More and more we hear that shop yogurts are harmful. And it is a fact that they contain a lot of sugar, dyes and preservatives. At the same time, even the most correct “natural yogurt”, which is sold in the store, can not do without a thickener, because then it will be heterogeneous, serum will stand out and it will lose its commercial appearance. But when it is 2020, you don’t have to buy yogurt in the store, because it is elementary to make it at home. By the way, how to make home yogurt, you can read on our website. And the easiest of all ways is to use a yogurt maker!
Table of Contents
- What’s a yogurt maker? What’s it for?
- How does a yogurt maker work ?
- How to use a yogurt maker?
- Kind of yogurt makers
- How to choose a yogurt maker?
- Best yogurt maker
- Yogurt maker’s brands
- How much does a yogurt maker cost?
- Where to buy yogurt maker?
- Yogurt maker’s problems
What’s a yogurt maker? What’s it for?
A yogurt maker is a kitchen appliance that allows you to prepare homemade yogurt from milk, with a starter or a few spoons of another yogurt. Despite the fact that this technique is just beginning to appear in the kitchen of ordinary consumers, it is over 100 years old. Its inventor is Isaac Carasso, the founder of Danone, one of the largest dairy producers.
Strange as it may seem, the yogurt maker was invented in order to facilitate and speed up the yogurt production process. It’s for the same purpose that you need a reduced home version.
How Does a Yogurt Maker Work?
For a hundred years, all yogurt makers work on a very similar principle: they heat the milk to a certain temperature and then hold it down, either by constant heating or by the thermos effect. For squash yoghurt it is necessary to keep the temperature from 36°C to 45°C. If the temperature of the yogurt maker’s contents is lower than specified, the cooking process may take a long time or stop at all. If the yogurt is overheated, a large amount of whey will be released, and the clot itself may shudder.
How to Use a Yogurt Maker?
It’s very easy to use a yogurt maker. First you need to mix milk with yeast or a few spoons of ready yogurt. Milk must be pre-processed. Homemade and pasteurized milk should preferably be boiled. With ultra-pasteurized it is possible to cook at once – this is the option I use all the time as it does not require any extra action.
Choose the yogurt starter you want. Fortunately, the choice in shops and pharmacies is quite wide now. If necessary, you can order online from the official producers’ websites. From my personal experience, the most stable and delicious yogurt is VIVO.
Pour the prepared milk into a special container that comes with the yogurt maker: it can be jars, large containers or just squash a bottle or bag if the device allows it. Then we turn on the yogurt machine for about 8 hours. When the cooking is done, we move the yoghurt to the fridge for a few hours to cool down and ripen.
Kind of Yogurt Makers
There are not so many variations of yogurt makers, but to attract the consumer, manufacturers are experimenting with appearance and functionality. Therefore, there are still several factors that distinguish the devices from each other.
- The shape. Like most other kitchen gadgets, yogurt makers are round, square and rectangular. Practice shows that square and rectangular appliances fit best into the kitchen design and take up less space.
- Type of heating. As I said before, yogurt makers heat milk to a certain temperature, then they can turn off and keep the heat as a thermos, or keep the required temperature level at a constant level. It is immediately clear that the first option is more energy efficient. But for the sake of objectivity, the device does not consume all of its power, approximately 10 W, which is more than adequate when maintaining the set temperature.
- The volume. The most popular volume of yogurt makers from 0.7 to 2 liters. This includes the sum of the useful space of jars or other containers in which the yogurt is squashed.
- The number of jars. Depending on the size of the yogurt maker, the number of jars varies from 4 to 8. In the larger version you can put out extra empty dishes, if you ferment a smaller volume, but with a small amount – you have to ferment several times if you want to prepare a yogurt with a reserve.
- The material of the jars. Almost 99% of all yogurt makers go with containers made of plastic or glass. There are also metal dishes, but I’ve only seen them at yogurt-ice-cream machines, where you can freeze ready yogurt immediately. Glass jars are better on the ecological side and that’s where their advantages end. Plastic is lighter, cheaper and does not beat, which is quite relevant. If, however, a jar is broken, it is much easier to find and buy a version of plastic.
- Power. The more powerful the yogurt maker, the faster it can bring the milk to the right temperature. The average power varies from 15 W to 60 W. Although I’ve seen the 450 W version, it probably came with a built-in fridge or vacuum cleaner.
- Additional features. And this is where the main differences are hidden, for which the yogurt makers are bought. The set of additional features is very different from the brand and it is difficult to talk about the most popular combinations. So I’ll just list the possible “usefulness” of yogurt makers:
- Timer – automatic shutdown of the yogurt maker after the full cycle of yogurt preparation.
- Delayed start – the ability to delay the start of the device for a certain period of time. It is convenient to use it to calculate the time when it will be possible to take out the ready yogurt and hide it in the fridge. Otherwise, if the product is cooked in the yogurt maker for a long time, it will start to turn into cottage cheese.
