The craze and appetite for yogurt are at an all-time high. From supermarkets to mom-and-pop shops, you can find a variety of yogurts on the shelves. While the store-bought options have its benefits and convenience factor, preparing yogurt at home from scratch is a whole another experience.
Thankfully, you don’t need to invest much time or energy in making yogurt, all you need is a yogurt maker and you are good to go.
If you want to purchase the best yogurt maker, we have you covered! In this guide, we will explore the best yogurt makers, their features, and accessories.
But before we delve deeper, let’s get to know yogurt better.
Why yogurt is so popular?
Yogurt – the word itself is enough to conjure up images of health, wellness, diet and superfood. It is among the oldest food items in the world dating back 7,000 years. It is thought to have originated in the Middle East by sheer accident.
As is believed, milk was left in the open which got fermented with the help from bacteria. This is how the initial version of yogurt was created. Soon, it was exported to other parts of the world and the rest, as they say, is history.
But why is yogurt popular and hailed as a superfood in the first place? Because it is a superfood with dozens of benefits. Milk produces probiotics in high concentration when it is converted to yogurt. These probiotic bacteria and microorganisms are termed good. They are gut-friendly and keep your body functioning normally.
Some of the proven benefits of yogurt are:
- Promotes bone health
- Helps in digestion and improves the digestive system
- Provides necessary micronutrients
- Strengthens the immune system
Although yogurt is highly beneficial and all, one thing which has made it highly popular is that it tastes really good. Food manufacturers around the world have been experimenting with the look and flavour of yogurt, introducing yogurt-flavoured products, which is reaching even more audience.
What’s more, it is highly versatile. Its tartiness pairs ideally with many other food items. It’s been used in a range of cuisines, whether it be Indian, Chinese, Thai, British, or Mexican. It can be used along with meals and as a stand-alone snack.
Types of yogurt makers
Yogurt makers spoil you with choices. There are so many different types of yogurt makers available in the market for you to choose from. They mainly differ from one another by technology and features.
Yogurt makers can be categorized into three types.
As you might have guessed it, electric yogurt makers run on electricity. These yogurt makers are equipped with sensors, timers, heaters and controls, all of which can make the yogurt making process simple. Further, they also speed up the entire process.
The temperature control system, for instance, helps in maintaining an ideal temperature which ushers the growth of bacteria and speeds up the fermentation process. This often translates to better yogurt quality which is neither too thin nor too thick.
Non-electric yogurt makers are an older version of yogurt makers. As evident by their name, they don’t utilize electricity and rather rely on the natural working process. Here, you’ll have to boil the milk separately to denature the protein and then pour it into the container for it to cool and ferment.
Some makers have a separate compartment for holding boiled water and you just have to place the container on top of it.
These types of yogurt makers cost less when compared to electric yogurt makers and require low maintenance. On the downside, you won’t necessarily find the modern features like timers and would have to use your calculation and gut feeling to regulate the process.
So if you want to experience yogurt making process like it was centuries back, then you should probably buy one of these.
Automatic yogurt makers lie on the high-end spectrum of yogurt makers. These are capable of functioning on their own and require minimal supervision.
For example, they can regulate temperature on their own by calculating the outside temperature and the temperature required for optimal yogurt production. Furthermore, they can cool down the yogurt after fermenting without your intervention.
If you’re one of those who just want their fresh yogurt every morning but don’t have time to look after the whole process, then automatic yogurt makers are the best fit for you.
But that’s not to say you just pour the milk and forget about it. You’d have to do your share of work. Automatic just means that it can regulate the process better than other types of yogurt makers.
Electric yogurt makers are the most hands off, easiest to use and least time consuming.
The best yogurt makers review
This yogurt maker promises 2 quarts of fresh yogurt within six to ten hours. Just whisk in the ingredients, cover the lid and press the start button, the rest will be taken care off by this electric yogurt maker.
It comes with seven glass jars, each with a capacity of six ounces. One of the best parts of this yogurt maker is that you can make six different flavored yogurts all at the same time. The in-built timer will inform you when the yogurt is done.
The jars are dishwasher-safe, which makes it easy for you to clean it after use. As the jars are transparent, you can see the complete fermentation process which is just so satisfying.
- Capable of making 42 ounces of yogurt
- Three-year warranty
- BPA free
- Might involve a bit of trial and error
If you’re looking for a really versatile machine in your kitchen that’ll also help you make fresh yogurt at home, then look no further than this programmable multi-use machine from Instant Pot.
It can wear the hat of a yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pot, rice cooker, slow cooker and pressure cooker, all at the same time. And moreover, it’s consistent on delivering great performance and meals. Just press the required button from the interface section and it’ll adapt itself to prepare the food for you.
It has a size of holding 6 quarts of yogurt and the company claims it can prepare your yogurt two to three times faster than other makers.
Despite being so heavy duty in nature, it is easy to clean with its stainless steel design, is safe to use and has gone through 10 ULC safety checks. Further, it is priced in the low range which also makes it a great value pick.
