Raw Milk Yogurt Instant Pot Recipe an Easy Plain Whole Milk Yogurt

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Our raw milk yogurt instant pot recipe includes everything you need to know to make plain whole milk yogurt in an instant pot with a yogurt setting. This recipe works with goat milk, cow milk, raw milk, and pasteurized milk. Enjoy the instant pot raw milk yogurt chilled with fruit and granola.

Instant Pot Raw Milk Yogurt Recipe

Various probiotic bacteria play important roles in the production of yogurt. Most often, species of LactobacillusBifidobacterium, and Streptococcus are the microbes found in various types of yogurt.

Specific types of yogurt, such as Greek and Bulgarian, are distinguished by the species of bacteria used to culture animal-sourced milk into yogurt.

When in animal-sourced milk, the bacteria can use lactose for energy. This produces a byproduct of lactic acid. Lactic acid builds up in the milk causing the coagulation of milk proteins.

This transforms the milk into a semi-solid mass with a drastic change in taste. It’s delicious yogurt!

Here are the species of microbes that classify yogurt as “Greek”:

  • Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus 

Click here to buy my favorite Greek Yogurt starter cultures.

Plain Whole Milk Yogurt Using Our Raw Milk Yogurt Instant Pot Recipe

Yogurt is what I call a “sterile” culturing process. The “substrate” (the milk) is heated and then inoculated with chosen microbes.

Even when using raw milk, you should always heat it to 181° F for 30 seconds or 145° F for 30 minutes before making yogurt.

Heating serves two purposes. First, if you heat the milk, your yogurt will come out thicker. Second, heating the milk ensures that only the yogurt cultures grow in your yogurt and no other microbes.

So your yogurt will taste better and last longer. You’ll have yogurt within just 12 – 24 hours of inoculating heated and then cooled milk with friendly bacteria!

You don’t need to worry about the heat destroying the benefits of raw milk; all the great benefits will remain there. The yogurt microbes add more enzymes and bioactive vitamins and minerals to the milk as it becomes yogurt.

I highly suggest using organic goat or cow milk from the farmer’s market. Raw milk works wonderfully, but you can also use pasteurized milk.

I use Kalona Super Natural low temp pasteurized, non-homogenized milk in this recipe every week.

Raw Goat Milk Yogurt in an Instant Pot

You can also choose between using goat or cow milk in this recipe! Goat milk yogurt is naturally thinner than cow milk yogurt because goat milk has less lactose and different fat composition.

You should use cow milk if you prefer thick and more solid yogurt. You can also do a half goat and half cow milk mix and then strain off the whey with a yogurt strainer to thicken it.

Here’s what you will need to make this Instant Pot raw milk yogurt:

Here are the settings you will use to make this recipe.

  • First, heat the milk on the high setting at 181° F
  • Then, you allow the milk to cool
  • Next, add your starter cultures or already-made yogurt
  • Last, you will incubate the yogurt for 12 hours on the medium setting at 107° F or a custom setting of 104° F.

Is this Raw Milk Yogurt Instant Pot Recipe Good for You?

Naturally fermented yogurt, kefir, and some cheeses are absolutely part of a healthy diet. The key is to watch out for ultra-processed and sugar-loaded products. The best part of making yogurt at home is that you don’t have to worry about hidden sugars and filler ingredients!

Since cheese, yogurt, and kefir are cultured and fermented by beneficial microbes before you consume it, these foods are very nutritious and loaded with bioavailable vitamins and minerals.

Plus, these types of fermented foods can provide a species-rich dose of probiotics for gut health! I highly suggest shopping at your local farmers’ market for fermented dairy products or even milk to make your own… because the animals on small local farms are healthier, and the milk products will be healthier.

You can read more about my thoughts on dairy products and gut health here.

Raw Milk Yogurt Instant Pot Recipe

I just can’t get over how quick and easy this plain yogurt recipe is!! This is a simple recipe for plain yogurt, but you can easily add any flavor.

You can add flavor components (like strawberry puree, or mango puree) before heating the milk, or you can just flavor the plain yogurt right before eating. Here are some recipes to try with this instant pot raw milk yogurt:

How to Make Thick Yogurt

Greek and Skyr yogurts from the store are strained to make them thick. A lot of people who make yogurt for the first time as the question, “why is my yogurt kind of runny and lumpy?” It’s because that’s what yogurt looks like when the whey is still in it.

All thick, perfectly smooth yogurts are strained to make them that way. And you can strain your yogurt too! Straining separates the liquid whey from the coagulated proteins and fat in the milk.

To strain your yogurt, follow all the directions in the recipe. Once the yogurt is incubated, set it in the fridge until cold. Then place the yogurt in a yogurt strainer overnight in the fridge. The next morning the whey will be in the bottom of the yogurt strainer, and your beautifully thick and smooth yogurt will be in the top.

