DIY: Greek yogurt

My husband and I go through Greek yogurt slowly but surely, since we make smoothies 2 or 3 times a week.  We also use Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in baked potatoes, tacos, etc.

Apparently one pound of Greek yogurt requires up to 4 pounds of milk, according to Fage, a popular Greek yogurt producer.  There are about 8.6 pounds in a gallon of whole milk, and I have read that the weight increases as the fat content goes down, so a gallon of skim milk weighs at least 8.6 pounds.  Given those numbers, one gallon of milk would make 2.15 pounds of Greek yogurt.

I used this recipe from Happy Simple Living to make my yogurt.  I used the Trader Joe’s Greek yogurt we had sitting in our fridge as my starter.


1) Bring half a gallon of skim milk to 180 degrees using a candy thermometer.  I used my Le Creuset pot for this.

2) Let the milk cool in a glass bowl to 110 degrees.

3) Add 3 tablespoons of TJ’s Greek yogurt mixed with 2 tablespoons of milk.

4) Turn oven on to lowest temperature, then turn off.  Insulate the pot with a towel and put it in the oven on potholders for 4 hours with the oven light on.

5) At this point it should have the consistency of custard.  Put a cheesecloth in a strainer and pour the yogurt in.  Let it strain overnight or for several hours until it has the consistency you want.

Greek yogurt

So thick the spoon stands up

Cost analysis:

A 32 oz. container of nonfat Greek yogurt at Trader Joe’s costs us about $5.99, and a gallon of milk costs $2.99.  I can make about 2 pounds of yogurt with that gallon of milk, so we save about $1.50 per pound of yogurt, or $3 per 32 oz. container.  Plus, it is so delicious, and you can adjust for the mildness or tartness that you want.  Win!


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