Homemade Yogurt: Using your Oven and Making it Plain

I decided to do an experiment with making yogurt in my gas oven for those of you who have a gas oven and don’t want to buy a yogurt maker, or who would like to make the five-quart version. I’m happy to say that the experiment went well, though it took a bit of babysitting and a little tweaking.

Also, I made this one plain so that I could make it into yogurt dip for this coming Sunday’s carry-in.


Quart Version of Plain Yogurt
(If you want sweetened vanilla yogurt, see this post):

1 quart of milk (I use whole raw cow’s milk–Jersey milk has the highest butterfat content and makes a very creamy yogurt)
3 oz evaporated milk (which, I think, is a little less than 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup yogurt which has live active cultures. PL says it doesn’t matter if it’s plain or vanilla. I’ve used both with the same results. Once you make your first batch, you can use yogurt from your own batches to keep it going until the cultures weaken, then you have to buy more.

Partially fill a sink with cold water and get all of your ingredients ready and measured. It goes quickly, so you want to be ready. Temperatures are very important for good yogurt.

For raw milk, heat the milk to 180-190 degrees F. It creates a creamier yogurt.

Turn of the heat.

Add the evaporated milk. Stir well.

Place your pan in the cold water and stir. Your goal is to quickly cool the milk to between 110 and 115 degrees–temperature is important This happens more quickly than you’d think.

When the milk has cooled, add the yogurt using a very clean whisk. Bad bacteria can take over and make your yogurt clumpy and yucky. Very thoroughly mix in the yogurt.

Pour the mix into a quart container or yogurt maker.

The yogurt must incubate for between 4 and 10 hours at around 100 degrees. Too hot, and you’ll cook the yogurt. Too cool and it won’t incubate properly. Some people fill a cooler with hot water, place their jars or containers in it and leave it alone until it sets.

For my experiment, I warmed my gas oven to 110 degrees by turning it on and then turning it off after just a minute or so. I use the RediChek remote thermometer for everything like this. I LOVE it. It’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made.

I placed the container in the oven, closed the door, and checked the thermometer occasionally. If the temp seemed to be dipping down too far, I’d turn the oven on for a few seconds (DON’T walk away or you’ll cook your yogurt).

Don’t touch it. Don’t open it. Wait for about four hours, then very carefully check it. If it seems thickened and creamy, you can taste it to see if it’s tart enough. If it is, put it in the fridge until it’s cool, then you’re done! If it’s not, you can incubate it more. It will thicken up a bit more in the fridge, but it should be nice and thick when you’re finished incubating it.

That’s it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *