For those of you who are making yogurt, or are intimidated by the process of making yogurt, there is another, simpler method. What can be easier than mixing two ingredients and pushing a button?

Many are calling it the “No Boil” yogurt method, but I call it the Cold Start™ Method, as you put two cold ingredients, Milk & yogurt starter, in your pot, and start your yogurt.

{NEW VIDEO!} I have finally put together a video that will help you understand the Cold
Start™method, how to choose your milk, your starter, and most everything that is shown here.

If you want to only watch the actual demonstration of making yogurt, start at the 8:19 mark. I do highly recommend that you either watch the video in it’s entirety or read through this article before starting your Cold Start yogurt. Enjoy!

Fairlife milk is in the picture below, but you can use any ultra pasteurized, flash pasteurized, gentle pasteurized, shelf stable or powdered milk with this method. More info about milks can be found further in this article.

For best results and for food safety, do not use regular pasteurized or raw milk with this

You can make this yogurt directly in your pot, and if you find that you like the thickness of your yogurt without straining, you can mix your milk + starter together, and pour them into individual jars. See the FAQs section below for more information.

A member of the Instant Pot Facebook Community took this picture to show how thick their yogurt is:

Fairlife 2% milk
Fage 0%
Incubated for 9 hours
Video courtesy of Aiman Kassam-Daudaly


For regular pasteurized milks, you will need to use the Traditional method of
heating/cooling your milk.

For a full explanation as to why, see the FAQ near the end of this post.

You will need a cooker that has a yogurt setting to use the Cold Start™ method. If you do not have a yogurt setting, check out this method for the Instant Pot LUX.

Frieda’s Easy Instant Pot Cold Start™ Yogurt

Making yogurt is so simple and easy with this revolutionary Cold Start method! No heating, no cooling, no temperature taking and most likely, no straining! You must have a yogurt setting for this method to work and use ultra pasteurized milks. If you are Canadian, Natrel Lactose free milk is the equivalent to Fairlife milk.*** Using creamer or sweetened condensed milk is optional, and only for flavor. This recipe will work for the 3 quart, 6 quart, or 8 quart Instant Pot. You can double this recipe, up to a gallon of total milk for the 6 or 8 quart, but do not triple the recipe.


  • 1/2 gallon *Ultra Pasteurized, Ultra High Temp, or shelf stable milk. If using
    Fairlife milk, 1 carton (52 oz) is fine to use.
  • 1-2 Tablespoons **Fresh, plain yogurt, not opened
  • OPTIONAL: Choose one of the following, and use the full two Tablespoons
    of yogurt as your starter
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (you can use the whole can or half of
  • 16 oz Natural Bliss creamer (vanilla or sweet cream are my favorites)
  • 1-2 cups heavy cream or half & half milk
  • If you do not use the sweetened condensed milk or creamer, you can add 1
    teaspoon of vanilla extract and your choice of sweetener after your yogurt has chilled/strained.

1. Make sure your Instant Pot & utensils are clean and free of soap residue. Pour the
contents of your milk into your Instant Pot insert. Stir in your optional ingredient milk, if desired, making sure it is whisked in very well.                                                      2.Whisk in your 1-2 Tablespoons of fresh yogurt, dissolving it well.3. Cover your Instant Pot, with the IP lid in the locked position and the pressure valve closed. If you have an IP seal that smells, you can remove it. You can also use a dinner plate or pie plate as a lid.
4. Select Yogurt Normal, according to your model. If you have the ULTRA model, this can be Medium or a customized setting of any temp in the 100°F-110°F range.
5. Select the incubation time for 8 hours. You can choose a longer time, up to 24 hours, by pushing the (+) button for more tang to your yogurt.
6. The IP will beep, and begin counting UP. When finished, the IP will beep and your display will show YOGT.
7. Remove your pot of yogurt, cover, and chill it in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours.
8. If you want to transfer your yogurt or strain it***, you can slowly pour your yogurt
into another container or strainer. Do not stir your yogurt until fully chilled or strained.
9. After chilling, flavor your yogurt by whisking in vanilla extract and choice of sweetener. For a list of flavoring options, look in this article. If you are making plain, unflavored yogurt, you may want to freeze some in tablespoon portions to use as starters for your next batch of yogurt. Store yogurt in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks.


