Two years ago in January, my husband told me that he already had my birthday gift wrapped. That's a full month before my birthday.....and this is very unlike Zach....probably unlike about 99.9% of men. (Right ladies?!) Since he was so early, I knew it was something he must be pretty excited about.
This, my friends, is when I was introduced to the beloved Instant Pot. Now I'll be honest - I wasn't very excited. I was terrified. The only thing I'd ever heard about pressure cookers is that they blow &!$% up. I just kept picturing some jars of strawberry jam in there and then "poof" the jam goes through the roof, the glass jars knock me out, and I'd never want to step foot in the kitchen again.
Zach (being the engineer he is) assured me that he had looked through the manual and was positive this was completely safe "with its 9 safety locks." So....next thing I know, I've got sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot ready to give it a try. I added the sweet potatoes and water, shut the lid, told Zach the correct buttons to push, then ran 3 rooms away (and prayed that bad boy didn't go "poof"). Well luckily we're still here today to tell the story and after about 5 uses, I was finally confident to push "start" myself. #BabySteps
Fast forward to today, and I've tried many, many recipes in the Instant Pot. Rice, potatoes, spaghetti, roasts, and hard-boiled eggs. If you've never made hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot, it's life changing and you need to do that ASAP. I'm always amazed how easy they peel....they pretty much fall out of the shell. How awesome is that?! And last but certainly not least, YOGURT.
When I noticed the yogurt button on the Instant Pot, I was a little weirded out, but knew I couldn't "knock it before I tried it." The instructions manual made it seem really complicated (especially by the "yogurt starter") and same with most of the websites I found online. It's really not that difficult....you just need the correct 2 ingredients (both of which you can find at Hy-Vee or your local grocery store), and thermometer, and your Instant Pot.
We go through lots of yogurt in our household. We eat it plain, make fruit/yogurt/granola parfaits in the morning, put it in smoothies, and even use it as a sour cream substitute. We simply store it in little 4 or 8 oz jars and are set for the week! Give it a try and see what you think!!
Instant Pot Yogurt - Making yogurt in the Instant Pot is super cheap and insanely creamy!
-1 gallon 2% milk
-⅓ c yogurt made with milk & active cultures only (ex brands – Oui or Fage)
- Pour the cold milk into the cooking pot; cover lid and lock in place. The pressure valve can be open or closed. Push the “Yogurt” button and adjust until the screen says “boil.”
- Once the Instant Pot starts beeping, open and whisk the milk to make sure the temperature is evenly distributed. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the milk; it needs to reach 180 degrees*.
- Remove the cooking pot from the Instant Pot and put into a sink with several inches of ice cold water. Keep the pot here, stirring on occasion, until the milk has cooled down to 110 degrees.
- Scoop out one cup of milk and combine with the ⅓ c yogurt. Whisk until smooth.
- Stir this yogurt and milk mixture into the big pot of milk. Whisk thoroughly.
- Place the cooking pot back in the Instant Pot and lock the lid into place. Once again, it doesn’t matter if the pressure valve is open or closed.
- Press “yogurt” until the screen reads 8:00, which is the incubation time. Once it begins to incubate, it will count up from 0:00 to 8:00 (hours)**.
- When the incubation time is up, remove the lid, cover the cooking pot with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Once again, do NOT stir yet.
- Now you’ve got yogurt! If you want to make Greek yogurt (which is thicker and more creamy), strain the yogurt using a cheese cloth and a strainer. Let it strain in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
- Now you’ve got plain Greek yogurt! Add Stevia, honey, or sugar to sweeten.
- Time for some flavor! Stir in a couple tablespoons of vanilla extract, stir in fresh berries, stir in a few tablespoons of espresso for a coffee flavor….the options are endless, so get creative!
*If the milk hasn’t reached 180F, turn on the saute function and continuously whisk until it has reached the correct temperature
**I’ve let mine go 8-10 hours. It doesn’t have to be exact.
-Is one gallon too much yogurt? Halving the recipe is quite simple – just use ½ gallon milk + 3 tablespoon yogurt; the times and temperatures will remain the same
-Make a delicious smoothie with the yogurt. The one pictured below has 1 c frozen mixed berries, a banana, 1 c yogurt, and ½ cup milk! Yum!!