1-2 tablespoons yogurt of your choice (Greek preferred)
Sweetener of choice (optional if you want sweet yogurt)
Vanilla (optional for sweet yogurt)
Digital thermometer (crucial for temperature accuracy)
strainer of choice (metal mesh strainer paired with coffee filters, cheesecloth, muslin fabric)
Sterilize and clean all equipment before using, including digital thermometer, whisk, cup, and the jars for storing yogurt.
Set 1 to 2 tablespoons of yogurt in a cup and set aside to come to room temperature.
Place 8 cups of milk into the inner pot. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot and set the valve to Sealing. Alternatively a glass lid can be used for this entire process, but I prefer the original lid.
Press the Yogurt function on the Instant Pot then adjust once. The display will read “boil”. This process does not boil the milk, but scalds the milk. This process will take 25-30 minutes for half a gallon (50 minutes for a full gallon), adjust the time if needed.
When cycle is complete, the display will read “Yogt”, and the Pot will turn off. Open the lid of the Instant Pot and check the temperature to ensure the milk has reached 180 degrees. Check in a few areas to ensure temperature is consistent.
Remove the “skin” from the surface of the milk for yogurt to have a creamy consistency.
Place ice and cold water into a bowl large enough for the inner pot to fit. Place the inner pot into the ice bath. Keep milk in the ice bath, stirring with a whisk until temperature consistently reaches 110 degrees throughout. Do not scrape the bottom of the pot while stirring, there is scalded milk at the bottom and this will give the yogurt a gritty texture if incorporated. After about five minutes of stirring, desired temperature should be reached.
Remove pot from the ice bath and wipe dry.
Ladle one cup of the milk into the cup with room temperature yogurt. Whisk until smooth, eliminating all lumps of yogurt.
Stir yogurt mixture into the milk, being careful not to scrape the bottom of the pot.
Place the inner pot back into the base, making sure the outside of the inner pot is completely dry. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot and place the valve to Sealing position.
Press the Yogurt Function and adjust time to 10 hours (the automatic 8 hour program can be used, but 10 hours will provide a thicker and tangier yogurt). When time is up, the display will read “Yogt” and the Instant Pot will turn off. You can either store yogurt as is if you prefer a runnier, drinking style yogurt, or continue to the next steps.
Strain the yogurt for 3 to 4 hours in the fridge. If you want to immediately strain the yogurt while it is still hot, use a tightly woven material, coffee filters inside of a mesh strainer is the best option for this, or Muslin cloth. If you prefer to use cheesecloth or a looser woven material, completely chill the yogurt first. Clear whey is an indication the strainer is working effectively.
Once strained you have the option to add in your sweetener of choice and vanilla, or store as is if you prefer to use the yogurt as sour cream or in a dressing.
Option to sweeten: add in desired amount of sweetener (2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of sweetener is recommended for a half gallon batch), along with 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Store in the fridge in desired containers for up to 2 weeks.