So after my MIL brought over the yummiest yogurt ever, and told me she made it, my curiosity was peaked. When she explained how she made it, however, it sounded a little confusing and I don't own a candy thermometer so I put it on the back-burner (no pun intended;)
Later, I saw something about making yogurt in a crock-pot so I took a look and found a couple blog posts about it. One of them made it WITHOUT a thermometer so I decided to give it a try!
Here is the even simpler version of that recipe:
1. Pour half a gallon of milk into your crock-pot and set on low for 2 hours and 45 minutes (set a timer and make sure you don't add too much milk because it won't get up to the right temp and it won't set right- learned this the hard way ;)
2. Turn it off then and let it cool down for 3 hours (set timer)
3. After that timer goes off, take 1 cup of what's in your crock-pot and mix it with 1/2 cup yogurt starter (this can be yogurt you previously made which can be used as a start 2-3 times or it can be the kind you buy at the store that says it has "live cultures." I use the Mountain High brand. You can also freeze yogurt and store it up to 3 months for more starters)
4. Dump this mixture back into the crock-pot and mix everything before putting the lid back on and wrapping the whole thing with a few beach/bathroom towels (I use 3 for the best insulation)
Leave it for 8-12 hours and when you open it up you will have yogurt!!! My MIL made me this container for mine- isn't she the best?! Use your left-over containers from nuts at Costco or Walmart to store it in, or even cool whip, or other yogurt containers. Tupperware works great too.
Tip: If you want thicker yogurt you can strain the watery whey off the top- I used a colander and put one big paper towel in the bottom. Another thing you can do is add powdered milk to the milk from the start and this will also get you more protein per serving.
Add some vanilla, any sweetener of your choice, fruit, granola, the possibilities are endless! One of my favorite "desserts" is to have this yogurt (sweetened) and add a little cool whip and fruit! Yum!