Which yogurt makers are best?
Eating healthy has never been more popular, but it can be challenging to keep track of what’s actually in your food. For people on allergen-free diets or those who want to limit their intake of added sugar, even a healthy snack like yogurt can be loaded with unwanted ingredients. But making yogurt at home is an easy and economical way to eat well.
The best yogurt maker in terms of ease and consistent, delicious results is the Mueller Yogurt Maker.
What to know before you buy a yogurt maker
How much yogurt are you realistically planning to make? If your family of four routinely snacks on yogurt, you might want to select a larger capacity yogurt maker for large quantities. If you have small children or want to focus on portion control, look for a yogurt maker that can accommodate individual glass jars.
Just keep in mind that homemade yogurt does not have preservatives in it. The shelf life will be much shorter than the yogurt that you buy in the supermarket. Only make as much as you will consume in a few days.
Spoiled dairy can harbor dangerous bacteria. Make sure the yogurt maker you choose is easy to clean and the containers are dishwasher-safe.
What to look for in a quality yogurt maker
Ease of use
If your yogurt maker is complicated and requires a PhD in the culinary arts to operate, you are less likely to use it regularly to make yogurt. Look for easy-to-use yogurt makers with clear instructions and tested recipes for best results.
The best yogurt maker will come with automatic settings for a variety of types of yogurt or fermented foods. These help simplify the process of making yogurt.
Accessories for your yogurt maker are not strictly necessary but they are a nice way to expand your cooking repertoire. Strainers for Greek yogurt, individual jars with lids, thermometers and measuring tools are all accessories that help make homemade yogurt even better.
How much you can expect to spend on a yogurt maker
Making your own yogurt at home is surprisingly affordable. A good-quality yogurt maker will cost between $30-$150. When you consider that homemade yogurt costs a quarter of the price of store-bought yogurt, you’ll find it’s a good investment.
Yogurt maker FAQ
How do you make yogurt in a yogurt maker?
A. Each machine will have it’s own instructions, but in general, you’ll start with the milk of your choice and either yogurt starter or 2 to 3 ounces of room-temperature plain yogurt. You’ll also need a thermometer and a saucepan
Then follow these steps:
- Prepare an ice bath in your kitchen sink (a few inches of cold water and ice).
- Heat the milk in a pan over low heat until it reaches 180 degrees.
- Remove the pan from the heat and cool in the ice bath until the milk reaches 100 degrees.
- Remove 1 cup of milk and stir yogurt or yogurt culture into it.
- Add the milk with yogurt starter into the reserved milk.
- Add into your yogurt machine (one large container or individual containers).
- Choose the correct setting, and proceed as directed by the manufacturer.
Can you make yogurt at home if you are lactose-intolerant?
A. Yogurt is made when “good” bacteria begins to break down sugars in milk. This fermentation process can occur using any type of milk, so even those with lactose intolerance can enjoy making yogurt at home.
Note that some non-dairy milks will make a yogurt that is thinner than full-fat dairy milk. This is normal and to be expected. If your manufacturer includes a book of recipes for non-dairy yogurt, follow their instructions for best results.
What is fermentation, and what are the benefits of fermented foods?
A. Fermentation occurs when yeast or other bacteria essentially breaks down a food. This process functions as a kind of “pre-digestion” that helps make the nutrients in food more available to people. It can also change the chemical make-up of foods (think yeast that ferments sourdough bread).
Fermented foods have long been used to help balance beneficial bacteria in the gut. The gut biome has over 100 trillion bacteria — it’s important to keep the healthy ones thriving and the “bad” bacteria out. An unhealthy imbalance of the gut biome has been linked to cardiovascular disease and irritable and inflammatory bowel, among other things. Eating fermented foods plays a part in preventing many chronic long-term conditions and generally increases the health of the immune system.
Do note, however, that if your yogurt maker shuts off in the middle of a cycle and does not complete the fermentation process, it may not be safe to eat. Follow the guidelines of the manufacturer in determining what to do when this happens.
What’s the best yogurt maker to buy?
Top yogurt maker
What you need to know: This yogurt maker is great for those who want to make fresh yogurt regularly.
What you’ll love: It offers lifetime satisfaction assurance. Its stainless steel housing provides a sleek look and it includes eight reusable glasses. Users mention its ease of use.
What you should consider: Some say it takes too long to warm up.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top yogurt maker for the money
What you need to know: This yogurt maker works best for inexperienced cooks who need something simple to start with.
What you’ll love: This includes individual portioning jars and steady heat for perfect results. It also has variable fermentation settings.
What you should consider: There is no automatic off, so cooks need to be diligent.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This comes with high-end features for a midrange price.
What you’ll love: This comes in three colors and includes a strainer and two containers. Get your yogurt set up in just 10 minutes and let the machine do the work for you.
What you should consider: When using the fermenting cycle, temperature monitoring is a must.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.