Save the whey for smoothies, water plants with it, add it to lemonade, or sprinkle on your dog’s food.

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Raw Milk Yogurt Instant Pot Recipe an Easy Plain Whole Milk Yogurt

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5 from 10 reviews

Our raw milk yogurt instant pot recipe includes everything you need to know to make plain whole milk yogurt in an instant pot with a yogurt setting. This recipe works with goat milk, cow milk, raw milk, and pasteurized milk.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Fermentation time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Category: Yogurt
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: Greek

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Plug in and turn your instant pot to the yogurt setting.
  2. Pour the milk into the instant pot insert container and secure the lid in place.
  3. Adjust the yogurt setting to boil/high at 181° F. Then press start. The milk will be heated to 181° F for 30 seconds.
  4. When the instant pot beeps and the heating cycle is over, turn off the instant pot.
  5. Remove the insert container so the milk can cool. 
  6. Place a thermometer in the milk to monitor when it reaches about 115° F. This may take some time, so be patient. (tip: you can place the instant pot insert into a big bowl of ice water to cool it down faster)
  7. Remove the thermometer, you may see a film on the surface of the milk from the heating process. You can remove it with a clean spoon or stir it in. 
  8. Add in the two tablespoons of yogurt with live active cultures or starter cultures. (tip: dissolve the yogurt or starter cultures in a small bit of milk before adding it to the lot of milk, it will mix in easier)
  9. Whisk until the starter culture yogurt is evenly combined with the milk.
  10. Place the insert container back in the instant pot, and adjust the yogurt setting to medium (107° F) and adjust the time to 12:00 for 12 hours of incubation. 
  11. Secure the lid in place and press start. 
  12. The time readout should say 0:00. It will incubate for 12 hours. Once you press start, the timer will indicate the time passed. You can incubate for up to 24 hours for more tart yogurt. Simply taste test at 12 hours, then restart the yogurt setting to incubate for longer if you wish. 
  13. After 8 to 12 hours of incubation, the yogurt should be slightly set, and a jelly-like consistency. 
  14. Allow the yogurt to cool at room temperature for a couple of hours, then transfer to jars and store in the fridge.
  15. If you want to make thicker yogurt: place the instant pot insert in the fridge to chill and set. Once it is chilled, you can strain the yogurt through a cheesecloth-lined colander or a yogurt strainer. Allow it to strain undisturbed for about 8 hours in the fridge. Then, jar it and store it in the fridge.

Notes

  • You may see a lot of liquid whey separation after incubation, or you might find the yogurt lumpy in some spots. for thicker smooth yogurt, you can strain off the whey. Use a yogurt strainer or a cheesecloth-lined colander.
  • Reserve some whey or some of the yogurt to culture your next batch.
  • This yogurt should keep in the fridge. It stores well for 4-6 weeks.
  • You can use a freeze-dried starter instead of already made yogurt. Just use the amount as directed on the package.
  • Goat milk yogurt is naturally thinner. For thicker yogurt, use cow milk instead.
  • You can use raw milk, non-homogenized low temp pasteurized milk, or plain pasteurized milk for this recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a 5-star review below if you loved it! Tag @cultured.guru on Instagram

author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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44 comments

Laura June 14, 2022 - 12:24 pm

So, so easy!!
How have I never made my own yogurt before??! I can not believe how easy it is in the instapot! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. It is now apart of our weekly routine!






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Bre G July 14, 2022 - 9:53 am

I love this recipe! I’m getting a high quality product with the simplest ingredients possible while saving money. And there is a very small amount of hands on time used up. Personally I use the 24 hour setting because I like my yogurt on the tangier side






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Teresa Harper July 31, 2022 - 9:52 pm

I have never tried making my own yogurt. But this sounds delicious and so much more nutritional than any store bought! Where do you suggest getting the freeze dried starter?






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Kaitlynn Fenley August 1, 2022 - 9:30 am

Cultures for health is a good option, but I prefer to use already made yogurt as a starter culture.

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Michelle February 22, 2023 - 7:17 am

First time yogurt maker over here! Mine turned out very thin and lumpy! What did I do wrong? It tastes great though so that’s a plus.

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Kaitlynn Fenley February 22, 2023 - 8:11 am

You probably didn’t do anything wrong! If you are using raw milk that is not homogenized, the texture can be variable. Lumps can happen when the incubation temp is a little too high. Next time, try a slightly lower temp, and strain the yogurt through layered cheesecloth to make it thicker.

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Anonymous August 12, 2022 - 10:57 am

I really love this recipe!! So easy and cost effective with a toddler in the house!
Curious if there’s a way to make it thicker?

