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Steeped in ancient traditions and found in nearly every culture that relies on animals for milk, yogurt is one of the world’s oldest foods. Though found in ancient civilizations throughout the world, it is believed that the word “yogurt” is Turkish in origin, (“yoğurmak,”) meaning to thicken, coagulate, or curdle. For many, the tangy dairy product is a go-to for breakfast, while others choose to incorporate yogurt into savory dishes, sauces, and more. If you think making your own yogurt sounds intimidating, think again. Requiring just milk, a yogurt starter, and a few kitchen tools, homemade yogurt is surprisingly simple to make and well worth the effort—if you find the right machine. While you can technically make a batch without a yogurt maker, it requires rigorous monitoring to ensure the bacteria is at just the right temperature to eat the sugars in milk and produce lactic acid, which will ultimately thicken the milk into yogurt. The best yogurt makers will aid with temperature and fermentation, so you don’t need to repeatedly check on it. 

Once you begin to make your own yogurt, you’ll quickly learn that it’s cost-effective, cuts down on plastic consumption, and produces the same quality you’re used to from your favorite brands (or better). Plus, once you’ve made a batch or two, you’ll be ready to experiment with your own flavors and add-ins. Once you add a yogurt maker to your countertop, you’ll find that, like with homemade ice cream, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Euro Cuisine YMX650 Digital Automatic Yogurt Maker

Material: Brushed Metal/Glass/Plastic | Auto Option: Yes | Size: 9.5 x 5.75 in. | Weight: 4 pounds | Different Flavors: 7 | Storage Containers: glass | Container Lids: plastic

Pros


  • Individually portioned
  • Automatic shut off
  • Straightforward process

Cons


  • Transferring yogurt mix into containers requires care
  • Temperature cannot be adjusted
  • Produces a smaller batch

Why we chose it: This compact, user-friendly yogurt maker turns out seven individual servings of fresh yogurt, all of which can be independently flavored. 

If you’re looking for a set-it-and-forget-it type of yogurt maker, this is your best bet. Small enough to fit any countertop and easy to operate and clean, it’s the most user-friendly machine on our list. The automatic shut off feature is the highlight of this Euro Cuisine choice, ensuring that your yogurt won’t become too firm or sour for your liking. Though it’s not suited for those who prefer a large amount of yogurt, the individual glass jars allow for plenty of customization with add-ins like fruit, jam, or extracts. 

Best Value:Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker 

Material: Glass and BPA-free plastic | Auto Option: no | Size: 9.5 x 9.5 x 6 in.| Weight: 4 pounds | Different Flavors: 7 | Storage Containers: Seven 6-oz. Glass jars | Container Lids: Plastic

Pros


  • Affordable
  • Individually portioned
  • Fuss-free

Cons


  • Manual shut off
  • No timer
  • No digital display

Why we chose it: Individual jars provide creamy, fresh yogurt from a budget-friendly, no-frills appliance. 

Fuss-free and affordable, using this yogurt maker is as easy as flipping a switch. With room for seven dishwasher-safe jars, you’ll have enough yogurt to last for a full week. Unlike Euro Cuisine’s automatic yogurt maker, this machine requires you to set your own timer and manually turn it off. However, this price point for an electric yogurt maker simply cannot be beat. Though it doesn’t have a digital display, there are markings on the side of the machine that will show you where your yogurt is in the fermentation process, which typically lasts between six and 10 hours.

Best For Greek Yogurt:Euro Cuisine Gy50 Greek Yogurt Maker

Material: BPA free plastic | Auto Option: n/a | Size: 10 x 10 x 5.25 in. | Weight: 1.54 pounds | Different Flavors: no | Storage Containers: no | Container Lids: no

Pros


  • No electricity needed
  • Simple to use
  • Doesn’t require temperature monitoring

Cons


  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Mesh strainer is delicate

Why we chose it: This strainer transforms classic yogurt into thick Greek-style yogurt worthy of your favorite recipes. 

A bit of a misnomer, this is actually a strainer that serves to separate the liquid whey from homemade or store-bought yogurt, yielding the thickest Greek yogurt possible. Using it is quite simple—you place yogurt in the mesh strainer above the included bowl, then place it in the refrigerator for several hours to drain. The strainer can transform up to two quarts of yogurt at a time, and it only takes a few hours. However, the mesh is not dishwasher safe and testers say it can be fragile, so the strainer must be washed and stored with care.

Best Manual: Country Trading Co. Stainless Steel Yogurt Maker

Material: Stainless Steel | Auto Option: no |Size:  7.87 x 5.11 in Different Flavors: no | Storage Containers: Glass | Container Lids: Stainless Steel

Pros


  • Portable
  • Compact design
  • Versatile

Cons


  • Temperature can drop
  • Best results when using a commercial starter
  • Requires some trial and error

Why we chose it: This old-school manual yogurt maker is fashioned out of stainless steel and teamed with a glass mason jar for those wanting to make creamy yogurt, labneh, sour cream, or cultured butter. 

