Three best yogurt makers
Making food from scratch is almost always the healthier option, and one of the easiest entry points into making your own foods is getting a yogurt maker. Yogurt makers are highly affordable, and most of the yogurt recipe involves waiting, so it's not a labor-intensive endeavor.
If you're new to the world of making yogurt at home, you likely have a few questions about the process and what kind of machine is best. To get all the answers, just keep reading. By the end of this brief article, you'll understand the features your new yogurt maker should have.
Considerations when choosing yogurt makers
How is yogurt made?
The recipe for yogurt is fairly basic. First, heat milk to between 180°F and 200°F, and hold it there for about 20 minutes. The next step is fermentation. Add active cultures (or yogurt from a previous batch), and keep all the ingredients at an even temperature for several hours. The final step is to refrigerate and add any desired flavoring.
Yogurt maker features
A yogurt maker is primarily used during the fermentation process of the recipe. The ideal unit reaches a temperature between 110°F and 115°F and holds that temperature steady for around eight hours. Although it is fine to use a yogurt maker without a timer and automatic shutoff, the best yogurt makers have both of these features -- mostly so you don't lose track of time and ferment for longer than you wanted. A model that can switch to cooling mode and has programmable temperatures is the most desirable option, but it is also the most costly.
Another consideration is size. Is the appliance large enough to make the amount of yogurt you want? Durability and easy cleaning are also important. A unit that makes yogurt in separate containers allows you to create several flavors with one batch.
Yogurt maker prices
An entry-level yogurt maker typically costs between $15 to $25. From $30 to $70 is where you'll find the best value: most machines in this range offer adequate features and functionality. Once you pass $100, you're getting into high-end models that feature programmable temperatures and timers that shut off automatically.
Q. What type of milk should I use to make yogurt?
A. You can use any type of milk you'd like. If you want a thicker final product, it's best to use whole milk and stay away from ultra-pasteurized milk.
Q. How long will my homemade yogurt last?
A. Unlike store-bought yogurt, which can last a considerable amount of time because it is sealed, homemade yogurt is best when consumed within the first two or three days after you make it. The overall shelf life is seven to ten days.
Yogurt makers we recommend
Best of the best: Cuisinart CYM-100 Electronic Yogurt Maker
Our take: A higher-end yogurt maker that switches from fermenting to chilling after a programmable amount of time.
What we like: The best feature of Cuisinart's electric yogurt maker is the programmable fermentation time. After you perform the initial heating step, you can place your ingredients in the machine and forget about your batch until the process is complete.
What we dislike: The unit is costly compared to other options. Slightly larger batch capabilities would be appreciated, especially when making Greek yogurt.
Best bang for your buck: Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker
Our take: An affordable, no-frills yogurt maker that makes seven servings at a time.
What we like: You can make the yogurt in portions, which allows you to create several flavors with each batch. The yogurt maker is BPA-free and is priced low enough to be a worthwhile investment for those who are even moderately curious about making yogurt.
What we dislike: The jars can be difficult to clean, and there is no timer, so you have to remember when to shut off the unit.
Choice 3: Yogourmet 104 Electric Yogurt Maker
Our take: A decent mid-range yogurt maker that might be missing some bells and whistles, but it provides consistently even heat.
What we like: Yogourmet's Electric Yogurt Maker uses a double boiler system to apply even, indirect heat to the fermentation process so you get consistent results. This kit comes with a thermometer and a cotton bag that you can use to make cheese.
What we dislike: You need to pay attention to the time and shut off the machine when fermentation is done, as there are no automatic features available on this unit.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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