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Kaitlynn Fenley August 15, 2022 - 8:21 am

Thick yogurt is strained. You can use cheese cloth or a nut milk bag to strain the whey off the yogurt.

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Abigail August 18, 2022 - 4:30 pm

Where did you get the little jars to store the yogurt in? 🙂

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Kaitlynn Fenley August 18, 2022 - 6:49 pm

They came with my yogurt maker. You can use 6-ounce tulip weck jars; they’re the same size and work just as well.

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Kate August 18, 2022 - 11:27 pm

Can you use probiotics instead of yogurt starters ? I have a few high grade probiotics that could probably culture the yogurt just the same.

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Kaitlynn Fenley August 19, 2022 - 11:52 am

You can, but I’d be sure to look at the species in the starter. You don’t want to use anything with yeast strains.

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MaLou Strijbos October 19, 2022 - 10:51 am

I loved my first batch! I kept the whey, but how long does it hold and how much whey do you use if you use it for the next batch? Same amount as yoghurt?






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Kaitlynn Fenley October 19, 2022 - 11:19 am

Thank you for leaving a review! I store whey in my fridge for two months in a mason jar. and yes! you can use the same amount as yogurt as a starter culture. I usually do about 2 tablespoons per quart.

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Anonymous October 19, 2022 - 12:53 pm

Awesome! I stored mine in the fridge after making the first batch…but wasn’t sure if it would keep. Really appreciate the quick answer! Going to the store for more milk now…homemade yoghurt is the best 🙂

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Karen October 20, 2022 - 9:16 am

Literally the simplest yogurt recipe. I’m saving so much money making it at home like this.






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Alyssa October 27, 2022 - 9:01 am

Do I need to skim off the cream before making this?

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Kaitlynn Fenley October 27, 2022 - 9:27 am

You can but you do not have to. You can leave it and make a lovely cream-top yogurt.

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Jordan November 8, 2022 - 11:18 am

Is it ok to use store bought Greek yogurt as the starter and mix it with the raw milk? I am guessing since the milk is heated before hand it it eliminates the issues that come up when mixing raw and pasteurized?
Thanks so much!

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Kaitlynn Fenley November 8, 2022 - 4:15 pm

yes, you can use store-bought yogurt with live active cultures.

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Elisabeth November 9, 2022 - 10:40 am

Wow this came out perfectly and I don’t think I can ever buy yogurt from the store again! Delicious recipe and so easy!






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Victoria Seppi January 10, 2023 - 11:09 pm

Do I have to boil the milk? Trying to preserve all benefits of raw milk.






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Kaitlynn Fenley January 11, 2023 - 8:08 am

Even when using raw milk, you should always heat it to 181° F for 30 seconds or 145° F for 30 minutes before making yogurt. You don’t need to worry about the heat destroying the benefits of raw milk, all the great benefits will still be in the yogurt. The yogurt microbes add even more enzymes and bioactive vitamins and minerals to the milk as it turns into yogurt.

If you don’t heat it first, it may not thicken much, it probably won’t last very long, and it may not taste good.

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Michelle March 28, 2023 - 9:07 pm

Can I use an immersion blender to blend up the clumps prior to putting the instant pot insert into the fridge to set? And then if I want thicker yogurt, stain after it cools in the fridge?

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Kaitlynn Fenley March 29, 2023 - 9:24 am

NO!!! Do not blend it if you want to strain it. Blending it will mix all the whey back into the coagulated yogurt and it will not strain properly. You should place it in the fridge to set, then strain off the whey to thicken. Then if you still find it clumpy you can blend the strained thick yogurt.

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Olivia May 20, 2023 - 10:28 am

So excited to try this for the first time! Quick question – my Instant Pot doesn’t allow me to change the time on the ‘High/Boil’ setting, so it always does 3 minutes to fully pasteurize it, instead of 30 seconds like you say in this recipe. I would like to keep as many good things in the milk as possible. I’m wondering the benefit of using raw milk rather than store bought pasteurized, if it gets fully pasteurized anyway? Or if I can do this step in a different way in the Instant Pot to not heat it so high for so long? Thank you so much!

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Jessica August 2, 2023 - 8:16 am

This reciepe is so simple and easy! It has quickly become a weekly routine in our home. Highly recommend!






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Lisa August 9, 2023 - 7:27 am

It was late and I missed the step about cooling the yogurt first. I used Raw Milk and heated it to 181, but then I just put it straight in the yogurt maker and the warmer. It’s just kind of like thick milk.
Do you think it’s safe to drink?

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Kaitlynn Fenley August 9, 2023 - 8:31 am

It should be safe to drink! You can also add more cultures to it and re-incubate.

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Rachel August 15, 2023 - 8:11 pm

How do you do this if you don’t have a yogurt setting on the instant pot? Is it possible?

