How to make yogurt in an electric pressure cooker without a yogurt button
Milk is an amazing product. We can make so many delicious things that start with milk. Cheese, butter, ice cream and yogurt to name a few. I never knew homemade yogurt would be so absolutely delicious. Even better, I decided to make it with my electric pressure cooker. This recipe is inspired by the book The Milk Lady of Bangalore: An Unexpected Adventure. It is the second installment of my online Foodie Book Club. If you are here just for the recipe, use the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post.
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No yogurt button
If you have an Instant Pot, this process is made easy for you with the push of your “yogurt” button. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions. However, if like me you find your electric pressure cooker does not have a yogurt button, you can still easily make your own yogurt by following a simple process. It takes time and a little patience. However, the end result is convenient and worth it. By the way, I love my electric pressure cooker. It is the Breville Fast-Slow Pro Multi-Function Pressure/Slow Cooker.
How to make yogurt with an electric pressure cooker
If you find you don’t have a yogurt button on your electric pressure cooker, the process for making yogurt will look something like this:
- Heat milk to 180 F to kill any bad bacteria. (Lots of stirring).
- Allow milk to cool to 110 F. (Lots of stirring).
- Stir in yogurt culture. (Choose your favorite plain yogurt).
- Cover and let it sit in the pressure cooker for 8 hours.
- Transfer yogurt the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Mix in any desired sweeteners such as honey, vanilla or fruit compote.
I researched quite a few recipes. I found variations on the quantity of milk, type of milk (whole vs 2 %) or yogurt culture. However, the above process is usually the same. I provide additional tips regarding the process in the recipe card.
The homemade yogurt I ended up with was very tasty and fresh. The consistency was not thick like Greek-style yogurt. It was more like a Yoplait brand. If you prefer thick yogurt, you will need to consider either altering the process to heat the milk longer (about 10 – 15 minutes to essentially evaporate some of the liquid), strain the yogurt after through cheese cloth or add some sort of thickener such as gelatin. I tried straining the yogurt through cheese cloth. However, I found this to be a messy job and would not bother with it again.
Since this was my first-time making yogurt with an electric pressure cooker, I was relatively inexperienced with knowing exactly how much milk we’d need. Turns out a gallon of milk makes ALLOT of yogurt! In the recipe card below, I cut ingredients in half so you do not feel like you are literally “swimming” in yogurt by the end of this process. It will still yield plenty of yogurt for parfaits or smoothies for your family. The yogurt will last in your fridge up to about two and a half weeks. If you make yogurt-based smoothies EVERY single day or consume ALLOT of yogurt, then read the “notes” field of the recipe card.
I used organic whole milk. You can use 1% or 2%. It will not be as creamy. I have not tried it with fat-free milk (not a fan), so I can’t comment on that. If anyone has made yogurt with fat-free milk, please let me know in the comments area what your success was.
If at all possible, you will want to choose milk that is NOT ultra-high temperature pasteurized (UHT). UHT pasteurization tends to break down the proteins in milk necessary to make yogurt. Pretty much all milk in the United States is pasteurized, but not all milk is UHT pasteurized. It should say on the label.
Be brave! It is a wonderful thing to see milk become yogurt right at home. You can do it! I was a little nervous my first time. But, it really is easy. And it is another great way to use your electric pressure cooker.
Come for the recipe, stay for the book discussion
The Milk Lady of Bangalore: An Unexpected Adventure is a wonderfully heartfelt story about a unique friendship that develops between the author Shoba and her milk lady Sarala. This is a charming book full of unexpected surprises. Shoba shares witty and funny “only in India” stories involving cows. One of my favorites is a situation where she comes across a cow going up an elevator to a brand-new apartment to bless it. It is not only this situation itself that is unique, but her description of the interactions between neighbors and her soon to be friend, the milk lady that makes it so delightful. Shoba explains the cow’s historical and cultural significance in India so well. What I found most interesting about this book is the perspective of the author who presents her stories and information to us from a very inter-cultural perspective. You see, Shoba is from Bangalore, but has also spent a significant amount of time living and raising her family in New York city. She is able to relay her story, while uniquely Indian, in a way that North Americans can appreciate and understand. If you have ever lived or traveled extensively in 2nd or 3rd world countries, there are many stories in this book you will find funny. I have never been to India. However, I have lived in Southern Italy. There are many scenes she describes about daily bustling and buzzing life that sounded familiar. There are also many scenes of family-life and the importance of family, food, sharing and love that I found very familiar to this life abroad. You see, these things are universal to the human experience. But how they are expressed in other cultures is so incredibly vibrant, full of energy and zest for life that it makes our North American existence seem dull.
