Yogurt is a popular snack for various reasons, but buying it at the store can get expensive. Thankfully, it's pretty easy to make your own yogurt at home, especially with the help of a dedicated yogurt maker. You can make a batch of the creamy snack from scratch in less than 12 hours and choose whatever ingredients or flavorings you want. Even if you’re new to making yogurt at home, the machines below are foolproof, versatile, and affordable.
Euro Cuisine YM80 Electric Yogurt Maker
Individually portioned dishwasher-safe jars
Can make seven different types of yogurt at once
No timer or automatic shut-off
Saving money doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice performance, and the Euro Cuisine YM80 Electric Yogurt Maker proves that. Like the more expensive Euro Cuisine model, this electric yogurt machine comes with seven 6-ounce glass containers that all fit together in the round base to make up to 42 ounces of yogurt in one cook cycle. The controls are extremely basic: There's just an on/off switch with an indicator that the machine is on. The "timer" includes numbers one through 12 printed on the side, with a manual indicator you point to the hour when your yogurt will be done. (Depending on the base ingredients, a batch can take anywhere from six to 12 hours to ferment.)
We loved the simple design and how easy it was to make yogurt with this machine. It even tasted fresher and significantly better than store-bought varieties. We also really liked the individually portioned grab-and-go containers, which allow you to make up to seven different types or flavors of yogurt at once. You can use as many or few jars as you want for each batch, but if seven isn't enough, Euro Cuisine also sells additional glass jars and an expansion rack that doubles the capacity to 14 jars and 84 ounces of yogurt.
One downside to the YM80 is that there’s no auto shut-off feature, so you’ll have to make sure you’re nearby when your yogurt finishes to turn it off manually.
Price at time of publish: $50
Capacity: 42 ounces | Timer: Manual | Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.5 x 6 inches | Includes: 7 (6-ounce) glass jars with plastic lids
"Operation was as easy as placing the jars (without lids) in the base of the yogurt maker and flipping the power switch. There are no settings to worry about and not much else to do once you start the fermentation process." — Sharon Lehman, RDN, Product Tester
Proctor Silex Yogurt Maker
Yogurt ferments and stores in same container
Only includes one container
This sleek stainless-steel machine looks lovely in a corner of just about any kitchen, and its push-button controls, digital timer, and LED display makes the fermentation process super easy. During the eight- to 12-hour cycle, the yogurt ferments in a 32-ounce BPA-free plastic insert that doubles as a storage container. When the yogurt is done, you simply pop the container out of the machine, cover it with the included lid, and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat it.
This isn't the most compact machine on the list—especially given its comparatively small capacity—but it looks great and sells for an excellent price.
Price at time of publish: $43
Capacity: 32 ounces | Timer: Digital | Dimensions: 7.5 x 7.6 x 9.1 inches
Best With Auto Shut-Off
Euro Cuisine YMX650 Automatic Digital Yogurt Maker
Includes dishwasher-safe jars for making multiple flavors at once
Automatic temperature control and shut-off
Machine can run hot
The Euro Cuisine YMX650 has pretty much the same design and accessories as our top pick, the YM80, but it adds in an automatic timer and shut-off. Instead of utilizing one large container, the machine houses seven individual glass jars so that you can mix up all sorts of yogurt flavors and ferment them all at once.
After you heat the milk, pour it into the seven included jars and add the starter and flavorings. The machine does the rest, controlling the temperature automatically for up to 15 hours and beeping once the yogurt is complete. The jars also come with clever lids that rotate to display the date so you know how long your yogurt will stay good.
The one downside buyers mention in reviews is that this machine can run a little hot. That's a problem because temperatures just slightly above the ideal range for fermentation can kill the bacteria that make yogurt and leave you with thin and runny results.
Price at time of publish: $60
Capacity: 42 ounces | Timer: Digital | Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.5 x 5.8 inches | Includes: 7 (6-ounce) glass jars with plastic lids
Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
Automatic yogurt function
Doesn't include yogurt jars
If you’re not a fan of single-function machines, the Instant Pot Duo Multi-Use Pressure Cooker might be your appliance of choice. The price tag is a little higher than others on this list, but it combines seven different appliances in one: yogurt maker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, and warmer.
If that seems intimidating, don’t worry. The IP-DUO60, as it’s called by loyal fans, makes things easy with a “yogurt” button that’s pre-programmed to make the perfect homemade yogurt. All you have to do is add starter and milk, choose the yogurt setting, and let the pot do its work—a process that takes eight to 12 hours, depending on how you like your yogurt.
