How Does A Yogurt Maker Work?

Making yogurt at home is relatively easy, but it’s even easier with a yogurt maker. But how does a yogurt maker do to make yogurt? Essentially it works like a slow cooker and cooks milk at a low temperature once it has been appropriately prepared.

Unfortunately, a yogurt maker only does part of the work required. The prep work is not insignificant but not necessarily a deal-breaker. It involves monitoring heating milk to a precise temperature, cooling it to a specific temperature, and then adding a yogurt culture or yogurt you buy from your local supermarket. This is when the yogurt maker takes over and cooks the milk for a set time.

Continue reading to learn the details of each step and more about how a yogurt maker works.

How Does A Yogurt Maker Work?

Most yogurt makers work the same way – Mix milk and yogurt bacteria starter. Next, pour the milk and starter mix into the yogurt maker. The yogurt maker keeps the mixture heated at a constant temperature for 4 to 8 hours. This creates the perfect environment for the bacteria to convert the milk to yogurt.

How to make yogurt with a yogurt maker

  • Heat the required amount for your yogurt maker to 180 degrees or until it begins to simmer
  • Place the pot with the milk in an ice bath and cool to 100 degrees
  • Stir in yogurt culture or a large spoonful of store-bought yogurt into one cup of the 100-degree milk
  • Pour the cup of milk with culture or yogurt mixed into the rest of the milk and mix
  • Add the prepared milk to your yogurt maker and follow its instructions for how to cook the milk into yogurt
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Is it worth it to buy a yogurt maker?

If you eat yogurt daily, weekly, or even monthly, it would be a good investment. However, you can have yogurt on hand regularly for much less money, but you can tweak your yogurt recipe to your exact desire.

Do you need a yogurt maker to make yogurt?

No. People use methods to make yogurt in an oven, a slow cooker, and even a thermos. None of these methods are as easy and convenient as using a proper yogurt maker, though. So if you plan to regularly make yogurt, it is definitely worth purchasing a quality yogurt maker.

How long can you leave the yogurt in a yogurt maker?

24 hours is the longest you should leave the yogurt in a yogurt maker. 4 to 8 hours is required, and longer times make better and thicker yogurt.

Is making yogurt cheaper than buying it?

It’s significantly cheaper to make yogurt at home than to purchase ready-made yogurt at the grocery store. This is because yogurt manufacturers have to make a profit and pay for packaging, marketing, shipping, etc.

All that’s needed to make yogurt at home is some milk and yogurt starter. You don’t even need an actual yogurt maker, although most people will find it far more manageable than some of the other methods.

Is homemade yogurt healthier than store-bought?

Usually, homemade is healthier. It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to add sugar, food coloring, artificial sweetener, and thickeners to yogurt to make it more appealing. However, the healthiest yogurt is made of only full-fat grass-fed raw milk and live probiotic cultures. Of course, making your homemade yogurt less healthy is possible, but that is all within your control.

What happens if you incubate yogurt too long?

If left heated for too long, yogurt will begin to curdle.

How do you make homemade yogurt thicker?

  • Use a strainer to remove liquid from the yogurt
  • Use whole milk to get the thickest possible yogurt
  • Add dehydrated milk powder to thicken the yogurt
  • Heat the milk longer to reduce the moisture content
  • Add gelatin to thicken the yogurt

Does homemade yogurt have more probiotics?

Homemade yogurt will accrue more probiotics the longer it ferments. So ultimately, you’re in control of whether your homemade yogurt has a high amount of probiotics.

How do you know if homemade yogurt is bad?

If your yogurt has a strong sour smell or you see signs of mold, it is definitely unsafe. Yogurt will generally have a slightly sour smell and taste, though.

How do you make homemade yogurt without a machine?

There are various methods to make yogurt at home:

How to make yogurt in an oven

The oven method involves preheating your oven with a pizza stone or other object to help hold heat. You can’t leave your oven on because the heat would be higher than required for making yogurt. Some people turn on the oven light to help add a little extra warmth to help.

For details, check out this recipe for making yogurt in an oven.

How to make yogurt in an instant pot

An instant pot is actually an excellent tool for making yogurt – if it has a yogurt setting. It’s still doable if it doesn’t, but it requires a little more effort.

For details, check out this recipe for making yogurt in an instant pot.

How to make yogurt in a slow cooker (aka crockpot)

A slow cooker can’t manage a low enough constant temperature to make yogurt, but it can get the process going, and you can then wrap it with a blanket to keep the temperature high enough to finish the process.

For details, check out this recipe for making yogurt in a crockpot.

How do I make flavored yogurt?

Once your yogurt has been made, you can add whatever you like to flavor the yogurt. For example, frozen fruit is a great way to add flavor to your yogurt. Often it’s good to add a little sugar or other sweeteners to help liven the taste of the yogurt.

What are the health benefits of yogurt?

The benefits of yogurt include animal protein, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, and of course, calcium. Additionally, yogurt is loaded with probiotics. Probiotics are gaining general acceptance for their health benefits.

What are the problems with yogurt in your diet?

Too much yogurt can cause weight gain, higher cholesterol, and heart disease due to the sugars and saturated fats. Store-bought yogurts range from little to no added sugar all the way to nearly on par with ice cream. Making yogurt at home allows you to precisely control how much sugar if any, you put in your yogurt.

Is yogurt good for weight loss?

It can be, but you have to be careful how much sugar is added to the yogurt you eat. You also need to ensure that the yogurt is low in fat. Fat-free yogurt with no sugar added can be as low as 120 calories per cup. In addition, yogurt is high in very filling protein. Fat-free, no sugar added yogurt can be a great addition to a diet designed to keep you full with minimal calories.

Can yogurt help you lose belly fat?

According to, the answer appears to be yes. Researches at the University of Tennessee found that when putting obese people on a diet high in calcium, those that got their calcium from sources like yogurt lost more belly fat than those that got their calcium from pills.

Are yogurt parfaits healthy?

They can be healthy. It depends on what has been added to the parfait and the yogurt itself. The yogurt should be fat-free, and there should be no sugar added for the healthiest yogurt. Additional ingredients like chocolate chips, crushed cookies, or syrups obviously aren’t beneficial to add. Fresh fruit and granola are healthy additions that taste great and are filling. Granola is an excellent source of fiber that helps with digestion and reduces the risk of heart disease.

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Wrapping Up:

Understanding Yogurt Makers

A yogurt maker is an excellent addition to making yogurt, but it, unfortunately, is only one component in the process. You’ll also need a good thermometer.

We recommend a good instant-read thermometer. We’ve reviewed a few excellent choices in our article on the Best Rated Instant Read Meat Thermometer. This will be much more effective than a slow-to-react mechanical thermometer.

You’ll also need a good pot for heating your chosen milk in. Also, make sure you have a decent amount of ice on hand to cool your warmed milk to the proper temperature.

Overall, the process isn’t terribly difficult, but, unfortunately, a yogurt maker cannot take the process from beginning to end or at least cover more of the process. It seems like the heating and cooling process could be somewhat automated.

Sadly, the answer to how yogurt makers make yogurt is, in short, they only partially do the work of making yogurt.

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