Instant Pot Anxiety? Make Yogurt

On February 1, The Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled, “Instant Pot Anxiety? ‘I said a Prayer and Stayed the Hell Away.'”

In the piece, the author,  Ellen Byron,  interviewed various pot owners who had mishaps and struggled with operating the all in one appliance. I chuckled at some of the stories but admittedly the author was on to something. Every day when I peruse the Instant Pot Facebook feed, I see photos of Instant Pots in sealed boxes and cries for help and advice on how to take that first step to use the appliance. The posts weave into an interactive digital therapy session where fellow Instant Potters exclaim, “You can do it.”  “Just start.”  “My favorite easiest recipe is….” “Wear goggles and keep the kids outta the kitchen.”

As for me, I love my two Instant pots (6-quart duo and 3-quart mini) and use them daily without fail. Personally, I have never had pressure cooker anxiety because I started using the Kuhn Rikon stove top pressure cookers over twenty years ago. That being said, I can understand why some people hesitate. There are lots of buttons, The manual isn’t great. And, once you lock and load, commit to pressure and things start to rumble. there’s no turning back and you can’t open the lid and check the contents. It is indeed a leap of faith.

My solution for those folks who fret? Take the Instant pot out of the box, run the simple water test per the manufacturer’s instructions and make YOGURT!

Both of my machines have yogurt buttons and this cycle does NOT require putting anything under pressure. It simply creates a low heat that incubates your milk and starter and turns it into the rich luscious yogurt over the course of 8 hours. A miracle cycle in my mind!

I’ve tried various yogurt recipes but my favorites have come from This Old Gal and the only recipe I use now is her Instant Pot No Boil Yogurt Recipe which uses the whole Fairlife Milk found in many mainstream grocery stores such as Target, Safeway, QFC, and Winco. This particular milk does not require any preheating before making the yogurt so all I have to do is pour my half a gallon of whole milk into my 3 quart Instant Pot and whisk in two packets of YoGourmet starter. I then put on the lid, press the Yogurt Cycle and leave it alone for 8 hours.  There is no pressure. No noise. No steam. No wiggles or jiggles. Just a quiet incubation on the counter.

At the end of the cycle, the mixture has transformed into thick luscious creaminess. I then put my all natural yogurt, still in the Instant Pot’s inner container, into my fridge, covered and let it sit, undisturbed, overnight.

I use my yogurt on everything from granola and citrus segments to baked potatoes and kale salads. And, I’ve discovered that it makes a great tartar sauce to dollop on Alaska halibut or salmon.

So, if you want to buy an Instant Pot but are feeling, well, pressured…skip “manual” button and go for Yogurt.

Even if you never make anything else, the savings from making your own yogurt will pay for the pot in no time.


2 thoughts on “Instant Pot Anxiety? Make Yogurt

  1. Trying to follow your enthusiasm, Missy. Really I am. But I have the 6-quart I-pot and an always-crowded fridge into which the liner would not fit. Does the freshly made yogurt have to stay in it or can I divide it among smaller containers to chill? Also, my favorite yogurts are Straus Family Farms, if I’m out West, or Trader Joe’s European-style organic. Can I use one of those with a local, Hudson Valley whole milk?

    1. Zanne, Great questions. First of all I should have specified in the post that I make mine in the 3 quart for exactly the reason you mention. My fridge is always in a traffic jam. The 3 quart is smaller and I do have a fridge in the garage so it goes in there.

      As for transferring the yogurt right at the end of the cycle? I haven’t done that but I do notice that right when the cycle is done and I look at the yogurt, there is lots of whey in the container. After the overnight rest in the fridge, the whey has been reabsorbed. I suppose you could try to gently scoop the yogurt into containers though I do not know if it will impact the final thickness and texture. Worth a shot perhaps.

      As for using your favorite yogurt with a local Hudson Valley whole milk? I know lots of people use the Boil Yogurt Recipe from this Old Gal and that many folks use plain yogurts as their starter instead of the YoGourmet powder. I have heard it is important to make sure the yogurt you use as a starter is very fresh. To be honest, I have never tried using a yogurt as my starter. Hope this helps.

      And, on a side note, if it makes you feel any better, I made Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon last night. I haven’t made that recipe for probably 25 years. And, you know what? That Golden Oldie didn’t get anywhere near my Instant Pots! Old school all the way!! xo

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