Homemade Yogurt has NEVER been easier than with this Cold Start Instant Pot Yogurt. Two ingredients and time is all you need to have perfect, creamy, thick yogurt.
If you are looking for making yogurt without ultra-pasteurized milk, be sure to grab my recipe for Instant Pot Yogurt. If you are looking for more Instant Pot Recipes, please check out all Instant Pot Recipes.
One of the biggest reasons I love my pressure cooker is for Homemade Yogurt.
It was one of the first recipes I mastered and I make it on a weekly basis.
But a lot of people have been asking how to make Cold Start Yogurt, and I am here to say, Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt is so much easier than my original Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe.
Cold Start Yogurt
It could not be easier to make yogurt using cold start yogurt, and it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to mess up–the same can not be said about my traditional Instant Pot Yogurt.
There are no thermometers needed, no boiling of milk, no wondering if your milk didn’t reach the right temperature to achieve perfect yogurt. Plus cold start yogurt comes out thick, just like Greek yogurt–no need for straining!
Just two simple ingredients and a pressure cooker is all that is needed for this cold start yogurt.
Ingredients for Cold Start Yogurt
- Ultra Pasteurized Milk or Ultra Filtered Milk
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt with active cultures or a yogurt starter
Ultra Filtered or Ultra Pasteurized?
Cold start yogurt works using milk that is ultra-pasteurized. That said, for the creamiest, thickest yogurt, ultra-filtered milk works best.
Ultra-Filtered milk is still pasteurized, but it also goes through a special filtration process. The result is ultra-filtered milk with 50% more protein, 30% more calcium and half the sugar of regular milk and lactose free. Which yields a yogurt that is creamier and thicker. It also is higher in protein and calcium and lower in sugar–perfect for anyone watching their sugars.
You can look for a brand, like Fairlife brand for ultra-filtered milk.
How To Make Cold Start Yogurt
Step One: Clean your Instant Pot
- Be sure your pressure cooker is clean and you use a clean inner ring when making yogurt–no one wants yogurt tasting like Instant Pot Chili!
- I wipe my inner pot down with vinegar and then rinse well and dry.
- I also recommend a separate sealing ring to use for yogurt–not necessary but it does help!
Step Two: Add Milk and Starter to Pressure Cooker
- Whisk 1 cup of the milk with the starter until well combined.
- Pour remaining milk into inner pot of pressure cooker.
- Whisk in starter mixture.
Step Three: Incubate Yogurt
- Place lid on pressure cooker.
- Hit “Yogurt” and it should read 8:00. Be sure NORMAL is lit up. If LOW is let up, you must change to normal heat for incubation to occur, by hitting yogurt again until normal is lit up.
- Let it begin to incubate.
Step Four: Refrigerate Yogurt
- After 8 hours, remove inner pot from pressure cooker.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 8 hours.
- Place yogurt in glass jars to store in refrigerator.
Tips for Making Cold Start Yogurt
- There is NO substitution for ultra pasteurized milk. If you do not use ultra pasteurized milk, you need to follow these instructions for Instant Pot Yogurt. Most Organic Milks are Ultra-Pasteurized as well–but be sure it is labeled “ultra-pasteurized”
- Use any percentage fat milk you like for this cold start yogurt, the higher the fat percentage the creamier the yogurt. I prefer 2% Ultra Pasteurized Milk.
- You can cut this recipe in half, or if you have an 8 quart pressure cooker, you can also double this recipe for homemade yogurt.
- For homemade yogurt, you must, use either use a yogurt starter or plain yogurt with active live cultures. I like to use plain Greek yogurt–Chobani or the store brand.
- Feel free to sweeten yogurt with vanilla extract, honey, maple syrup, or fruit AFTER incubating.
- A huge tip for making yogurt in the future, is to FREEZE your starter immediately after fresh yogurt is made. I recommend using an ice cube tray. Each ice cube holds 1 tablespoon of yogurt so you will know exactly how much yogurt to defrost when making a new yogurt batch. Just be sure to thaw your yogurt cubes in the fridge to not alter the cultures in the yogurt.
- If you would like tangier yogurt, set incubation period to 10 hours instead of 8 hours.
- Homemade yogurt should last for up to 10-14 days in your refrigerator.
More Instant Pot Basic Recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Stock
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce
- Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
- Instant Pot Beans
- Perfect Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
- Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt
- 52 ounces Ultra Pasteurized Milk Ultra-Filtered is BEST--see notes
- 2 tablespoons prepare yogurt with live cultures or yogurt starter
- Whisk 1 cup of the milk with the starter or prepared yogurt until well combined.
- Pour the remaining milk into the inner pot of pressure cooker and then whisk in starter mixture.
- Place lid on the pressure cooker. There is no need to seal.
- To set the incubation time, hit yogurt function and then adjust function until the time reads 8:00 (be sure pressure is at normal and not low--if at low hit yogurt again.)
- After the 8 hour incubation period, remove inner pot from pressure cooker. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 8 hours.
- After refrigeration, store yogurt in glass containers for 10-14 days.
- Fairlife milk is also ultra-filtered, which means it has more protein and less sugar, meaning it will produce a thicker yogurt than just ultra-pasteurized milk. If you use ultra-pasteurized milk, not ultra-filtered milk, you may want to strain your yogurt for super thick yogurt.
- Ultra-filtered milk does seem to be more foolproof than ultra-pasteurized milk--as a couple of brands have not set up as well for readers.
This instant pot yogurt method was named “Cold Start” by Freida Loves Bread to the best of my knowledge.