by Olena

Instant Pot Yogurt

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Olena Osipov
5 from 33 votes

Instant Pot Yogurt with 2 ingredients. Also how to make yogurt without a yogurt button, Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt, cream cheese and what to do with leftover whey.

Besides this Instant Pot yogurt recipe we love making Instant Pot eggs, Instant Pot oatmeal and Instant Pot egg bites in our beloved electric pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Yogurt

Homemade Instant Pot yogurt comes out just as store bought. You can strain it further into a super creamy and thick Greek yogurt and serve with fruit and berries, and healthy granola or even quinoa granola. Then you can turn some of Greek yogurt into a cream cheese (yes!) and make Instant Pot cheesecake bites. And last step would be to make the tallest and fluffiest whole wheat pancakes with leftover whey.

Don’t have Instant Pot yogurt setting? No worries, you can make Instant Pot yogurt recipe without a yogurt button. Also turn some into vanilla yogurt. We’ve got it all figured out for you!

Looking for more than just making yogurt in Instant Pot? Check out my most popular collection of healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Yogurt

  • 1 gallon of milk: 1%, 2% or 3.25% dairy milk.
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt with active bacterial cultures: It can be store-bought or leftover homemade yogurt. If store-bought, make sure it has no additives like thickeners etc.
Instant Pot, a jug of milk, tub of yogurt and food thermometer on a counter

How to Make Yogurt in Instant Pot

If you are new to the whole Instant Pot game, check out my Instant Pot guide. If you don’t own one yet but are thinking about buying one, I explain which Instant Pot to buy in my humble opinion.

So, here is how to make yogurt in Instant Pot:

1. Heat Milk to 180 degrees F

  • Add milk to Instant Pot: Pour milk into the inner pot of your electric pressure cooker. Close the lid and set pressure release valve to Venting. Press Yogurt button until display reads Boil.
  • Milk will take about an hour to heat up: When it’s finished, Instant Pot will beep, turn off and display will say Yogurt.
  • Make sure milk is hot: Open the lid and using a food thermometer check milk’s temperature. It should be 180 degrees F and higher.
  • If milk’s temperature is not 180 degrees F: Press Saute button and give the pressure cooker 5-10 minutes to heat the milk further. Check again.
Instant Pot and measuring milk temperature with food thermometer

2. Cool Milk to 110 degrees F

  • 2 ways to cool milk: Remove inner pot with milk and let it cool down either on a counter (3-4 hours) or in a sink filled with cold water (15 minutes) until food thermometer reads 110 degrees F and lower.
  • Remove the milk skin on top: It is like a thin film. If you leave it in, yogurt will have tiny lumps.
hand holding internal read thermometer and milk skin

3. Add 1/4 Cup Yogurt

  • Add 1/4 cup plain store bought or homemade yogurt: If you buy yogurt, make sure it is plain, active bacterial culture is on ingredients list, and yogurt has no additives like cornstarch etc. You can also use homemade yogurt from previously made Instant Pot yogurt recipe.
  • Whisk yogurt and milk: When whisking, avoid touching the bottom of the pot to disturbing some stuck on milk during boiling.
how to make yogurt in instant pot step by step

4. Let Yogurt Incubate

  • Place yogurt in Instant Pot: Place inner pot with mixture inside Instant Pot, close the lid and leave pressure release valve in either Sealing or Venting position. Doesn’t matter as Instant Pot will not come to pressure.
  • Let yogurt incubate for 10 hours: Press Yogurt button until time counter is displayed and adjust time to 10 hours with + or – buttons. After 10 hours, Instant Pot will shut off.
  • Check if yogurt is ready: Insert spoon in the yogurt and if it’s standing, your yogurt is almost ready.
instant pot and green spoon inserted in a pot with yogurt

5. Chill and Store!

  • Refrigerate for 6 hours: Remove only inner pot with a batch of yogurt. Chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
  • Store: Whisk after chilling, divide between glass jars and store for up to 10 days. Or make Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt, cream cheese and pancakes with leftover whey (see below).

FAQs

Can I cut Instant Pot yogurt recipe in half?

Yes, you can cut milk amount in half and keep same cooking time. Use full amount of 1/4 cup yogurt as a starter though.

Can I use almond, coconut, soy etc. milk?

I have heard that it is possible to make dairy free yogurt in Instant Pot but I haven’t tried. If you do, please let me know how it went.

Can I use skim milk?

Technically, yes. I have heard you will need twice amount of yogurt starter. I personally do not enjoy taste of skim milk, so can’t vouch for skim milk yogurt taste.

I have heard about cold start method. Why you don’t do that?

OK, for cold start method you should use Fairlife ultra pasteurized milk only. After a thorough research, I came to a conclusion it is unhealthy because it contains additives with many nutrients destroyed during extremely high temperatures.

