Pressure Cooker | March 30, 2018

Instant Pot Yogurt

I have to admit, when I first heard about instant pot yogurt making I shunned the idea.  Why would I spend 16 hours creating yogurt at home when I can easily purchase it at the store?  Then one day, I just decided to go for it.  I had read many people’s experiences in various forums and decided I needed to give it a try, even if I didn’t know if it would turn out. I went with a method that involved zero boiling because it seemed the least painful.  To my surprise – it did work!  And it was creamy and delicious and a FRACTION of the calories and sugar store bought yogurt has.

Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt in glass jars with berries

Yogurt Making Sans Boiling

There are a few things you will need for this method:

  • Ultra Pasteurized Milk
  • Live Cultures
  • Sweetener (Optional)
  • And Instant Pot with a yogurt setting

Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt ingredients on a white surface with a blue whisk

Ultra-Pasteurized Milk

The first is an ultra-pasteurized milk. The reason for this is simple – using regular pasteurized milk can result in lots of yucky bacteria building up.  So go for the ultra pasteurized versions to make your instant pot yogurt.  If you want to use a regular milk you will need to do a boil start method for yogurt making.

Some ultra-pasteurized milks you may find at your grocery store are:
  • Fairlife – which is what I use.  It was the first brand I tried.  It worked.  Why fix something that isn’t broken?  I’m sticking with Fairlife.
  • Organic Valley
  • Horizon
  • Certain Varieties of Kirkland Brand Milk – be sure to read the label

Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt mason jars with fresh fruit

Live Cultures

To get your yogurt started you need to add live cultures.  The easiest way to do this is to use yogurt.  It is the same idea as a sourdough bread starter.  It may sound counter intuitive, but you need those cultures to make your own cold start yogurt.

Once you’ve made your first batch of yogurt you can use your homemade yogurt as your starter.  You can use your own yogurt as a start – freeze some yogurt in an ice cube tray, and then use a few thawed cubes in your next batch.

Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt in mason jars with fresh fruit and granola

Yogurt Starters With Live Cultures

Some brands of yogurt that contain live cultures are:

  • Fage
  • Chobani
  • Dannon
  • Yoplait
  • Siggi

Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt in a mason jars with a spoon scooping some out


The next ingredient for your homemade yogurt is a milk based sweetener.  This is completely optional, but let me tell you why I add it.  Sugar acts as a preservative, and when you are adding a small amount of sweetener to a gallon of milk, the amount per serving is very small.  I’ve included the nutritional information below to include my sweetener of choice (sweetened condensed milk.). I also don’t care for plain yogurt.  If you like plain yogurt, then simply omit the sweetener.

You can also add sweetener in after you have incubated your yogurt. Or you can sweeten with toppings like berries, honey, or granola.  If you want to add sweetener before you incubate, chose one of the following:

  • sweetened condensed milk
  • Natural Bliss Sweetener

Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt in a mason jar with fresh fruit at the side

The Proper Instant Pot Model

The last and most important item you need is an Instant Pot with a yogurt setting.  Not all models have this setting, and you can not complete this method without it.  There are other methods of making yogurt without a yogurt settings, but they are much more complicated.  Below are some models that have the yogurt setting.  I also included the glass lid I use while making yogurt.

instant pot cold start yogurt in mason jars with yogurt overflowing down the sides
Don’t let this intimidate you.  You will be done prepping in minutes and all you have to do is let your instant pot do the work.  If you make this recipe, please come back and leave me a comment with how it went!  I know you’re going to swear off store bough yogurt after your try it!

4.82 from 11 votes
Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt
Instant Pot Yogurt
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Chill Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 5 mins

How to make creamy and delicious yogurt in the Instant Pot.

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make yogurt, instant pot yogurt
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 180 kcal
Author: Kadee
  • 1 gallon ultra pasteurized milk like Fairlife brand
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt with live cultures like Fage brand
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk optional
  1. In a 6qt Instant Pot, combine all ingredients.  Whisk until well combined. Cover with glass lid.

  2. Using the yogurt setting, incubate for 8 hours.

  3. Without stirring, transfer inner pot with lid to a refrigerator and chill for 8 hours.

  4. Serve your cold start yogurt plain or with desired toppings.  Will keep in refrigerator for 7 days.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Yogurt
Amount Per Serving (0.75 cup)
Calories 180 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 107mg 4%
Potassium 326mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 19g 6%
Sugars 20g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 7.2%
Vitamin C 0.6%
Calcium 27.3%
Iron 0.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



73 thoughts on “Instant Pot Yogurt

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  1. How long can the finished yogurt stay good in the refrigerator? Can I make a half recipe with success? This makes an awful lot of yogurt for my household!

