How To Make Greek Yogurt You Will Dream About (+ Video)

Sneak Peek: Learn how to make Greek yogurt ( aka Greek yogurt ) at home with this simple greek yogurt recipe. You won ’ t need special equipment. Check out the bit-by-bit instructions and pictures .
Making yogurt is easier than you think. Follow my recipe, and before you know it, you ’ ll be turning cartwheels over your beginning successful batch of greek yogurt .
You don ’ t need a yogurt manufacturer, an expensive incubator, or yards of cheesecloth .
The essential tools are continuity, solitaire, and an taste for hot cultures. ( Beginners will besides find a quick-read thermometer indispensable—more about that belated. )


What’s the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt?

greek yogurt is regular yogurt minus part of the whey. Whey is the yellow liquid you see collecting on top of yogurt. In many parts of the universe, greek yogurt is called “ strained yogurt. ”
More differences between regular yogurt and greek yogurt :

  • Thicker than regular yogurt
  • Higher in protein and lower in sugar than regular yogurt
  • Contains more fat (unless you make it with non-fat milk) than regular yogurt

Homemade Greek Yogurt The simplest way to make greek yogurt is by straining off the whey from even yogurt. Some companies add gelatin, rennet, or other mystery ingredients to make it thick. The resultant role is much an inferior ( and cheaper ) product .
Something else to note from Healthline : “ Because the strain process reduces the sum volume, greek yogurt takes significantly more milk than regular yogurt to make a batch of the same size. ”

How long does it take to make yogurt?

now that I have my system down, actual hands-on time is less than 15 minutes .
But there is hands-off time .

  • Heating and cooling the milk: 1-2 hours
  • Incubation period: 5-10+ hours
  • Straining yogurt: 1-3 hours

Adding up those hours sounds like an all-day affair. But it ’ s like doing the laundry. You learn how to weave it into your schedule .

Do I need a yogurt maker to make yogurt?

A yogurt manufacturer is easy and foolproof. That ’ s not a bad thing, specially for beginners .
All yogurt makers are not alike .
many yogurt makers only make individual servings. If you want to make greek yogurt ( straining required ), they are not practical. Quart-size and larger yogurt makers are better for greek yogurt lovers .
In the end, you don ’ t need a yogurt godhead at all. The directions given here will show you how to make large and minor batches with no extra equipment .

Will these directions work for nut or grain milks?

No. The process is reasonably different and normally requires a extra newcomer .

How to make yogurt at home:

Step 1: Fill a heat-safe container with milk.

choosing a microwave-safe pyrex pitcher to heat milkUse a microwave-safe glass pitcher to heat milk in the microwave. Or use a large saucepan to heat milk on top of the stove.

Step 2: Heat milk to 165-175˚F.

A quick-read thermometer like this one ensures you won ’ metric ton mess up this important step .
heating milk in a microwave oven For 2 quarts of milk, heat will probably take between 15-19 minutes in the microwave depending on the electrical power of your oven. Check the temperature towards the end until you know how long it takes in your microwave .
ADDENDUM 10/7/2021: If your microwave oven is fairly new and life-size, it probably is a higher electrical power than mine. experiment with the cooking grade and time .
I purchased a fresh microwave recently. now I microwave the milk on floor 7 for 24 minutes. Some people say heating the milk excessively flying can cause a farinaceous texture ( but it ’ s not the entirely reason for a farinaceous texture. ) The slightly lumpy texture is not discernible to the tongue, but you can see it at the bottom of your yogurt. I mention this then you will know that timing in a microwave can vary. Try experimenting in your kitchen to see what works best .
You can besides heat the milk on the stove. Keep the heat turned down to avoid scorching. Stir frequently .
No matter how you heat the milk, avoid seethe. But if your milk does boil, carry on. It will however make yogurt, but it may not be as smooth .

What about using an Instant Pot?

Some people like to use their Instant Pot to heat and incubate the milk. That ’ s finely if you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate mind babysitting the summons .
The downside ?

  • The size of your pot will limit the amount of yogurt you can make.
  • Whenever I’ve tried this, I end up needing my Instant Pot to fix dinner. (This might be related to Murphy’s law.)

Can I skip the heating step since my milk is pasteurized?

