So, what does making yogurt have to do with smoking food......Absolutely Nothing!
I found making my own yogurt is both cost effective, and pretty darn easy
Commercially produced yogurt can be costly, especially the "Greek" types of yogurt
Plain yogurt is tart, and needs sugar, honey, fruit or artificial sweeteners to sweeten it to your taste. You can control this "Tartness" by the length of time you culture your yogurt.
You can use 1 cup of commercially produced yogurt with "Live Cultures" to actually culture your own yogurt
Save 1 cup of yogurt from your batch, before you add any sweetener or fruit, for the next batch
I also add 1/4 cup of Nonfat Dry Milk to help with the texture of my yogurt. This step is not necessary.
What is "Greek Yogurt"?
When yogurt is made, a by-product is "Whey". You can mix the Whey back into your yogurt, but it's going to be very runny.
Draining off the Whey will produce a very thick yogurt that's known as "Greek Yogurt"
Commercially produced yogurt can contain chemical preservatives and thickening agents. They don't necessarily disclose the milk they use. By making your own yogurt, you control what's in it!
I followed some different recipes I found on the internet. Thru some trial and error, I found a recipe that works for me. You may have another method or recipe.
Thanks For Looking!!
Here We Go!
I used 1 gallon of milk, 1 cup of nonfat dry milk and 1 cup of yogurt for a starter culture
Yogurt Made with Whole Milk Yogurt Made with 2% Milk
Commercial Yogurt Used as my "Starter Culture" My own "Starter Culture" Saved From a Previous Batch
Pour your gallon of milk into a stainless steel pan. I use a large stew pot.
Heat your milk to 185°. Keep stirring, so you don't scorch your milk on the bottom of the pan
I use a large whisk to keep the milk moving, until the temp hits 185°
Remove from the heat, but keep stirring for about 5 minutes
You can smell the sweet heated milk!!
Cool your milk to 110° - 120° and then add your Starter Culture
The live yogurt cultures will die if the temp is 125°+
Cover with a lid or stretch wrap, and set in a warm place for 6+ hours
Some recipes called for using a crock pot, while others used warm towels and a cooler
My oven has a "Proofing Setting", so I can maintain approx. 115° pretty easily
The trick is to maintain a temp of 120° or so, and your milk will turn into yogurt
The process takes about 6 hours for me, but may take longer, depending on the temp you can maintain
The milk has turned into yogurt after 6 hours
Leaving it in the heat longer will cause the "Tartness" to increase
It's important to place it in the fridge. Cooling your yogurt down will stop the culture, and help reduce the tartness
You'll notice the Whey on top of your yogurt
You can drain it off and use your yogurt as-is, mix the whey back into your yogurt, or take one more step, and make "Greek Style Yogurt"
Some people save the whey for making bread
Line a sieve with paper towels to drain off the whey Finished "Greek Style Yogurt" after draining for about 4 hours
Place sieve over a bowl and into the fridge until you get the You lose about 50% of the weight after draining the whey off
desired texture you like. Add sugar, honey, fruit or artificial sweeteners to taste