This low-tech yogurt maker, which includes a stainless steel flask and one-quart glass jar, is used like a thermos. You make the yogurt by heating milk, mixing it with the starter, putting it in the glass jar, and transferring it to the flask, which is designed to retain the heat of the yogurt for about eight to 12 hours. Capable of making yogurt, labneh, sour cream, and cultured butter, the manual yogurt maker is praised for its versatile functionality and electricity-free design. However, it’s best paired with a commercial yogurt starter to yield the best results, and users mention occasional trouble with keeping the heat for the full amount of time. You may have to test the yogurt maker in different areas of your home or add warm water to the flask before using.

Best Multi-Function:Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker

Material: Stainless steel | Auto Option: Digital timer | Size: 10 -12 servings | Item Dimensions: 13.38 x 12.2 x 12.48 in. | Weight: 11.8 pounds | Different Flavors: No | Storage Containers: No | Container Lids: No

Pros


  • Large quantity
  • Has an automatic function
  • Multi-purpose appliance

Cons


  • Residual flavors may leach into yogurt
  • Pricey
  • Takes up a lot of countertop space

Why we chose it: A multi-cooker that can serve a variety of purposes, this handy gadget is for tech-loving chefs who want to do it all. 

Made for many purposes (including yogurt making, pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming, and more), the Instant Pot Duo is worth the higher price tag and counter space. Plus, it makes yogurt easy with its “yogurt” setting that’s pre-programmed to make perfect, creamy yogurt. The yogurt will be ready in about eight to 12 hours, although it may take trial and error to find your consistency of choice. One word of warning: some users find that their yogurt can take on the flavors of other dishes made in the pressure cooker, so the inner pot and sealing ring must be thoroughly cleaned before using it for yogurt.

Best Collapsible:Cuispro Collapsible Yogurt Maker

Material: Silicone and Plastic | Auto Option: Yes | Item Dimensions: 11.5 x 10.5 x 9.25 in. | Weight: 2 pounds |Different Flavors: Yes | Storage Containers: No | Container Lids: No

Pros


  • Large compartment accommodates various containers
  • Collapses down for easy storage
  • Single button operation/automatic shut-off

Cons


  • Thermometer, starter, and containers sold separately
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Some jars may not fit

Why we chose it: Suitable for any kitchen, this collapsible yogurt maker takes up limited counter and storage space. 

A one-touch machine with automatic shut-off produces smooth yogurt before handily collapsing down to a three-inch height for easy storage. Fashioned out of silicone and plastic, this lightweight model is a great option for anyone looking for a streamlined yogurt maker that doesn’t take up too much kitchen space. This Cuisipro model does not come with storage jars, but they can be purchased separately.

How We Chose These Products

Yogurt makers were tested by professional pastry chefs and home bakers using Siggi’s brand whole milk yogurt as a starter. We researched models that ran the gamut from manual options to hands-off automatic machines. Based on reviews and input from high-end kitchenware retailers, we then tested a variety of options that were easy to use and accessible.

Features to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Yogurt Makers

Size

Size will be dependent upon your kitchen space and frequency of use. If you reach for it regularly, choose one that will easily find a landing place on a counter. Larger models, or those used less frequently, can be stored in a cabinet. If you prefer large quantities instead of individual portions, consider a larger capacity machine.

Features

Consider the features included with an electric or non-electric machine before purchasing a yogurt maker. If you consume large amounts of yogurt but prefer customizing your own flavors, choose a maker with individual jars. Automation functions will allow you to “set it and forget it,” while others require you to manually set time, temperature, and power. 

Capacity

Yogurt makers range in capacity from 16 ounces to 50 ounces, with 32-ounce models proving popular because they yield a sizable quantity without being too cumbersome.

Ask the Experts

Q: How does a yogurt maker work?

Making yogurt is an interaction between a starter culture (a mixture of live, active bacteria) and milk. Milk is heated to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, then allowed to cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The milk is then combined with a yogurt starter, flavored if desired, and poured into either individual jars or a large container, which is placed inside the yogurt maker and programmed for the appropriate amount of time. When the yogurt has finished incubating in the machine, it is covered with a lid(s) and refrigerated.

Q: How do you clean a yogurt maker?

Check with the manufacturer’s recommendation. Most models with glass jars require a thorough wipe down of the machine and a dishwasher clean-up of the jars; plastic lids are best hand-washed. Avoid acidic detergents which are corrosive to metal. If using an Instant Pot, it is very important to thoroughly wash the stainless steel inner pot or risk residual odors and tastes leaching into your yogurt.

Q: Can I make Greek yogurt with a regular yogurt maker?

Greek yogurt can be made with a regular yogurt maker, but the yogurt will need to be set and strained afterward for a minimum of 10 to 12 hours.

Q: What is the ideal temperature for straining yogurt?

For a thick, spreadable yogurt akin to Greek or labneh, it is best to strain fully-set yogurt in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours or overnight. Yogurt can be strained on the counter in a kitchen with an ambient temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit or below, but only for less than two hours. Simply spoon the yogurt into a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth (or a large coffee filter), allowing the whey to drip into a bowl. Set a timer to check on it; the longer the yogurt strains, the stiffer it will become. 

Our Take

Homemade yogurt is worth the effort, and easier than you may think. By making it at home, you’re controlling the sweetness, thickness, and ingredients of your yogurt. Choose a yogurt maker that’s best suited to your needs and lifestyle, and be sure to read the manufacturer’s operating instructions before using it. 

Every product is independently selected and vetted by editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

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