The milk has already been sterilized. The function of heat is to unravel the proteins and enable compact yogurt .
EDITOR ’ S NOTE : If you use ULTRA-FILTERED milk ( such as Fairlife ), you do not need to heat it. Some people call this the “ cold get down ” method .
checking temperature with a thermometerA thermometer will ensure the temperatures are correct.

Step 3: Let the milk cool down.

The temperature of the milk needs to drop back to somewhere between 100-110˚F .
milk that is excessively hot will kill the small yogurt bodies in the starter. not good .
Cooling times will vary depending on the book and type of container holding the inflame milk. Use a quick-read thermometer to check the temp .
Hot Tip : If you are in a rush, fill your sinkhole or a tub with water and set the container of milk down into it. Add some ice once the milk cools down a bite .
Don’t panic!
If you let the temperature slide down to 80 or 90˚ F, don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate worry. Add your crank and proceed american samoa usual .
Until the temperature returns to 100-110˚F, the yogurt-making party is delayed, not canceled .
If you don ’ thymine want to wait or your brooding organization doesn ’ t have a steady heat source, gently heat the milk back to 100˚ F
checking cool-down temperature with a thermometer It looks like the temperature of this milk is back up to 105˚F. so, we are fix for the following step .

Step 4: Add starter to the cooled milk.

More answers to common questions about yogurt starters :

1. What’s a starter?

A starter contains live yogurt microbes. No starter ? No yogurt .

2. Can I use a jar of my favorite yogurt from the store?

  • Yes, if it’s unflavored, fresh, and contains live cultures (little yogurt bodies).
  • Avoid yogurt with additives such as gelatin or other thickeners. They can cause a grainy texture.
  • If you can’t find unflavored yogurt, vanilla-flavored will usually work. But, it’s not my first choice.

3. What’s the difference between using yogurt from the store and freeze-dried starter?

  • Unflavored yogurt from the store:
    • Easily available in almost every grocery store
    • It’s relatively inexpensive
    • Usually good for 3-4 generations or more
  • Freeze-dried yogurt starter (aka “traditional starter”) comes in a foil packet and costs more. It’s available online, in health food stores, or specialty supermarkets like Sprouts.
    • A traditional starter is hardier than highly engineered commercial yogurt. It’s easier to ward off “wild yeast” that can mess up your yogurt.
    • A traditional starter is more complicated to use for a beginner. Expect the first batch to be thin. (Follow the directions that come with the starter.)
    • Subsequent batches will be thicker as the yogurt bodies ramp up to their full potential.

4. Can I use yogurt from a previous batch of homemade yogurt?

  • Yes, as long as it is not more than a week to 10 days old.
  • If you are using commercial yogurt for a starter, buy a new “starter” yogurt from the store every 3-4 batches.
  • “Traditional yogurt starter” can be used over and over. Some people say it can be used for years. Make a fresh batch every 7-10 days for the best results.

5. Do I have to warm up the starter before adding it to my cooled-down milk?

not actually. little yogurt bodies don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate seem to mind jumping straight off the diving dining table into warm milk. I ’ ve made hundreds of batches of yogurt using a refrigerator-cold starter .

6. If I want to make Greek yogurt, do I have to use Greek yogurt as my starter or will regular unflavored yogurt work?

It doesn ’ thymine matter. greek yogurt starts life as regular yogurt. Use whichever you have. Freshness is more authoritative .
7. How much yogurt starter should I use?
Use a generous tablespoon of yogurt appetizer per quart of milk. Don ’ metric ton fall for the idea that more is better. Yogurt bodies are bad eaters and don ’ t like to be crowded .

Step 5: Cover milk (loosely) and incubate.

Incubate inoculated milk for 5-10 hours. Whatever system you use must hold the temperature steadily at 100-110˚F .
incubating yogurt in a conventional oven at 100 degrees F CAUTION: This step is where many people go off the rails. If your incubation system gets besides hot, the little yogurt bodies will croak. But, on the other hand, if the milk doesn ’ metric ton stay warm enough, nothing much will happen .
Either way, the consequence will be milk, not yogurt. If that happens, find out what to do with fail yogurt here .

What is the best method to incubate yogurt?

