Homemade Yogurt in a Slow-Cooker? Why not!

I’ve never owned a slow-cooker, and I still don’t, but that
might have to change. After 45 years of marriage, my sister just got her first
one, so I’m looking up recipes she might like to prepare.
This is the Crock-Pot ® model my sister has.

A friend of mine (who asked to remain anonymous) really loves
her slow-cooker and offered me her recipe for homemade slow-cooker yogurt. She
said the prep time takes only a few minutes, and the machine (mostly) does the
rest. You can’t beat that!

Homemade Yogurt: Slow-Cooker Style

Ingredients:
½ gallon (8 cups) milk – 1%, 2 % or whole milk (not
ultra-pasteurized)
½ cup plain yogurt (low-fat or regular) with live, active
culture – OR – ½ cup starter from a previous batch of yogurt

Directions:
1. Turn slow cooker to low setting. Add the half gallon of
milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

2. With the cover still on, turn off the cooker and unplug
it. Allow to sit for 3 hours.

Special Notes: Preheat the oven to
200°F (or the lowest setting) just to warm it up – then turn the oven off. Turn
the slow-cooker on to the ‘high’ setting just until the outside feels warm to
the touch – then turn it off and unplug it. Turn off the oven. 
These extra steps will help produce a very desirable yogurt.


3. After 3 hours (see step #2), remove 2 cups of the warm
milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of commercially prepared (or
starter) yogurt. Then add the mixture back into the slow cooker, stirring to
combine.

4. Place the lid back on your cooker. Wrap the cooker in a thick
towel for insulation. Place it in the warm oven.

5. Allow this to sit for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
The yogurt should thicken nicely.

To achieve Greek-style yogurt, line a colander with
cheesecloth or coffee filters and place the colander over a bowl. Place the freshly
made yogurt (you might have to do this in smaller batches) in the lined
colander, place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The whey (milky
liquid) will separate leaving a thicker, creamier yogurt.

Don’t discard the whey; save it for smoothies!


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