Greek style yogurt at home

February 23, 2010 | By | Comments (12)

GreekYogurt (1)

Ever since a friend taught me how to do it easily, I’ve been making my own Greek yogurt at home. The procedure is simple.


1/2 gallon milk (2% or whole is best)

2 tablespoons plain yogurt with live cultures


2 quart-sized canning jars (or 4 pints)

heavy pot big enough for 1/2 gallon of milk

candy thermometer


1. Heat milk over medium heat until it reaches 170 degrees F.   For the first 5 minutes or so, you can basically ignore it.  But as it begins to heat up, keep an eye on the temperature and stir it frequently.  (This is the most complicated part of the whole recipe, but don’t worry, it only takes 15 minutes or so!)  You don’t want the milk so hot it boils– all you want is for it to start to simmer around the edges and be heated through.

2. Once temperature has reached 170 degrees, remove from heat and let cool to 110-120 degrees F.  This part takes 20-40 minutes or so, depending on the temperature in the room.

3.  When milk has cooled to the right temperature, it is time to add the yogurt.  Whisk in 2 tablespoons of plain or vanilla flavored yogurt until well combined.  You can use any store-bought yogurt, as long as the container says, ‘contains live cultures’.

4. Turn on oven and preheat to 200 degrees for 5 minutes or so. Pour the milk into the quart jars and tighten on rings and lids. (It is perfectly fine to use other glass jars, as long as they are clean and have metal lids.)

5.  Turn off oven and place jars in warm oven to sit for 6-10 hours, or until milk is set and looks like yogurt.  (I like to do this at bedtime and let it sit in the oven overnight.) Once your Greek style yogurt has set, place it in the  refrigerator to cool and thicken a bit more.

6.  It is perfectly fine to sweeten as desired and eat the yogurt at this stage.  However, if you like your yogurt very thick and creamy, you may want to take one additional step.


7.  I discovered that this bag lets me really step my yogurt up a notch.  The bag is a plain muslin bag with a draw string.  Scoop the yogurt into the bag, close the bag with the drawstring, and hang it up over a bowl.  (I hooked my bag over the handle of my microwave.)  Let the bag hang up for half an hour or so, allowing the watery whey will drip out into the bowl.  What remains is ultra-rich, ultra-thick Greek style yogurt.

I made a batch today using 1% milk, and was amazed at how rich and creamy the yogurt tasted. And since I made it myself, I know my family’s not getting preservatives or artificial thickening agents, just pure delicious yogurt. Sweeten your yogurt with honey and fresh fruit.  Or– easiest yet– just add a spoonful of jam to each serving.  Yum!!



  1. simone

    This looks delicious and easy, thanks for sharing. I believe your hanging bag method is the same one to make natural cream cheese from yogurt. There are many uses for the whey, you can use it to make soaked grain products or to make “canned” fermented vegetables.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm
  2. Debbie

    I did not realize that you could make yogurt with out a yogurt maker. I just made yogurt today also. However, I used my yogurt maker. I also like the bag idea, draining out the extra liquid. Thanks for sharing. This is very helpful. I also posted about my yogurt over on my blog today.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm
  3. Mary Ostyn

    Hi Simone,
    Yes, to get cream cheese I think you hang the bag longer, and also put some weight on the bag to press out even more liquid… is that how you do it? Thanks for the ideas for using the whey! I was thinking of adding it to potato soup, but haven’t tried that yet.

    February 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm
  4. melissa

    Looks great! I am planning on making yogurt tomorrow. I will “hang” some and have greek yogurt.

    February 24, 2010 at 12:05 am
  5. Karen

    I’ve seen a crock-pot method-has anyone tried that?
    Wondering which give better results, I’d think a crock pot would use much less energy and be much more cost-effective.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:59 am
  6. Mary Ostyn

    I haven’t tried the crock pot method, but actually in the above method, the oven is on only a few minutes, not all night, so I suspect it is not too expensive, electricity-wise.

    February 24, 2010 at 9:35 am
  7. sharon

    I have only used the crock pot method, and it also was easy peasy. Instead of hanging my yogurt, I just pour it into a coffee filter lined colander, and place in fridge. I use the drained whey in all my baking, subbing it for any liquid required!!

    February 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm
  8. Joni

    Two questions: Can you use this yogurt for the next batch or do you need to use more store bought yogurt? Can you reuse the metal lids on the jars or should you use new ones?

    March 2, 2010 at 7:45 pm
  9. Mary Ostyn

    Yes, you can use this yogurt to start the next batch, and you can wash the lids in the dishwasher and reuse them too! 🙂

    March 2, 2010 at 9:53 pm
  10. Sharon

    I have been making yogurt for about six months now, and my husband is crazy for it. Rather than draining the yogurt Greek style, I add 1 cup dry milk solids to 1/2 gallon milk for a nice, thick result. Delicious!
    A tip I was given: You can use your homemade yogurt to make more, but if you go too long, you may get wild cultures that make your next batch taste extra sour. I try not to go too many batches without a fresh starter from the grocery store. I buy a quart of plain yogurt and freeze it in tiny containers as soon as I open it. Then I have lots of starter material on hand. Works great.

    April 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm
  11. Amie

    I just tried this for the first time and am wondering why I haven’t started making my own yogurt sooner! This was so easy and it cut the cost of making organic yogurt by 50%!!!

    August 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm
  12. Get to Know Greek Yogurt – You've Got To Taste This |

    […] See our blog on how to make Greek yogurt at home! […]

    May 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm

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