We found the yogurt function to be really useful. Since the process for making it is always the same, the default times and temperatures don’t need to be changed—it’s truly a one-touch operation. Keep in mind that not every Instant Pot model includes the the yogurt function. If that’s one of your main goals for the machine, make sure you’re getting the DUO60, which also comes in 3- and 8-quart sizes in addition to this 6-quart model.
Price at time of publish: $99
Capacity: 6 quarts | Timer: Digital | Power: 1,000 watts | Dimensions: 13.4 x 12.2 x 12.5 inches
"I tested the yogurt function on several occasions, and the pot always stopped its initial heating phase when the milk temperature reached exactly 180 degrees. I never had to click on the sauté button to get it to reach the optimal temperature." — Danielle Centoni, Product Tester
Best for Greek Yogurt
Euro Cuisine GY50 Greek Yogurt Maker
Easy to use
No electricity required
No temperature to worry about
Can only wash by hand
Mesh filter is fragile
Doesn't ferment yogurt from scratch
The secret to Greek yogurt's thick-and-creamy texture is straining out liquid. Removing the whey lowers the sugar content and results in a high-protein final product you can make into breakfast parfaits or homemade tzatziki. But making Greek yogurt usually involves cheesecloth and a lot of mess—unless you have one of these devices.
It has a simple setup: Put yogurt into the fine mesh strainer that fits above a bowl. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, and then gravity does all the work for you. The process works for homemade or store-bought yogurt, in just about any flavor or style, and the generously sized strainer can hold 2 full quarts at a time. Keep in mind, though, that this strainer is just a strainer; you have to start with already-fermented yogurt.
Price at time of publish: $27
Capacity: 64 ounces | Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 5.3 inches | Includes: Yogurt container, fine mesh strainer, storage lid
Country Trading Co. Stainless Steel Yogurt Maker with 1-Quart Glass Jar
Easy to use
Doesn’t need electricity
Yogurt comes out thin
Temperature can drop too quickly
Making yogurt requires holding milk (dairy or plant-based) at a warm temperature for several hours. That doesn't need electricity—this simple yogurt maker is a glass jar that sits inside an insulated container. The low-tech (no-tech?) device sits on the counter for eight to 12 hours to put out a quart of yogurt at a time. You make yogurt by heating your milk, mixing it with starter, putting it in the glass jar, and then securing it in the stainless steel flask.
There are no buttons, timers, or fancy features, and it gets the job done with minimal effort. It also comes with a 42-page yogurt recipe book that guides you through making all types of yogurt, from lactose-free to a 2-percent milk yogurt to non-dairy yogurt. Some users report thin yogurt thanks to the temperature dropping quickly and slowing fermentation, but one solution is to pour warm water around the jar inside the flask to keep it hotter longer.
Capacity: 32 ounces | Dimensions: 4.9 x 4.9 x 8 inches | Includes: 1-quart glass jar with lid, recipe book
Our top recommendation is the Euro Cuisine YM80, which performed very well in our tests. It can make several different flavors at once and is budget-friendly, too. The Cuisinart Electronic Yogurt Maker is a high-tech alternative that also earned high marks.
What to Look for in a Yogurt Maker
Size and Capacity
How much yogurt your family eats and how much counter and storage space you have will help determine how big of a yogurt maker you want. Some models make yogurt in one large container, while others have multiple smaller jars, which may be more convenient if you want to make different flavors at the same time. For comparison purposes, most single-serving yogurt cups you find at the supermarket hold between 5 and 6 ounces.
Yogurt makers range from a simple insulated jar to a full-on Instant Pot that can perform all the functions of a pressure cooker, sauté pan, and sous-vide machine in addition to making yogurt. Features like auto-shutoff and timers make the process easier, while adjustable temperature gauges allow you to get just the right consistency, but some homemade yogurt fans like to be more hands-on to control the final results. Fully featured models tend to be more expensive, but there's not a lot of variation in price between machines.
The most basic yogurt makers just have a single container that the milk ferments in. Others come with multiple jars that you can use for multiple flavors at the same time, along with storage lids. Your device might include a strainer for making Greek-style yogurt, too. Some yogurt makers include a few envelopes of starter, as well. If it's a multifunctional machine, it's also likely to include accessories for pressure-cooking, sautéing, and any other cooking methods available, but these don't help you make yogurt specifically.