    1. Yes you can make a half batch. And it lasts about a week. Some say two weeks but it doesn’t last that king at my house.

      1. If you make 1/2 a batch do you cook it for 1/2 the time? Also, have you ever made frozen yogurt from this after? I made some today, its excellent but way too much for us to eat so I’m thinking of making frozen yogurt today 😊

    1. You don’t need to strain. There is such a small amount of whey that you can just stir. If you want thicker Greek style yogurt you can strain.

    1. You can use your regular lid. Just remove the silicone ring so you yogurt doesn’t taste like chili ha ha. You don’t need the ring because you aren’t pressurizing the pot.

      1. Awesome! Yes, minE smells like salsa chicken and I was wondering about the smell seEping in! Thanks for the tips!!

  2. Can you use the natural bliss coconut milk creamer as a sweetner. One of my kids cant have lactose and fAirlife is dairy free, but the regular cream is not.

  3. It looks like my message mIght be in caps, excuse it if it is. Can you use half aNd half as your Milk source? Its ultra Past. Also, does tHe sweetened Con Milk make The yogurt thicker?

      1. Tried it last night witha quart of organic valley half half and tbps of fage yogurt and it worked beaUtifully! Creammy and thick and mild!

  4. I made another recipe that called for 52 ounces of FAIRLIFE milk with 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk and 2 tbsp. Of live culture yogurt not a whole gallon. It came out great. It was thick and creamy and not too sweet. I am wondering if the thickness and sweetness level would differ much with a whole gallon of milk. Any thoughts?

    1. thickness will be the same. sweetness level will just be slightly sweet with this recipe. You can adjust the sweetener to your liking.

    1. 2/3 cup. I’m not sure why the serving size wasn’t showing up – but I’ve updated the nutritional info to reflect that.

  5. How did you calc the CALORIES? I have calculated significantly more cAlories and sugar. 14 oz of sweetened condensed milk has 1300 calories and 222 grams of sugar. Even at a 2/3 cup serving, i get 193 calories and 23 grams sugar. (Sorry for caps – it wouldnt change to lc)

    1. Hi Hllb,
      Thanks for bringing this to my attention! Our recipe cards automatically calculate the nutritional info, and when I further inspected the card it was calculating the sweetened condensed milk in a strange manner. I’m not sure what happened but it had calories with several decimals. I manually adjusted the calories and made sure the serving size was visible. It should be accurate now.

      1. Thanks! Have you tried making this with half the amount of sweetened condensed milk? I’d like to cut the sugar content a bit.

        1. I have. For me – it is kind of like eating sour cream. You can, however, add different sweeteners after incubating. Like stevia, honey, or fruit.

  6. I read on a blog that the culture shouldn’t be mixed in until after the refrigeration period. Ant thoughts on this?

    1. I would not recommend this. Your yogurt will not thicken without a rice live cultures in it.

      You can, however, add non milk based sweeteners after the refrigeration – stevia, honey, fruit, etc.

  7. If i add the sweetener before IncubatinG, will the STARTER i keep still wOrk for nExt time? (NO IDEA why all caps😩

    1. The only sweetener you can add before incubating are milk based sweeteners like sweetened condensed milk. All other sweeteners need to be added after incubation.

      Starters containing milk based sweeteners will work fine for your next batch.

  8. do you have to use a whole milk? or could you use fairlife’s 1% or 2% milk? (sorry if this comes across in all caps)

    1. If you are adding a non-milk based sweetener like stevia, sugar, or fruit – add it after the yogurt is completely done. After incubation and chilling.

  9. My batCh came out beautifully. I added a Homemade strawberry compote. My concern is that the yogurt i put in the freezer comes out really really thin once thawed. I’m worried my cubes of yogurt (without the strawBerry oBviously) will be thIn as well once thaweD. If they do Thaw really thin will they still work as a starter?

  10. I made a half batch of this with less of the swee cond milk. For a 1/2 gallon oF milk, i used about 1/3 of a can of The swee cond milk. I also strained it for about 2 hours. It tastes good and is still plenty sweet. Ill pr use 1/4 of a can of sweetener next time to reduce the sugar further.

  11. If my yogurt finishes overnight (like 4AM) and I don’t plan to get up to put it in the fridge, is it OK to sit on the counter until morning when I put it in (probably 2-3 hours)?

    1. Do you plan on leaving it in the instant pot? If so it will continue to incubate. Which is OK, but the longer it sits in that warm environment, the tangier the flavor will be.

  12. Don’t have a glass lid, so I’m just using the regular instant pot lid without the ring. But when it comes to Refrigeration, if I’m only putting the inner liner in, what’s the best thing to use for a lid?