Making Yogurt in an Instant Pot

Instant Pot Yogurt

Makes about half a gallon.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from several recipes.

Making yogurt in an Instant Pot involves a few steps, but the process is easy because the Pot takes care of itself. It will monitor the internal temperature and its own time. All you need to do is set up each step, press 1 or 2 buttons, and then walk away.


3 cups (700ml) water
½ gallon (1.9 liter) milk (whole, 2%, 1%, skim)*
2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened yogurt with live active cultures


Sterilize the Instant Pot: Pour the water into the pot. Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve. Select STEAM and adjust cooking time to 5 minutes. When cooking time is complete press CANCEL and use the quick-release method to depressurize the pot. Remove the lid and pour the water out of the pot. Cool and dry the inner pot.

Pour the milk into the cooled pot. Secure the lid on the pot. Open the pressure-release valve (or use the glass lid). Select YOGURT and adjust until the display reads “Boil.”

When the boil cycle is complete, check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. If it is not 185°F (85°C), select SAUTE and adjust to NORMAL to warm it to 185°F. Monitor with a digital thermometer. Press CANCEL when temperature is reached. Remove the inner pot and place on a cooling rack to cool. (Or speed the cooling process by setting the inner pot into a sink of cold water.) Cool the milk to 110°F (43°C), whisking occasionally. Return the inner pot to the Instant Pot.

Scoop about a cup of the prepared milk and pour into a small bowl. Whisk the yogurt into this bowl, mixing it thoroughly. Then pour this mixture into the milk and stir to distribute evenly. Secure the lid on the pot. Open the pressure-release valve. Select YOGURT and adjust incubation time to 8 hours, making sure the display says NORMAL. The pot will maintain the inner temperature between 100°F and 110°F (83 to 43°C).

When the incubation time is complete, transfer the inner pot to the refrigerator to cool the yogurt, covered and undisturbed, for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Place a colander or strainer lined with a double layer of cheesecloth or a large coffee filter in a large bowl. (Two strainers, filters, and bowls might be needed to strain the volume of yogurt.) Transfer the yogurt to the lined strainer(s) and cover the bowl and strainer with plastic wrap. Let strain in the refrigerator for about 1 to 2 hours for regular yogurt or at least 8 hours or overnight for Greek-style yogurt.

Store in tightly sealed containers in the refrigerator.

Enjoy yogurt plain or with fruit, preserves, nuts, or granola. Or flavor with vanilla and honey.

*NOTE: Milk that is higher in fat will produce thicker, creamier yogurt than 1% or skim milk—but you can also thicken yogurt by straining it for a longer period of time.