How to Make Yogurt at Home

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Making yogurt at home can be a rewarding and straightforward process. Here’s a simple method:


  • 4 cups of milk (whole, 2%, or skim)
  • 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt with live active cultures (as a starter)
  • Saucepan
  • Thermometer
  • Whisk
  • Clean towel
  • Insulated cooler or oven
How to Make Yogurt at Home


Heat the Milk: Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat it over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Heat until it reaches around 180°F (82°C) or until you see bubbles forming around the edges. This helps in altering the protein structure for a thicker yogurt consistency.

Cool the Milk: Allow the milk to cool to around 110°F (43°C). This temperature is ideal for the yogurt culture to thrive. It should feel warm but not hot to the touch.

Inoculate with Yogurt Starter: In a separate bowl, mix the plain yogurt with a small amount of the cooled milk. This step helps to evenly distribute the active cultures. Then add this mixture back into the remaining cooled milk and whisk thoroughly.

Incubation: Pour the milk mixture into a clean container or multiple smaller jars. Cover it with a clean towel or lid. Now, place the container(s) in an insulated cooler or an oven with the light on. The goal is to keep it between 100-110°F (37-43°C) for 4 to 8 hours. The longer the incubation, the tangier the yogurt will be. The live cultures ferment the milk, turning it into yogurt.

Check for Set: After the incubation time, check the yogurt’s consistency. It should have thickened. If it's not as thick as you'd like, you can strain it through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve for a few hours to make Greek-style yogurt.

Refrigerate: Once it’s achieved the desired thickness, refrigerate the yogurt for a few hours to chill and further set.


Ensure all utensils and containers used are clean to prevent introducing unwanted bacteria.

Using a thermometer helps in maintaining the right temperature for the cultures to thrive.

If your first batch of yogurt turns out well, you can reserve some to use as a starter for subsequent batches.

Making yogurt at home allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavors. Experiment with different milk types or add flavors like vanilla or fruit after incubation for a personalized touch!

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