*You can use any ultra pasteurized, UHT, shelf stable or powdered milk. The higher the fat/protein, the thicker your yogurt will be. Lower fat milks have a higher water content and will need the addition of powdered milk and/or straining to achieve a thicker yogurt. Fairlife and other iflter milks (Natrel lactose free, MooTopia, CarbMaster) will be thicker due to the higher protein contents of these milks.
**Chose any plain yogurt that has the taste and texture that you love. Fage, Oui are mild and will create a mild yogurt. Chobani, Siggis, and Greek Gods are tangy and will create tang in your yogurt. It must contain live/active cultures. If plain yogurt is not available, you can use a vanilla yogurt, but it will not flavor your yogurt. Yogurt with the l.casei bacteria strain will help set up your yogurt more quickly and be more viscous. For more info on yogurt starters, click here.

***If you are unsure about straining your yogurt, chill it first for 4-6 hours. Once
chilled, take a small spoonful of yogurt and stir it into a bowl. It is normal for yogurt
to thin out when stirred. If you want your yogurt to be thicker, you will want to
strain it. If you do end up straining your yogurt, you can strain and chill it at the
same time, right after incubation. If your yogurt is too thick, you can whisk some
whey back in to your desired consistency


Prep time: 2 mins
Cook time: 8 hours
Total time: 8 hours 5 mins
Yield: approx. 6.5+ cups


This short 1 minute video will show you how to get to the normal yogurt setting for the Duo. You need to make sure your display shows NORMAL and YOGURT.

If it says LESS, the temp will be too low and you will have thin yogurt.



Here are the steps to find the NORMAL yogurt setting.


Turn dial to YOGURT
Press to select
Press the dial again to set TIME (5-24 hours, depending on how tart you like your yogurt)
Press the dial to confirm
Turn dial to TEMP (LOW, MED, HIGH, Custom)
Select MEDIUM (107°F) or CUSTOM (you can choose between 100°F-110°F)
Press dial to confirm
Press the START button.
Incubation will start.
When cycle has ended, the display will show YOGT.
*UPDATE/2018 on the Ultra Model: There is no “medium” setting for the newer Ultra models. You will need to use the CUSTOM setting and set the temp for 110°F.



I have been making dairy yogurt for a long time, so this method intrigued me. Let’s take a look at the Cold Start method and answer some of the many questions about it.
What is the Cold Start™ method?
What is Fairlife milk?
Myths about Fairlife milk?
Can I use Low Fat or Chocolate Fairlife milk?
Where can I find Fairlife milk?
Can I use other ultra pasteurized milks
I can’t find this milk in Canada – what can I use instead?
Why is milk heated to make yogurt?
Does it save any time?
Is it safe to make yogurt with this method?
How does it taste?
Does the texture change with this method?
How much does it cost to make yogurt with Fairlife milk?

What is the Cold Start™ Method?

Yogurt is typically heated to 160°-180°F using the “Boil” setting of the Instant Pot. This is called the Traditional Method, where the milk is heated/cooled/then starter is addded/incubated. You can find my post here that demonstrates this method. The milk is not ‘boiled,’ but scalded at this temperature. Reasons for heating your milk are listed further in that post.

I call it the Cold Start™ method, as you are putting cold ingredients (milk + starter) and letting the Instant Pot warm up your milk, automatically, to the perfect incubation temperature for your yogurt. No heating your milk, no cooling your milk, and no additional or special equipment is necessary. “No Boil” is not accurate to describe this method, as milk is not boiled to make yogurt, nor is it heated first to make yogurt.

What is Fairlife Milk?

It is 100% dairy milk that has 50% less sugar, 50% more protein, 30% more calcium and is labeled as lactose free. Fairlife milk comes from Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana. It is unique that is it ultra filtered, using a process that was inspired by water filteration. Water filtering removes impurities by using sieves, adsorption, ion exchanges and other processes.

It is filtered milk & lactose free. Fairlife doesn’t divulge how their milk is filtered, but they do explain that once the individual components of water, butterfat, protein, vitamins/minerals, and lactose are filtered, the milk is put back together with a formula that results in the milk described above. Lactase, is added to the milk, which made me wonder why it was added, if the lactose is removed.

“Those who are lactose intolerant are not allergic to milk, or even to lactose. Instead, they lack the digestive enzyme needed to break down the lactose, or the sugar in milk.

