The popularity of yogurt has skyrocketed in the past decade, driven not only by a greater appreciation of its numerous health advantages but also by the remarkable surge in demand for Greek yogurt.
When certain foods gain immense popularity, there’s almost always a predictable trend that follows: a flood of machines designed to enable you to prepare those foods at home. It’s not just ice cream and pasta makers that have become essential kitchen appliances; it’s also common to find artisanal bread makers, espresso machines, juicers, smoothie blenders, and panini presses in modern kitchens.
Add yogurt makers to that list.
Investing in a high-quality yogurt machine can be one of the most intelligent appliance decisions you make. Crafting your own wholesome snack is not only enjoyable but also more fulfilling than simply picking up some Yoplait or Oikos at the store. It grants you full control over the flavors and ingredients you prefer. Moreover, homemade yogurt made from fresh ingredients is substantially healthier. It tends to be creamier, richer in protein, lower in sugar, and devoid of GMOs, artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.
This makes yogurt straight from the machine a superior choice for weight management, digestion, skin, hair, nails, and overall well-being.
The Your House Garden review team has evaluated and ranked the top 5 yogurt makers presently available on the market. We’ll reveal the list following a brief guide on choosing a yogurt machine. Just to clarify, for the purposes of this article, we’ve exclusively considered models that produce fresh yogurt. Frozen yogurt machines are a separate topic for another, preferably warmer, day.
Understanding Yogurt Makers
Yogurt Making Takes Time
The closest kitchen appliance comparison to a yogurt maker is a slow cooker. You won’t be able to whip up fresh, creamy yogurt in an hour or on a whim. Creating a large batch can take half a day or even longer because the machine is designed to maintain a constant temperature for the ingredients, primarily milk and the essential “starter” mixture containing bacteria, during the fermentation process.
The initial processing time can span from 7 to 10 hours, depending on factors such as the type of milk used (skim milk takes the longest to ferment) and the desired type of yogurt. The duration is also influenced by the fermentation temperature you choose. Afterward, the finished product should be refrigerated for at least a few hours, although most people opt to leave it in the fridge overnight.
In summary, don’t expect to satisfy a sudden yogurt craving by simply pulling out the machine and switching it on while you watch TV for an hour. The wait, however, is well worth it.
Types of Yogurt Makers
The most significant distinction among yogurt machines lies in their size. The majority of these machines are designed to produce a single batch of yogurt at a time, typically with an average capacity of 1 to 2 quarts. This becomes a critical factor to consider when comparing different models because fresh yogurt lacks preservatives and doesn’t possess the extended shelf life of store-bought yogurt.
If you don’t anticipate consuming a substantial amount of yogurt or have a small family, it’s wise to avoid investing in an excessively large yogurt maker that would produce more yogurt than you can consume before it goes bad. On the contrary, for larger families, a smaller machine may not suffice due to the considerable time required to make a batch, necessitating frequent batches to meet the demand.
Flexibility in Design
There are also yogurt makers that offer versatility. These machines allow you to place small batches of ingredients into individual jars, which are then placed under a dome for heating and fermentation. This approach allows you to prepare smaller servings of various flavors all at once, maximizing the efficiency of the lengthy yogurt-making process. Some models even offer the option to make yogurt in both bulk and smaller servings simultaneously.
Fully Automated or Not!
Another way to categorize yogurt makers is by whether they are “set it and forget it” machines or if they require or allow your involvement in the process once you press the start button. The most beneficial models provide advanced controls that allow experienced users to set the temperature, duration, or power settings for making their yogurt to their exact preferences.
Lastly, there are yogurt makers specifically designed for crafting Greek yogurt, while others offer the versatility to effortlessly produce both traditional and Greek yogurt styles. Some models even have the added functionality of serving as pressure cookers or slow cookers, making them a practical choice for individuals with limited countertop space.
What Else To Look For In a Yogurt Maker
The best yogurt makers often come with three fantastic features: self-cooling, timers, and auto-shutoff functions. Machines equipped with self-cooling capabilities ensure that your yogurt remains fresh even if it needs to sit for a while before being refrigerated. Timers allow you to set a specific starting time for your batch and help you keep track of when your yogurt is ready to be chilled. And the benefits of auto-shutoff are self-explanatory.