- Combines seven kitchen appliances into one
- Easy to clean
- Energy efficient
- Customer service could have been better
- Might not be durable
This yogurt maker is entirely made out of plastic which is BPA-free, of course. So it doesn’t impart any unwanted chemicals into your yogurt. There are two sections, one for the yogurt and the other for the filtered water. The strainer is really useful when you want to thicken your homemade or store-bought yogurt further.
This is a non-electric yogurt maker which means that you’d miss the high-tech features often found in an electric one. Also, note that this is a Greek yogurt maker which is made by removing the excess whey from regular yogurt. So once you’ve prepared the yogurt or bought it from the supermarket, use this yogurt maker to prepare Greek yogurt within a couple of hours.
It has a capacity of holding two quarts of yogurt, which is ideal for one-time use for a family of 3-4 members. If you’re a minimalist type of person, then this Euro Cuisine GY50 yogurt maker can be a great selection.
- Capable of transforming up to two quarts of plain yogurt into Greek yogurt
- Easy to use
- Strainer may not always work as intended
- Durability is an issue
Even though this yogurt maker has a non-electric design, it is an electric yogurt maker that comes along with a thermometer and an instruction manual. However, if you’re not okay with the plastic accommodating your yogurt, you can use glass instead and place it inside this yogurt maker.
It has some innovative features like the “Water bath system” which makes sure that the temperature is uniform throughout the container. Also, this product is well ahead of its competitors when it comes to yogurt making speed. You can prepare 1-2 quarts of yogurt in under four hours.
If you’re looking for a budget electric yogurt maker that is a complete product in itself, then this the best product you can buy. It ships with a three-year warranty as well, which is why we think this is a pretty good investment.
- Helps in maintaining the ideal temperature while preparing yogurt
- Dishwasher safe
- Equipped with a seal tight lid which keeps the yogurt fresh for long
- Some leaking issues
This yogurt maker is perfect for a single person or couple as this can accommodate only 1 quart of yogurt. This is a non-electric maker and doesn’t require you to plug it in. The glass jar that comes along with it ferments the milk and provides you with probiotic-rich yogurt at home.
There’s no use of plastic either, just the glass jar and stainless steel container. Couple this with the fact that it’s non-electric and you’ll see it’s one of the best yogurt makers to produce yogurt the natural way.
- Made of glass and stainless steel
- Compact functional design
- No electricity required
- None, as such
With almost 50 ounces or 1.5 litres of space, you can produce a large amount of fresh yogurt in one go.
Cuisinart yogurt maker can be your perfect automatic yogurt making assistant with all modern high-tech features. It regulates the temperature on its own which favours the growth and will also turn itself off once the processing time has elapsed. Then the CYM-100 will cool the yogurt instantly even if you’re not at home.
The stainless steel design looks great to have in the kitchen and the LED screen operation makes it even better. But as a downside, the 50-ounce capacity makes it bulky. Besides that, it’s an all-around excellent automatic yogurt maker.
- Equipped with a built-in cooling system
- Easy to operate
- Comes with time controls
- Produces more than six servings of eight ounce at once
- Involves a bit of a learning curve
Looking for an automatic electric yogurt maker at a really cheap price? Then shortlist this machine from Cusibox.
It has seven jar containers which enable you to make different flavoured yogurts in a single session. The jar containers make it safer than plastic.
The temperature control feature makes sure the temperature stays accurate and regulated for better yogurt yield. As a complementary bonus, you’ll receive a recipe book to keep yourself busy with the machine for months.
- Comes equipped with great features like temperature control
- Made of food-grade material
- Suitable design
- A bit of a learning curve is involved
While the yogurt makers will do most of the job on their own, there are certain products which will make the overall process even more painless. You can use them when needed.
This set comes with 12 jars and an equal number of dessert spoons. These will make the handling of your yogurt easy. If you’re making large batches of yogurt and need to store them, utilize these jars. You can also store sliced fruits, dry fruits, or snacks in them to serve along with the yogurt.
These plastic containers are the best alternative to mason jars (if you’re looking for one) and are BPA-free, made from polypropylene material. With these containers, you can store and then prepare a complete yogurt on-demand.
How to make yogurt with a yogurt maker
Yogurt makers have made the process of preparing yogurt at home fairly easy. Before you begin, it is highly recommended to get hold of — a yogurt maker, a thermometer, mixing bowl and a ladle. The ingredients are milk and some plain yogurt.
Here are the steps involved in preparing yogurt in a yogurt maker:
- Take either whole milk or reduced-fat milk. Avoid skimmed or toned milk.
- Heat the milk until it starts to form edges in the pan. But don’t let it boil just yet. The temperature should read 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once edges start to form, remove it from the heater and let it cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Next, warm the cool plain yogurt by mixing a little warm milk. Continuously stir until it becomes smooth.
