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Can Kids Make Homemade Yogurt in the Instant Pot?

Spoon with yogurt

This was a failure. Who knew that temperatures would be so important to make homemade yogurt in the Instant Pot? We are here to tell you, that yogurt is about as picky as we are with food when it comes to timing and temperature.

In general, the Instant Pot pretty much terrifies us. It is like a pressure bomb on your counter that can blow up if you don’t do things correctly. So now, we have finicky yogurt AND a pressure bomb on our hands. No problem.

We love flavored (albeit sugary) yogurt. But of course, we cannot agree as to which one is the best, leaving Mom with buying multiple tubs of yogurt to appease us all. I love vanilla banana, while my sister will only eat strawberry. The problem is that one week we all want to eat yogurt and the next, not so much. Mom loves it when she buys really expensive food and then we ignore it in the refrigerator until she has to throw it out. Doesn’t every parent?

Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt

Trying to Make Good Yogurt in the Instant Pot

So when Mom discovered she could make a vat of yogurt with an instant pot, she charged us with yet another experiment. And luckily, this does not require you to use any pressure in the instant pot, so we were not scared of blowing up the house.

The first thing we did was pour a half gallon of whole milk into the pot (which should be really clean and sanitized because this is growing bacteria after all.) We then hit the yogurt button until it said BOIL and that was that! This was going to be easy!

instant pot and ingredients

After it beeped like a fire alarm for what seemed like hours we used our thermometer to make sure it had reached 180 degrees. Next, we used oven mitts to put the pot on the counter to cool until it reached around 105 degrees. The directions said we could put it into an ice bath to speed up the process, but that seemed like too much work when we could just wait for an hour.

What Went Wrong the First Time

Did I mention we thought this was going to be easy? So easy in fact that we started playing, and then we played some more. And then we realized that we had forgotten about the yogurt on the counter. I am not sure you can blame us for not checking the temperature of the boiled milk at this point. We were so distracted by the layer of gunk on the top of the milk! I think we should get extra credit in science for studying this as we skimmed it off.

Skimming the Milk Fat

We quickly pulled a cup of milk out of the pot and mixed it with some plain yogurt we used as a starter. As we were then in a bit of panic, we just put it into the instant pot and hit the YOGURT button again until it read 8 hours on normal. Phew. No problem.

Adding Yogurt Culture

Except that we we opened the lid, we did not find yogurt. We saw smelly milk. Uh oh. After some quick research, we put it in the refrigerator hoping it might set and become more firm. The next morning? No such luck.

Too Thin Yogurt

Of course, we had our Dad find a solution, which is usually what we all do here. He read that you can try to cook it again as maybe it did not have enough heat. So we put it back into the Instant Pot and tried to cook it for another 8 hours. This is what we found when we opened the lid.

Failed Yogurt

So, now we know how to make ricotta cheese. Not exactly what we were going for. Unfortunately, this batch went down the garbage disposal and we tried again.

Our Second Try at Homemade Yogurt

This time we paid special attention to temperatures and made sure to start the cooking process when the milk had reached 108 degrees. We have also learned that after it cooks for 8 hours, it is best to let it sit in the Instant Pot for at least an hour before transferring it to the refrigerator. Once there, we leave it overnight, and by morning, it has set beautifully.

Now that we have all of this plain yogurt, we can all add whatever we like to our individual bowls and Mom does not need to buy us picky eaters our own tub that may or may not get eaten. What is your favorite flavor of yogurt? My new first choice is maple syrup. Don’t forget to add some “Mom” granola!

Can Kids Make Homemade Yogurt in the instant Pot Pinterest Image
Homemade Yogurt from Instant Pot

Can Kids Make Homemade Yogurt in the Instant Pot?

Yield: 16 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours
Additional Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 18 hours 5 minutes


  • 1/2 Gallon Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Plain Yogurt with Active Cultures


  1. Pour milk into inner pot of Instant Pot. Push YOGURT button until the screen reads BOIL.
  2. Once the Instant Pot beeps, the boil
    cycle is complete. Remove the lid and test the temperature. It should be around 180 degrees.
  3. Using oven mitts, take the pot out and let it cool for about an hour until it reaches 105-115 degrees. (Do not forget about it while playing.)
  4. Skim off top layer of fat from the pot.
  5. Take 1 cup of milk and mix it with 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt. Then add to pot.
  6. Put it back into the Instant Pot and close the lid. Hit YOGURT again until it says 8:00 and NORMAL.
  7. After it the time is up, let it sit for about an hour before transferring it to the refrigerator for at least 8 hours before transferring to smaller containers.
  8. Add your toppings and enjoy!


Adapted from A Mind "Full" Mom

Did you experiment with this recipe?

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