“Lactose-free milks are the same as regular milk, except for the addition of lactase. This
neutralizes the lactose and, therefore, eliminates the gastrointestinal trauma. Lactase does
make milk taste sweeter. Also, to neutralize the lactase enzyme inactive, manufacturers ultrapasteurize the milk, a move that extends the shelf life.” – Karen Fernau, Food writer

Here is another explanation of lactose free milk:

“It’s neither practical nor really possible to remove lactose from milk — not only would it be
logistically difficult, it’s simply not necessary. Instead, manufacturers react the lactose
chemically, altering its composition and converting it into molecules that your digestive system processes easily. To react lactose, manufacturers add small amounts of the enzyme lactase to milk, explains, a producer of lactose-free milk. The lactase splits lactose into its constituent components, which are two sugars called glucose and galactose.” – How is Lactose Free Milk Made?

But wait…don’t you need lactose to make yogurt?

There are two things at work when making yogurt with lactose free milk. First, the lactose free milk is treated with the lactase enzyme to break down the lactose into its component molecules, glucose and galactose, which make it easier for the bacteria to ferment. Otherwise, they do this conversion themselves, but the process is a bit slower.

Second, the ultra filtered milk is higher in protein, and the action of the bacterial fermentation creating lactic acid which then acts to coagulate the protein. More protein, easier coagulation. -Kathy Peschell

If you are lactose intolerant, this milk is a good choice for you! You can still use a dairy yogurt asyour starter, as there is lactase added to lactose free milks, and this will help you digest any lactose that is found in your starter. If you want to use a dairy free yogurt as your starter, you can use a dairy free yogurt like SoDelicious yogurt or try Yogurmet, a freeze dried powdered starter.


Fairlife is not organic, which means that the cow must be certified organic, given organic feed, and the cow cannot be given any growth hormones or antibiotics. They do maintain that their milk abides by the highest standards when it comes to milk quality, their farming practices, dedication to animal care and comfort. They do not use growth hormones. You can read more about their milk and farming practices here.

Myths about Fairlife milks

MYTH: Fairlife Milk is made by Cocoa-Cola. It is NOT manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company; it is the distribution partner for Fairlife milk. Coca-Cola helps Fair Oaks farms distribute (deliver/market) the milk at the right price, with the right packaging and to the right destinations.

MYTH: Fairlife milk is not really milk.

Fairlife is 100% dairy milk. The only added ingredients are lactase enzymes, Vitamin A Palmitate and Vitamin D3. Vitamins can come from animals, plants or be synthetic. These added’ ingredients are in most dairy milks, including Costco’s Kirkland brand milk. You can find lactase added to lactose free milk, such as Lactaid.

MYTH: Fairlife milk is not ultra pasteurized. It is only ultra filtered.

The definition of ultra pasteurization (also known as UHT-ultra high temp) is bringing the milk up to 280°F for a few seconds, and then chilling it rapidly. This process kills 99.9% of the bacteria in the milk, and when packaged in a sterile container, extends the shelf life of the milk to 6-9 months. However, once opened, the milk should be treated like any dairy milk, kept at 40°F or lower for 2 weeks or less.

When you read this statement on their website, it fits the very definition of an ultra pasteurized milk:

I contacted Fairlife, asked if their milk is ultra pasteurized, and their response confirms that
Fairlife milks are ultra pasteurized:

Can I use Low Fat or Chocolate Fairlife Milk?

Yes, you can use Fairlife 2% or Fat Free milks for making yogurt with the cold start method.

Lower fat milks have a higher water content and may yield a more soft-set, pudding like yogurt,** so you may want to strain your yogurt for a thicker consistency. You can add non fat instant milk powder to your low fat milks for a thicker yogurt.

It is not necessary to use a low fat yogurt starter with these milks – you only want the starter for the live cultures. You can find out more about How to Choose a Starter, here.

Fairlife has two different chocolate milks. 2% Chocolate Fairlife milk contains the following

Reduced Fat Ultra-filtered Milk, Sugar, Alkalized Cocoa, Lactase Enzyme, Dipotassium
Phosphate, Salt, Acesulfame Potassium, Carrageenan, Natural And Artificial Flavors,
Sucralose, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3

Fairlife also has a SuperKids Chocolate milk with the following ingredients:

Ultra-filtered milk, cane sugar, alkalized cocoa, natural flavors, DHA omega-3 (algal oil),
monk fruit extract, salt, carrageenan, lactase enzyme, vitamin E (tocopherols), vitamin C
(ascorbic acid), vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3

The biggest difference between the two chocolate milks is that the SuperKids Chocolate milk does not contain Sucralose, instead, it uses cane sugar.

