Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker
Credit: Amazon

The 4 Best Yogurt Makers for Home Kitchens

Browse our top picks for cooking up delicious, high-quality vegan and dairy yogurt at home, including our favorite, the EuroCuisine YM650.
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Yogurt is a satisfying, versatile ingredient that you can stir into many sweet or savory dishes or enjoy on its own. Fresh, homemade yogurt is arguably more delicious than anything sold at the grocery store, and making yogurt at home means you can control the ingredients and tailor the flavor to your tastes. You can customize flavors (we like to stir in any flavorings, like fruit, after the fermentation process is complete) or create different styles of yogurt, including plain yogurt, strained Greek yogurt, or Vietnamese yogurt with sweetened condensed milk. Homemade yogurt is also more affordable than store-bought: all you need is milk, starter, and six to 12 hours.

While yogurt can come together with or without a yogurt maker, buying one can make the process easier and less intimidating for home cooks who are new to fermentation. Fermentation expert Katsu Lask says that when making yogurt, "it is important to keep the inoculated milk warm and that the glasses are not moved during incubation. Otherwise yogurt will not become firm," which is why a yogurt maker might come in handy, as it holds the temperature steady.

In addition to consulting experts, we considered factors like capacity, features, electric versus non-electric models, and accessories to narrow down the market before selecting the EuroCuisine YM650 Electric Yogurt Maker as our top choice. Learn what we like about it and find more of the best yogurt makers below. 

Our Top Picks

Yogurt Maker
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Overall: EuroCuisine YM650 Electric Yogurt Maker

View at Amazon ($50)

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond

Pros: This simple, functional machine produces quality yogurt and allows you to mix and match flavors. 

Cons: The 42-ounce capacity may be too small for yogurt-loving households, though an expansion rack and additional jars can be purchased separately to increase the capacity.

Making yogurt is a breeze in this machine, which receives consistent high reviews for its ease of use and consistent results. Rather than fermenting the yogurt in one large container, this maker uses individual six-ounce jars, allowing you to mix and match your flavors, if desired, and to move easily from yogurt maker to fridge without scooping your yogurt into a new container. 

To use the machine, simply whisk your starter culture into your milk and pour it into the jars, then set for the desired number of hours (for this size of jars, usually six to 10 hours). You can make all seven jars at once, but you can also make just a few jars if you go through yogurt slowly. An automatic shut off feature means it will stop incubating your yogurt after 15 hours (though it will keep fermenting, so stick it in the fridge as soon as it's ready). We also love that the jars have rotary date settings, allowing you to easily label them and check your yogurt's freshness at a glance. 

  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.5 x 7 inches
  • Capacity: 42 ounces
  • Includes: Yogurt maker, seven 6-ounce glass jars with lids
Yogurt Maker
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Value: EuroCuisine YM80 Electric Yogurt Maker

View at Amazon ($31)

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl's.

Pros: It's affordable and easy to use, and it makes jars of yogurt that are great for grabbing on the go.

Cons: It doesn't have an automatic shut off or timer, which means this machine will keep your yogurt fermenting until you turn it off. 

EuroCuisine makes several popular yogurt makers, and the YM80 is no exception. Like its (slightly) more expensive cousin, the YM80 makes individual jars of yogurt for mixing and matching and easy storage. We also love the low price tag, and with the lower cost of homemade yogurt over store-bought, this maker will pay for itself quickly.

The only potential downside we found is that the manual timer does not include an automatic shut off. This is fine if you're setting it to run through the day or overnight, but if you won't be home to turn it off, it will continue fermenting, which can result in extra tangy, sour yogurt. Yet, telling how long it's been going is easy: time markings on the side indicate how many hours your yogurt has been fermenting, which in most cases will take about six to 10 hours. 

  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.5 x 6 inches
  • Capacity: 42 ounces
  • Includes: Yogurt maker, seven 6-ounce jars with lids
Yogurt Maker
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Most Versatile: Instant Pot Duo

View at Amazon ($199)

Also available at Target and Walmart.

Pros: This versatile cooker makes great yogurt but can be used for a range of other functions, making it a great all-around countertop appliance.

Cons: It's more expensive than other models on our list. If you already have a pressure cooker, buying another may not make sense.

The Instant Pot is a kitchen workhorse and can handle everything from stew to baba ganoush. And of course, it makes fantastic yogurt (try it with this Vietnamese yogurt recipe). The Instant Pot lets you do the entire yogurt-making process in one machine, from pasteurizing to incubating (bringing it up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and holding at 108 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit), according to Jenn Thomson of Jenni Ferments. "Plus, I use it for slow cooking and pressure cooking too, so I love the fact that it is an appliance that can serve many functions," she says.

The Instant Pot has a preset yogurt function, allowing you to heat your milk, cool it to incubating temperature, stir in your starter, and walk away. The Instant Pot is high quality and durable, and the dishwasher-safe interior pot makes cleanup a breeze. It comes in a variety of sizes, too: While we chose the six-quart maker, it is available in other capacities including three and eight quarts. 

