Even though I already have an Electric Pressure cooker, I took the plunge and purchased an Instant Pot a couple weeks ago when they were on sale at Amazon for $125. Sounds expensive, but I use my pressure cookers often. I have one that is used on the stovetop - All-American - that I use for canning as well as cooking larger meals. I did an entire 17 pound turkey right before Christmas - it took less than 2 hours to cook, and it was amazing ! I'll do another post on that later. I also have this cheaper Cuisinart electric pressure cooker - which I purchased about a year ago. When I bought the Cuisinart I didn't think I'd use it that often, so I didn't want to invest the $240 that the Instant Pot was selling for at the time. A year later, I've seen how often I do pull out the electric pressure cooker - especially with the kids and all their activities - it makes a great meal fast. Since we are going to slowly go entirely whole foods (no, they don't know yet) I know I'll be cooking more often, so I used that reasoning to allow myself to purchase another electric pressure cooker. Today's the first time I'll be using it !
For Yogurt I'm using -
A gallon of whole milk - I've heard you can use 1% and 2%, but for my first batch, I'm sticking with
Vanilla - I'll use pure vanilla from Penzey's spices, plus I have some vanilla beans to stir in at the end.
Yogurt to use as starter - I picked up a couple individual serving sized Brown Cow yogurts with lots
of live active cultures.
Powdered Milk - I'm using it with this batch, but it's not really necessary.
Step one - if using powdered milk, put a few Tablespoons into your gallon of milk and shake, shake
shake. If there isn't enough room in the gallon jug, pour a little off into the Instant Pot
which is not plugged in yet !
Step two - plug in the Instant Pot, hit the yogurt button, then hit the adjust button. It will display the
This step will take about an hour - I started exactly at 9 a.m. After it beeps - you have to cool it back down.
It's faster to take the insert out and let it cool on the counter. If you have a thermometer - it's good to get it down to about 120* - this too will take about an hour. I have this Polder thermometer - it will beep when the correct temps are reached, which takes about another hour. One of the things I love about this thermometer is that you can change between Celsius and Fahrenheit - so I don't have to adjust recipes that I find online :) After it has cooled - add the yogurt starter - about 1/2 a cup for the entire gallon of milk ! For this batch I used Brown Cow yogurt - I've heard that whatever yogurt you choose has an effect on the final taste - so use a yogurt that you like as long as it has live cultures !
You can also add vanilla when you add the yogurt starter - if you choose. Then - back into the Instant Pot - push the yogurt setting button. The number 8 will flash, and then it'll go to 0 and start counting up 8 hours. After 8 hours - you'll hear a beep and your Instant Pot will tell you the yogurt is ready !
I like Greek Yogurt - so I strain mine. I got this strainer at Amazon as well. I may end up getting another - because if you do an entire gallon of milk at one time - it'll only hold about 1/2 the pot at a time. The first whey that comes down I save and use as buttermilk - great for baking ! In the summer you can save the whey to water your tomatoes. The longer you let it sit, the thicker it will get. I let mine sit about 1 1/2 hours - and it got really thick.
After it was thick enough - I pour out all the whey, and I dumped the yogurt into the clear container so I could use a whisk and get rid of any lumps. I also took the opportunity to add some fresh vanilla beans.
And the final product ! No, the yogurt is not green, my canning jars are. I just love all the colored jars - I'm sad that I missed the baby blue ones - but there is no way I'm paying premium for blue ones ! Anyway, I ended up with 5 pints of thick Greek type yogurt, and 2 pints of buttermilk. I dumped out the rest of the whey. The verdict - excellent - I'll be making this again. I'm going to try with goats milk ... a bit more expensive, but since I'm somewhat lactose intolerant, if it works, it might be worth it.
UPDATED -- I have now made batches of yogurt, trying different milks. Surprisingly the Lactose Free Skim Milk makes awesome yogurt - nice and thick.