How to Make Yogurt

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Learn how to make your own yogurt in these easy steps.
Yogurt is a wonderful breakfast, healthy snack, and filling, nutritious dessert. Whether you like a thicker, rustic yogurt, or something more, it can be a little pricey to indulge a yogurt-a-day habit. Making your own yogurt is a rewarding way to save some dollars—and invest a little time into your health.

1. Purchase a yogurt maker

Try as you might to make yogurt in small batches, save time and energy and produce a family-sized amount of yogurt. Home cooks like the Salton YM9 1-Quart Yogurt Maker, or an automatic yogurt maker from Williams Sonoma. Though they can be a pricey investment up front, you'll earn your money back by saving on prepackaged yogurt.

2. Use a starter

Make sure you choose a yogurt starter that has live, active cultures such as Stonyfield Farm's plain organic yogurt. Use the freshest ingredients that you can because your starter yogurt contains the bacteria that triggers the fermentation process. Fermentation is what turns the milk into yogurt and all bacteria work differently.

3. Have patience

All bacteria ferment at different speeds and paces, so for your initial batch, some starter yogurts will ferment faster than others. For example, a fresher yogurt might ferment quicker, and a yogurt with fewer live, active cultures may take longer.

4. Do your research

If you're starting with a yogurt maker, read the instructions before you begin. Even if the equipment is intuitive, you'll learn important tips, shortcuts, and recipe inspiration by reading directions. Before you start creating your yogurt concoction, read your recipe ahead of time to ensure you have the time and supplies you need to get from start to finish.