
Of course the first thing I did was make my husband help me figure it out. My grandma told me stories of the pressure cookers of her day and although I don’t like the popcorn texture of my ceiling, I do LIKE my ceiling! Although he kept reminding me that I wanted this thing, NOT him, he eventually broke down and we did all the test instructions together. The first thing we made was stew from frozen meat in under an hour! We were amazed. So next for me was the hardest thing I saw it was capable of….Yogurt!
So after having it for a little over a week and making yogurt in it was my mission in life. The first step to having a great batch of yogurt is supposedly the milk you begin with. So I went out and got the best milk I could, from a glass half gallon at the local Eastman Party Store. The next thing I needed was a good starters its active yogurt cultures so I chose my favorite yogurt Noosa. You can tell if it has active cultures because it will say in the ingredients. Not all yogurts haves give cultures.
- 1/2 Gallon of GOOD Whole Milk
- Tablespoons of some active culture yogurt
- Your InstaPot
- and I used a Candy Thermometer
- Cheese Cloth
STEP 1 – Boiling the Milk In the InstaPot
The first thing I had to do was put the entire half gallon of milk into the InstaPot and hit yogurt button, then more button so it would come to a boil. (When I first hit yogurt it said 8:00, but click more until it says BOIL). This took a little while, but certainly wasn’t the longest part of the process.
Step 3 – Cooling the Warm Milk
When the milk comes out of the instapot the recipe told me it had to be cooled to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. It needed to be cooled before you added the live active cultures because anything warmer would simply kill them. The suggestion is to allow it to sit on the counter for 30 minutes or put it on ice for 15 minutes. After 30 minutes it still hadn”t gotten much cooler so we put the pot in a bowl with ice and just a little cool water around it. I checked it again in 15 minutes with the candy thermometer and it was finally down to the correct temperature.
Step 3 – Creating the mixture with the “starter”
This was the most interesting part. The recipe we were following said to add a couple of tablespoons of the “yogurt starter” to a cup or so of the warm milk. They say that different yogurts have different mixes of the live active cultures which affect the flavor and the consistency so to choose a starter closest to a brand you really like. Of course this was the point in the recipe where the kids had to come and help!
Getting ready to add the yogurt starter. I love Noosa so this is what we picked. The rest of this yogurt will have maple sugar added and I will enjoy it with breakfast! We double checked the Noosa to make sure it had “active yogurt cultures” and it does. However, I didn”t realize that we were supposed to use plain yogurt until it was too late. Or perhaps better said, I didn”t realize this was Vanilla until it was too late. Oh well, Vanilla it is!
Mixing the warm milk and yogurt starter together! Let”s see how it goes. Once you put the 3 tablespoons or so of yogurt starter then you mix in the warm milk. It mixes together and then you add it to the larger batch of warm milk and transfer it back to the Instapot.
Mixing the starter and the warm milk. This is the point where you get to use the YOGURT button! What I noticed is that it stayed at the Yogurt setting for BOIL, so I needed to hit the adjust button to move it back to normal.
After putting the mixture in the pot, I hit Yogurt and now begins the 8 hour wait.
Step 4 – Refrigeration
After it went into Yogurt mode, I went to bed for the night. I was hoping to wake up to the finished product. Sadly, I overslept a little, but it still seemed fine so I moved it into the Refrigerator for the day. I didn’t cover it right away because it was still very warm, so it went in just like this. Later on I moved it to a glass bowl with a cover.
And it sits in the fridge to cool for 6 hours!
Step 5 – ENJOY
For the baby I don’t add honey, but I do add a little natural sugar for sweetener and a good dose of vanilla.
I didn’t want to add a bunch of stuff to the initial batch, so I bought some preserves to use for flavor. My theory was it would be kind of like the Dannon Fruit at the bottom! Interestingly enough it kind of was and it was amazing. It makes ALOT of yogurt but I’m sure we’ll eat it all. I’m also thinking it’d be pretty amazing in a smoothie. So far everyone that has tried the yogurt has enjoyed it. I’m glad I tried this with my Instapot. I was super worried about it, but it turned out fabulous! We intend to do it again.
**UPDATE** I have been putting it in canning jars putting cheese cloth over them and draining extra liquid some before storing them since I don’t like mine too runny. I don’t drain to the point of greek yogurt, but I do drain it some.