Electric yogurt makers plug into the wall and use a heating element to maintain fermentation temperature. This doesn't require very much power, so the wattage isn't generally a consideration to picking out a yogurt maker; keeping the temperature consistent is more important. There are also lots of unpowered yogurt makers that simply use insulation to hold heat: You put warm milk inside and the device keeps it warm for long enough to create yogurt.
How does a yogurt maker work?
Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with a mix of bacteria (often called yogurt cultures), which consume its natural sugars and create acids that not only contribute tangy flavor but also make proteins clump together to thicken the final product. The first step is to heat the milk (dairy or non-dairy will work) up to about 180 degrees on the stove. This starts to break down proteins smoothly and ensures that the fermentation doesn't create a chunky, cottage cheese-like yogurt.
After heating, let the milk cool down to 110 degrees or so and start making yogurt: Add a packet of yogurt cultures or a starter in the form of some yogurt from a previous batch, then pour the mixture into the machine, turn it on, and wait. Yogurt fermentation happens at warm (but not hot) temperatures—between about 90 and 120 degrees—and what a yogurt maker does is maintain that temperature for the hours necessary to make yogurt.
How do you make vegan yogurt?
Pretty much exactly the same way as dairy yogurt: Combine non-dairy milk and starter, then keep warm for several hours. Non-dairy milks made from ingredients like soy, coconut, rice, almonds, cashews, or even potato are all mixtures of sugar, fat, and protein that can be fermented by the same cultures that make dairy yogurt, with similar results. This will work with store-bought or homemade vegan milks, too. The exact temperature, time, and mix of cultures affect the final results, so it might take a little fiddling to perfect the procedure with different types of milk.
Is homemade yogurt healthier than store-bought?
It can be, but it isn't always. Many store-bought yogurts use stabilizers, thickeners, and other additives to create a uniform texture across huge batches, something that just isn't necessary with the homemade stuff. Some brands—especially flavored ones—also add tons of sugar, which can be replaced with fresh fruit in homemade yogurt. That said, there are all-natural, additive-free yogurts available at the supermarket, and they're not really very different from homemade.
Is homemade yogurt cheaper than store-bought?
For the most part, yes. Think of it this way: A quart of milk makes the equivalent of about six single-serving cups of yogurt. If you buy the milk for $2, that works out to about 33 cents per serving, which is a great deal. However, there are expensive milks and cheap yogurts out there, so store-bought isn't automatically cheaper.
What can I use as a yogurt starter?
The most common way to make homemade yogurt is to use prepackaged starter cultures, which come in powdered form you stir into the warm milk just before it goes into the yogurt maker. There are many different varieties of cultures, each of which has a slightly different mix of microorganisms that create different flavors and textures.
Another method is to simply stir in a spoonful of a previous batch of yogurt, somewhat like using sourdough starter for bread. This can work using homemade or store-bought yogurt as the starter. However, unlike with bread, it's not a good idea to just set the warm milk out to be inoculated with the wild yeast and bacteria in the air. This can make the yogurt taste bad, get moldy, or even make you sick.
How long does homemade yogurt last?
The fermentation process helps preserve it, but yogurt—homemade or not—should always go in the refrigerator. A homemade batch will last for about two weeks in the fridge. Much like with milk, you should throw it out if it starts to smell or taste bad, or if it starts to change color or grow mold on top. If you plan to use yogurt as a starter for the next batch, it's best to do so within about a week as the live cultures become less active over time.
How do you clean a yogurt maker?
The proper cleaning technique for a yogurt maker depends on the machine. With electric yogurt makers, you’ll remove the glass or plastic containers from the appliance, washing them separately. These are often are dishwasher-safe, but read the instruction manual to be sure. To clean the machine itself, unplug it and allow it to cool completely. Then, wipe down the inside and outside with a damp cloth or sponge. Never let any electrical parts get submerged in water.
What's the right temperature for straining yogurt?
If you're planning to strain your yogurt into thick Greek-style, you should let it cool to roughly room temperature before straining. At this temperature, it should only take an hour to two to remove a good amount of liquid and get proper Greek yogurt. Alternatively, you can put the strainer in the fridge and let it drip overnight (or eight to 12 hours) for similar results.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and cooking experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the best cooking gadgets at the best prices to help make life in the kitchen more streamlined and efficient.
This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist who happily makes space for any gadget that makes cooking faster and easier. She personally tested one yogurt maker on this roundup. It was further updated by The Spruce Eats commerce writer Jason Horn, who honestly isn't a big yogurt eater but has become obsessed with the biochemistry of fermentation in his 15-plus years writing about food and drinks.