Additional convenience factors to consider include whether the machine’s yogurt-making container can be placed directly into the fridge and how easy it is to clean – as some models can make cleanup a bit of a hassle.
Now, let’s dive into Your House Garden’s top picks for yogurt makers.
The review team highly values the concept of a self-cooling yogurt maker because it eliminates the frustration of spending hours preparing yogurt, only to have it spoil while you’re stuck in traffic or occupied elsewhere. Self-cooling is just one of the features that places the CYM-100 at the top of Your House Garden’s rankings. This yogurt maker also allows you to set the fermentation time as specified by your recipe (or opt for a longer fermentation time for tangier yogurt), and it’s user-friendly.
While the Cuisinart CYM-100 falls on the higher end of the price range for yogurt makers, it offers several advantages. It boasts a generous capacity of 1½ quarts of yogurt (equivalent to more than six servings) in a single batch. After adding your ingredients and pressing the start button, the machine takes care of the rest, producing perfect yogurt and keeping it cool until you deactivate the unit. The built-in LED countdown clock helps you monitor the remaining time in the cycle, and the machine is easy to clean, making it an attractive option.
The only drawbacks we’ve identified with the CYM-100 are that it lacks temperature control and doesn’t produce Greek yogurt independently. To achieve a taste and consistency close to traditional Greek yogurt, you’ll need to manually heat the milk and strain the yogurt after the process is complete. If you’re specifically interested in making Greek yogurt, it’s advisable to invest in a machine designed for that purpose.
This sleek and easy-to-use Cuisinart yogurt maker may cost a bit more than budget models, but its convenience and the delicious yogurt it produces will make you glad you spent a bit extra.
Facts and figures on the Cuisinart CYM-100 Electronic Yogurt Maker:
Certainly, you can use the Dash to make “regular” yogurt, but its design is primarily tailored for crafting the perfect Greek yogurt, and it excels in this regard. However, it’s important to note that achieving the thick, tangy consistency of store-bought Greek yogurt requires a few additional steps. You’ll need to heat the milk separately, and once the yogurt-making process is complete and the yogurt is chilled, you’ll have to strain out the whey using the provided fine mesh strainer, which conveniently attaches directly to the Dash’s containers. The result is simply delicious.
The Dash takes up less counter space and comes at a more budget-friendly price point than the Cuisinart, thanks to its plastic construction and the absence of a refrigeration unit for keeping the yogurt cold after the process. Whether these aspects are seen as drawbacks or advantages depends on your specific preferences.
One important thing to bear in mind when comparing yogurt makers is that while the machine’s containers (it includes two, which is convenient for starting a second batch while the first is in the fridge) can hold a little over 1½ quarts, you won’t end up with that much Greek yogurt. Straining out the whey results in a reduction of the finished product, so you can expect to yield about one quart of Greek yogurt at most.
The Dash yogurt maker features an adjustable timer and an LCD display, along with a thorough instruction booklet that includes recipes. It’s also offered in white, pink, or blue color options to complement your kitchen’s decor.
The Dash Greek Yogurt Maker is inexpensive, very well-designed, and is the best machine available for producing homemade Greek yogurt.
Details on the Dash Greek Yogurt Maker:
The Yogourmet falls within the mid-range in terms of price for high-quality yogurt makers, and it employs a unique method for maintaining the correct temperature during the fermentation process. Instead of relying on an internal heating element and a thermostat, this unit utilizes a “water bath” system that ensures a consistent temperature all around the container where the yogurt is prepared. This approach works effectively, and if you prefer to have your yogurt dispensed into a glass container rather than the provided plastic one, the machine can accommodate a glass jar inside the container.
One additional advantage of this technological approach is speed. You can produce as much as two quarts of yogurt in as little as four hours, which is about half the time required by most competing models. While there isn’t an onboard timer, you can run the machine through multiple cycles if you desire a stronger and tangier flavor. Yogourmet also offers its own freeze-dried yogurt starter product, which some users may find more convenient or flavorful than using store-bought yogurt as a starter. Additionally, a cotton bag is included with the yogurt maker for those interested in attempting cheese-making with this model.