If you don’t like the milk, change your cow
This is the title of one of the chapters in the book. “If you don’t like the milk, change your cow.” Let’s think about that for a minute.
There is some depth to this sentence. There seemed to be an underlying message that struck a chord with me. It is not just about milk or the animals. It made me think about how if we do not like our current situation, we should make a change. Changing routines can be hard. Taking a leap of faith is really difficult. But without change, new exciting possibilities will never come to fruition. Change can also snowball. One good thing leads to another. Suddenly, everything can change for the better.
Let me know your thoughts about this book. What did you think about how Shoba’s relationship with Sarala evolved? Do you think Shoba made the right choices along the way getting closer to Sarala and her extended family? Was there a cow incident in the book that stood out to you?
Join me next time by reading The Kookaburra Creek Cafe by Sandie Docker. This story takes place in a small town in Australia. It is a heartwarming story about three women whose lives are greatly influenced and grounded by each other and an old cafe. The story is told by exploring events that happened in their past and present. There is emotional pain and secrets. But there is also hope.
Want to make homemade yogurt with an electric pressure cooker but don’t have a yogurt button? This recipe walks you through the process step by step. Yes you can!
- 1/2 gallon organic whole milk
- 1 tbsp starter yogurt heaping tbsp, with live active cultures – see notes
- 1/4 cup liquid honey optional or
- 2 tsp vanilla extract optional
- 1 large beach towel to wrap the pressure cooker
- wooden spoon
- 1 digital thermometer
Add the half gallon of milk to the electric pressure cooker. Turn on the sear/saute function and set the timer to 30 minutes. The goal is to bring the milk to 180 F. Use a digital thermometer often to check the rising temperature. Stir the milk frequently with a wooden spoon so that it does not scorch and burn.
Once the milk reaches 180 F, you can turn off the sear/saute function. If you prefer a thicker yogurt, try maintaining a temperature at 180 F for 10 – 15 minutes more. Then turn off the heat.
Allow the milk to cool down to 110 F. Check the temperature often and continue stirring. This will take another 25 minutes approximately. Once the milk has reached 110 F, whisk in the starter yogurt.
Close and lock the pressure cooker’s lid. Unplug the pressure cooker. Use the beach towel to wrap the pressure cooker up. This helps keep it warm. Allow the milk/yogurt to incubate for at least 8 hours.
After 8 hours, chill the yogurt in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Careful when you open the lid that you do not drip condensation back into the yogurt. You can cover the pressure cooker’s insert with plastic wrap and place the whole thing in the fridge. After 4 hours, stir in your preferred sweetener (honey or vanilla extract). If the yogurt is lumpy, just mix it up by hand with a wooden spoon.
Transfer the yogurt to sterilized glass jars or other containers. You can also add fruit compote to the bottom if desired. Store in the fridge up to two weeks. As the yogurt sits, more whey (liquid) will rise to the top. This can be discarded if desired or stirred back in.
- If possible, avoid ultra-high temperature pasteurized (UHT) milk. It will be labelled UHT. UHT pasteurization tends to break down the proteins in milk necessary to make yogurt.
- I used Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt for the starter yogurt with live cultures. Use your preferred yogurt. The end product takes on the smell and flavor of the starter yogurt.
- This recipe will yield close to a half gallon of yogurt. For a large batch follow the measurements below. Do not exceed the fill line of your electric pressure cooker.
- 1 gallon milk
- 2 heaping tbsps starter yogurt
- 1/2 cup liquid honey or 1 tbsp vanilla extract (optional sweeteners)
Leave me a comment below about your thoughts and experiences with making electric pressure cooker yogurt.
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