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Easy Raw Cow’s Milk Yogurt

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Congratulations! You have a source for raw milk, or maybe you decided to get yourself a sweet family milk cow.

Now, it’s time to turn all that extra raw milk into wholesome probiotic raw cow’s milk yogurt!

Collage of raw cow's milk yogurt and text overlay.

I’ve been making yogurt with a continual culture for almost 5 years! Some have said it can’t be done, and maybe I’m an exception to the rule, but I’m going to provide you with the exact steps that I’ve used to keep my yogurt culture strong and thriving all this time.

First Let’s Talk a Little About the Basics of Raw Cow’s Milk Yogurt.

By adding a yogurt culture to warm milk you can easily create yogurt. During the slow, warm fermentation period the bacteria in the culture go to work on the milk, breaking down the lactose (sugar) and casein (protein), creating the wonderful byproduct lactic acid. This process preserves the milk, makes it much more digestible, and frees up essential vitamins and minerals for absorption. Raw milk yogurt is LOADED with enzymes. These enzymes help you digest lactose and aid in absorbing the vitamins and minerals that have been freed up by the lacto-fermentation process.

For more information on cultured dairy products please use the “mother of all resources on everything good for you” cookbook Nourishing Traditions.

Now Let’s Look at How To Make Raw Cow’s Milk Yogurt Easily in Your Own Home.

First you need a yogurt culture! You can buy powdered cultures of all sorts like these:

But that’s not the only way to start your own yogurt! I used a good quality, plain, organic yogurt from the store as my original culture. As I have said it has served me well for almost 5 years.

Here Are the Exact Steps for Making Raw Cow’s Milk Yogurt From Store Bought Yogurt or From Your Own Previous Batch.

Determine how much milk you will be using and prepare clean jars and lids for the yogurt. I typically make between 2 and 4 quarts a week. Set your clean jars aside.

Pour the milk into a good-quality stainless steel pot and warm it over medium heat while stirring it with the whisk often. Remove the milk from the heat when the temperature reads 110°F. The milk will only be truly raw up to 115°F, so make sure you stop it from getting too hot.

A thermometer for raw cow's milk yogurt.

While the milk is heating add 1 tablespoon of yogurt per pint to the bottom of each jar. So if you are using quart jars you would add 2 tablespoons.

Fit the first jar with a funnel and ladle in the warm milk. Repeat this process until all the jars are filled.

Jars and whisks for making raw cow's milk yogurt.

Whisk each jar well to distribute the yogurt culture.

Jars of raw cow's milk yogurt ready to ferment.

Fit each jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Place your yogurt in the oven with the light on. This keeps my yogurt at about 95°F. Let the yogurt ferment overnight or for about 8 hours.

Jars of raw cow's milk yogurt fermenting in the oven.

Remove the yogurt from the oven. Tilt the jars to check that the yogurt has set up. It will pull away from the side of the jar in a mass if it has.  Place the jars in the refrigerator and chill completely before eating. Of course you can eat it warm but the texture is better once chilled.

The texture of raw cow’s milk yogurt is considerably different from store-bought yogurt. Raw cow’s milk yogurt has a soft, loose-set, jello-like consistency. In my opinion it’s absolutely delightful.

A bowl of raw cow's milk yogurt.

Raw cow’s milk yogurt keeps for a loooooong time. I’ve never had one go “off” before I could get to it.

Use the yogurt in any way you would use store-bought yogurt. We eat ours plain, in smoothies, in salad dressings, and in baked goods.

For a thicker yogurt try straining it through cheesecloth or making it into Raw Milk Labneh Cheese – Strained Yogurt Cheese. If you will be straining your yogurt remember to SAVE THAT WHEY! It is the key ingredient in my Probiotic Mayonnaise and can be used for soaking grains, making fermented beverages, and fermenting vegetables!

Soak Your Grains, Butter For All

Because I love cooking and I’m always striving for the best possible technique, you have to check out how Elizabeth from The Nourished Life is making her yogurt! I might just adopt her easy water bath method!

Collage of raw cow's milk yogurt and text overlay.


Friday 16th of July 2021

I should add, I use goat milk


Friday 16th of July 2021

Hi, I have only ever made raw milk yogurt in my crockpot & loved the idea of not scorching the milk to 180* 1st. So I tried your method of heating fresh raw milk to 110 & pouring into jars with the previous yogurt I’ve made & put it in the oven with the light on only. After 8 hours I just pulled the jars out & they are 136*..? What happened??? What do I do now? Thank you for your time & knowledge♥️


Friday 23rd of July 2021

@Butter For All, Thank you! They all turned out delicious even with the high temp. I am trying it again but keeping a close eye on the temp in the oven😉 Thank you again for your advice, very helpful ♥️

Butter For All

Friday 16th of July 2021

Hi Tracie!

Thanks for reaching out! It sounds like you have a very warm oven light. You can try cracking the door of the oven to keep the temperature lower. Or during summer, it would probably be okay to leave the yogurt out on the counter. I find that my yogurt sets up well at room temperature most of the time. Keep me posted on how it goes!



Tuesday 24th of November 2020

What do I do if the jars have been sitting in the oven 8 hours and they are still just milk?

Butter For All

Saturday 28th of November 2020

Hi Ryann!

I'm so sorry this response is late. I hope the yogurt was salvageable. Usually if they are still liquid it just needs more time and warmth. I've been using a warm water bath to warm my jars and it's been very successful. Let me know what ended up happening!



Friday 9th of October 2020

Courtney your recipes are so simple, easy to follow!

I’ve been making raw milk kefir for a few months now but needed something else for the milk. I have one qt of yogurt in the oven now. My question is, if this works well do I use the tablespoons of yogurt from what I’ve made for the next jar? Or do I continue to use the store purchased yogurt?

Thank you! Tawnia


Monday 11th of May 2020

Hi Courtney: I was able to finally get it to set up. I put It in a warm oven over night. It had more of a custard like thickness to it, but it was so good. At first I put blue berries in and ate it that way. That was good. But I tried it with sugar only and just loves it. I made 7 more pints this morning.

Can I start with flavored yogurt or does it need to be plain? Also, would it be thicker if I used regular yogurt?

I just love your recipe!