Making Yogurt at home with a cooler

For the last few years I have been making my own yogurt.  It’s easy, I can make as much or as little as I might need, and it is totally fresh without preservatives or added sugar.  It’s great in a smoothie, or just dished up with fresh fruit.  Use it anyway you would use a store bought yogurt.

I use the cooler method.  Basically it goes like this:

  1. Heat up milk ( I use regular 4 percent milk) to 180-185 degrees F
  2. Cool the milk down to 110-115 degrees F (to hasten along, set the pot in some cool water)
  3. Stir in some active yogurt culture – I often use a coupe tablespoons form the last batch.  After a few batches I may buy a small container of plain yogurt or Activia to provide some new cultures into it.
  4. Pour into mason jars, and place them in a cooler.  Fill halfway up the sides of the jars with warm, but not hot, water.
  5. Let the cooler sit a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.

That’s it. I makes yogurt just like that.  No fancy equipment, no machine.

For more explicit directions and pictures, from which I originally found the recipe go to:

Nourishing Days recipe page.

This yogurt will easily keep in the fridge 2-3 weeks.  Too long and it will lose it’s fresh taste and get watery (just like a store bought yogurt).