Easy to clean
Automatic timer and cooling feature
More expensive than other models
Height may make it hard to store
If you want to have more control over the ingredients in your food, making your own yogurt is a great place to start. It does take some time, but it’s not difficult and most of the prep time is hands off. We’d seen tutorials on DIY yogurt recipes designed for slow cookers and pressure cookers, but a dedicated yogurt maker makes the process even easier.
This popular electronic yogurt maker from Cuisinart is especially efficient; you can make up to 50 ounces per batch—plus, it automatically switches from heating to cooling mode to keep your yogurt at a safe temperature. To see if this product lived up to its many positive reviews online, we took it home and tested it ourselves, evaluating everything from its design to its performance. Read on for our insights.
Design: Super intuitive
Setting up this yogurt maker is easy. Its instruction manual includes recipes, tips, and instructions for creating different types of yogurt, which is very helpful if you've never made yogurt before. The appliance also has a high-end aesthetic; the white, grey, and stainless steel design looks clean and contemporary sitting out on the countertop.
In terms of size, the unit is pretty tall: It measures 10 inches high, which was too big to store in our cabinets easily. We like that the yogurt tub is also tall and narrow, however, as it takes up minimal space in the fridge. We also appreciate that the electrical cord detaches.
The only real downside to this yogurt maker’s performance is that it doesn’t operate silently.
The 50-ounce yogurt container and lid are made from plastic, and although the manufacturer claims it's BPA-free, it may not be the preferred option for those who wish to avoid plastic in the kitchen. Also, if you prefer individually portioned yogurts, you may not love this machine. A single batch of yogurt can make enough for a week's worth of servings, but you’ll have to portion them into other containers yourself. It takes extra time and dishes, but not a big deal if you’re accustomed to buying large tubs of yogurt.
The real highlight of this yogurt maker, though, is its ability to switch from heating to cooling mode automatically. Theoretically, you can let a batch of yogurt ferment all day or while you sleep, then let it cool so it’s ready to eat for breakfast when you wake up.
Performance: Basically does all the work for you
This was our first time making yogurt, so we did a little homework before jumping into the process. We prefer thicker yogurt and opted to follow the instructions to heat our milk before adding the starter culture. (You can place the milk and culture directly into the yogurt maker if you’re short on time, but you’ll likely end up with thinner yogurt.)
We heated 4 cups of organic whole milk in a saucepan and monitored the temperature, according to the directions, with a cooking thermometer. Then, we whisked in a packet of freeze-dried starter culture (that we purchased separately) and transferred the mixture into the yogurt maker.
The plain yogurt we made was smooth and creamy; it definitely tasted fresher than store-bought varieties.
The built-in automatic timer function is highly convenient and allowed us to choose from one to 24 hours of fermentation heating time without having to set another timer to remind you to come back and turn the yogurt maker off. The instructions recommend reducing fermentation time by one or two hours if you heat the milk first, but we found that eight hours of fermentation time (the recommended time for whole milk) following the initial heating process resulted in a tangy, delicious yogurt that was just thick enough for our tastes. (Do expect to invest some time perfecting the process to match your yogurt preferences.)
We didn’t experiment with any flavors in our first few batches of yogurt, but we plan to in the future. The plain yogurt we made was smooth and creamy; it definitely tasted fresher than store-bought varieties. We added fresh fruit, honey and granola, or a tablespoon of fruit preserves to change up each serving we ate. Although it took little effort on our behalf, we were proud of our homemade yogurt!
The only real downside to this yogurt maker’s performance is that it doesn’t operate silently. The noise isn’t constant, but during the start time and about every 10 to 20 minutes, we noticed that the unit audibly blew air out of its side vents.
Cleaning: Nothing to it
The only parts of this yogurt maker that need regular cleaning are the yogurt tub and matching lid, which is a breeze to wash by hand and is also listed as dishwasher-safe. We’d advise against regularly relying on the dishwasher for cleanup, though, since plastic components tend to degrade faster that way.
If you prefer pre-portioning your yogurt into smaller containers, you’ll want to wash the yogurt tub soon afterwards so food residue doesn’t dry on. If you can’t wash the tub right away, just soak it in warm, soapy water until you can get to it for easier cleanup.
Price: On the higher end, but worth it
The Cuisinart Yogurt Maker retails for around $80. It’s one of the more expensive yogurt makers on the market, but we think it’s worth the high price tag given its extra features. The automatic timer and cooling mode are especially convenient features if you plan to make yogurt overnight or while you’re away from home. The price is also backed by a three-year limited warranty.
Plus, as we mentioned before, a dedicated yogurt maker is going to save you money in the long run. Depending on how much yogurt you regularly consume, it may take a bit of time to break even, but making your own yogurt costs significantly less per ounce than purchasing it from the grocery store.
Cuisinart Yogurt Maker vs. Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker
Make no mistake—with the Cuisinart Yogurt Maker, you are paying for modern design, an LED timer display, and the automatic cooling function. There are less expensive yogurt makers available that produce the same end result, but without these convenient features.
The Euro Cuisine yogurt maker (view on Amazon), which we also tested, is our preferred budget pick at around $40. It’s simple to use with a single on/off switch—and, instead of a single yogurt tub, it comes with seven 6-ounce glass jars so you can make individual servings with different flavors. Screw-on lids are included with the jars so they can go straight from fermenting to the fridge for easy, grab-and-go meals and snacks. There are no built-in auto-off or cooling features, though, so you’ll need to set a timer to remind yourself to turn the unit off and transfer the yogurt to the fridge.
Which model you choose comes down to your budget and lifestyle. If you’re super busy, the Cuisinart is probably your best bet. If time is no issue, you value glass over plastic, or you want the convenience of individually portioned yogurts, you may prefer the Euro Cuisine.
Interested in reading more reviews? Check out our list of the best yogurt makers.
Yes, buy it.
Cuisinart recently discontinued this model (according to the company’s website), but it’s still available for purchase from several other retailers, so get it while you still can! Priced at $80, it costs more than some other yogurt makers, but the automatic timer and cooling mode are invaluable when it comes to making homemade yogurt convenient and accessible for busy lifestyles.
- Product Name Electronic Yogurt Maker with Automatic Cooling
- Product Brand Cuisinart
- Price $79.99
- Weight 5.79 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11.42 x 8.58 x 11.5 in.
- Material BPA-free plastic
- Capacity 1.5 qt.
- Warranty 3-year limited
- What’s included Yogurt maker with lid, 50-oz. yogurt tub with lid, spoon, instructions, recipe booklet