After years of trying to figure it out, I have hacked the perfect homemade yogurt with multi-use kitchen gadgets. (I love kitchen gadgets!)
First I used the Probe mode on the Hamilton Beach Stay n’ Go slow cooker to bring a gallon of milk to 180 degrees and hold it there for a half hour. (When it switches to “Warm” mode it actually keeps the milk right at 180!) It was slow, but no stirring was required! Just skimmed off a milk skin at the end.
I cooled the milk in the unplugged slow cooker, using a thermometer inserted in the probe hole to monitor the temperature.
Then before bed I stirred in the dregs of a tub of plain Dannon yogurt, transferred the milk to the Ambiano 9-in-1 pressure cooker – a $50 Aldi deal – and cooked it on Yogurt mode for 9 hours. No stirring. No monitoring the temperature. The hardest part was straining it in the morning. Double-folded cheesecloth over fine mesh wire strainer over large bowl.
I got 64 ounces of the mildest yogurt ever, plus .33 gallon of whey, which can be used for lots of probiotic applications. (The three most popular are: pancakes, in lieu of buttermilk, sourdough bread, and fermented vegetables.)
Overall this was a very easy process. And the family all approve. They’ve never liked any yogurt I made before. Success!
To sweeten the yogurt, I cooked sugar, cream, and vanilla in a pan until it was all liquidy, and then stirred it into the yogurt after straining.
(The pressure cooker is pictured here with 9 steam-boiled eggs I just finished. I love boiling eggs in this cooker because first, it self-times, and second, you can always predict where the yolks are because the eggs steam upright on a rack instead of rolling around in water. This is important when making deviled eggs, or as my mom used to call them, “Angel Eggs.”)