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Friday, 22 August 2008

Frugal Friday - CrockPot Yoghurt

I've been making yoghurt for about eight months now and I only just realised how much money I save by doing it.

I use organic milk which is £1.50 for 2 litres (a litre is roughly equivalent to an American quart) meaning that for 1kg (just over 2lb) yoghurt it costs me 75p which I'll round up to 80p to allow for cost of electricity, wear and tear on utensils etc. If I bought organic yoghurt ready made it would cost £2.09/kg and even if I bought the very cheapest non-organic yoghurt it would cost me 96p compared with about 65p for yoghurt made with non-organic milk.

Originally I used a recipe I found elsewhere but I found that it produced very inconsistent results and was usually much runnier than bought yoghurt. Over time I developed my own recipe which I have found produces a nice thick yoghurt every time:

  • Crockpot
  • Time switch
  • Ladle
  • Spoon (any old eating spoon will do)
  • Pint/Half litre jug for mixing yoghurt and milk the first time
  • Insulation for crock from crockpot (I use one of these but a large towel would do)
  • Containers for storing yoghurt (I usually use a couple of old 1kg/2lb ice cream tubs and an old 500g/1lb yoghurt pot)

  • 3 British pints/2 litres/2 American quarts whole milk
  • 1 small pot natural yoghurt or a cup of yoghurt left over from the previous batch*


1) Put 3 British pints (or 2 litres or 2 American quarts) of milk into your crockpot.
2) Set the time switch for 3 hours and turn the crockpot to low. (You can do it without the time switch but the time it is on for is a critical part so if you don't have one, make sure you set yourself an alarm to remind you to switch it off.)
3) Wait at least two hours after the heat has been turned off. (I usually aim for 2-4 hours but have left it for seven without affecting the results.)
4) Put the yoghurt in the jug
5) Ladle in an equivalent amount of warm milk.
6) Mix well and then pour half of the mixture into the crockpot.
7) Stir the warm milk (which now has some yoghurt added) and then repeat steps 5 &6 a couple of times before adding all of the yoghurt/milk mixture to the crockpot and stirring thoroughly.
8) Insulate using either a solar cooker or some large towels and leave overnight.

The Next Day

9) Remove slow cooker from insulation.
10) Ladle about one cup of yoghurt into the old yoghurt pot** and then put the remainder in the other tubs.
11) Place yoghurt in fridge.

* The longest I have kept yoghurt for the next batch is three weeks. Of course you should check for signs of mould and smell it to make sure it is okay. If in doubt, it is better to buy some fresh starter yoghurt than to risk getting ill.
** The cup of yogurt in the yogurt pot can be used for the next batch of yogurt. The milk can be mixed direct in the pot removing the need for a separate jug to be used.


crystal_richey said...

How did you know I was looking for a good yoghurt recipe? I also have the problem of runny yoghurt. I will have to try this one. Perfect timing. Thank you!

Crystal Richey

Heather said...

OK, I'm going to try this. I've always been skeptical about making homemade yogurt, but you and Rachel have me convinced that it really can be good!

Rachel said...

Thanks for posting this! It really is good. I have been eating my plain yogurt (no sugar added) with a tablespoon of homemad fig and strawberry preserves MMMM I think I may need to make some more too. I"m almost out.

Kristin@HomemakerAtHeart said...

I've always wanted to try this.
now I can...thanks!

Clare said...

I thought you made kefir? If so, what is the benefit in doing both? I'm curious about the distinction between yoghurt and kefir since I use my kefir in the same way that I would yoghurt. Ditto buttermilk. I'd rather keep things as simple as possible if I can, but perhaps I missing something?
Great blog, I'll pop by again!

Anonymous said...

Hi Clare, I think you may have got me muddled up with someone else although it does happen that I have just got some kefir grains so will be trying to make some soon. I can't really comment on the difference from experience yet but I have read that kefir has different bacteria to yoghurt which is one reason for using both. I know what you mean about keeping things simple - I have routine days for making my yoghurt and buttermilk because otherwise I forget about them.

Anonymous said...

Hey there! It looks like you enjoy cooking and baking. I read that is having a cooking/baking contest. Why not try that out?:)

Canadian Willy said...

I leave my crock pot of yogourt in the oven overnight with the oven light on. It seems to stay just the right temperature.

Jim and Bernis Ingvaldson said...

This was my first attempt at homemade yogurt and it worked great! I took the temp of the milk after 3 hours and it was about 175F. Then after two hours it was 115, and dropped to 110 after the yogurt was added, right within the limits of where the other recipes say it should be. And it tastes so good I have no desire to buy yogurt again!

Bernis in Bagley, Minnesota

Saved Sinner said...

That's great Bernis - I'm so glad it turned out well. :o)

Ellie said...

I remember my mother making yoghurt - back in the '70's. But, she used a yoghurt maker and I really don't want to invest in one. I do have a crock pot :-)

My question is can one safely double this recipe?

Thanks for your help,

Ellie in Canada

Noentrobcap said...

I'll definitely try this method with my old Rival Crockpot, but I need to clear a doubt...the milk you place in the cp...can it be used straight from the fridge or must it be at room temperature?

Saved Sinner said...

Noentrobcap - yes, just milk straight from the fridge. :o)

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