With a large capacity, good temperature control and fast preparation time, the Yogourmet yogurt maker is worth a long look.
Digging deeper on the Yogourmet Electric Yogurt Maker:
4. Euro Cuisine YMX650 Automatic Digital Yogurt Maker
As mentioned earlier, some yogurt maker models offer the convenience of producing multiple smaller servings of yogurt simultaneously, allowing you to create different flavors, styles, or recipes all in one go. Among these options, the Euro Cuisine YMX650 stands out as a top choice, as it accommodates seven six-ounce glass jars, all neatly arranged under a single plastic dome.
This Euro Cuisine unit boasts a 15-hour timer with an LED display, along with an automatic shut-off feature. It also signals with a beep when your yogurt is ready to be placed in the refrigerator. For those who like variety and prefer to have a wide selection of homemade yogurt flavors or styles at home, the YMX650 offers an excellent solution, and the end results received positive feedback from our review team.
This model is reasonably priced. However, if you’re seeking a more budget-friendly option that can still handle six different containers at once, and you don’t require a timer or other additional features, the basic Euro Cuisine YM80 is worth considering.
The Euro Cuisine is a great machine for creating an assortment of different types of yogurt all at once, without sacrificing quality.
A closer look at the Euro Cuisine YMX650 Automatic Digital Yogurt Maker:
5. Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 Multi Use Programmable
As mentioned earlier, some yogurt makers offer versatile functions beyond yogurt making, and here’s the one that Your House Garden particularly favors. Are you ready for the impressive capabilities of the Instant Pot? It serves as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pot, and warmer—all in one. Needless to say, it comes with a large touchpad for programming all these functions, although we didn’t get to test all of them. However, those who have tried them out rave about this model.
Making yogurt in the Instant Pot is straightforward. You heat the milk inside the pot, add your starter, and set the fermentation time, just as you would with any other yogurt maker, and the results are delicious. This versatile appliance is a fantastic option for those with limited kitchen space, as it allows you to create homemade yogurt without the need for a dedicated machine, even though it falls on the pricey side.
The Instant Pot isn’t as versatile as other yogurt makers when it comes to yogurt, but it’s the most versatile appliance you’ll find that can make very good yogurt and perform many other functions.
Specs for the Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 Multi Use Programmable:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth getting a yoghurt maker?
Whether it’s worth getting a yogurt maker depends on your yogurt consumption and preferences. If you eat yogurt regularly, enjoy customization, and want to control ingredients, flavors, and sweetness, a yogurt maker can be a valuable investment. It offers cost savings, the convenience of fresh yogurt, and the opportunity to experiment with different yogurt types. However, if you consume yogurt infrequently or prefer store-bought options, a yogurt maker may not be necessary.
What should I look for in a yogurt maker?
When choosing a yogurt maker, consider the following factors:
– Capacity: Determine how much yogurt you want to make at once. Yogurt makers come in various sizes, so select one that suits your needs.
– Temperature Control: Look for a model with precise temperature control to ensure proper yogurt fermentation.
– Timer: A timer function can help you track the fermentation time, preventing over-fermentation or under-fermentation.
Additionally, you might consider features like automatic shut-off, ease of cleaning, and whether the machine is compatible with glass containers or specific yogurt cultures if those are important to you.
How long can you leave yogurt in yogurt maker?
The ideal fermentation time for yogurt in a yogurt maker typically ranges from 6 to 12 hours, depending on your desired yogurt thickness and tanginess. Most yogurt makers come with a timer or an automatic shut-off function, allowing you to set the fermentation time and prevent over-fermentation. It’s generally safe to leave yogurt in the maker for the recommended duration specified in the user manual.
The Your House Garden team hopes you found this review enjoyable! If you’re reading this, you’re probably quite concerned about your family’s health. If that’s the case, you might be curious about whether investing in an air fryer is a wise choice.