  • Dimensions: 13.38 x 12.2 x 12.48 inches
  • Capacity: 6 quarts
  • Includes: Instant Pot multi-cooker with lid, gaskets for lid, and instructions
Yogurt Maker
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Best Non-Electric: Kilner Yogurt Making Set

View at Walmart ($27)

Also available at Home Depot and Wayfair.

Pros: This environmentally-friendly choice works without electricity, makes yogurt in small batches, and is simple to use. 

Cons: Since it doesn't contain a heating element, the jar may not hold heat as consistently as other models. 

Humans have been making yogurt for far longer than we've had electricity, and many people still go this traditional route. Yogurt requires consistent warmth to culture, and insulated chambers, from an oven with pilot light to a cooler with a hot water bottle, help hold heat in. You can use a range of incubators, including a cooler filled with warm water, according to Thomson. 

The Kilner Yogurt Making Set is the same idea, scaled down into a single jar-sized version. And unlike its electric counterparts, it doesn't require electricity to work. We like this model because it takes up minimal space, making it perfect for even the smallest kitchen. Because it has a lower capacity than other models on this list, it's also a great choice for households that only want to enjoy small amounts of yogurt at a time. 

  • Dimensions: 7 x 3.5 x 7.9 inches
  • Capacity: 17 ounces
  • Includes: Thermometer, insulated yogurt maker, and two jars 

Conclusion

Yogurt makers allow you to easily produce consistent batches of high-quality yogurt at home. The EuroCuisine YM650 Electric Yogurt Maker combines functionality with ease of use, while other options like the Instant Pot Duo have settings for yogurt along with many other uses, and the Kilner Yogurt Making Set is ideal for small kitchens and doesn't require electricity. The best yogurt maker for you is one that fits well into your kitchen and has the capacity and features you need. 

Factors to Consider

Capacity

Consider how much yogurt you typically go through, and make sure to get a machine that's large enough to meet your needs. Think about the space you have to store it, too. A smaller kitchen may benefit from a non-electric model that takes up very little space, but if you've got the room, you may want to buy a model that can make multiple jars at once. 

Functionality and Features

Knowing what you want out of your new yogurt maker is an important step in choosing the right machine. Do you want a stand-alone yogurt maker or a multi-cooker like the Instant Pot that can make yogurt and much more? 

Also, know which features you want when considering a yogurt maker. Does a yogurt maker automatically shut off or keep your yogurt warm until you're ready to store it? Are there multiple time and temperature settings or just one? 

Electric Versus Non-Electric

All yogurt makers are, basically, insulated chambers that keep milk consistently warm so it can culture into yogurt. Electric yogurt makers do this with a built-in heating element, while non-electric yogurt makers simply create an insulated environment, which reduces a loss of heat but does not heat the milk itself.

Think about which option better fits your lifestyle: making yogurt without electricity uses less power, while electric models ensure a more consistent temperature throughout the culturing process. 

Starters and Extra Equipment

Some yogurt makers come with everything you need to make yogurt right out of the box, including jars and lids. Make sure you check the box's contents and buy extra equipment like jars before trying to make your first batch. 

You'll also need to purchase a starter or get one from a generous friend. Some people have luck using their favorite yogurt (plain, without preservatives or other additives) as a starter, too. 

You can also buy starters online from places like Cultures for Health, or you may be able to get some from a local kitchen store or farmer's market. 

The Research

To find the best yogurt makers, we drew on our own fermentation experience as well as input from fermentation experts. We consulted Katsu Lask, a Harvard University-certified fermentista and founder of Fermentation Love; Aimee Corbyn, a fermentation enthusiast with 10 years of experience; and Jenn Thomson of Jenni Ferments, who has been making yogurt for over 10 years. We then researched the market for yogurt makers that would be user-friendly and produce a high-quality product.

What Didn't Make the List

There are many great yogurt makers on the market, some weren't user-friendly, weren't high quality, or had poor reviews. Here are two that we liked but that ultimately didn't make the final cut. 

Yogurt Maker
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Zavor 8 Quart Programmable Electric Multi-Cooker

View at Amazon ($175)

Like the Instant Pot Duo, this cooker is versatile and works as a pressure cooker and slow cooker (among other things) in addition to making yogurt. Ultimately, it didn't make our list because the higher price tag did not seem to yield a more consumer-friendly product: its settings can seem more daunting to new users than those of the Instant Pot. 

Yogurt Maker
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Euro Cuisine GY50 Greek Yogurt Maker

View at Amazon ($25)

Unlike the other yogurt makers on our list, this product lets you strain your yogurt to make Greek yogurt, which is simply regular yogurt with some of the liquid removed to create a thicker product. It's easy to use, affordable, and less wasteful than using cheesecloth and a colander. It did not make our list, however, because it is only a strainer, not an incubator: it can only be used on finished yogurt, not to culture the yogurt itself. 

Pro Panel Q+A

Q: What is the yogurt-making process?

