How to Make Yogurt
~ Successfully ~

A warm welcome. I learned how to make yogurt several years ago and haven't stopped since. After making it so many times, I've come to realize the process isn't nearly as exact as I first thought...... so relax and enjoy yourself. :)

Valuable Tips Before You Start

Recipe and Written Directions

  • Ingredients Fresh Milk. Fresh yogurt from the store or a previous batch. Must contain LIVE bacteria.
  • Equipment
  • Step 1Pour 4 cups milk into pot.
  • Step 2Put cooking thermometer in milk. Thermometer must go to 180° F (82°C).
  • Step 3Heat milk to 180°F (82°C) then remove from heat.
  • Step 4Cool milk to 110°F (43°C).
  • Step 5Measure 2 Tablespoons yogurt starter - fresh plain yogurt from a previous batch or the store or yogurt powder (dried culture).
  • Steps  6 and 7Mix starter culture into cooled milk. Pour into clean glass jar or container.
  • Step 8Place inoculated milk in a warm place to ferment. Temperature should be around 110-115° F (43-46° C). Allow to incubate for 6 hours without disturbing.
  • Healthy Homemade YogurtNaturally probiotic, free of additives.
Ingredients1 Equipment2 Step 13 Step 24 Step 35 Step 46 Step 57 Steps  6 and 78 Step 89 Healthy Homemade Yogurt10

Before you begin, read the instructions all the way through so have a general idea of the process and steps involved.

Are you ready? Let's get started.


  • 2-3 quart (litre) stainless steel pot
  • tablespoon
  • mixing spoon or whisk
  • measuring cup, if measuring milk
  • candy thermometer or meat thermometer
  • 1 quart (litre) glass jar or bowl (not metal)
  • method of keeping milk with yogurt starter warm (90-120°F) for 6 hours during fermentation
  • funnel (optional)
  • yogurt maker (optional)

Basic Recipe

Makes 1 quart (1 litre) plain yogurt


  • 4 cups milk (1 quart or 1 litre) - skim, partly skim or full-fat
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) yogurt starter - fresh plain yogurt from a previous batch or the store or yogurt powder (dried culture)

This is critical. The starter culture must contain live bacteria. Check the label and best before date.

Directions (photos below)

  1. Pour milk into stainless steel pot.
  2. Place thermometer in milk.
  3. Heat milk (medium heat) on stove to 180° F (82° C).
  4. Remove milk from heat.
  5. Cool to 110-115° F (43-46° C). Click here for a tip on cooling the milk faster.
  6. Stir in yogurt starter. This inoculates the milk with lactic acid bacteria needed to ferment the milk.
  7. Pour into clean 1 quart (1 litre) glass jar. Glass or ceramic bowls are fine too. If using a yogurt maker, pour inoculated milk into containers.
  8. Place covered container in warm oven, 110-115° F (43-46° C). I use a toaster oven that I can set to 100-120° F or a preheated electric oven with the heat turned off and oven light turned on. A preheated gas oven with the gas turned off and pilot light turned on works also.
  9. Allow to ferment for 6 hours without disturbing. This is the incubation period.
  10. Gently tip jar or bowl to check if the milk has coagulated..... it should have a custard-like texture. If it's runny like milk, let it ferment several more hours before checking again.
  11. When firm, place container in the fridge and allow it to set. It will become more solid and some of the whey be absorbed into the curd.
  12. Troubleshooting - tips for making yogurt offers advice for common problems. Re-read the directions. Don't be discouraged. Try to figure out what went wrong and try it again. If at first you don't succeed.......

Photos of How to Make Yogurt
~ using mason jars and a toaster oven for incubation ~

How to Ferment Milk: Pour Milk Into 


Step 1
Pour Milk

(Click Image To Enlarge)

How to Make Yogurt: Place Thermometer In 


Step 2
Put Thermometer
In Milk

(Click Image To Enlarge)

Heating Milk for Fermenting

Step 3
Heat Milk
to 180° F

(Click Image To Enlarge)

How to Make Yogurt: Remove Milk From 


Step 4
Remove From Heat

(Click Image To Enlarge)

How to Ferment Milk: Cool Milk to 110-115° F

Step 5
Cool Milk to 110-115° F

(Click Image To Enlarge)

How to Ferment Milk: Add Bacteria Culture to Cooled Milk

Step 6
Add Yogurt Starter and Stir

(Click Image To Enlarge)

Fermenting Milk: Pour Inoculated Milk into Glass Container

Step 7
Pour into Container

(Click Image To Enlarge)

Place in Warm 

Oven to Ferment. Set Oven Temperature to 110-115° F

Step 8
Place in Warm Oven to Ferment

(Click Image To Enlarge)

Congratulations! You've made healthy yogurt that's low in calories, contains probiotic bacteria and costs very little. I may be biased but I like to think the best is homemade. :)

Homemade Yogurt

Here's how a bowl of homemade curd looks before any of the whey separates.  There are differences between yogurt... homemade and what you buy in the store.  Don't worry if yours doesn't look exactly the same.

If you'd like a thicker or firmer curd, click here to learn how.

Interesting Variations of the Basic Recipe

By adjusting the basic "how to make yogurt" recipe you can make:

Do you want to learn how to make yogurt that's fancier..... something sweeter or flavored? Or a style you've heard about and are dying to try. 

Check out some of these flavored yoghurt recipes:

Vanilla Beans And Strawberries

Ingredients For
Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt, ever versatile, is an ingredient in many dishes.  Yogurt recipes offers a selection of sweet and savory ways to cook with yoghurt.  More are being added all the time.  Check back often.

The most popular flavors of yogurt are strawberry, cherry, peach and blueberry.

Mixed Berries
Yogurt Homemade
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What Will Help You Make Yogurt?

powdered yogurt culture handy in cupboard
starter kit (culture, thermometer, mason jar)
audio (mp3) instructions
video on how to make yogurt
all of the above
no yogurt culture
no milk
no thermometer
no way to incubate
afraid yogurt won't turn out
no time
all of the above
under 18
18 to 29
30 to 39
40 to 49
50 to 59
60 to 69
over 70

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