• Beginners Guide: Make Greek Yogurt for Cheap At Home

    by  • September 21, 2011 • How to Make Greek Yogurt • 5 Comments

    Making Greek Yogurt at home is easy and funMaking yogurt is easy. Making greek yogurt is equally easy! In order to make greek yogurt you need only an old clean tee-shirt, space in your fridge, and a couple of hours to relax, watch a movie, whatever you want to do. The industry that has arisen around home yogurt making is pretty impressive, but you don’t need anything more than some basic kitchen necessities if you want to make delicious, pro-biotic, natural, organic, authentic Greek Yogurt right at home.

    What you need to make greek yogurt:


    4 cup or greater glass or plastic measuring cup (with a lid is helpful, but not necessary)

    2 Tablespoons live culture yogurt (You can get it from you local grocery store), or yogurt culture packet

    If you’re using a yogurt culture packet you will need 2 tablespoons milk set aside in a little bowl for use later.

    4 cups of milk, the higher the fat content, the better.

    6 cup saucepan or pot


    Piece of an old tee-shirt, cheese cloth, or a tea towel (the kind that is not made out of terry cloth)

    Optional: 1/4-1/3 cup powdered milk

    Making greek yogurt:

    Note: These instructions are for 4 cups of milk, but you can make it in larger batches, if you want. 4 cups is just a manageable amount of milk to work with.

    Step 1: Scald the milk Time 3-7 minutes

    First you have to scald/pasteurize your milk. This means pouring 4 cups of milk into your saucepan and, over high heat, bring it almost to a boil. This will take about 3 minutes if the milk is at room temperature or 5-7 minutes if it’s just out of the fridge. As the milk is just starting to bubble around the edges of the saucepan, remove from the burner. Put a lid on the pan if you want, and then walk away.

    You also have the option of adding the powdered milk now, and whisking it in, or doing it later. It doesn’t matter.

    Step 2: Let the milk cool Time 45mins-1hour

    Come back periodically over the next hour or so until the pan has cooled down to about 108-115 degrees. You don’t need a thermometer for this, you can just use your fingers. When you can hold your fingertips to the side of the pan, for ten seconds without burning them you know it is ready. If you didn’t add the powdered milk before, you can add it now, or not at all.

    Step 3: Add the bacteria Time 1-2 minutes

    If you’re using yogurt culture packets, now you add the packet to the 2 tablespoons and stir and then pour into the saucepan. If using the 2 tablespoons of live culture yogurt, pour it into the saucepan.

    Stir the saucepan of now culture rich milk with a whisk, and then pour back into your glass or plastic cup measure. If your measure cup has a lid, put it on, if not that’s fine.

    Step 4: Keep the mixture at 108 degrees Time 4-12 hours

    Turn on the oven light, and turn the oven on to warm. After about 2-4 minutes turn off the oven and then place the measuring cup in the oven. The oven light will produce enough heat to keep your oven pleasantly warm and allow you to peer in at the whole ecosystem you’ve just created.

    Walk away for 4-12 hours.

    When you wake up from the delightful nap you’ve just taken, remove the yogurt from the oven, and turn off the oven light. You can test if the yogurt is done when you tilt the measuring cup and the yogurt moves away from the side in one mass.

    Step 5: Strain the yogurttime 2-4 hours

    Now you get to make greek yogurt.

    Take the cloth that you have designated for the straining–tee-shirt, tea towel, or cheese cloth–stretch it over top of a bowl. Keep the cloth in place with several rubberbands stretched around the outside of the bowl. Then pour your yogurt onto the strainer you’ve created. Place the bowl and suspended yogurt into the refrigerator. Let the yogurt drain for a couple of hours. The longer you let it drain the thicker the yogurt.

    Walk away. Read a blog about how to make greek yogurt.

    You’re done!

    When the yogurt has drained long enough, or when you remember that you forgot about it go to the fridge and remove the delicious ready to eat yogurt.

    Remove the rubber bands and gather up the edges of the yogurt cloth. Avoid submerging the yogurt in all that delicious whey you’ve drained off. Put the yogurt in an air tight container and refrigerate until you want to eat it.

    One more thing!

    Don’t throw the whey away!  You thought you were just making greek yogurt, but you got a bonus: Whey!  But what do you do with whey? Read our article on what to do with whey to learn more. 

    Now you are done making greek yogurt. Flavor it how you like and enjoy.


    5 Responses to Beginners Guide: Make Greek Yogurt for Cheap At Home

    1. Pingback: Don’t Throw away the Whey | 3 Great Uses for leftover whey | How to Make Greek Yogurt | Easy Homemade Greek Yogurt

    2. Beth
      November 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      I’m confused about the type of milk used for Greek Yogurt.

      1. Should I be using goats milk or cows milk?

      2. If I use Organic Milk do I still scald the milk?

      3. Can I use part of a store bought Greek yogurt as a starter?

      Thank you

      • admin
        November 20, 2013 at 3:00 am

        Hi Beth,

        Here are some answers to your questions. I hope they help.

        1.) You can use either goat’s or cow’s milk. In our experience, if you want your homemade greek yogurt to achieve a consistency similar to store bought greek yogurt, cow’s milk is easiest (that is because commercial greek yogurt is made with cow’s milk.) Goat’s milk because of the difference in fat content, I believe in general, turns out a little thinner in consistency which sometimes can make straining a bit more difficult. Both though are delicious.
        2.) You should still scald even organic milk. The scalding is really to kill off any bacteria that may have gotten into the milk post pasteurization that could impart bad flavors to your yogurt. The likelihood of the presence of the bacteria is not based on the milk being organic or not. So as a general rule scald all milk.
        3.) The answer is absolutely yes! There are two things to remember when doing this, the first is that you want a brand of greek yogurt that has active cultures (almost all of them these days do) and second, for the health of your greek yogurt you want to buy the freshest yogurt available in your grocery store and make your greek yogurt with in a day or two of your purchase. The reason for this is that the longer you wait the less effective the live cultures become. To make homemade greek yogurt you want the freshest starter so that you can continue to reuse a tablespoon or so of your own greek yogurt as starter each time and not have to buy anymore. You can also start from a dried starter which guarantees freshness. I have found this greek yogurt starter to be very effective, affordable and pretty fool-proof. You can check it out as an another option.

        Thanks for reading the blog!

    3. Joanna
      March 2, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      I’m just curious, have you ever tried using a yogurt maker like the EuroCuisine or Cuisinart? Or do you always use a saucepan like mentioned in your article?

      I’m thinking of investing in one, because I sometimes get success using your method, and sometimes not. It’s like a hit-or-miss. I read in one article, that they are really helpful in keeping the mixture at a constant temperature

      • admin
        March 11, 2014 at 1:47 pm

        Hi Joanna,

        Yes we use greek yogurt makers as well. You should check out our article and review at The Best Greek Yogurt Makers. Happy Greek Yogurt making!

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