Most people prefer a bowl of creamy, thick yogurt to a thin, runny one. There are many tricks you can employ to make the consistency of your yogurt thick and dense.
While you can make yogurt in almost any pot you like, be it a slow cooker, crockpot, conventional pot, or designated yogurt maker, you will be pleased to know that your favorite kitchen appliance – your Instant Pot – now comes with a yogurt-making feature.
Moreover, using your Instant Pot will result in beautifully thick, creamy, Greek-style yogurt unless you pick the wrong ingredients or fail to follow the correct method.
In this article, we will walk you through the factors that may have made your yogurt too thin, even in an Instant Pot. We will also tell you some recovery “saves” for runny or watery yogurt along with the tips to make it right next time. We’ll suggest ways of using up that too-thin batch so that you don’t have to waste it.
Why Is My Yogurt Too Thin Even In Instant Pot?
Here are some reasons your yogurt may be too thin:
1. You have a miscalibrated thermometer. An incorrect temperature reading will cause your yogurt culture to be below the required incubation temperature or too high, thus killing the culture. Never just guess the temperature as the correct temperature is crucial for a good yogurt.
2. Using ultra-pasteurized milk can ruin the consistency and smell of your yogurt. Replace it with raw milk next time for better results.
3. The use of almond or soy milk instead of cow’s or goat’s milk will not give your yogurt the right texture or taste.
However, if you want to make dairy-free yogurt with such ingredients, you can use agar agar flakes or tapioca starch as thickeners for a rich, creamy consistency. You cannot add tapioca starch directly to the milk or it will form lumps.
Instead, mix it in a small bowl or cup into a slurry with half a cup of your cold milk of choice for every two tablespoons of starch. Combine this until smooth then add it to the main mixture n the Instant Pot.
If you prefer to use agar agar, sprinkle two teaspoons of the flakes on top of the milk then leave it without stirring for a few minutes to rehydrate. Once your thickeners have been added, you can heat the milk to the required temperature, stirring, until the thickener has dissolved.
4. If using skim milk, you will need to add a little milk powder to your mixture for creaminess and body.
5. Using expired yogurt cultures will cause the yogurt to turn out loose and watery.
6. Not incubating the yogurt for long enough will result in a runny yogurt.
7. Not using your Instant Pot on the correct setting. Put the jars of prepared yogurt mixture into the Instant Pot and add warm (not hot) water until it comes three-quarters of the way up the sides of the jars. Put the lid on and set the Instant Pot to warm.
If your pot has a yogurt setting, use that. Leave the yogurt to incubate and thicken. This usually takes about 8 hours.
8. Bacteria in your yogurt could cause it to stay runny. Prevent this by sterilizing all your equipment and jars before you begin.
9. Not chilling the yogurt after it has been made will cause it to be runny. While you may be tempted to dig in and try your homemade treat as soon as it comes out of the incubator, resist this urge. First, chill the jars of the product properly as the yogurt will thicken a little once it’s properly cold.
Are There Any Ways To Recover Too Thin Yogurt?
As you can see from the above, even if you used the Instant Pot yogurt setting, your yogurt could still go watery. Apply these ways to recover too thin yogurt:
- First of all, check if the yogurt smells foul. If it does, throw it away immediately.
- Reheat the runny yogurt to 100˚ F if you have heated it first at 175˚ F. Make sure that you DO NOT REHEAT IT OVER 100˚ F.
- To ensure the quality, add a new and high-quality starter culture.
- Now re-incubate the yogurt, and you should get a thicker, creamier consistency this time.
- If the yogurt has a bit of body, you could try straining it through a double layer of very fine cheesecloth to help remove some of the water.
- As a last resort, add a thickener such as milk powder, pectin, gelatin, or agar agar.
What Can I Use Runny Yohurt For?
Even though your batch of yogurt turned out runny, there is no need to waste it.
- Use it in smoothies.
- Use it instead of buttermilk or milk in baked goods such as cornbread or muffins. The acidity will help baked goods to rise.
- Make frozen yogurt. Add fruit and sugar or honey for flavor.
- Make breakfast pancakes or waffles with it.
Most of us have had a batch of yogurt that has turned out too thin and runny. Please don’t let this put you off your homemade yogurt-making attempts. Keep trying, follow the principles, and you’re sure to get it right soon.