**Fairlife Chocolate milk, like any store bought chocolate milk, has too many additives
(thickeners, sugars and other ingredients) that inhibit, or slow down the culturing process,
making it take much longer than 8 hours to culture or “set” the yogurt. Most people using
Fairlife Chocolate milk get a “pudding-like” texture, even with a 9 -10 hour culturing time. You will need at least a 10 hour culturing time, which can also make a tangy or tart yogurt. For most people, this combination of chocolate + tartness is not a pleasant taste. You can try using a mild yogurt starter for a more mild tasting final product.

If you want a mild tasting chocolate yogurt, make a plain yogurt, by incubating it for less time and strain it. Add chocolate syrup, chocolate drink mix powder, or whey protein powder.

Where Can I find Fairlife Milk or Other Similar Milks?
What if I can’t find it where I live?

Fairlife milk is only available in the United States. You can find a list of 74+ retail stores on the Fairlife website here.

If you live in Canada, you can try Natrel lactose free milk, which is very similar to Fairlife in
composition. It comes in a 2 liter carton (8.45 cups), versus 52oz (6.5 cups) with Fairlife

Natrel Lactose Free milk





Fairlife vs Natrel 3.25% Lactose free Milk

You can use any lactose free milk such as Dairyland Lactose free milk or Lactania Pur Filtre – these milks have been pasteurized using higher temps for longer shelf life.

Kroger CARBmaster milk has a similar composition.
Kroger CARBmaster milk

HEB has a milk, MooTopia that is ultra pasteurized and similar to Fairlife milk.

“Flash Pastuerization,” also known as “Gentle Pastuerization, means is the the milk is brought to a high temperature, then is flash frozen. This allows the bad bacteria (microbes) to be destroyed, but allows the milk to keep the good bacteria (enzymes) of the milk.

Flash Pastuerized or Gentle Pastuerized milks that will work:

Oberweis Milk
Can be found at Target, or use the Oberweis Store Locator search function

Strauss Family Creamery Milk – A Store locator search button is included at the top of the website

Ultra Pasteurized or Powdered Milks work great!
When using Ultra Pasteurized milk, it will not be as thick as the filtered milks (Fairlife, CarbMaster, MooTopia or Natrel Lactose Free), but you can strain it to your desired consistency.

Not everyone has access to fresh milk, so dry, or powdered milks are perfect for the cold start method and you can make a concentrated milk by using half the amount of water that the recipe calls for.

Instant powdered milk dissolves readily in cold water, whereas regular dry powdered milk needs heat to dissolve the granules. Here are two examples of instant powdered milk that will work well.

You may live in another country where fresh milk is not available. You may see Ultra Pasteurized, Ultra High Temp, High Temp Short Time or Extended Shelf Life on the package.

Organic Valley states that HTST (High Temp, Short Time) milks are heated to 161°F for 15 seconds, which kills 99.9% of the bacteria and produces a shelf life of 16-21 days.

Use the regular, not the iron fortified, for the best taste
Instant powdered milk dissolves well in cold liquid
Amanda Atchley, who lives in Japan, found this ESL milk. It took about 11 hours to set, which can be true of some milks. She also strained it for a thicker texture.

Shelf Stable Milk
Shelf stable milk is the boxed milk that you find on the shelves in the grocery store. It is an ultra pasteurized, or ultra high temp (UHT) milk and will work for the cold start method.

If you need a dairy free option, Soy milk works great! Soy milk is the only plant based milk that doesn’t need a thickener.

Almond, Coconut, Rice and other plant based milks need a thickening agent (gelatin, agar agar, tapioca starch, etc) and those thickeners require heat to activate. These milks will not work well for the cold start method.

Why is milk heated to make yogurt?

When you make any kind of yogurt that uses a thermophilic culture (most often found in store bought yogurt and requires heat to activate), the milk is heated to at least 100°-110°F, either on the stove top or using a yogurt maker. This ensures that the hermophilic yogurt cultures will begin to actively work at the time they are added.

Milk can also be heated to 180°F which is the temp for denaturing, or changing the proteins in the milk for a firmer set yogurt. Fairlife, and other ultra pasteurized milks have already been heated to a very high temp, 280°F, which is explained a little further down. Why heat milk to 180°F if your milk has already been heated to 280°F?

