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If you're concerned about the ingredients that go into your food, the ability to make delicious meals and snacks in the convenience of your own home will undoubtedly appeal to you. A yogurt maker lets you prepare delicious, healthy yogurt for yourself and your family with very little effort.
At BestReviews, we sifted through a variety of yogurt makers to round up our favorites. Below, you'll find a list of things to keep in mind when choosing a yogurt maker for your kitchen. We’ll discuss tips and tricks to get the most out of your yogurt maker, and we’ll shine the spotlight on some very helpful information from our expert nutritionist, Dr. Samantha Attard.
When you’re ready to buy a yogurt maker, scroll to the top of this page to learn more about our five favorite yogurt makers. In the product matrix, we outline the fast facts you need to know about each machine.
You may be wondering if a yogurt maker is worth the investment. The answer to that question depends on the consumer.
A yogurt maker is a good choice for people looking to live a healthier lifestyle. If you’ve been thinking about making more foods from scratch, a yogurt maker is a good place to start.
If you eat a lot of yogurt, a yogurt maker can help you save money on grocery bills … and help satisfy your cravings.
Cooks who are gadget lovers may appreciate having a yogurt maker in their arsenal of kitchen tools.
Parents who want to feed their children healthy snacks may find it fun to make yogurt together.
Yogurt is a healthy snack and dessert option. It’s also an important component in many great recipes and sauces. And for those who are environmentally conscientious, it reduces waste significantly since you’re not constantly buying and discarding plastic yogurt containers.
Samantha Attard, nutrition PhD, is a consultant, coach, yoga instructor, and founder of Happy Healthy Human. Through her business, Samantha provides personalized health solutions to individuals and groups of all sizes. She also has a line of health snacks that to help individuals all over the country eat with intention. Her research has been featured in the British Medical Journal, Diabetologia, and Journal of Hypertension, among others.
Before settling on a particular yogurt maker, think about the following to ensure you're picking the machine that's right for your needs.
Size matters – especially if you're planning on feeding more than just yourself. Verify how many servings a particular yogurt maker can provide. Many yogurt makers come with small jars for easy portioning. The jars are great for packing in kids’ lunches or storing on-the-go breakfast.
The best part of homemade yogurt is that you start with fresh milk and can add your own sweetener if desired, rather than having overly sugary store-bought varieties.
Check to see whether the yogurt maker you're considering requires a power source or not. Non-electric yogurt makers are less convenient than those that require power, as you must find an alternate heat source to warm the milk.
While some yogurt makers are no-frills machines, others have displays that let you know how much time is left in the yogurt-making process. Auto-shutoff is a convenient feature, too; you don’t have to constantly monitor the time if your yogurt maker will turn off itself. And some yogurt makers feature a smart auto-cooling function for when the yogurt-making process has reached its end. The yogurt machine switches to cooling to ensure your yogurt stays fresh.
Although not a feature of the machine itself, some yogurt makers come packaged with individual glass jars that allow you to input the date the yogurt was made.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Cuisinart Electronic, Automatic Cooling
Set and Forget
The Cuisinart CYM-100 Electronic Yogurt Maker hails from the "set it and forget it" school of design. This is extremely helpful for those attempting to make homemade yogurt for the first time. The holding temperature cannot be adjusted manually, but this product has a simple-to-use digital timer and automatic cooling feature not found in many other models. We appreciate the Cuisinart CYM-100's sleek stainless steel and its relatively small footprint on the counter. Only the lid and interior container require cleaning after each batch.
Is easy clean-up a priority for you? Some yogurt makers are dishwasher safe or, at the very least, they have parts that can be run through the dishwasher. Whatever yogurt maker you choose, it should be easy to clean. You don’t want to reuse a dirty yogurt maker, as it could lead to bacterial contamination and an unsafe food product.
The durability of your yogurt maker depends on the materials with which it's made. Plastic machines degrade quicker and may crack over time. Stainless steel machines offer a tougher construction and are highly resistant to wear and tear.
One of the primary benefits of yogurt is the presence of probiotics. These beneficial bacteria have been associated with better gut and brain health, as well as lower risk of obesity.
A yogurt maker is not a kitchen appliance for an impatient cook. These machines work slowly to create their finished product. Yogurt is essentially milk that has been fermented with good bacteria.
The fermentation process required to make yogurt takes many hours, but without a yogurt machine to help, it would take even longer. Most yogurt makers require you to use a yogurt starter. The starter introduces the good bacteria that initiates the fermentation process.
Although the strong smell of fermented foods may put some people off, they are nutritional powerhouses. The process of fermentation is a convenient, natural way to preserve food. It also makes food easier to digest.
If you've ever seen a yogurt commercial, you know that healthy digestion is repeatedly mentioned as a benefit of eating yogurt. Fermented foods introduce good bacteria into the digestive system, which is excellent for overall gut health.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
The entry-level Euro Cuisine YM80 comes with few accessories, but for those who are interested in making quality yogurt on a budget, its low price and functionality cannot be beat. Potential buyers should note that because the heating element is located in the base, it is recommended that the jars be elevated with a towel or dishcloth during fermentation to avoid hot spots.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy yogurt; it need never be boring. Here are a few ideas to put your yogurt maker to good use.
Frozen yogurt popsicles
Overnight oats made with yogurt
Yogurt with granola, coconut, or a variety of other mix-ins
Yogurt and fruit parfait
Yogurt as a base for healthy salad dressing
Yogurt as a base for a tangy marinade
Q. How do I make Greek Yogurt?
A. Making Greek yogurt requires an additional tool: a strainer. Some yogurt makers come with a strainer to make Greek yogurt. If yours doesn’t, you can purchase one separately and strain the yogurt on your own. Straining the yogurt helps to make it thicker.
Q. Can I use a yogurt maker for other purposes?
A. Yes! Some people use their machines to make cheese. Yum! There are plenty of recipes online to help you make the most of your new yogurt maker.
Q. Is fermentation safe?
A. It's best to follow manufacturer's instructions to ensure you're producing a safe fermented product. If your machine stops working or shuts off mid-cycle, do not eat the yogurt. Also, make sure to clean your device after each use. Bacteria can fester in nooks and crannies and can contaminate your yogurt if you don't correctly disinfect your unit. Otherwise, it’s a very safe process that has been used throughout history to conserve foods.
Fermented foods have surged in popularity once again because of their unique taste profile and health benefits.
Q. I like variety. Can I make a lot of different types of yogurt at one time?
A. It depends on your yogurt maker. Some machines make yogurt in small individual batches so you can customize each pot to your liking. Others produce large quantities and require you to settle on one flavor choice.
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At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.