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Easy Yogurt Without A Yogurt Maker

Updated on February 19, 2010

Here's the easiest way to make yogurt. You don't even need a yogurt maker. We'll use a Coleman picnic cooler and a bottle of warm water instead. Let's get started:


1 liter of 2% Milk
Powdered Milk (optional - only use if you like a thick yogurt)
1/2 cup of yogurt

Other Stuff:

1 liter plastic container with lid ( I use an old yogurt container)
a candy thermometer ( a thermometer that goes up to at least 150 degrees F)
a whisk
a pot
a Coleman cooler (basically any cooler will do)
an empty gallon glass container with lid (I used a gallon-sized empty Santa Cruz Organic Apple cider bottle)


Buy your milk and yogurt. Read the label on the yogurt carefully. Make sure you get yogurt with active bacteria culture.

Take the yogurt out of the fridge half and hour before you start. If the yogurt is too cold it will cool your milk and you won't get yogurt.

Clean the thermometer, whisk, and one liter container carefully. Yogurt is made by incubating acidophilus bacteria. So it's very important not to let any stray bacteria infect the milk culture.

Pour a liter of 1% milk into a pot. Scald the milk over medium heat to kill any bad bacteria by warming it to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. I use a pot with a thick bottom and whisk the milk gently to distribute the heat and ensure the milk doesn't stick.

If you want a thick yogurt, add the 1/2 cup of powdered milk to the warm milk and whisk to blend.

Let the milk cool to 105 degrees. It takes about 20 minutes to half an hour

While you're waiting, fill the gallon bottle with warm water (about 105 degrees) and put the cap on.

Add the yogurt to the lukewarm milk and whisk gently to mix.

Pour into the plastic container.

Put the plastic container in the cooler with the warm bottle of water and put the lid on the cooler tightly.

Wait 9 - 24 hours.

Now put the yogurt in the fridge to cool for a few hours.



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