The Instant Pot method uses a “boil” setting, which really doesn’t ‘boil’ the milk, but it will heat a half gallon of milk within the 160°-180°F temp range. There is another yogurt setting for incubation, the normal setting, which heats the milk and maintains it at a constant 96°-109°F temp range for a specified set time.

Does the Cold Start™ method save any time?

Yes, it can. Heating 52 oz of cold milk to 110° with the IP boil setting only takes about 15 min. If you accidentally heat it higher, you would need to let it cool or set it in an ice water bath, which can add up to another 5 minutes. It does save the step of taking the temp of the cooled milk and straining.

When heating 64 oz (8 cups) of regular pasteurized milk to 180°, it takes 20-25 min, and then 5 minutes to cool in an ice water bath. That’s 30 minutes total.

Cold Start doesn’t take any prep time, but it does take 30-50 minutes to get to the incubation temp zone, which you need to consider when calculating your incubation time.

Is it safe to make yogurt with this method?

First, let’s talk about what makes food unsafe. The Unsafe Food Zone is the temp range determined by the USDA

The Unsafe Food Zone

The unsafe food zone is any food that is left out in the temp range of 40°F-140°F for 2 hours or more. It is perfectly fine for any milk to be in the unsafe food zone as long as the yogurt starter is actively working in the milk. Once the yogurt starter is active (in the 100°-110° range), it begins to produce acidic whey, which continues to ferment and preserve your milk in this temp range. Milk without an active yogurt bacteria present should not be left out at room temperature for 2 hours or more

UP/UHT (ultra pasteurized/ultra high temp) milk already has 99.9% of the bacteria killed during processing, meaning there is little risk, if any, of any pathogenic (bad) bacteria multiplying during the warming up to the incubation zone, as long as it is less than 2 hours. Once you open UP/UHT (ultra pasteurized/ultra high temp) milks, it needs to be treated like dairy milk. Even though UP/UHT milks are shelf stable in their sterile packaging for 6+ months, once opened, their fridge shelf life is 1-2 weeks and should not be left open at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

You should not try the Cold Start™ method with raw or regular pasteurized milk. See below.

*If you are undecided about the safety of using the Cold Start™ method, you can always warm up your yogurt to 100°-110°F and add your starter.

Can I use the Cold Start™ method with regular pasteurized milk?

I would not recommend using the Cold Start™ method with regular pasteurized milk. Even though the milk is heated to 160°F for pasteurization, there are still natural bacteria present in the milk. This bacteria can grow/multiply during the 30-40 minutes and can compete with the natural bacteria in the yogurt starter. This competition of bacterial strains may result in either a thin, runny= yogurt, lumpy, bitter, stringy or ropey yogurt. You can see the results of what happened with raw milk:

Raw milk used with the Cold Start™ method

For raw and pasteurized milk, you can find this simple method here for thick, Greek style yogurt.

You can increase the protein/fat content of your dairy milk by adding dry milk powder, heavy cream or half & half milk for a thicker set yogurt. You can also add gelatin to your yogurt, which helps set your yogurt once refrigerated and requires no straining.

Can I use this method with another Ultra Pasteurized milk?

For the most part, yes. Ultra pasteurized milks are hit and miss when making yogurt. I’m seeing more successes than failures. Sometimes the high heat process damages the proteins in the milk to the point that it won’t set. Some UP milks take longer to incubate, up to 10 hours or more. Milks that you can try for the cold start method are: Organic milks, Soy milk, canned milks (evaporated or sweetened condensed), heavy cream, half & half, powdered milk (mixed with filtered water), any ultra pasteurized or ultra high temp milks.

You will need to keep in mind that if it does work, it will not be as thick as the Fairlife whole milk yogurt right after incubation. This is because Fairlife milk has added protein. Higher fat and more protein is what makes whole milk yogurt thicker than 1% milk yogurt. If you want a thicker yogurt with another brand of UP milk (not ultra filtered), you will need to strain it, add dry milk powder, heavy cream or half & half.

How do I flavor the yogurt and when?

If you want a vanilla yogurt, you can add your vanilla extract when your yogurt has chilled and strained. It is believed that the alcohol from the extract can interfere with the culturing process, but you can add vanilla bean paste or scrape a 2″vanilla bean into your milk before starting. If you are straining your yogurt, any flavor or sweetener can go out with the whey.

