Yo! That was easy!

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I bought this thing a little while ago …

Yogurt maker

… and wanted to share.

I posted about making yogurt a couple years ago, and I’ve been using my little yogurt maker since then, enjoying it. But then in December, I saw a  TV clip for this EasiYo contraption. Of course, since it was around Christmas, I couldn’t get my hands on the thing. I finally go a hold of one in mid-January from (oddly) Sears online. Amazon is still on backorder.

From what I saw on the clip, it addressed all the things that kind of irked me about my traditional maker. So, I’m chiming in my two cents.

I love it. When it arrived, it came with two packages of EasiYo brand yogurt powder. We tried those, and sure making it with the powdered “yogurt sachet” is easy. But they are expensive — which defeats the purpose. And my kids didn’t jump up and down about the yogurt. And wait, did I say this already? They are expensive. I like to use organic milk for yogurt, too. Not freeze-dried milk or whatever it is. And I want to be in control of sugar content, etc.

I need to first clarify (which I mentioned in my first post on the subject) for all the make-your-own-yogurt newbies out there — that any yogurt maker isn’t actually a yogurt maker. It’s more like a yogurt incubator — a device that keeps the milk and cultures warm enough for the cultures to work their magic and grow.

The traditional maker I have (by EuroCuisine) has seven small jars with lids and a warmer. I still have to heat the milk, cool it to a certain temp, add the starter (I use a tablespoon or so of already prepared yogurt), then keep it warm for a designated period of time.

Too long=too tangy. Too short=sometimes not set enough.

For me the magic amount of time seems to be 5 hours. Which is tough. It’s not long enough to make it overnight. The EuroCuisine has a timer, but it still seems to stay a little too warm in there. Every overnight batch I attempted failed. And trying to make it in the morning is a pain. We’re hustling to get out the door, and I’m standing by the sink trying to cool the scalded milk to get the darn stuff in the jars so I’ll be home in the afternoon (hopefully) when the five hours is up.

My life isn’t that schedule friendly.

My biggest complaints are that the jars just don’t want to come clean in the dishwasher, so I have to clean them with a bottle brush, and if I want to make another batch, I have to scoop the yogurt out of a bunch of little jars.

Plus, I’ve melted two lids on the dishwasher heating element during the drying process. So I don’t even have the satisfaction of seven uniform cute little jars of yogurt. (I know: What difference does THAT make? A lot. Sue me.)

I had high hopes for the EasiYo. I wanted a little more convenience. I got excited about the idea of one jar — so I could just scoop out what the kids wanted, and there was only one jar to clean.

The process is simple. I prepare the yogurt in the same way as before: scald the milk, cool it, mix in a starter, sometimes a teaspoon of vanilla and two tablespoons of sugar. (Most often, I make it plain and the kids add honey or a half of a teaspoon of grape or strawberry jelly.)

Yogurt eater

Once it’s all mixed in the jar, I just pour boiling water up to the designated spot, plop the jar into the maker  – which is really just kind of a giant thermos-type thing. It’s very convenient. It’s nice to thoroughly mix the starter with the milk  in the convenient lidded jar; it seems I get a smoother overall consistency. The best part is — I can let it sit in there for up to 12 hours. (Actually, I’ve read some folks have success even longer). Eight hours is plenty. So it’s perfect to make before bed. One jar. Easy to clean. The only con is that it is a rather big container, so you need space for it (it’s about the height and width of a half-gallon jug).

I found this decent video on YouTube of a lady making homemade yogurt. All the steps are the same — but you don’t have to make your own warmer with a heating pad or whatever she uses. But if you’ve never made yogurt and aren’t interested in the expense of buying some kind of a warmer — her method is good if you want to give it a try. Once you start making it, there’s really no comparison.

I have to include one of the commercials for the EasiYo, too. And really, making yogurt with your own milk isn’t just for hobbyists. It’s really not that hard. Sheesh. You can heat the milk in the microwave. (If you know how to press start, you’re good to go.)

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