Is making homemade yogurt in pressure cooker worth it?

Yes and no. Depends how much that jug of milk and the type of yogurt you make cost in your area. For example, in Canada 1 gallon of organic milk costs $9, which yields 8 cups (64 oz) of Greek yogurt, that costs $24 to buy.

How much yogurt yields 1 gallon of milk?

8 cups or 64 oz.

My pressure cooker lid smells. Will it affect the yogurt taste?

It won’t but for a peace of mind remove the silicone ring when making yogurt. You need it only for pressure cooking and yogurt is made not using this method.

Can I make sour cream with yogurt?

No, sour cream is made with cream.

Do I have to sanitize the pot and utensils?

No, I never did just like with kombucha recipe. Never had an issue.

My yogurt didn’t set. What did I do wrong?

If you follow the recipe to a T, it shouldn’t happen. Most important points are:
-Yogurt starter with live and active cultures.
-Boil milk to 180 F and higher.
-Cool to 110 F and lower and only then add yogurt starter.

More Tips

  • Do not use any kind of flavored yogurt. Recipe will not work.
  • Freeze 1/4 cup freshly made yogurt as a starter for next time. In case you are not planning to make yogurt again soon.
  • Freeze leftovers. Readers have reported successfully freezing and thawing yogurt. It will look lumpy but once you stir it, it will become smooth.

How to Make Yogurt without Yogurt Setting

Timing is everything with this method.

  1. Heat up milk as per recipe: In an Instant Pot without yogurt setting (button), add milk, close the lid and set pressure release valve to Venting. Press Saute and heat up milk to 180 degrees F or higher. Open the lid and check with a food thermometer periodically.
  2. Cool off boiled milk in a sink – do step 3 at same time: While milk is heating up, fill up sink with cold water enough to reach almost the top of the Instant Pot insert. Remove inner pot with milk, place in a sink and let milk cool until food thermometer reads 110 F and lower. Takes about 15 minutes. Don’t walk away.
  3. Keep Instant Pot warm – do step 2 at same time: While milk is cooling off, press Cancel on Instant Pot and keep lid on to keep it warm. It will become an incubator for yogurt.
  4. Add yogurt starter: Move pot from the sink to the counter. Remove milk skin on top and add store-bought yogurt. Whisk to combine without touching the bottom (disturbing sticky milk).
  5. Let yogurt incubate for 10 hours or overnight: Place inner pot inside Instant Pot, close with the lid, wrap it in large beach towel and leave on a counter overnight or for 10 hours. Instant Pot should be off and milk still lukewarm, that will ensure proper incubation and favourable environment for live cultures to grow.
yellow towel wrapped around instant pot

How to Make Greek Yogurt and Vanilla Yogurt

Instant Pot Greek Yogurt

  • Prep: Line large mesh strainer with cheesecloth folded 4 times or single layer of coffee filters. Place on top of a bowl making sure there is enough space for draining the whey.
  • Strain for 4 hours: Add desired amount of yogurt, place in the fridge and strain for 4 hours.
  • Stir and enjoy: Greek style yogurt will be thicker along the walls. Just stir after adding to a jar. We love-love making my mom’s strawberry yogurt with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a healthier alternative.
mesh strainer lined with coffee filter and yogurt inside

How to Make Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is simply strained Greek yogurt for longer amount of time.

  • Strain overnight: Follow instructions for Greek yogurt above and strain desired amount overnight in the fridge.
  • Add salt: Then transfer to a glass container and mix with a pinch of salt.
  • Storing: Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
glass bowl with cream cheese, knife and strawberries on a cutting board

How to Make Vanilla Yogurt

Whisk 1 cup of finished regular or Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract. Adjust to taste and store like other yogurt.

2 glass jars with white lids and vanilla yogurt inside

Use Yogurt in These Recipes

Include yogurt on your brunch charcuterie board for guests to DIY their own yogurt parfaits!

More Favorite Recipes

Instant Pot Yogurt

Instant Pot Yogurt {Full Guide}

Instant Pot Yogurt with 2 ingredients. Also how to make yogurt without a yogurt button, Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt, cream cheese and what to do with leftover whey.
4.97 from 33 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 11 hours
Cool and Chill Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 16 cups
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon dairy milk 1%, 2% or 3.25%
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt homemade or store-bought

