Instant Pot Yogurt

This is a recipe for making yogurt using an Instant Pot.

  1. Equipment
  2. Ingredients
  3. Directions
    1. Sterilize Equipment
    2. Heat Milk
    3. Cool Milk
    4. Add Starter Yogurt
    5. Incubate




The process can be summarized as follows:

The process becomes straightforward after making it once or twice.


  1. Make sure instant pot is clean.
  2. Everything that contacts the milk needs sterilizing.
    1. Place trivet and 1-2 cups of water in pot.
    2. Place any utensils, e.g. the mixing bowl and fork, inside the pot.
    3. Run Instant Pot’s “Sterilize” mode (or high pressure mode) for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Sterilize the food thermometer using boiling water.
  4. Once the pot’s sterilization cycle is complete, carefully remove everything. Avoiding contamination and burning yourself. Dump out the water.

Heat Milk to 180℉+

  1. Add milk to the instant pot.
  2. Put the lid on. Even though it won’t be under pressure, the lid helps it reach temperature quicker.

For the following steps, there are two Instant Pot modes that can now be used. Notes:

Yogurt ModeUltra Mode
1. Select the “Yogurt” mode, then select the “High” temp setting. The display will flash “boil” (even though the milk isn’t going to boil).1. Select the “Ultra” mode, then set the temperature to at least 181℉. A higher temperature may be necessary if the milk doesn’t reach temperature.
2. Press start and wait. The Instant Pot will display “YOGT” when the milk has been heated.2. Select 50 minutes per 1/2 gallon of milk, i.e. 1hr 40mins for 1 gallon. This time will need to be adjusted depending on your environment.
  1. Regardless of the mode, use the thermometer to measure the milk after heating. More time and/or another cycle may be needed for milk to reach temperature.
  2. The longer you keep it at temperature, the creamier/thicker the yogurt will be. Aim for 30 minutes at >180℉.

Cool Milk to 105℉ - 114℉

  1. Take the inner pot out. Use the thermometer to monitor. Options for cooling:
    • Leave it on the counter. Will take a long time.
    • Place in the sink with some ice water. Takes about 15min. Take care not to contaminate.
  2. Skim any “skin” that forms off the top of the milk using sterilized fork. This helps make it creamier. Do not scrape the bottom of the pot, since there may be scalded milk.

Add Starter Yogurt

  1. Place 1 spoonful of starter yogurt in the sterilized bowl using sterilized spoon. Only a small amount is needed. This can be done while the milk is cooling to bring the starter closer to room temperature.
  2. Spoon in some milk to the bowl with starter and mix until smooth. Idea is to equalize temps and remove lumps.
  3. Pour the mixed starter back into the milk.
  4. Place inner pot back into instant pot (making sure the pot exterior is dry before placing inside if you used a water bath).


  1. Set pot to “yogurt” setting and then “medium” temp. For time: Anywhere between 6-24 hrs. I usually set it to 24hrs, but then actually remove it the next day whenever is convenient. More time = more tart.
  2. Place the lid on, even though it won’t be under pressure.
  3. Once incubation is complete, place the pot in the fridge. This helps the yogurt to “set”. There will be some liquid on top and maybe slight yellow color. Normal.