Sweetener: You can use any sweetener of your choice after your yogurt has chilled and strained.
Granulate sugar, powder sugar, maple syrup, or any alternative sweetener can be used. Honeymixes in better if it is warmed first. If you add sugars to your milk prior to heating, it can inhibit, or slow down the culturing process, adding time to your yogurt to properly set. I prefer to add sweetener after my yogurt has finished.

Sweetened Condensed Milk: You can add a small can of sweetened condensed milk to your Fairlife milk prior to heating. Make sure it is mixed in well and plan to add time if necessary to allow your yogurt to gel, or set. This makes a creamy, slightly sweet vanilla yogurt.

Can I use the Cold Start™ method with the Instant Pot Lux
model or other model that does not have a yogurt setting?

No, you will not be able to use the cold start method, as you need a yogurt setting to be able to bring the temp to 100°-110° This is the workaround method for making yogurt using the IP Lux, which requires heating your milk first to at least 100°-110°F and then adding your starter. The key to making yogurt work in a LUX , or pressure cooker without a yogurt setting, or crockpot, is to keep the pot in the incubation temp zone for 8 hours, which can be a challenge. Wrap the warm pot in large towels and keep it in your oven with the oven light on.

Can I mix the milk & starter together and pour them into
individual jars first?

If you are not straining your yogurt and like the consistency, you can try it. Fairlife and other filtered milks will make a yogurt that has the thickness between Greek and traditional yogurts. Using 8 oz, regular mouth glass canning jars and the plastic lids that come with them seem to work better than using 2 layers of shorter jars. When 2 layers of jars are used, the bottom jars will set while the top layer is still liquid milk. Glass also retains heat and is slower to heat the milk inside the jars, so it may take longer than the 6-8 hours for the yogurt to set – up to 10 hours. You do not need to set the jars on the trivet/metal rack. You can add a couple of inches of water, which seem to help incubate the yogurt, but it not required.

How does Fairlife yogurt taste?

At first, our family thought the yogurt tasted fine. It was creamy, thick, mild, with very little tang. My oldest said that it tasted “watery” or “bland.” Many readers that have tried Fairlife mention that it has a “very mild taste,” even when incubated for times longer than 8 hours. If you want a tangy Fairlife yogurt, try a starter that is tangy, ie. Greek Gods or Siggis.

When compared to our Costco 2% yogurt, there was a marked difference. The Costco 2% yogurt had “depth, body and flavor.”

We enjoyed the Fairlife whole milk yogurt, as it makes a very mild tasting yogurt. If given a choice, we would use the regular pasteurized Costco 2% milk yogurt; not just for the price, but for the taste as well and use the traditional method of making yogurt.

When Fairlife milk is on sale, we definitely buy it for its long shelf life and ease of using it to make yogurt. The cold start is great for its simplicity and if you are lactose intolerant, making yogurt with Fairlife milk is a great option.

Does the texture change with this method?

No. If you use whole milk, it will taste creamier. You can use 2% or skim, and have it strained nice and thick, but the texture may not be as creamy.

*The yogurt stuck on the bottom of the pot does have a gritty or grainy texture. Take a look at the photo, below, taken right after incubation and before straining in the fridge. Avoid scraping this into your yogurt. This may be difficult to avoid if you chill your yogurt while in the pot prior to straining. Try slowly pouring your yogurt immediately into another bowl or your lined strainer and chill in the fridge. Don’t scrape the yogurt off the bottom.

Raw milk used with the Cold Start™ method

Here’s my experiment!

110° vs Cold Start™ Experiment
I made two separate batches of Fairlife milk yogurt.

Batch #1: Heat to 110°
Milk Temp: 43°
Heated the milk on the boil cycle for 10 min.
The temp was 149°F, ice water bath to 110°.
Stirred in 1 Tablespoon of Walmart GV Light Greek yogurt
8 hours on the yogurt normal setting.
15 min prep.
Batch #2: – Cold Start™
Milk Temp: 44°F
stirred in 1 Tablespoon of Walmart GV Light Greek yogurt
8 hours on the yogurt normal setting.
2 min prep.

Incubation Time to Temperature – 100°-110° optimal incubation zone Used a Thermapen digital thermometer to accurately test temperature in 3 different spots, not touching the bottom of the pot. Time elapsed when temperature was measured in fahrenheit.