Instructions

How to Make Instant Pot Yogurt

  • In Instant Pot with a yogurt function, add milk, close the lid and set pressure release valve to Venting.
  • Press Yogurt button until display reads Boil.
    Instant Pot Yogurt
  • Milk will take about an hour to heat up and when it's finished, Instant Pot will beep, turn off and display will say Yogurt.
  • Open the lid and using a food thermometer check milk's temperature. It should be 180 F and higher. If it's not, press Saute button and give the pressure cooker 5-10 minutes to heat the milk further. Check again.
    Instant Pot Yogurt
  • Remove inner pot with milk and let it cool down either on a counter (3-4 hours) or in a sink filled with cold water (15 minutes) until food thermometer reads 110 F and lower. Remove the milk skin on top.
    Instant Pot Yogurt
  • Add yogurt and whisk to combine without touching the bottom (disturbing sticky milk).
    Instant Pot Yogurt
  • Close the lid and leave pressure release valve in either position.
  • Press Yogurt button until time counter is displayed and adjust time to 10 hours with + or – buttons.
    Instant Pot Yogurt
  • After 10 hours, Instant Pot will shut off.
  • Insert a spoon in the yogurt and if it’s standing, your yogurt is ready.
    Instant Pot Yogurt
  • Remove the inner pot and chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
  • To make yogurt completely smooth, whisk it after chilling without touching the bottom.
  • Divide between glass jars or make Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt, cream cheese and yogurt whey pancakes.

Store: Refrigerate for up to 10 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to reserve 1/4 cup yogurt starter for next batch (freeze in ice cubes).

    How to Make Instant Pot Yogurt without Yogurt Button

    • Heat up milk as per recipe: In an Instant Pot without yogurt button, add milk, close the lid and set pressure release valve to Venting. Press Saute and heat up milk to 180 degrees F or higher. Open the lid and check with a food thermometer periodically.
    • Cool off boiled milk in a sink – do step 3 at same time: While milk is heating up, fill up sink with cold water enough to reach almost the top of the Instant Pot insert. Remove inner pot with milk, place in a sink and let milk cool until food thermometer reads 110 F and lower. Takes about 15 minutes. Don't walk away.
    • Keep Instant Pot warm – do step 2 at same time: While milk is cooling off, press Cancel on Instant Pot and keep lid on to keep it warm. It will become an incubator for yogurt.
    • Add yogurt starter: Move pot from the sink to the counter. Remove milk skin on top and add store-bought yogurt. Whisk to combine without touching the bottom (disturbing sticky milk).
    • Let yogurt incubate for 10 hours or overnight: Place inner pot inside Instant Pot, close with the lid, wrap it in large beach towel and leave on a counter overnight or for 10 hours. Instant Pot should be off and milk still lukewarm, that will ensure proper incubation and favourable environment for live cultures to grow.
      Instant Pot Yogurt

    How to Make Instant Pot Greek Yogurt

    • Line large mesh strainer with cheesecloth folded 4 times or single layer of coffee filters, place on top of a bowl making sure there is enough space for draining the whey and add desired amount of yogurt.
      Instant Pot Yogurt
    • Strain for 4 hours or until desired consistency.
      Instant Pot Yogurt

    How to Make Cream Cheese

    • Cream cheese is longer strained Greek yogurt. Follow instructions for Instant Pot Greek yogurt and strain desired amount overnight.
    • Transfer to a glass container and mix with a pinch of salt. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
      Instant Pot Yogurt

    How to Make Instant Pot Vanilla Yogurt

    • Whisk 1 cup of regular or Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract. Adjust to taste and store like other yogurt.
      Instant Pot Yogurt

    How to Make Whey Yogurt Pancakes

    Video

    Notes

    • Can I cut recipe in half? Yes, you can cut milk amount in half and keep same cooking time. Use full amount of 1/4 cup yogurt as a starter though.
    • Can I use almond, coconut, soy etc. milk? I have heard that it is possible to make dairy free yogurt in Instant Pot but I haven’t tried. If you do, please let me know how it went.
    • Can I use skim milk? Technically, yes. I have heard you will need twice amount of yogurt starter. I personally do not enjoy taste of skim milk, so can’t vouch for skim milk yogurt taste.
    • Do I have to sanitize the pot and utensils? No, I never did just like with kombucha recipe. Never had an issue.
    • How much yogurt yields 1 gallon of milk? 8 cups or 64 oz.
    • My pressure cooker lid smells. Will it affect the yogurt taste? It won’t but for a peace of mind remove the silicone ring when making yogurt. You need it only for pressure cooking and yogurt is made not using this method.
    • Can I make sour cream with yogurt? No, sour cream is made with heavy cream.
    • My yogurt didn’t set. What did I do wrong? If you follow the recipe to a T, it shouldn’t happen. Most important points are:
      • Yogurt starter with live and active cultures.
      • Boil milk to 180 F and higher.
      • Cool to 110 F and lower and only then add yogurt starter.
    • Do not use any kind of flavored yogurt. Recipe will not work.
    • Freeze 1/4 cup freshly made yogurt as a starter for next time. In case you are not planning to make yogurt again soon.
    • Freeze leftovers. Readers have reported successfully freezing and thawing yogurt. It will look lumpy but once you stir it, it will become smooth.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1cup | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 318mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 387IU | Calcium: 272mg | Iron: 1mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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