{weekend project} Dehydrator Yogurt

$1.00 per small container of greek yogurt seems like a good deal until you learn how easy and cheap it is make your own. Last year my husband and I purchased a 9-tray dehydrator. It’s a thing of beauty in our eyes. My husband noticed the yogurt setting on the dehydrator and that was the sort of inspiration he needed to make our own.

Making your own yogurt in a dehydrator was a big hit in a homesteading group that I’ve started attending. I wasn’t at the particular class when it was taught but the idea spread like wild fire. I was getting a lot of questions about yogurt making, which carries some irony since I am allergic to milk, so I knew it was time to share our family’s how-to here.

First I purchased a gallon of organic 1% milk and a cup of plain yogurt with live cultures as a “starter”. I bought a plain greek yogurt. Then my husband, since I am allergic to milk, tackled this project.

RECIPE: Dehydrator Yogurt

1% gallon of organic milk
1 8 oz. container of plain greek yogurt w/ live cultures (as your starter)


a) Take a large pot of milk and slowly bring your milk to a temperature 185 degrees for five minutes.

b) After five minutes take the whole pot off of the stove and place it in an ice bath in your sink until it cools to 115 degrees.

c) Add 4 tablespoons of yogurt from your store-bought plain yogurt cup to the milk. Mix thoroughly with a sanitized metal spoon.

D) Ladle the mixture into sanitized glass jars or another glass vessel. Take care not burn your hands, you may want to use a thick towel while ladling.

E) Set your dehydrator to 115 degrees for 12-15 hours, depending on how thick you want your yogurt.

NOTE: If you desire a thick yogurt you can strain out the whey with a cheese cloth or leave as-is. I added the plastic screw top lids to our yogurt to make breakfast on the go that much easier in our house.

It’s really so easy to make your own yogurt. Add your favorite fruit, flavoring, chia seeds, or granola to spruce it up for your breakfast morning routine. Enjoy!


20 Comments Add yours

  1. Joe Pfohl says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been interested in making my own yogurt for a while (much cheaper) and this is the push I needed! One question: How well do you think will this work with fat free milk? I suppose I could just try it but I figured I’d ask first. Thanks!

    1. Heather F. says:

      Hi Joe! Thanks for stopping by! 0% should work just fine. Come back and let me know how you make out.

  2. Ann Sims says:

    This looks great! I’ve been researching dehydrators for some time now, never even imagining it could also be used for yogurt. This may well be the push I needed to finally make the purchase. Any recommendations for dehydrators?

    1. Heather F. says:

      I have the 9-tray Excalibur and I love it!

      1. Heather F. says:

        If you invest in a dehydrator you should also think about purchasing a vacuum sealer too.

  3. Amy Halloran says:

    Thanks Heather for showing that making your own yogurt is so simple — I never use the dehydrator, though. I put my jars in a bath towel in a spaghetti pot. If the house is cold, I put it in the oven. If the house is warm, I leave the covered pot on the counter.

    The residual heat from the milk itself is enough to keep the yogurt culturing.

    1. Heather F. says:

      Hi Amy, You can definitely do it that way too! Thanks for commenting!

  4. Ann Sims says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! All the best to you, Heather 🙂

  5. kate2348 says:

    I was wondering about the organic milk. I can only find ultra-pastuerized organic milk. Will that work for the yogurt?

    1. Heather F. says:

      Hi Kate, It’s not recommended. I don’t think it yields good results but maybe you could find a local farm that has some that is not ultra-pastuerized.

  6. Dave says:

    Hey Heather, I had not thought of a dehydrator. For a couple of years I have been wanting to by one. Looks like another reason to buy. I’ve been making my by wraping a heating pad around my container and setting it on medium heat – saw this on Alton Brown’s Good Eats. It works really good but just one problem – my heating pad shuts off automatically after 60 minutes. So, I have to continually remember to flip it back on. It does work pretty good. I’ve been looking fo a heatng pad that does’t shut off.

    1. Heather F. says:

      Hi Dave. Using a dehydrator does make for a nice “set it and forget it” method. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. JoAnn says:

    I have also used my oven on proof setting

  8. narf77 says:

    Now I just need to stop Steve from dialling it up to 13! ;). He recently cranked up my excalibur when I was testing some yeast and cooked it 😉

  9. Lisa says:

    If you cook the yogurt for 24-32 hours the lactose will be used up by the cultures and the casein will be broken down. You may be able to eat the yogurt. Most yogurt is “undercooked”.

  10. Rae says:

    My dehydrator doesn’t have a door! It’s one of the ones where the front of the trays add up to make the door so no actual door. Did you do this using a dehydrator with a door? Not sure how to proceed with the dehydrator that I have. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers Rae

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