Batch A continued to increase in temp from 110° till it leveled off to a stable 107° temp at 50 minutes into incubation.
Batch B took 30 minutes to reach the optimal incubation zone for thermophilic yogurt to begin activation and begin fermenting the milk to make yogurt.

How long will it take for 2 cartons of Fairlife milk to reach incubation temp?

I tested 13 cups of 40°F water to see how long it would take for 2 bottles of Fairlife milk to come to
temp in the IP Duo.
It took 23 minutes to reach 99°F
40 minutes to reach 107°, where it stayed there for the next 2 hours

I was very surprised to see that 6.5 cups of 44°F Fairlife only took 40 min to reach 105°F and 13 cups of 40° water took 40 min to reach 107°F!

Let’s take a peek


Traditional method yogurt is typically set at the 5th-6th hour marks, so I checked the yogurt 5 hours later. The video above shows Batch (A) at 5:15 and Batch (B) at 5:30. You can see a significant difference in firmness. You can also see Batch (A) has bubbles on the surface (from whisking to cool the milk and add the starter), whereas Batch (B) has a smooth, glossy surface.

Cold Start™Fairlife milk yogurt with the Eurocuisine strainer after 8 hours of straining. Using the OXO Good Grips digital

Strain or No Strain?

Straining your yogurt will give you a thicker, Greek style yogurt. The longer you strain your yogurt, the thicker it will be. Straining is a personal preference. Fairlife milk, when it is not strained, will give you a consistency somewhere between Greek and Traditional (thinner) yogurt. (You can find LOTS of straining options on this post!) I like to use either coffee filters over a mesh strainer, or the
Eurocuisine strainer.

Fairlife milk has 50% more protein than regular dairy milk. The higher the fat and protein content, the thicker your yogurt will be. Also, if milk is heated to 180°, your yogurt will be more firm. This explains why Fairlife milk looks very set after incubation.

This video shows chilled Fairlife milk yogurt (not strained). It is very thick, but once stirred, it willthin to a consistency between Greek and traditional style yogurt.

Unstrained, chilled Fairlife Yogurt


The video below shows the 3 finished Fairlife milk yogurts.

On the far right, chilled unstrained cold start yogurt, the middle, cold start yogurt strained with the Eurocuisine strainer, and on the far left, Heat to 110° yogurt strained with coffee filters. Both yogurts were strained overnight, for 8 hours.

Strained Fairlife Yogurt


Yield –
Strained in the fridge for 8 hours right after incubation

Summary: Coffee filters were much better at extracting more whey, resulting in a very
thick yogurt. EuroCuisine strainer yogurt is not as thick, but acceptable; it kept about
1/2 cup whey into the yogurt. Unstrained yogurt = about 50 oz (there was some yogurt
stuck to the bottom, which I chose not to scrape out as it was grainy in texture).

Cost Comparison
Fairlife Milk = $2.98 + 1 Tablespoon of WM Greek Yogurt = .04 cents
*Does not include cost of sugar or vanilla extract.

The most expensive yogurt per oz/serving is the Fairlife yogurt that was strained very thick, using coffee filters. It had a creamy texture, and a very mild taste. The coffee filters also produced the clearest whey.

Next was the cold start Fairlife unstrained yogurt, producing a creamy texture with a moderately thick consistency, between Greek and traditional style thickness. It had a very mild taste. When compared to the 2% milk yogurt, it seemed to lack some of the depth of the traditional yogurt in taste, which is really hard to describe. If I had not compared the two yogurts, I wouldn’t have noticed a difference.

The least expensive option is the regular pasteurized Costco 2% milk yogurt, using the Traditional Method, strained with the EuroCuisine strainer, that made a reasonably thick yogurt, which is worth the cost, and 30 minutes waiting for your milk to heat and cool down. Side by side, it also won the taste test over Fairlife milk yogurt, having a slightly better taste, with depth, and flavor.

If you are lactose intolerant, your best option is to use Fairlife milk and make your yogurt, as doing this will still be less expensive than purchasing a specialty yogurt. You can use dairy milk to make a lactose free yogurt by incubating it for 15-24 hours, in which all the lactose is consumed, leaving a very tart, tangy yogurt. Using Fairlife can give you a milder yogurt that is lactose free.

Using the cold start method with Fairlife milk is a good option for those who don’t want to fuss with heating/cooling/temp taking and straining their yogurt. Many moms love the fact that Fairlife milk is good for their kids as it is lower in sugar, has more protein and more calcium, a Win/Win for busy moms!




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