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Ladling homemade yogurt into a glass jar for storage.

Homemade Instant Pot Yogurt

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  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 Hours 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 10 Hours 30 Minutes (plus refrigeration time)
  • Yield: 1 Gallon 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American


If your family likes yogurt as much as mine does, this homemade Instant Pot yogurt recipe will be a total game-changer! There are a few important steps to yogurt-making success, and this post will walk you through exactly how to achieve it. It doesn't take long to get into the swing of making homemade yogurt. You'll be thrilled with how much money you'll save vs. buying regular or Greek yogurt from the store!



1 gallon whole milk

1/4 cup plain yogurt (to be used as a starter - see notes)


  1. Sterilize the Instant Pot: Place 3 cups of cold water into the insert of your Instant Pot. Close and lock the lid and steam vent. Select the sterilize function. Set the temperature to low. Adjust the time to 5 minutes and press start. For a gallon of milk, this usually takes around 30 minutes.
  2. Once the cycle has finished, quick release the pressure and carefully remove the insert from the base. Pour the hot water out and let the insert cool. You can speed this process up by transferring it to the refrigerator, once it’s cool to the touch, for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Pour milk into the sanitized and chilled Instant Pot insert. Close and lock the lid and steam vent. Select the yogurt function. Set the temperature to high and press start. The display should say boil. For a gallon of milk, this usually takes around 45 minutes.
  4. Once the cycle finishes, the display will say yogt. Remove the lid and whisk the milk. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. It should be between 180-185°F. If it’s not quite there yet (it often isn’t), select the sauté function and adjust the temperature to high. Whisk the milk and keep checking the temperature until it hits 180°F.
  5. Turn the Instant Pot off and transfer the insert to the counter (with a wire rack, if you have one). Let the milk cool until the temperature is between 110-95°F. The display should say boil. For a gallon of milk, this usually takes around 90 minutes.
  6. Whisk in your reserved starter yogurt into the milk and place the insert back into the Instant Pot base. Select the yogurt function and adjust the heat to normal. Adjust to your desired time (8 hours for regular, 10 for a more tart flavor) and hit start.
  7. After the incubation cycle is finished, carefully remove the insert from the base and cover it with a lid, plastic wrap, or beeswax wrap. DO NOT STIR! Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (I usually let it stay overnight).
  8. After the yogurt has chilled, it’s ready to eat! Reserve 1/4 cup of your yogurt for your next batch of yogurt. Transfer your yogurt into jars or other containers, if desired.
  9. If you want to make some thicker, Greek-style yogurt, you can strain some or all of your homemade yogurt using a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl or a reusable mesh bag for 2 hours, or until it reaches your desired consistency.


  • This process works with any Instant Pot that includes the Yogurt function, such as the Instant Pot Ultra, which is what I’ve used for several years now.
  • Make sure the yogurt you use as a starter has live and active cultures listed in the ingredients - some examples that you may see on labels are lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus.
  • I like to use mini silicone oven mitts to get a good grip on the Instant Pot insert when removing it from the base while it’s hot.
  • My preference is to use a multi-probe thermometer, attached with a pot clip, when making yogurt. You can let it monitor the temperature for you so you don’t need to go back and forth to keep checking on it. I used an instant-read thermometer for many years and it worked well, but this is a lot less work. You can read more about my favorite digital thermometers in the post above.
  • Oftentimes, a skin will form on top of the milk as it cools. You can remove this whenever you go to check on the temperature or whisk the milk. Leaving it in there won't hurt things, but it could cause some lumps in your final yogurt.
  • You can add a little of the warm milk to your reserved starter yogurt and whisk it together to help fully incorporate it more easily before whisking it into the full pot of milk.
  • The time for reaching specific temperatures can vary depending on several things. Most of the time is hands-off, but the process does take some time to complete. You can speed up the cooling process by using an ice bath, but the milk will still take a while to come down to the range that it needs to be in before you start incubating it.
  • After the overnight refrigeration, reserve about 1/4 cup of your batch of yogurt in a glass jar to use the next time you go to make yogurt. If you save a little of each batch, the only cost for each new batch is the milk (and some time).
  • For a smaller batch of yogurt, use a half gallon of milk and 2 tablespoons of yogurt starter. Follow the same process. The only difference is that the milk will reach the various temperatures more easily since there's less liquid to heat/cool.
  • I bought a silicone lid for my Instant Pot insert years ago and love it! It’s perfect for sealing the contents before popping it into the refrigerator.
  • Don’t throw out the liquid that drains out of your yogurt if you strain it to make Greek-style yogurt. It can be used in lots of ways! See my post above for more!


  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 38
  • Sugar: 3.1 g
  • Sodium: 26.7 mg
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Trans Fat:
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 6.2 mg
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