How to Make Yogurt - an Introduction

With the possible exception of a good thermometer, everything you need to make yogurt is probably already in your kitchen. This was news to me when I first discovered it. I just figured yogurt came from the yogurt factory, and that was that. The truth is people have been making yogurt at home for centuries, and I set out to learn how they do it.

After a bit of Googling, I found some recipes that worked sometimes, but not others. My yogurt would come out too thin, or too tangy, or not all. After a bit of trial an error, I finally hit upon a technique that works every time. This is by no means the only way to make yogurt. But it is the way that I do it, and if you follow the instructions, it will work for you too.

Why Make Yogurt at Home?

Like most things homemade, yogurt you make yourself is just better:

  • It tastes better
  • It's better for you (no preservatives, sugar or chemicals added)
  • It's less expensive
  • There's no packaging waste

So if you are ready, let's learn to make yogurt »

If you would rather skip the tutorial and simply dive right into the recipe, here's everything you need to make your own yogurt at home without a yogurt maker.

How to Make Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt

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You will need to leave a total of about to complete the process: prep time, and for incubation, depending on your tartness preference. The yield for this recipe is 1 half gallon of yogurt.


  • 1 Half gallon of milk (any fat % you like)
  • 2-3 Tbs of plain yogurt (as a starter)



  1. Create a double boiler using the two stock pots and bring the milk to 185°F, stirring to avoid a skin forming.
  2. Cool the milk to 110°F using a cold water bath.
  3. Pour 2-3 Tbs of plain yogurt into 110°F milk and stir well.
  4. Cover and place on a heating pad undisturbed for 7 hours.
  5. Remove pot from heating pad and stir well.
  6. Refrigerate overnight to completely chill.

Note: I developed the recipe and techniques demonstrated on this site through lots of trial and error. I suggest that you follow it exactly the first time through. Then make adjustments to suit your personal tastes.

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