No. I’m not changing the focus of this blog. I’m still addicted to pressure cooking. But with three posts about yogurt in three weeks, I can see how you’d wonder. Blame it (in a good way) on the [affiliate link] Instant Pot. The pressure cooker with a Yogurt making button. The button that launched thousands of users into the exotic world of yogurt making . Kudos to the marketing genius who decided that the Yogurt function belonged on a pressure cooker. Thanks to this person, I am officially addicted to yogurt too.
The latest craze in the online Instant Pot groups is making yogurt without boiling the milk. If you haven’t read my post on Instant Pot Yogurt yet, allow me to bring you up to speed on yogurt making. Boil milk to 180 degrees. Cool the milk to 110 degrees. Add a starter containing live active cultures. Incubate this concoction for at least 8 hours. At that point, Houston, you have yogurt. You can strain it now to make it thicker.
As I was saying, there is a lot of discussion online about making yogurt by omitting the boiling of the milk. Just dump the milk into the pot. Add the starter. Whisk to combine. Push the yogurt button on the Instant Pot. 8 hours later, you’ll have yogurt. Maybe.
There’s the rub. One man’s success is another man’s failure. Everybody is allegedly following the same process, yet results vary. Why? Because the method is the only constant in this equation. The users and the ingredients are two of the major variables. Not everybody is using the same type of milk and starter. People interpret directions differently. The altitude. The Instant Pot itself. Any number of factors that vary by user.
The draw of the no-boil method is not having to worry about the milk reaching 180 degrees and then cooling it to 110 degrees. However, these are both ball-park figures. Not everyone agrees on them either. Keep in mind that not boiling the milk cuts about 45 minutes off the yogurt making process. Not a huge amount of time. But it’s the only real hands-on part so you can see the appeal of eliminating it. The other 8 hours of incubation don’t involve any participation from you whatsoever.
I’ve been following the discussions closely knowing that I’d eventually try this myself. The ‘recommended’ milk for the no-boil method is Fairlife, a product of the Coca Cola Company. I’m not sure why but it has had the most success. But then I saw a post from a woman who said she did this with regular whole milk and [affiliate link] Yogourmet freeze-dried yogurt starter. I had both. Clearly a sign from the Roman God of Yogurt, Probioticus, that it was my time to try. (There is no Roman God of Yogurt. I made that up.)
So milk, starter, press Yogurt button, wait 8 hours. I could smell fermentation so I knew something was happening in the pot. When I opened the lid, I was disappointed to find that I had a very slight amount of solids in with my milky liquids. Not to be deterred, I pressed Yogurt again for an additional 4 hour run. Same results.
At this point many of the online yogurt makers would have tossed it down the sink. But I was still in experimentation mode. I poured it into my cheesecloth-lined strainer and put it in the refrigerator. It sat in there for close to 12 hours. The pictures show my results.
From one quart of milk, I got what I will generously call ¾ cup of yogurt and about 2 cups of the white milky liquid you see. If things had worked out properly, the liquid would have been whey, a clear liquid with a slight yellowish tinge.
In an attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, I poured the liquid back into the cheesecloth-lined strainer and put it back in the fridge. I wanted to see what would happen. An extra quarter of a cup of yogurt is what happened.
I didn’t get the results I had hoped. But I tried. You’ll never know if you don’t try. Experimentation is the fun part of cooking. I was willing to gamble with a quart of milk. If putting milk and starter together in a cold pot and pressing an 8-hour Yogurt cycle had worked, it would have been a game changer for me. It wasn’t. Yet some people claim success with the no boil method. Le sigh. Le envy.
Things aren’t always going to go right in the kitchen. I’m a home cook. Certainly not an expert in anything, including pressure cooking. But I enjoy it and I enjoy sharing my successes with you. And my trials and tribulations as well. My photographs aren’t staged to food blogger perfection. My photos are straight out of my kitchen real. WYSIWYG. What you see is what you get. Keeping it real on my end helps you. If a recipe doesn’t work or if it tastes icky (an industry term), you’ll hear it from me.
So who is going to try no-boil yogurt? You may be one of the lucky ones. If you can make it work for you, you’ll be my hero forever.