Making Yogurt using a Dehydrator


Post by community member:

I love homemade yogurt. I like knowing exactly what goes into my yogurt. I like being able to pronounce all of the ingredients in my yogurt: milk and yogurt. That’s pretty simple. I’ve made yogurt using a yogurt maker, my crockpot, a thermos and my Excalibur dehydrator. All are excellent methods but today I’m going to focus on using the dehydrator, hence the name at the top of the blog!!

Pay close attention because this is a really complicated procedure. Only kidding! Actually I think I’m attracted to this method because it’s so darn easy.

How to make Yogurt in a Dehydrator:

Open your container of milk and pour it into a saucepan. I normally make a gallon of yogurt at a time so I use a big pot.

Place the pot on the stove and heat over medium heat until the temperature reaches 185-195 degree.

This scalds the milk. Turn off the heat and allow the milk to cool until the temperature is 110 degrees. If the milk is any hotter it may kill the yogurt culture. NOTE: I use raw milk to make my yogurt so I only heat the milk to 110 degrees. I do that because I choose to keep the properties of the raw milk in tact in my yogurt. If you are using store bought milk I would scald it, if using raw milk, do what you are comfortable with.

Milk at the right temperature

When the milk reaches 110 degrees, whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons of yogurt with active yogurt cultures.

Previously made yogurt

Make sure the yogurt is well mixed with the warm milk. I use yogurt that I’ve made previously or Dannon plain yogurt. Use any yogurt that contains active yogurt cultures not all do.

Transfer the milk/yogurt mixture to jars. Place lids on jars. I use quart jars because I have a ton of them and they fit well in my fridge. If you aren’t making a lot of yogurt use pint jars if you have them. I prefer glass containers; use what you’re comfortable with. Just make sure it’s clean and you can cover it.

Remove all the trays from your dehydrator.

Preheat your dehydrator to 105 degrees.

Remove the front cover and place your jars on the bottom of the dehydrator.

Place the cover back on the dehydrator and allow to incubate for 8 to 10 hours.

Do Not Peek. Yogurt doesn’t like to be disturbed. Don’t shake the jars or stir. Just let it sit peacefully and become yogurt.

At the end of the incubation period place the jars in your fridge. The yogurt will continue to thicken as it cools.

Enjoy your yogurt the next day.

Yogurt with fresh fruit and homemade breakfast cereal.

That’s it. You’ve got yogurt. I told you it was easy.

A few things to be aware of: if using raw whole milk, you will have a nice layer of cream on top of your yogurt. Your yogurt will also produce whey. I just mix this with my yogurt or drain it off and use it to make bread. This yogurt will not be as thick as what you buy at the store. If you want thicker yogurt, don’t add more yogurt, which will just make it tangier not thicker. You can add gelatin or powdered milk to help thicken it but because I use raw milk, I choose not to add either. I like the yogurt just the way it is.

Think outside the breakfast bowl when using your yogurt. I use my yogurt anywhere that calls for sour cream, buttermilk or any other cultured milk. I make a wonderful Honey Oatmeal bread that calls for buttermilk, I substitute yogurt. It’s great in smoothies and other goodies.

As I said, I’ve used many other methods to make yogurt but I consistently have excellent results using this method. If you have an Excalibur dehydrator, give it a try. I think you’ll be hooked with the simplicity of yogurt making as much as I am.

Get the handy print page and save this to your recipe box here:
Yogurt in a Dehydrator.

You can find Kelly at Yahoo’s Canning2.

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  1. Country Girl @ Heart says:

    I tried to make yogurt in may dehydrator this weekend (looks like the same one). Mine was grainy. You’re instructions say pre-heat to 105 degrees. Do you keep it at 105 for the entire time? I think my temperature may have been set too high.

  2. kellyb says:

    I keep the temperature at 105 the entire incubation period. If the temperature is over 110 degrees it may kill the yogurt culture.

  3. Pat says:

    I’ve made yogurt by putting the hot milk at the back corner of my oven, putting on the light, and leaving it overnite. I LOVE the idea of putting it into jars first tho. Do you think the jarring it first method would work by putting it into the oven with the light on? I don’t have a dehydrator. Also, I make 2 quarts at a time. Do you think I could make a gallon like you do, using my oven method and jarring it first? Thank you.

  4. kellyb says:


    What container do you currently use to make your yogurt? I think it would be safe to use canning jars, I would just not use the plastic lids. As long as your temperature is not too high, you don’t want to kill the yogurt cultures, you should be fine.
    Do you have success making the 2 quarts at a time? If so, try making a gallon. And then make sure you let us know how it works.

    Can you tell us how you make your yogurt? I’d love to know. I’m always looking for new ways to do things.

  5. CindyP says:

    I’m using my Excal for my next batch of yogurt!

    I make a gallon at a time now, too, so I can use it in all sorts of recipes. I use it in my Quick Mix Drop Biscuits, too, instead of buttermilk.

    Thanks, Kelly, for the great post!

  6. Leah's Mom says:

    I don’t have a dehydrater either. I also use raw milk and make a gal. at a time. I used to use a light in the oven too, but I had to watch it a bit as the temperature wasn’t always easy to regulate. I often ended up getting it too hot and ruining the whole batch.
    Last week, for the first time, I tried doing mine in a large styrofoam cooler. I put the yogurt into some really cute, short, stubby pint jars that Ball has out right now. Then I filled a 1/2 gallon Ball jar with almost boiling water and put on the lid.
    I lined the cooler w/towels, put the yogurt jars in, put the water jar in (not touching the other jars) then laid a towel on top.
    I have a probe-type digital thermometer that I use for cheesemaking which is REALLY for cooking meat. It is the kind that has a digital base that you plug the probe into. The probe has about 4 ft. of cord. I put the probe down into the cooler at jar level then shut the lid of the cooler and sat the thermometer base on top of the cooler. This worked GREAT! I was able to see the temp without opening the cooler. It started our right at 110 degrees and only dropped to 109 after about 4 hours.
    After that make, the next time I decided to put the whole soup pot into the cooler. I like my yogurt strained (as in Greek Yogurt or “Lebaneh”). After incubating the yogurt, I took the whole soup pot out and put it right into the fridge. After it cooled, I strained it using cheesecloth for about 6 hours. It was wonderful!

  7. Leah's Mom says:

    PS: Love the post for using the dehydrator for yogurt! Being able to set the temperature like that and not have to worry about it staying there is wonderful – and another good use for the dehydrator. Now I just have to get one!

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