A: The (optional) first step is heating milk to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Thomson. Second, cool milk to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, stir in starter yogurt. Keep the milk and starter at around 110 degrees Fahrenheit for eight to 12 (or more) hours. After, cool to room temperature for about two hours. Strain it (optional) then refrigerate it, and it's ready to eat. 

To make yogurt in the Instant Pot, use the boil setting to heat your milk to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, which pasteurizes it, then allow it to cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Thomson. Whisk in your starter, and allow it to incubate on the yogurt setting. This method will work for most starters you encounter, however, "there are mesophilic starters (like Skyr) that have a different process," she says.

Whichever method you use, save some of the finished yogurt to be the starter for your next batch. "I set aside two tablespoons of yogurt for my next starter and eat the rest," she says.  

Q: What should people look for in a yogurt maker? 

A: "Prioritize simplicity and ease of use, as well as a setup that would be easy to clean and not too bulky for storage," says fermenter Aimee Corbyn, who has been making yogurt for 10 years. Thomson says she "prioritizes temperature control and indicators. It's important to know what temperature your yogurt maker is capable of holding, and if possible, allow you to have some control over that for variation in recipes."

Q: What is Greek yogurt, and how is it different from other yogurts in the store?

A: Greek yogurt is extra thick, thanks to straining, which removes some liquid from the yogurt, and the liquid you strain off is great in smoothies and sauces. "I strain my yogurt so I don't have the need to ferment it in individual jars. I prefer to ferment and strain in one big batch, and then I can transfer it into single servings after the fact," Thomson says. She recommends the Euro Cuisine GY50 or the Hatrigo Greek Yogurt Maker to strain your yogurt. You can also make Greek yogurt without a special strainer using a colander and cheesecloth. 

Q: How do you make vegan yogurt?

A: Non-dairy yogurt can be as delicious as its milky counterpart, and you can experiment with a number of non-dairy milks to find your favorite. Making non-dairy yogurt is essentially the same process as dairy yogurt and can be made in a yogurt maker, except you use a vegan yogurt starter. Some people stir in some store-bought soy capsules; others use probiotic capsules. You can also purchase a vegan yogurt starter online. 

Q: What does a yogurt maker do?

A: "A yogurt maker holds your milk at the correct temperature, which provides the ideal environment for the microbes to ferment and transform milk into yogurt," Thomson says. This is important because the temperature "favors the growth of selected bacteria in order to culture yogurt that is more pleasing to the palate and less likely to be over- or under-fermented," says Corbyn.

Q: Do you need a yogurt maker to make yogurt?

A: While yogurt makers can be useful, you don't need one, according to Thomson. "In fact, when I began making yogurt years ago, I used my oven with the pilot light on. My mom wraps a heating pad around a pot, and Sandor Katz [of Wild Fermentation] uses an insulated cooler full of warm water. All of these methods can hold your milk at the appropriate temperature, so it's really up to you which way you want to do it," she says. 

While a yogurt maker isn't necessary, it may have another benefit, according to Lask. Depending on the model, you may be able to use it to sterilize your jars prior to using them to inoculate yogurt (for example, in a hot water bath in the Instant Pot Duo). 

Q: Do you need a yogurt starter to make yogurt?

A: Since yogurt relies on the inoculation of specific beneficial microbes, you need a starter culture to make the magic happen, and you have many options. You can add either a couple of spoons of existing yogurt or freeze-dried cultures to a new batch, according to Lask.

"Feeding the starter is not a separate process from making yogurt. By making a new batch of yogurt, you are giving it food in the form of fresh milk, thereby 'feeding' the starter," Thomson says. "Be sure to buy plain, unflavored yogurt and preferably one without the addition of sugars, starches, and other stabilizers."

Q: What advice do you have for someone making yogurt for the first time?

A: "Start by reading others' experiences, using the most basic setup possible in order to decide whether this is an activity that you enjoy and won't mind investing time in regularly. Use whole milk, locally sourced if possible, and try your first batch using plain yogurt or a culture bought online as your starter. Follow any directions given on the package if you buy a culture. This way, you set yourself up for success and will be more likely to continue this lovely practice," Corbyn says.

"My advice is to just give it a try. Humans have been making and eating yogurt since the Neolithic age, so don't get too caught up in gadgets and gizmos. I think yogurt is a fantastic food to make for yourself and your family because it doesn't require much hands-on time, and it will not only be more nutritious but also less expensive than store-bought yogurt," Thomson says. 

Our Expertise

Julia Skinner, PhD, is a writer, food historian, home fermenter, and avid gardener, who educates the public on food waste reduction and fermentation through her Atlanta-based business, Root, which offers online fermentation classes, a recipe newsletter, and more. She is the author of Our Fermented Lives: How Fermented Foods Have Shaped Cultures and Communities. For this piece she interviewed Katsu Lask, a Harvard University-certified fermentista and founder of Fermentation Love; Aimee Corbyn, a fermentation enthusiast with 10 years of experience; and Jenn Thomson of Jenni Ferments, who has been making yogurt for over 10 years.