- Now add the yogurt-milk mixture to the container.
- This is the time to add any of your preferred flavouring agents. Once done, close the lid of the container and shake gently.
- Now it’s time to put it inside the yogurt maker for incubation. This is when the probiotics start to ferment the milk. Whole milk takes approximately 7 hours, while reduced-fat milk takes 9 hours to coagulate. During incubation, make sure to keep the lid open so that the yogurt maker can better regulate the temperature.
- Once it’s done, put the lid back on the container and refrigerate.
What to look for when buying a yogurt maker
Size and capacity
First thing first, what is going to be the batch size? In other words how much yogurt are you planning to make in one go? If you’re making it just for yourself, you should go for the smaller batch sizes.
If the whole family is involved, then you’re going to need a bigger one. So look at the size first when considering which yogurt maker to buy. These machines come in 750ml, 1l and 1.5l size primarily.
Once you’ve decided on the batch size and the total number of people you’ll be making yogurt for, next comes the container. It will store the yogurt once produced. The containers are made of either glass or BPA-free plastic. Even though containers can be purchased separately, you’ll get better deals when you purchase a combo.
Time taken by each yogurt maker to prepare yogurt varies depending on the model. For example, electric yogurt makers will ferment milk more quickly than their non-electric counterparts. Therefore, depending upon your time availability, you can choose the one best for you.
This is only applicable to the electric makers. Temperature plays an important role in the milk fermentation process. It should be ideal for bacterial culture to survive and do their job. This often translates to better yield. Some high-end and even affordable electric yogurt makers have precise temperature control functionality while others don’t.
Flexibility here refers to the types of yogurt you can make in a single yogurt maker. Some machines are capable of producing 5 or 6 types, while others are restricted to one or two specifically.
Then, there are machines which can do more than just making yogurt like boiling milk and water. So the more flexible the yogurt maker, the better if you like to experiment.
Automatic shut off and chiller
Automatic shutoff feature turns off the heater and appliance once the yogurt is formed. This provides convenience and safety. The timing is important since if yogurt is heated for too long, it can get too thick and feel like cottage cheese.
Some yogurt makers are accompanied by timer and alarm which don’t actually turn off the device themselves but inform you once the process is completed.
Automatic chiller makes sure the yogurt once produced gets chilled immediately. This enhances the yogurt and its flavour. Some yogurt makers have automatic chiller functionality built in them and can go from fermentation mode to chilling mode on their own.
If you’re a busy professional who consumes yogurt on a daily basis, then the dishwasher-safe feature will offer you a lot of convenience. You can simply clean the yogurt maker just like any other kitchen utensils.
Parts like pots, containers and jars can be thrown straight into the dishwasher even if the machine itself isn’t labelled dishwasher-friendly.
Lastly, check out for the price of the product and see whether it’s in your intended budget or not. Correlate the price with the features, product warranty, brand and any special benefits it might offer. Most machines in this category aren’t typically expensive. So it’s a matter of finding the right one for you at the best price range.
How to clean the yogurt maker
Cleaning a yogurt maker is fairly easy. Depending upon the type of yogurt maker you’re using and the manuals provided by the manufacturer, you’ll have to clean the device accordingly.
Some manufacturers advise cleaning the device with a damp cloth without immersing the machine completely underwater. This is especially true for the automated and electric yogurt makers. Immersing it underwater will expose its electrical components to water, thus causing damage.
For cleaning a yogurt maker, simply take out the individual parts and clean them one by one. Gently scrub the yogurt maker and its individual parts with dish soap and rinse it off with water.
Once done, let them dry in the shade for a few hours. Then again wipe it off with a cloth before re-assembling it.
For dishwasher-safe yogurt makers, you can easily clean them in the dishwasher along with other utensils. This won’t cause any damage to any of its components.
How to make yogurt without a yogurt maker
Now with all that being said, you can make yogurt without a dedicated yogurt maker too! All you’ll need are the right ingredients (milk, yogurt and fermenting culture) and 110 degrees Fahrenheit of temperature for 6-7 hours consistently. You can achieve this in three ways
In the oven
To prepare yogurt in oven, preheat the oven to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Then place the heated milk mixed with culture inside the oven and let it rest for 4-6 hours. Cover it with layers of a towel for better insulation.
In the slow cooker
Slow cooker not only helps in cooking soup or stew, but you can also use it to prepare yogurt. Just pour the heated milk in the pot and heat the cooker on low for another two hours. Then turn it off and let the milk cool or three to four hours.
In the thermos
Thermos insulates heat pretty good and keeps the container hot for a longer period. Therefore, it’s an ideal tool to prepare your yogurt.
The Wrap Up
One thing that makes the yogurt makers stand apart is the fact that they help you in regulating the temperature better. It further enables you to prepare yogurt in batches of varying flavours. As the most advanced yogurt makers are fairly cheap, buying one for your home does seem like a good investment.
What is your favorite yogurt maker? Let us know in the comments below.