How to Make Yogurt Without a Yogurt Maker


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Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
156 Calories
8g Fat
12g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 156
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 110mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 8g
Calcium 290mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Who says you need a yogurt maker to make yogurt? According to Phyllis Hobson in the cookbook 500 Treasured Country Recipes by Martha Storey and Friends, you can make yogurt in a thermos, an oven, on a heating pad, in the sun, on a wood stove, and in a crockpot or instant pot. All of these methods are very easy and simple to achieve the perfect yogurt for your tastebuds. Which method you choose just depends on how long you're willing to wait for the yogurt to come together.


  • 1 to 2 quarts milk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons plain yogurt

Steps to Make It

Using a Thermos

  1. Almost fill a thermos bottle (preferably widemouthed) with milk heated to 100 F.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt and mix thoroughly.

  3. Put the lid on and wrap the thermos in two or three terry towels.

  4. Set it in a warm, draft-free place overnight.

Using an Oven

  1. Pour 1 quart of milk into a casserole dish and add 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt.

  2. Stir well and cover the casserole dish.

  3. Place in a warm (100 F) oven with the heat off. Let it sit overnight.

Using a Heating Pad

  1. Mix 1 quart of milk and 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt.

  2. Set an electric heating pad at medium temperature and place it in the bottom of a cardboard box with a lid. (A large shoebox works well.)

  3. Fill small plastic containers with the milk-yogurt mixture and put on the lids.

  4. Wrap a heating pad around the containers, then cover with towels to fill the box and let sit, undisturbed, for 5 to 6 hours.

Using the Sun

  1. Pour 1 quart warmed milk into a glass-lidded bowl or casserole dish.

  2. Add 3 tablespoons plain yogurt and cover with the glass lid or a clear glass pie pan.

  3. Place in the sun on a warm (not too hot) summer day and let sit 4 to 5 hours. Watch it to make sure it is not shaded as the sun moves.

Using the Back of a Wood-Stove

Many grandmothers made clabber by setting a bowl of freshly drawn milk on the back of the stove after supper.

  1. Add 1 cup starter to 2 quarts milk and let it sit, loosely covered with a dish towel, on the back of the cooling wood range overnight. 

Using a Crock Pot

  1. Preheat a crock pot on low for about 15 minutes, until it feels very warm to the fingertips.

  2. Put covered containers of yogurt mixture into the crock pot, cover it, and turn off the heat.

  3. At 35- to 45-minutes intervals, heat the crock pot on low for 10 to 15 minutes.

Now you're ready to enjoy delicious homemade yogurt!