Yoghurt is a delicious, healthy food that the whole family can enjoy. While many people choose pre-packaged options, yoghurt is actually easy and cheap to make at home. Yoghurt makers can be found to fit any budget, and with a small amount of planning ahead your family can enjoy fresh yoghurt made to their individual taste.How Yoghurt Makers Work
Yoghurt makers all function in the same basic way: you add a mixture of milk to starter culture, which is the name for the specialised bacteria that turn the milk into yoghurt. The mixture is then poured into the yoghurt maker, which keeps it at a constant temperature for 4-8 hours. Some use the device's own temperature controller, whereas others use the heat from water to keep the temperature stable.Yoghurt Maker Features
As well as choosing between electric and hot water models, there are known brands and unbranded yoghurt makers that you can choose from. Some machines use glass jars instead of plastic, and some have clear lids or receptacles so you can see the yoghurt being made. There are yoghurt makers that have timers and alarms, and many other electronic features. It’s up to you how complicated your yoghurt maker needs to be, but as long as it can safely ferment the milk, the rest is optional.Yoghurt Maker Capacity
Yoghurt can take up to 8 hours to ferment, so you need to plan ahead. The size of the yoghurt maker will depend on how much your family needs, and you can get makers of all sizes. Remember that yoghurt does keep for up to 10 days when covered in the refrigerator, so you might like to choose a yoghurt maker with a larger capacity and make yoghurt once a week instead of making smaller quantities more often.Experimenting with Yoghurt
Aside from the cheaper cost, one of the main benefits of making your own yoghurt is the ability to customise your flavours. You might like to try a particular fermentation process like making Greek yoghurt, or you may add flavours, fruit purees, dried fruit or nuts. Some yoghurt makers will even allow you to make your own cheese, sour cream and buttermilk.