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Whitney August 20, 2023 - 10:12 am

Hi! My yogurt turned out a tiny bit yellowish in color. It still smells like yogurt though. Did I do anything wrong or is this normal?

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Kaitlynn Fenley August 20, 2023 - 10:38 am

That’s normal! If you strain off the whey, you’ll see its naturally yellow tinted and the yogurt will be more white.

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Christine October 3, 2023 - 5:17 am

I used soured raw milk, a little over 2 weeks from a home delivery, and after 12 hours it looked very separated and watery. Also didn’t taste great. Should I bother incubating another 12 hours or start over with another batch?

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Kaitlynn Fenley October 3, 2023 - 9:33 am

Since raw milk is not homogenized the whey separates out more easily than if you used homogenized milk. You should strain it using the directions in this post for a thick, smooth yogurt. I think you can try incubating it longer and straining it. Did you heat the milk before adding the starter and incubating?

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Rachel November 2, 2023 - 8:06 pm

Does heating the milk at 181 kill off the good bacteria? I thought 160 was the max before it loses some of its health benefits.

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Melissa Humphries November 3, 2023 - 7:18 pm

I have a slightly different Instant Pot so the buttons to press were a bit different but this recipe was the easiest to follow. I looked at several different ones online before landing on this one. I used A2A2 local raw milk. It came out delicious. I used Yogurmet Starter. I would have used my usual yogurt as a starter but it is sold out because they are resting their herd. I used a fine mesh to strain it. Next time, I want to pour directly into the cup because that’s how my favorite brand of yogurt is made. I’m hoping it forms a cream top. The yogurt I strained did not, instead it was thick like Greek yogurt. The instant pot makes this so easy that I will definitely be making yogurt a weekly thing for my family. It’s a considerable savings and the Instant Pot makes it super convenient. We are lucky to have a lot of access to high quality organic raw plain milk and yogurt in VT, but it’s nice to be able to make my own. It’s all essential for our family’s healthy gut biome and probably one of the best gifts I have given my son that I know plenty of children do not get the opportunity to have access to probiotic food.






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Sarah November 8, 2023 - 9:02 am

I loved this recipe and am making it for the second time now. Do you have any suggestions for what to do with all the whey that is strained off?






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Kaitlynn Fenley November 8, 2023 - 9:14 am

Happy to hear that you loved it! I do a lot with the whey. I love to freeze some in ice cube trays for protein smoothies. I also give some to our dog and cat daily for a probiotic. It’s great for culturing the next batch of yogurt. It’s also great to use in sourdough bread instead of water. I also add a little to my simmering bone broth. Any that I don’t use I dilute with water and water my plants with it (my house plants love it).

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WdT November 14, 2023 - 7:15 am

Good day. I am very interested in buying an Instant Pot to specifically make yogurt and was referred to your blog by the Instant Pot sales gurus in my region. So I hope you can assist.

I have health challenges, which requires me to use UNpasteurised milk to cure my gut.

I need to use organic NON-pasteurized milk as per medical doctor prescription which need to be converted into fermented foods such as yohurt or cheese. How can one switch off the pasteurization, since pasteurization results in the enzyme which breaks down lactose, being destroyed, thus leading to lactose intolerance. I need to heal my gut due to autoimmune diseases and can only do so when having the right microbiome reintroduced to my gut, thus healing my autoimmune disease. Please advise how I can update the software or settings to specifically cut out pasteurization during yogurt making or recalibrate the temperature setting (since, according to my knowledge pressure results in pasteurisation at lower temperatures). It serves no function if I end up making yogurt which I could just as well have bought from a store.

As mentioned before, the milk may NOT be pasteurised and I am not familiar with the effect that pressure has on the potential of pasteurisation at lower temperatures.

So your help will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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Kaitlynn Fenley November 14, 2023 - 7:52 am

Hello!

The process and importance of each step is fully explained in the body of the blog post above the recipe card. This recipe is written as I developed it. I’m not an instant pot technician or expert, and can only provide this recipe based on the instant pot model I have. Heating the milk using the yogurt setting does not pressurize it, and my recipe here requires that you heat the milk before cooling it to make yogurt.

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Julie December 18, 2023 - 3:23 pm

I have an instant pot but my model does not have a “yogurt”setting. Are there alternate instructions?

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Kaitlynn Fenley December 19, 2023 - 8:51 am

I’ve only every worked with the instant pot model I have. If there is a way to set your instant pot to 104-107° F for 12 hours, then you can use your instant pot.

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Judy January 15, 2024 - 11:34 am

Would halving this recipe still work in a 6 qt instant pot?
I think it would take me too long to go through a half gallon of yogurt.

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Kaitlynn Fenley January 16, 2024 - 8:14 am

yes! you can cut the recipe in half. Any volume will work in the instant pot.

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