November 29th, 2017

Instant Pot Yogurt

I bought myself a little gift last month, a 6 Quart Instant Pot. The IP is an awesome mutli-function cooker. It is an electronic pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice maker and yogurt maker. Have you ever had a recipe where it tells you to sear the meat before putting it in the slow cooker and you get annoyed because the whole point is to only get one pot dirty? Well, the IP has a sauté function, so now you can sear in it and then switch the function to slow or pressure cooking, true one pot cooking.

Now, I have pressure cooker, slow cooker and rice maker, so there was no need for yet another countertop appliance, but I kept reading recipes and blogs about how miraculous it is. There were tales of 8 minute risotto or throwing frozen chicken in and having dinner done in minutes. I could not resist a new toy.

It's been a month and I have used it countless times. I've made risotto, rice, turkey, chicken, pot roast, beef stew and Mongolian beef; some with better results than others. But my favorite thing to make in in the IP is yogurt. The recipe is simple, but time consuming. There is a lot of flexibility in the recipe, as well. You can use any milk (whole milk produces the thickest, creamiest yogurt), you can make it more or less tart (by adjusting the incubation time), and if you want Greek yogurt, you can strain it. The important thing is to use a thermometer to ensure your temperatures are accurate.

Here's my favorite method:

1. Heat Milk to 185°F: Pour 1 gallon whole milk in the inner pot. Close lid, stir occasionally. The Instant Pot will beep when done, but I find that it only takes it up to 175°F, so then I boil for a few more minutes to reach 185°F.

2. Cool Milk to 110°F: You can leave the pot on counter-top and wait until the milk cool to 110°F. Or in a larger pot filled with cold water, if you are impatient, like me.

3. Once milk is cooled, combine 2 Tbsps of Fage Whole milk yogurt in to a glass measuring cup with ½ cup of 110°F milk. Gently mix it and pour the yogurt milk mixture in the inner pot and give it a few gentle stirs with silicone spatula.

4. Yogurt Incubation: Place inner pot back in the Instant Pot. Close and use the Yogurt Normal Function to incubate the yogurt. Adjust the time to 8:00 – 12:00 depending on how tangy you like your yogurt (longer time = more tangy). You can open the lid for a taste test once the yogurt is set. Roughly 6 hours. I like 13 hours.

5. Once the yogurt has reached the desired tangy level, remove the inner pot of yogurt and place it in the fridge for a few hours to stop the incubating process. The yogurt will also thicken a little.

6. Once the yogurt is chilled, I like to strain for 24 hours, to get a super thick and creamy yogurt.

7. You can have it plain, or add sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup. Add fruits, granola or your favorite toppings.

Here is the recipe I loosely based it on, if you want more details: