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Easy Raw Cow’s Milk Yogurt

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Learn To Make Easy Raw Cow's Milk Yogurt


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.

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!


Learn To Make Easy Raw Cow's Milk Yogurt


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 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.


Learn To Make Easy 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.


Learn To Make Easy Raw Cow's Milk Yogurt


Whisk each jar well to distribute the yogurt culture.


Learn To Make Easy Raw Cow's Milk Yogurt


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.


Learn To Make Easy Raw Cow's Milk Yogurt


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.


Learn To Make Easy 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!


Learn To Make Easy Raw Cow's Milk Yogurt







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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!



Sunday 10th of May 2020

Hi: I've just started using raw milk and wanted to make a yogurt. I've done butter and that went well, but the yogurt didn't set after 8 hours. I'm sure sure I followed the directions exactly as written. I used pint jars and one tbsp of Greek yogurt. I heated to 110, then put milk over Robert in jars. After -witch I I put in oven for 8 hrs with the light on. Nothing happened, what did I do wrong. Please help, I want to do this again.

Is it ok to put it back in the oven and just use the warm setting?

Butter For All

Sunday 10th of May 2020

Hi Holly!

You could try leaving it in a warm water bath, the oven on warm might get too hot. It probanly just needs to just go longer! If it doesn't set up after 24 hours of on and off warming, I would try a different brand of yogurt or look for a yogurt culture starter. Greek yogurt is high in fat and might not have enough of the whey and bacteria to get started! If you are local, I'm happy to share some of mine with you. Eventually raw milk will clabber on its own anyway, and after a few batches the flavor will be quite pleasant! Hope this helps!


Ruth Haberkorn

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

I have an old apartment oven and the light turns off when I close it. I have been generally making my yogurt in the slowcooker. But it takes 24 hours and I have to warm it up to 100 every so often when it cools down. Was looking for some quicker options but not sure if any exist outside of having a yogurt maker which i don't have. Any suggestions.

Butter For All

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Hi Ruth!

Well you could try a different yogurt starter. Mine will actually ferment fine at room temp after the initial warming. I'm pretty sure I'm culturing some bacteria from the raw milk at this point and since it's a continuous culture they are staying really strong. What happens if you heat the milk slightly, then let it ferment overnight at room temp? Does it never get thick? If so, that would mean you have a Thermophilic culture, they need lots of heat. You can look for another stain that uses a Mesophilic culture. Or you could go rouge and make clabber milk by just fermenting your raw milk. It might take a few batches for the bacteria to level out and produce a pleasant yogurt. If you are in Oregon, I'm happy to share my starter with you too!

Hope this helps!