How to Make THICK + RAW Milk Yogurt

November 09, 2018

Breakfast in the morning is often an afterthought during the weekdays. You are scrambling to get the kids off to school and yourself ready for work. 

After a few full-blown flops in my attempt to make yogurt I thought is it possible to make THICK + RAW milk yogurt in the Instant Pot? Most recipes call for heating it to the point of pasteurization, but I'd like to retain all the raw goodness of my milk...thank you. 

The problem with making yogurt is that most of the recipes I come across require getting the milk up to a temperature that will basically pasteurize it in order for the cultures to work their magic.

I have found the ONE my heart desires and I want to share it with you. Hopefully, I'll save you a little time in the process. 

In other words... can you skip the pasteurizing step, retaining all the raw goodness of your milk, and still end up with thick yogurt?

It IS possible to make thick raw milk yogurt with our little friend ..... Instant Pot 

What are the Benefits?

Yogurt is filled with beneficial probiotics and is a balanced source of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Yogurt is considered a superfood.

When it’s sourced from grass-fed cows, then yogurt’s nutrition is maximized, giving you omega-3 fatty acids, whey protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, enzymes and probiotics.

You can't get the same amount of enzymes & probiotics from pasteurized milk because all of the good stuff has been killed off. You also won't get the bonus round of being able to make yummy sour cream because pasteurized milk is also homogenized meaning they take a lot of the milk fats out to even out the liquid particle size. 

These are 10 Proven Health Benefits of Yogurt According to Dr. Axe

  • Supports Healthy Digestion
  • Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Lowers the Risk of Colorectal Cancer
  • Increases Bone Density & May Help Prevent Osteoporosis
  • Supports Weight Loss and Increases Fat Loss
  • Boosts the Immune System
  • Reduces High Blood Pressure
  • Reduces Bad Cholesterol
  • Regulates Moods
  • May Help Treat Chronic Pain & Brain-Related Illnesses

How to Make THICK + RAW Milk Yogurt

Instant Pot Version

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 5 minutes
Makes 1 gallon (or more or less if you scale up or down).
Adapted from Wardee Harmon from Traditional Cooking School


  • 1 6- or 8-quart Instant Pot with yogurt function

  • 1 gallon Cottonwood Farm Raw Milk can scale up to 5 quarts for 6-quart Instant Pot, or up to 7 quarts if using the 8-quart Instant Pot

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sustainably sourced gelatin the formula is 1 to 3 teaspoons per quart of yogurt you're making; scale up or down accordingly

    1/32nd teaspoon ABY-2C yogurt culture if using this culture, you'll need 1/32nd teaspoon x 4 - measure using mini-measuring spoons; scale up or down accordingly (I used THIS culture)


  • Put a few cups of raw milk in the Instant Pot insert pot.
  • Then sprinkle with gelatin.
  • Whisk together milk and gelatin.
  • Press the "Yogurt" button.
  • Next, press "Adjust" once so the display reads "Boil".
  • While stirring constantly, let the milk heat just enough to melt the gelatin. You can tell it's ready when there are no more flakes of gelatin visible in the milk (bring up a spoonful to check visually).
  • Press the "Cancel" button.
  • Add the rest of the milk to the pot.
  • Then sprinkle/add the yogurt culture. (Using these mini-measuring spoons really helps! Smidgen equals 1/32nd teaspoon.) Here I used one pack of a Sweet Culture I found from Cheesemaking Supply Co.
  • Stir well.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the venting knob to the sealing position.
  • Press the "Yogurt" button. Use "Adjust" if necessary, to put it on the "Normal" setting.
  • Next, using the -/+ buttons, adjust time. (6 to 8 hours minimum; up to 24 hours for GAPS or THM.) It will soon turn on.
  • Put the Instant Pot in a corner of the kitchen to culture undisturbed for the duration of the time; the display will count up to show you how long it's been. (You can open it up and check periodically if you'd like.)
  • When done, put a glass or silicone lid on the insert pot and transfer to the refrigerator for 24 hours to set up fully. IMPORTANT!
  • Skim the cream that rose to the top, if desired, for sour cream or making cultured butter. Divvy up the yogurt into smaller jars (optional) or serve from insert pot.

It's That Easy!