Short answer : Whatever will hold your milk at a steady 100-110˚F .
Long answer : The possibilities are numerous depending on how your kitchen is set up, the equipment you already own, and how much milk you are trying to incubate at once .
See this position about the varied and creative ways my readers incubate their yogurt. Ideas include :

  • Set your oven on the “dehydrate” or “bread proof” setting
  • Wrap the warm milk in a blanket and set inside an ice chest
  • Run your oven at 350˚F for 1 minute, then turn off. Wrap warm milk in a towel and set it inside the oven.
  • For smaller amounts, some people use a thermos.
  • Use your instant pot on the yogurt setting (see the manual–instructions vary)
  • Wrap your milk in a towel and set it on a heating pad.
  • Buy an electric bread-proofing box (paid link).
  • Find a warm place in your house, such as on top of the water heater.

HOT TIP: When trying out a new method acting, check the temperature sporadically to make sure it is neither besides cool nor besides ardent. Set a cup of water adjacent to the milk and check the water, not the milk .

How long does yogurt need to incubate?

It depends… ( Don ’ thyroxine you hate that answer ? )

  • Do you prefer tart or mild yogurt? The longer you incubate, the more tart your yogurt will be. I usually incubate for 4-6 hours because I prefer mild yogurt. Some people incubate as long as 24 hours when they are concerned about lactose.

What is the best temperature for incubation?

  • 100-110˚F is optimal. A half-gallon of milk with a fresh and vigorous starter will set in 4-1/2 to 6 hours. The yogurt will taste mild. Incubate longer for a tarter flavor.
  • The hotter the temp, the quicker your yogurt will set, and the tarter your yogurt will taste.
  • Note that temperatures closer to 115˚F have a downside:
    • The higher the incubation temperature, the more chance that a “skin” will form across the top.
    • You may see excessive whey on top. Strain it off if you don’t want to stir it back in. (See directions below.)
    • Go much higher than 115˚F and the little yogurt bodies will die.

Step 6: When the yogurt sets, remove it from incubation.

determining when yogurt is set with a spoon

How can I tell if the yogurt is set?

commodity interview and for some, the hardest separate of the integral summons. You will learn from experience when it “ attend correct. ”
Finished yogurt should look set — like jello. If you take a spoon out of the center, it should stand up on its own .

What is the watery liquid I see on top?

There may be a reeking and yellow liquid on peak called “ whey. ” That ’ s normal. Pour off the whey or stir it back in–your choice .
If you pour it off and want to save it, here are some ideas for what to do with fresh yogurt whey .

Step 7: Chill yogurt or strain it for thicker Greek yogurt.

At this point, you could chill the yogurt for 2-3 hours before eating it. Or, you can make it thicker ( greek yogurt ) by straining it .

How to make Greek yogurt from regular yogurt:

Step 1: Transfer yogurt into a strainer.

Cheesecloth is the traditional way to strain yogurt. however, in my public opinion, there are better options .
Check out these posts about surrogate methods with coffee bean filters, a ticket engage colander, or a yogurt pouch .
straining yogurt with a nut pouch or yogurt bag Line a colander with a pouch, cheesecloth, or a coffee trickle ) .
Hot Tip : The plastic stadium inside a salad spinner works bang-up as a colander. It will hold up to a gallon of milk .
yogurt at the beginning of straining process Yogurt will “ break ” when you spoon it out of the original bowl. so don ’ t worry if it looks more alike bungalow cheese .

Step 2: Let the yogurt drain until it is as thick as want.

straining yogurt with a yogurt pouch If using a pouch, you can pull the bag tight and hang it. If using cheesecloth or a coffee bean trickle, set the trace colander back over the original bowl to catch any whey that drains off .
The time required to make greek yogurt will vary according to your method acting of straining and how thick you prefer your yogurt. The longer you strain, the compact the yogurt .
If the yogurt is not by rights fermented, it will be difficult to strain. When yogurt is excessively thin, it will immediately run through the cheesecloth or a pouch. When using a coffee bean filter, it may fair sit there. Read this post about when yogurt fails for what to do following .

Should I refrigerate Greek yogurt while I’m straining it?

Some people say the yogurt should sit in a refrigerator while it is straining. But who has room in their refrigerator for that ?
Another 2-3 hours sitting on the rejoinder won ’ triiodothyronine hurt your yogurt ( or you. ) The acidic nature of yogurt protects against spoil .

