Yogurt is a uniquely healthy food. It’s terrific for a snack or can serve as an entire meal. Yogurt boosts your immune system, supplies you with important nutrients and minerals like calcium, and it offers many other health benefits along with great taste. While it’s easy and inexpensive to purchase yogurt at the grocery store, many people like the freshness, variety, and satisfaction they get by making their own yogurt at home.
When you make yogurt at home, you have absolute control over the freshness of the ingredients, as well as the amount of additives, preservatives, and other ingredients that go into the mixture. By being able to use whatever fruits or other ingredients that appeal to you, it’s easy to come up with new and exciting flavors, instead of settling for whatever’s on the shelf at the store.
There’s another important reason why many people choose to make their own yogurt: It’s a lot less expensive than the store-bought variety. Making your own yogurt ensures that you get a better product that costs less, so it’s well worth the investment in a yogurt maker. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own yogurt at home, but weren’t sure exactly how to go about it, you’re in luck, as it’s never been easier and less expensive to find great yogurt makers. Keep these purchasing guidelines in mind while shopping for yogurt makers and you’ll save money now, and for as long as you own it.
Prices Vary, But Not Dramatically
A yogurt maker is a fairly simple appliance compared to many kitchen appliances, so there’s no need to break the bank in order to get one. Even the most expensive yogurt makers aren’t all that much more costly than the cheapest, so anyone can afford to shop around for the best quality maker that you can find. If you’re on a super-tight budget, there’s no need to postpone a purchase of a yogurt maker, as the least expensive maker can make great yogurt while it saves you money on yogurt purchased from the store.
How Does a Yogurt Maker Work?
Yogurt is made by encouraging certain enzymes to produce the finished product. Yogurt makers act as simple heating devices to slowly produce yogurt after you combine the ingredients. There really isn’t any way to speed up the process, and it takes up to 10 hours to make a batch of yogurt no matter how much you spend on a yogurt maker. The difference between most yogurt makers mostly comes down to the ease of use, the size of the batches, and ease of cleaning.
First, Determine Your Batch Size
If you have a big family, or you like eating yogurt on a daily basis, you’ll be happier with a large container size on your yogurt maker. Making big batches that everyone can enjoy takes a lot of the work out of producing yogurt, and saves a lot of arithmetic when you have to split up batches into a few servings at a time. Of course yogurt is great for storing and eating for several days after you make it, so that’s another reason to make substantial batches.
If you have a small household, or if your big family can’t agree on one flavor of yogurt that everyone will eat, you might be happier with a single-serving yogurt maker. The single serving label is a bit of a misnomer; they generally make six to eight separate servings at the same time if you like, or you can fill as many or as few compartments as you need. It’s possible to fill a single serving tray with completely different flavors in each compartment, and eat one a day without getting bored with eating the same old thing.
Container Types and Sizes
The size of the batches often determines what kind of container your yogurt will be stored in when it’s finished. Large batch yogurt makers usually have a big, lidded plastic container that goes directly from the yogurt maker to storing it in the refrigerator. Single serving yogurt makers often rely on a partitioned glass tray to make and store the yogurt, and may or may not have a proper lid for convenient storage. Once again, there’s no perfect type of yogurt maker, only the perfect kind for your particular needs. A bigger yogurt maker isn’t necessarily better if you don’t need big batches all at once. Because the container that the yogurt is made in becomes its storage container, you won’t be able to make another batch until the last one is finished. If your yogurt maker makes more than you can consume, you’ll end up throwing away too much yogurt to enjoy the cost savings that home-made yogurt can offer, and you won’t be eating it as fresh as you could if the batch size was more closely matched to your needs.
Technically, you’re not cooking yogurt in a yogurt maker; you’re fermenting it. All that’s required is the correct ingredients in the right proportions, the proper enzymes, and a little bit of heat in order to produce fresh, great-tasting yogurt. While yogurt makers don’t require a great deal of heat, the quality of the finished product is greatly affected by the quality and reliability of the thermostat and the other controls. It’s possible to make yogurt in your conventional oven without any kind of yogurt maker, but the chances of getting a really tasty product are greatly diminished. Yogurt makers offer much more accurate and even low-temperature warming than an oven, and that’s why it’s worth the money to purchase a dedicated appliance just for making yogurt. Check out user ratings for the accuracy of the temperature control to make sure you’ll like the finished product. Some yogurt makers feature LCD screens with touchpads instead of standalone buttons for all the functions, and this can make cleaning the outside of the maker easier.
Another important aspect of choosing a yogurt maker is ease of cleaning. Both the yogurt container and the yogurt maker itself should be easy to clean, or you’ll find yourself avoiding using it when you think about the cleanup a poor design requires. It’s another reason why choosing the correct batch size is vital to your satisfaction with your yogurt maker. It’s no fun cleaning out a yogurt container that’s left too long in the back of your refrigerator. Single-serving yogurt trays can be notoriously hard to clean as well, especially if you scoop out one tray each day and return the rest to the refrigerator until the tray is empty. Look for yogurt makers that have dishwasher-safe bins, trays, and lids, and you’ll look forward to making fresh batches of yogurt instead of finding ways to avoid them because they’re hard to clean. Remember, yogurt uses active enzymes and dairy products, so you have to regularly sterilize the parts or you’ll spoil future batches with the remainder of old ones. Don’t’ just examine the ease of cleaning of the containers, either; make sure the base of the machine is easy to wipe down after use as well.
Some yogurt makers feature an automatic shutoff feature that takes the guesswork out of making a batch of yogurt. Others incorporate a timer and alarm that won’t turn off the batch when it’s done, but will at least alert you when it’s time to do so. Since it takes many hours to make a batch of yogurt, it can be inconvenient to keep track of the time, especially if you’re preparing other things in the kitchen that make use of your standard kitchen timers. Automatic shutoff is great if you like to prepare batches of yogurt first thing in the morning before you go off to work or school, or if you like to prepare them in the evening and let them ferment while you’re asleep. It’s great to wake up to a fresh batch of yogurt to start your day off right. Missing a shutoff time can result in yogurt that’s too thin and watery or too thick, so many people consider these features a must.
Yogurt is best when it’s chilled immediately after it’s finished fermenting. Some higher-end yogurt makers go directly from fermenting mode to chilling mode, and can keep your yogurt cool for up to half a day after it’s done. That’s ideal for overnight yogurt making, or whenever you’re not sure if you’ll be around when the batch is finished fermenting.
Frozen Yogurt Is Off the Menu With Most Yogurt Makers
Frozen yogurt (froyo) is another way to enjoy this healthy and tasty food, but even if your yogurt maker has a built in chiller, don’t assume that it can produce frozen yogurt. There are very few models of yogurt makers that are capable of producing frozen yogurt, however, many ice cream makers can produce frozen yogurt or sorbet. If you’re wild about frozen yogurt, consider purchasing a standalone yogurt maker and a separate ice cream maker that can make frozen yogurt along with a host of other frozen treats.
How to make homemade yogurt?
The yogurt maker is a fantastic household appliance and after getting yourself a yogurt machine, it’s time to make homemade yogurt! Read the instruction manual first and then read the following tips and tricks on wikihow, about and ehow). Also, this youtube video will explain you how to make the best yogurt at home!