Oven Version

Ingredients: Use the same as in the instant pot version + 5 Quart size mason jars.
  • Turn your oven on for 10 minutes at the lowest temperature, about 170 degrees. Turn the oven off and keep the door closed to gently heat the oven walls, about 50 minutes.
  • Put a few cups of raw milk in a heavy pot and sprinkle with gelatin.
  • Whisk together milk and gelatin.
  • While stirring constantly, let the milk heat just enough to melt the gelatin. You can tell it's ready when there are no more flakes of gelatin visible in the milk (bring up a spoonful to check visually).
  • Add the rest of the milk to the pot.
  • Then sprinkle/add the yogurt culture. (Using these mini-measuring spoons really helps! Smidgen equals 1/32nd teaspoon.) Here I used one pack of a Sweet Culture I found from Cheesemaking Supply Co.
  • Stir well.
  • Let cool to 115 degrees F.
  • Ladle the milk mixture into 5 very clean glass canning jars and screw on the lids.
  • Place the filled jars into the warm oven; leave the oven off and turn the oven light on. Leave the jars inside the closed oven for 6 hours. Remove the jars without shaking and place in the refrigerator overnight. 

PRO Tip: Grab those clear BPA free restaurant type containers from Amazon. We have them in pint & quart size.

Then go into your painting supplies and get that blue painters tape for labels. It's super easy to get off before the wash and helpful to know when it went in the fridge or what variation you used. 

How long will it keep? Your homemade yogurt is generally good for eating for up to 2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator. 


While yogurt starter cultures can vary in taste and consistency, the one you select ultimately depends on your personal preferences. We've outlined the main characteristics of each yogurt starter below to help you decide which one will work best for you!

"Direct-set" or "single-use" cultures are added to a batch of milk to produce a single batch of yogurt. You will need to keep your culture on hand in the freezer to make more of this type. 

"Reusable" or "Heirloom" cultures can be propagated indefinitely. With each batch, some of the yogurt is saved to add to a new batch of milk to make more yogurt. Reusable cultures should be propagated at least once every seven days to maintain the vigor of the bacteria.

Jazz It Up

You can add on to your yogurt to jazz it up a bit and keep from getting bored. You could make it sweet OR savory

To make it sweet you can add jams and jellies at a rate of 1 tablespoon per cup. You could also use cut up, mashed, or pureed fruit or fruit juice, marmalade, or lemon curd. Mix in honey or maple syrup or your sweetener of choice to taste.
When using vanilla or any other extract use a rate of 2-3 drops of extract per cup of yogurt and adjust to taste.

If you want to get crazy and go savory add herbs to your yogurt. This is an easy way to make an instant salad dressing, meat topping or vegetable dip. Adding yogurt to spicy or strong cultured vegetables can tone down the heat and add a creamy base. Yogurt has been used traditionally with spicy foods to cool them off and open up the flavors.

Go NUTS! Aldi often has great deals on trail mixes or straight up nuts. I've even seen pre-individually packaged portions (though might not be as eco-friendly as you would like)

You can grab a pint of yogurt and pack of nuts and hit the road!

Don't let the idea of making your own yogurt intimidate you. I know I was at first but it's actually SO easy. Another added benefit is that it's way more economical than buying store bought and this way you know where all of your ingredients are coming from. 

Are you curious about trying REAL milk?

Come by the FARM STORE to get some for your own yogurt making.

Also in Blog

The Ultimate Guide To Making Homemade Butter

December 17, 2018 0 Comments

Food is not what it says it is anymore. Unless we know our farmer and our food source, how can we really know what we are eating? What better food group to get to know exactly how it was made and where it came from than BUTTER?!

Check out our 6 steps to making your own and tools you can use to do it.

Continue Reading

Top 9 Reasons REAL Milk Is Better

December 03, 2018 0 Comments

Making the leap to go RAW is a BIG decision not to be taken lightly. Lactose intolerance, allergies, & eczema are just a few health reasons people come to us for REAL milk. 
The reason that resonates with me the most though is the ethics of knowing my milk came from a cow that has been treated with respect and encouraged to live as she would in nature.

Continue Reading

Why is Pasture Raised Turkey More Expensive?

October 05, 2018 0 Comments

You may like the idea of buying local and having a pasture raised bird for your Thanksgiving but then you see the price tag and are immediately taken back. Let me show you some of the TRUE costs of farming. 

Continue Reading