Step 3: What should I do with the whey?

whey drained from homemade yogurt to make the yogurt thickerEmpty the golden liquid you collected and dispose of it. Or store this whey in the fridge and make good use of it later.

Step 4: If desired, whisk Greek yogurt until creamy smooth.

strained yogurt before whippoing Strained yogurt normally looks curdled like bungalow cheese. That ’ mho convention. You can chill and eat as is or whisk it .
When chilled, the texture should feel smooth on your tongue. If it doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate, see the troubleshooting usher below .
whisking yogurt with a whisk Beat strained yogurt with a bad whisk until the lumps disappear. If you are doing a large sum, try using a digest mixer with the whisk attachment. submersion blenders are excessively harsh and will make the texture about fluid .
Important Reminder :
Before going to step 5 below, remember to save a small dowry of unflavored yogurt to use as a crank for your next batch .

Step 5: Add flavoring.

nowadays is the time to add any fruit, flavorings, or sweeteners. The yogurt may appear thinner than you hoped at this point. forge on. It will thicken up when chilled.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed the first time.
Check out the troubleshooting guidebook below and try again. If you have clock, reading through the comments may give you some extra hints .
Check the label for active cultures when buying from the shop .
Did it incubate long enough?
Did you add too much starter to the warm milk? 
only a generous tablespoon or two per 2 quarts of milk is necessary. More is not better. Yogurt bacteria dislike being overcrowded. Read this mail if you ’ re confused about how much starter you very need .
Do you feel little bits of “skin” on your tongue when you eat your yogurt?
You may have missed some skin attached to the side of the bowling ball as the milk was cooling .
I ’ ve tested respective methods to prevent skin from forming. none bring without a lot of stirring at the right times. The easiest way in my book is to remove it once—right before you are ready to add the appetizer .
If the possibility of bits of milk-skin bothers you, check out the cold-start method of making yogurt .
See this post for what to do with a fail batch of yogurt. Don ’ thyroxine throw it out yet .
If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately : Paula at

Hope to see you again soon !
Continue to Content

Yield: 8 servings

How To Make Healthy Greek Yogurt

How to Make Healthy Homemade Greek Yogurt--three servings of finished yogurt
A scout to making your own greek yogurt at home using nonfat, 1 %, 2 %, or unharmed milk .
Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

6 hours

Total Time

6 hours

20 minutes


  • 2 quarts dairy milk (fat-free, 2% or whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt (commercial or your own homemade) for starter


  1. Fill a Pyrex 2-qt microwave-safe bowl or pitcher with milk. Alternatively, pour milk into a heavy-duty pot to heat on the stove.
  2. Heat in the microwave until bubbles begin to appear around the edge. The temperature should reach 170-180˚F after you stir it. (In my microwave, it takes 17 minutes on HIGH). Check at 15 minutes.
  3. If a skin forms, remove it.
  4. Allow your milk to cool until the temperature drops to between 100-110˚F.
  5. Whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of fresh unflavored yogurt as a starter. You may use yogurt from a previous batch of your own homemade yogurt.
  6. Cover the milk and place it in a warm environment where the temperature stays around 100-105˚F.
  7. Allow the inoculated milk to incubate for 4-8+ hours or until set.
  8. At this point, you could chill the yogurt and eat it as is. Or you can decide whether to pour off the whey or stir it back in. Straining yogurt to make it thicker will result in Greek yogurt.

From regular yogurt to Greek yogurt

  1. Very carefully pour yogurt into a bouillon strainer or chinois. If the mesh is fine enough, you won’t need to use a cheesecloth or paper towel. Or use a Kleynhuis pouch or a commercial size paper coffee filter inside a cheap colander.
  2. Let yogurt sit in the strainer until the yogurt is reduced by approximately a third. Time will vary according to the thickness of the yogurt out of the oven and your own preference regarding texture and sourness.
  3. Empty whey from the batter bowl and pour yogurt out of the strainer back into the original bowl. Use a good whisk to beat until smooth. Thin with milk or leftover whey if yogurt is too thick.
  4. This is a good time to add any flavorings or sweeteners if desired.
  5. Chill.


Nutritionals are only an estimate. Numbers will vary according to how much you strain your yogurt .

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Nutrition Information:


8 servings

Serving Size:


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Total Fat:


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