Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Greek" Yogurt

I think actual Greek yogurt is made from sheep's milk, and then the whey is strained out to make it thicker and creamier. However, here in America, we tend to use the term "Greek" yogurt to mean strained cows' milk yogurt. That is the kind I've been making, because I haven't noticed any sheep's milk at the grocery in, um, well, ever actually.

Skip to the recipe if you're not interested in how to make a strainer. Greek yogurt is easy to make, and a lot less expensive than buying.

Yogurt Strainer

While looking around for a way to strain yogurt, I found a variety of uni-taskers like this one for sale.

I'm sure it works great, but I wanted to put something together myself.
A coffee filters or some cheese cloth will work in a pinch, but those both absorb the yogurt and are thrown away. The next thought was a reusable coffee filter. Since I make my yogurt in quart jars, I tried to find one that holds a quart, but no luck.

Time for a trip to Walmart. There, I found a "Better Homes" version of the Felli® Flip Tite 5" Square x 7" High Canister, and discovered that these quart Ziploc containers fit really nicely in the top. After some failed attempts at punching holes in the bottom of the Ziploc, I searched around and found a Nut Milk Bag. A what? Nut milk? Anyway, it makes a nice filter, and is food-grade.

Quart Ziploc container and nut milk bag (left), Flip Tite canister (center), and a quart of yogurt (right).
Perfect! I cut the bottom out of the Ziploc, and used a grill lighter to melt the edges and make them smooth. Then, I put the Ziploc inside the nut milk bag, and fitted it into the Flip Tite. Now pour the yogurt into the top, put the Flip Tite lid on, pop it into the fridge, and it will strain through two layers of nut milk bag. The whey will collect in the bottom, with the thick and creamy Greek yogurt remaining in the top. Should be about a half quart of yogurt in the top after three hours.

Quart Ziploc cut and edges melted. It fits nicely into the Flip Tite.

Ziploc inside the nut milk bag, and fitted into the Flip Tite.

Yogurt beginning to strain. Note the big drip of whey coming through the bag.

I did have a near-disaster today as I strained yogurt that I had just made yesterday. The mistake was, I stirred the yogurt just a little bit to make it more photogenic (it had bubbles on top that made it look lumpy), and it was so fresh that it wasn't as thick as usual. The yogurt started pouring through the nut milk bag! I went ahead and let it strain in the fridge for a couple of hours, and transferred the Greek yogurt to a fresh container. Then, I put a coffee filter into the nut milk bag, and poured the whey and thin yogurt back into the coffee filter. It was messy, but it worked. Next time, I'm going to leave the yogurt in the oven to curdle an hour longer, and hopefully that won't happen again.

Sadly, I don't have a picture of the finished yogurt. It became Frozen Yogurt Dex+ almost immediately! :) If it strains for too long, no worries; just stir some of the whey back in.

Greek Yogurt


  • 1 quart whole milk yogurt, bought or homemade


  1. Place yogurt into strainer.
  2. Put the lid on, and place in the fridge for three hours.
  3. Remove yogurt from strainer into pint jar. Add back as much whey as needed to make two cups (480 grams), and stir back together.
  4. For yogurt cheese (similar to cream cheese), do not add whey back in, and continue straining until as thick as desired.
  5. Save the whey for something else like:
    1. Use in place of water in a bread recipe (it is amazing!)
    2. Try one of King Arthur Flour's suggestions
    3. Check out Salad In A Jar

1 comment:

  1. A handy way to clean the nut milk bag: Rinse out the empty quart jar that the yogurt was in. Drop in the nut milk bag, add warm water and a little dish soap, and screw the lid on. Shake vigorously, then rinse it out. Repeat if necessary. Clean up the jar threads and the jar is clean too. Drape the bag over the jar to dry.