Once you try making your own yogurt, you won’t want to go back to the store-bought kind. Whether you opt for a yogurt maker that works with individual glass containers or can make bulk batches, the best yogurt makers makes the process seamless and low maintenance so you can keep fresh, delicious yogurt on hand.
The first factor to consider is how much yogurt you’d like to make. Some yogurt makers produce a couple quarts of yogurt at a time and others are designed to ferment individual-sized jars. A smaller machine will take up less room on your counter or in your cabinet if you only plan on making the occasional batch, but a yogurt maker with larger capacity may make more sense for a family that eats a lot of yogurt regularly.
A yogurt maker aids in maintaining yogurt at a consistent temperature of between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit during the hours-long fermentation period, which generally takes between six to eight hours. No-frill yogurt makers can be fairly basic in their features, but some offer some convenient extras, like automatic shutoff, timers, or a cooling setting. To cut down on dishes, look for one with a dishwasher-safe container that can go from the machine to the fridge.
Though you can make yogurt with a regular pot, getting a dedicated yogurt maker is convenient and basically foolproof to use, so you're more likely to actually make your own yogurt. Each of the picks below is highly rated on Amazon with hundreds or thousands of reviews, so you can simply decide what features and size work for you.
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1. The Overall Best Yogurt Maker
The Cuisinart yogurt maker, though a bit pricey, is worth the investment if you plan on regularly making yogurt. It's a feature-rich unit that's pretty effortless to use, according to reviewers. Its many features include a countdown timer, adjustable time settings, and a highly legible LED display. Its most unique feature is an automatic cooling function, which means that after a fermentation period, it'll bring your yogurt to serving temperature without needing to move it to the fridge; this also stops the fermentation process for you, so it doesn't accidentally get tangier than you'd prefer. Eight hours is the default period, but you can set this machine for one to 24 hours.
The 1.6-quart tub and lid are dishwasher safe, and reviewers report they're easily washed by hand as well. Just keep in mind that it's bigger than other picks on this list, so you'll want to reserve a spot for it in your kitchen.
A helpful review: “The Cuisinart Yogurt maker is more expensive than most and is well worth the price. It truly is a "set it and forget it" device. I made my first batch last night. It was chilled and set this morning. [...] I used 6 ounces of a full-fat yogurt as my starter. Flavorful and fresh tasting ... Very happy with my purchase. I do not believe this device will be collecting dust in the basement.”
2. The Best Greek Yogurt Maker
If you like thick yogurt, this highly rated compact yogurt maker makes excellent Greek yogurt. Sure, you could use cheesecloth to strain homemade yogurt from any machine to a thicker state, but this one's built-in strainer makes it a lot easier and less messy to do, making it a top choice if you prefer low-maintenance Greek yogurt.
This lightweight pick with a small footprint makes up to 1.5 quarts of yogurt in eight to 12 hours. The machine comes with two dishwasher-safe containers (so you can keep one refrigerated while making another batch), a strainer basket, plus a recipe book. Automatic shutoff is helpful for keeping your yogurt from getting more tangy than you might prefer, and you can even pick a fun color for your yogurt maker, including blue, pink, or white.
A helpful review: “I used to make my yogurt in a crockpot with a timer attached that would go on and off every 15 minutes so it wouldn't get too hot. It was cumbersome and had lots of whey and I eventually stopped making it. With the Greek Yogurt Maker, first time out of the box, I put 5 1/2 cups of milk in the microwave for 20 minutes stirring it once. Took it out, mixed in some dry milk, and when it cooled to 110 degrees, skimmed the top, added a half of cup of yogurt, and put it in the yogurt maker. 9 hours later it was yogurt with a minimal amount of whey. Tasted absolutely great. I will probably be making it twice a week now. No fuss, no mess. Great machine.”
3. The Best Yogurt Maker For Individual Portions
The best glass jar yogurt maker makes just over a quart of individual servings of yogurt in as little as six to 10 hours. This machine comes with seven 6-ounce jars that are dishwasher safe and conveniently sized for batch-cooking breakfast for the week.
It's a bit of a cult favorite with more than 2,000 reviews, and shoppers report successfully using a tempered glass bowl inside the machine when they're in the mood for a big batch of yogurt. The clear lid allows for monitoring the yogurt in process, and the yogurt maker has automatic shutoff and an on-off light so it's obvious when it's working.
A helpful review: “One of those simple gadgets that simplify life 1000%. My family loves homemade yogurt and I used [to] jump through hoops to make it, setting an alarm to turn the oven on and off every hour, until Euro Cuisine yogurt maker arrived. Perfect yogurt every time and saves money [by] making yogurt at home. Seven little jars is a nice touch and the individual cost of these jars alone exceeds the cost of the unit. Would recommend to anyone who likes yogurt with breakfast.”
4. The Most Versatile: An Instant Pot With A Yogurt Preset
Though primarily known as an electric pressure cooker, you can also make yogurt in an Instant Pot. The 6-quart capacity of this pick's container allows for a large batch of yogurt (or you can fill it with many individual jars). It takes about eight to 10 hours to make yogurt in an Instant Pot and even has a preset function specifically for yogurt.
This pick has a 4.6-star rating and more than 72,000 reviews, plus blogs, cookbooks, and plenty of resources for cooking with it. If you want to make yogurt at home but love the idea of a yogurt maker that also works as a pressure/multi cooker for soups, stew, beans, rice, and more, you'll want to consider investing in this cult favorite that lives up to the hype.
A helpful review: “[...] I really didn’t think I would use the yogurt function much [...] I couldn’t have been more wrong! Even if I wasn’t cooking tons of other fabulous recipes in my IP, the yogurt feature alone has made the IP my one “can’t live without” kitchen appliance (I even took it RV camping with us!). The yogurt is crazy simple to make and so much healthier than the preservative and sweetener loaded stuff at the store. Milk and a starter (a tbsp. or two of yogurt) are all you need and the IP does all the work while you sleep! [...]
5. The Best Non-Electric Model
This stainless steel yogurt maker works without electricity and without plastic. Simply place the quart-size glass jar inside this compact steel container and give it time. Going cordless with this low-tech, portable yogurt maker can be freeing, but remember you'll need to set your own timer and use an instant-read thermometer to check your yogurt's temperature. Reviewers report this pick does a great job of maintaining the right temperature and producing consistently delicious yogurt.
A helpful review: “[...] I’ve wanted a yogurt maker that would allow me to make a good amount of yogurt in a mason jar & go directly to the fridge or freezer with no clean up. So this was a real find! The cherry on top was that once the jar and hot water are in this maker, there’s no more need for electricity […] it’s very compact and space saving (perfect for tiny homes, hikers, camping, & anywhere space is limited) [...] Love that my yogurt is made without plastic or any toxic leaching things. Only stainless steel and glass! Looks nice too. [...]
Nice To Have: A Long-Lasting Yogurt Starter
A little bit of yogurt and milk is all you need to get a batch of homemade yogurt going, but it's nice to have a longer-lasting option in your pantry just in case. For a few bucks, this set of two 5-gram packets of yogurt culture makes about 2.5 quarts of yogurt. With more than 400 reviews, shoppers commented this freeze-dried yogurt starter is easy to use and produces consistent results.
A helpful review: “I've tried the other cultures and some are okay, but I get very consistent results with this one. So it's my go to and what I tell people I know to buy if interested in yogurt making, plus the yogurt I save as a starter for my next batches of yogurt seem to survive longer. So [I] don't need to purchase as [it] often."