How to Easily Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

Definitely the easiest way to make a bulk batch of your favorite DIY yogurt.

Related To:

My obsession with homemade yogurt began a few years ago, and I haven’t looked back. The process is so easy – whether or not you use a slow cooker – you can always have a healthy breakfast option on hand. I keepa supply in various textures, thinner like kefir for smoothies, and thicker, like Greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr, when I want to top it with granola and fresh fruits. The tried-and-true slow cooker recipe is below, and I encourage you to give it a try.

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

Learn how to make yogurt in bulk with minimal effort.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Gather these materials:

  • slow cooker
  • 1/2 gallon of milk, store-bought and commercially pasteurized
  • 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt with live cultures
  • measuring cup
  • large towel (such as bath towel)
  • cheesecloth (several layers thick)
  • large bowl
  • rubber band or tape (to secure the cheesecloth to the bowl during straining)

Start the process by emptying the full half-gallon of milk into your slow cooker. Heat it on low for 2 hours. (Here’s a tip: Start the process around 7pm, so that you can wrap and set the heated milk before bedtime, and wake to a crock of yogurt that’s ready to scoop into a morning smoothie.)

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

Learn how to make yogurt in bulk with minimal effort.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

The benefit of using a slow cooker? It requires less supervision than if you were heating the milk on the stovetop, which may faster but requires constant attention so it doesn’t burn. 

By using pasteurized milk, you can rest assured knowing that the milk has already been brought up to a high temperature to kill bacteria. The slow cooker won’t bring the milk up to 180-degrees Fahrenheit, which many tutorials suggest you do to make milk turn into thick yogurt, but two hours into heating, the hot milk in my slow cooker had reached about 152-degrees fahrenheit, and that was enough. As long as the milk is heated above 110-degrees Fahrenheit, your yogurt will be a success.  

After two hours, use a ladle to pull a cup of the hot milk into a measuring cup, and mix in three tablespoons of the existing yogurt with live cultures.

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

Learn how to make yogurt in bulk with minimal effort.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Pour that mixture back into the slow cooker, and stir it in with the remaining hot milk.

How to make your own yogurt

How to make your own yogurt

Use milk in a crock pot to make your own yogurt.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

At this point, turn off the slow cooker, unplug it, and wrap the entire small appliance in a large towel to help seal in the warmth. Transfer it to a space in your home that isn’t drafty, so it can sit uninterrupted for eight hours. (If it fits, putting it in the oven is a good solution). The live cultures will be busy doing their job in the warm milk environment.

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

Learn how to make yogurt in bulk with minimal effort.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

After eight hours (rise and shine!) unwrap the towel and peek inside. Give it a stir, and see how thick the yogurt is. If you don’t stir it in too much, you might be able to use the ladle to scoop some of the whey off the surface of the yogurt. (Don’t throw away the whey! It’s laden with protein and can be used in lots of recipes.)

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

Learn how to make yogurt in bulk with minimal effort.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

At this point, you can scoop a bit of the warm thickened yogurt into your morning smoothie, or chill it for future use.

We prefer to chill it for several hours in the refrigerator, before using the cheesecloth to strain away more whey and have an end product of thickened yogurt.

Keep in mind that the more layered your cheesecloth, the better, and the more whey you remove from the yogurt, the thicker your yogurt will become (that’s the difference between greek yogurt and normal yogurt).

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

Learn how to make yogurt in bulk with minimal effort.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Once strained, scoop what hasn't filtered through the cheesecloth and seal it in a fridge-friendly container. Keep it on hand for a week for freshest results (ours lasts longer). When it’s time to make more DIY yogurt, you can reuse three tablespoons of the remaining homemade yogurt, as it contains live cultures. Yogurt forever!

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

Learn how to make yogurt in bulk with minimal effort.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Easily Remove Wallpaper

Removing wallpaper is never fun. But with the right tools, a little know-how, and a lot of patience, anybody can rid a room of a dated wall covering.

How to Make a DIY Interior Dutch Door

Keep an eye on kids or pets by giving an existing interior door a split-level update.

Easily Make Your Own Mercury Glass Votives

Give plain glass votives a trendy mercury glass makeover with mirror-effect spray paint. The antique-looking votives lend a sparkling glow to a table setting, mantel, coffee table — or anywhere.

How to Make a Cat Condo

Use everyday items to build a fancy cat post with baskets.

How to Make Wedding Confetti Cones

Adorn wedding reception chairs with these sweet confetti cones so guests can celebrate the bride and groom as they leave for their honeymoon.

How to Make Rolled Paper Roses

Paper flowers fashioned from old book pages, newspaper or brown Kraft paper are a frugal alternative to store-bought ribbons and bows.

How to Make a Tea Bag

Make morning tea extra special with a handmade tea bag filled with a delicious herbal blend and a special love note

How to Make a Vintage Chalkboard Globe

Select a saying that inspires you to be the best version of yourself.

How to Make a Wood Cutting Board

Woodworking projects can be intimidating, but this project is actually easier than you may think. With basic shop materials and dense hardwood, which is the best wood for cutting boards, you'll be able to create a chef-worthy chopping accessory that any foodie would love.

How to Make a Backyard Fire Pit

Create a cozy space for outdoor entertaining with a stone fire pit.

On TV

Flip or Flop

7:30am | 6:30c

Flip or Flop

8:30am | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30am | 8:30c

House Hunters

10:30am | 9:30c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c
2pm | 1c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Property Brothers

8pm | 7c

Log Cabin Living

11:30pm | 10:30c

Log Cabin Living

2:30am | 1:30c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.