- Cooking mode – select the necessary cooking program for fermented milk products. Depending on the brand and model, you can prepare yogurt, kefir and cottage cheese.
- Sound alert – a signal that sounds when the yoghurt is finished cooking. Almost always goes on models of yogurt makers, where there is a timer.
- Light indication – a light bulb that lights up when the instrument is in the ON state. It helps to understand with one quick glance whether the yogurt machine is working now or not.
- Non-standard packaging – possibility to cook yogurt in containers that are not included in the set, for example, directly in a tetrapak bag or a milk bottle.
How to Choose a Yogurt Maker?
It is necessary to choose a yogurt maker according to your needs in this device. I would sort all the criteria by importance and further define the right company and the right product.
For example, if you want to cook several fermented milk products at once, pay attention to models with several modes. At a minimum, I would recommend the Kefir and Yogurt programs. Since curd is still more convenient to peel by hand and this mode is not required.
An important factor is the container in which the yogurt is prepared. My yogurt maker can cook yogurt in a liter glass and almost any liter packet of milk. I’m fine with it. The other may be more comfortable format with a few small jars. Although, when I see this picture, I have a panic horror when I think about the number of yogurt cans to wash each time.
The third criterion is size and shape. Not everyone can afford to put a large appliance in the kitchen. The round shape also increases the space occupied by the yogurt maker. Although, if you don’t cook as often, you can ignore this point. Personally, I cook very often, so the yogurt maker is almost always in the kitchen. If you’re going to cook as often – you can even consider the design of the yogurt machine to perfectly fit your table, kitchen surface or tiles.
And the last significant factor that most buyers take into account is price. Of course, look at your options to make the purchase adequate. Also be sure to think in advance, how many times a month are you going to make yogurt? It is important that you do not have a device in your pantry for several hundred, which you will use 1-2 times.
Best Yogurt Maker
The year 2020 and the number of new yogurt makers is increasing. But what is the best model? Which yogurt machine is better to buy at home? The answers to these questions I would look in several directions:
- Top online stores. The more the site that sells equipment, the more customers pass through it. That means we can find useful information in the form of ratings and product reviews. In doing so, be sure to look at shops in neighboring countries. After all, a novelty in your region, may have long been sold abroad. Leaders in their countries are the following sites: Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress, etc.
- Price aggregators. Do not be afraid of this scary name, because everything is simple enough. Price aggregators are sites that do not sell themselves, but help the client and bring him to the site of a particular seller. For example, Google Shopping. These resources also contain a lot of useful information, including video reviews and price comparison.
- Review sites. Special online resources that allow any registered user to provide feedback on products and services. The most popular in thw world: wirecutter, cnet, goodhousekeeping. Look for the right category or model, and subtract all the necessary information.
- Other data sources. Ask your relatives, friends or colleagues if they use a yogurt maker, which one, the pros and cons of their model, etc. Also don’t forget to look at information on Google or Bing, because there are many forums and sites that didn’t make it to my previous list. Plus, keep an eye on the news. For example, I bought my yogurt maker after I started using VIVO starters. It turned out that this company also produces household appliances.
Yogurt Maker’s Brands
Almost any major manufacturer of kitchen and home appliances has one or more models of yogurt makers. It’s hard enough to stop at one, because they all have a large number of satisfied consumers. Firms, with which techniques I met in person, and have a good rating on their yogurt makers:
- MOULINEX. The country of brand registration is France.
- TEFAL. The country of brand registration is France.
- VIVO. Country of registration of the brand – Ukraine.
- Redmond. The country of brand registration – Russia.
- Gorenje. The country of brand registration – Slovenia.
- Kitfort. The country of brand registration – Russia.
How Much Does a Yogurt Maker Cost?
As with any other technique, the range of prices for yogurt makers is quite large. At the same time, even the most purchased models are evenly distributed in the range from $20 to $200.The biggest markup goes to world-famous brands, as they have a well-established name on the market. Technique of the same plan, but domestic production, can cost several times cheaper – which can not but please. After all, most often all appliances are assembled in China or from Chinese spare parts, regardless of the country of brand registration.
Where to Buy Yogurt Maker?
Above I have already listed all possible options where you can read information about the device. Add to them offline shops in your city and get a full map of places to buy yogurt makers. I always recommend to buy in the top shops, as it is much easier to solve all issues with quality, delivery, return, etc. Also there is an opportunity to save money with a discount program or cacheback services.
Yogurt Maker’s Problems
All electrical appliances, and not electrical either, break down or start working incorrectly, and the yogurt maker is no exception. The most common problem with these gadgets is milk overheating. So I will immediately answer the 2 most popular questions related to this nuance.
How to know that the yogurt maker is overheating?
If, after the time specified in the starter instructions, you get a lot of whey and cottage cheese flakes instead of homogeneous yogurt, it means that the temperature regime is knocked down to a larger side.
What to do if the yogurt maker overheats?
Understand and forgive 🙂 I doubt there is any way to fix the yogurt machine with your own hands, so either contact the service to fix it or buy a new yogurt maker.