Homemade yogurt without a yogurt maker

Finally!!! I have been wanting to make my own homemade yogurt for, I would say, more than a year? Phew. Yeah that long! I thought it was too difficult and that I needed a special yogurt maker and so on. The result was, I did not even try. The good news is, it is not difficult at all, quite the contrary, it is easy-peasy :)

I have noticed recently that I tend to cook at night. I am not exactly sure why. I can see several advantages though. First, I like the quiet all around. It is just me and sounds of cooking or baking. Secondly, I like the freshly baked cake or bread in the morning. Thirdly, with the winter coming slowly and days shortening day by day, I have more time to photograph my produce! And lastly, I do not know, I just like it. Well, it was about 10pm again, when I decided I would make a homemade yogurt.

I told my boyfriend: "I am going to make a homemade yogurt!". "Now?", he asked. "Yes, now. It is easy-peasy!".

I went to our kitchen and only a few minutes later my boyfriend appeared. "So, how do you do that? How do you make the yogurt?", he asked.
"Well, that is it", I pointed to a pot of hot milk. "I just heat the milk, add the yogurt, and in the morning, yogurt is ready!".

And that was it! I woke up in the morning and ran straight to a radiator where the yogurt was sleeping and maturing. I was excited like a child before Christmas! I still kind of did not believe that the milk, I just heated and mixed with a couple of spoons of yogurt, would turn into a yogurt overnight. It was a beautiful day. The sky was blue without a cloud which is very rare these days in London. I felt happy! :)

I put the yogurt in the refrigerator and let it get cold. After 3 hours, I could not wait any longer. The taste of the yogurt was delicious. Very smooth and not that sour as some yogurts might be. I ate it straight from the jar. Later that day I just mixed the yogurt with mango and shredded coconut to make a delicious snack.

Homemade yogurt

1000ml whole milk
5 tbsp plain yogurt with active cultures (I used greek yogurt)

1 In a saucepan, heat the milk over low heat. Remove the saucepan from heat just before it starts boiling (82-85ºC).

2 Let the milk cool down until you can keep your finger in there (42-43ºC).

3 Add the yogurt to the milk and stir well. Pour the milk into carefully washed jars and close with lids.

4 Set all jars in a warm place for about 8 hours or overnight until thickened. I placed jars on a warm radiator covered in kitchen towel to make sure they would keep warm. (The yogurt bacteria need temperature around 43ºC to grow.)

5 Refrigerate the yogurt for about 3-4 hours before eating.


  1. Amazing! I've always wanted to make yogurt but don't have money to buy a yogurt maker!
    Thanks for the recipe :D

  2. My mouth is watering at the thought of home made yoghurt, I haven't tried this. Lovely to meet you at Food Blogger Connect at the weekend, your photographs are really beautiful.

  3. oatmealmix - thanks and you are welcome! I didn't want to buy a yogurt maker neither! :)
    Sarah - thank you sweetie, it was lovely to meet you too! :)

  4. Sigh your yogurt looks so wonderful and firm! I used to make it successfully but now it never sets. Still great as "buttermilk" in recipes but it's not the same. I think the commercial ones I use as starter have gotten worse. Also, I love love love these spoons, Sari! I'd love to know where you bought them.

  5. I want to make my own yogurt too for a long time. Still putting it off. Your method is simple and encourages me to make my own now.

  6. My first try wasn't so successful. It was not firm at all. I guess I added the yogurt when the milk was not cool enough. My second attempt was much better. I got the firmness just like in your photos but the taste was a little sour/bitter. I guess it's because I refrigerated after 8.5 hours instead of 8! I'll get it perfect this weekend, thanks to your very helpful post!

  7. @ Dolly - I've already made yogurt so many times that I can't really count it. Some of those attempts were not successful either. I either added yogurt too early when the milk was not cool enough, same as you, or I "reused" yogurt as a starter too many times. It's true that if you let the yogurt mature longer than 8 hours, it's usually more sour, however mine was never bitter. Anyway, isn't it kind of satisfying to make your own yogurt? :)

  8. Wow, I had no idea that it was THAT easy to make yogurt! So glad I ran into your site (I was looking for a recipe to use up my turnips). What a great find!

  9. do you think i could do this method using a yoghurt maker? i don't like using the packaged mixes, but i don't have anywhere that could keep the yoghurt that warm

    1. I took a box with a lid, a heating pad and 2 kitchen towels. I put the heating pad in the bottom of the box (turned on low) and covered with the kitchen towels to keep the containers from sitting directly on the heating pad, placed the yoghurt on the towels and then covered the box. It worked fine for me.

  10. @Chronic_Procrastinator - Hi, of course you can use a yoghurt maker. You just need to pour the yoghurt base in small jars that fit your yoghurt maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. I don't have a yoghurt maker so I had to come up with an alternative method. :)

  11. I have been told two different ways for letting it sit to grow. Either turn your crockpot on low and then turn off just before putting your yogurt in. Or put everything into your gas oven (turned off). I'm browsing many recipes before I make my first batch. But these two methods seem to have great results! Thanks!!