Thinking of making yogurt at home? It is time to switch off from the traditional method of making yogurt and embrace the work of technology; it is time to find the best yogurt maker for your family!
The common questions are – does a yogurt maker work? How do I know which is the best maker for my family? Can it make yogurt for 3 people? There are several different types of yogurt makers to choose from and each has their distinctive functionality.
In order to find the best yogurt maker, you need to first understand the benefits of using it. If you have been buying your yogurt from the local supermarket then read the labels carefully. Most commercial yogurts contain artificial ingredients, extra amounts of sugar or sweetener, and several other preservatives or additives and that is not the answer to a healthy diet.
Most of the commercial yogurts out there on the shelves of grocery stores have been made using gelatin, high fructose corn syrup, and even artificial dyes among others. It is actually quite difficult to find commercial yogurt made simply using milk, and live yogurt cultures. Hence, the best option is to prepare it at home.
A great thing about making your yogurt at home is that you have complete control over the ingredients you use. It simply means that you can add honey as a sweetener or even go with maple syrup for sweetness and flavor and yet keep it as natural as possible. This is where a yogurt maker can be an added advantage as it will help you make natural yogurt in the quickest time.
What to check out in a Yogurt Maker?
What should you look for in the best yogurt maker? There are different types of yogurt makers available to serve the daily requirements of your family. In order to find the best yogurt maker, here are some things that you need to check out:
- Types of yogurt maker: All yogurt makers can be divided into two distinct categories and they are large containers and single serving yogurt makers. Depending on the size of your family and the daily requirement or quantity of fresh or natural yogurt, you can decide from the following:
- Large container: The large containers can help you to make yogurt with a single flavor. The advantage of this type of yogurt maker is that you can store your yogurt here for several individual servings.
- Single serving containers: These are one of best yogurt makers out there for families as it helps in making and serving yogurt with multiple or several different flavors. A single container can contain anywhere from 2 to 8 smaller jars for serving yogurt.
- The capacity of a yogurt maker: The capacity of container is another area of focus. The best yogurt maker should be able to suffice the need for a specific amount of yogurt. They are available in varying capacity right from 1 quart (0.9 liters) to 8 quarts (7.5 liters).
- The fermentation time: When you are trying to ferment to produce curd the conventional way, you might have to keep the curd missed with bacteria overnight. On the other hand, when you are using a yogurt maker, the fermentation time will be greatly reduced. You can choose best yogurt maker that can ferment in 4-6 hrs, 6hrs, 6-10hrs, and 8-12 hrs.
- The various controls for ease of use: Different types of yogurt maker come with different timers and controls. Some of the best yogurt makers have an adjustable control, which will make it easier for you to set the correct fermenting time. Another important functionality of the timer control is the time display. This obviously is available with the electric versions only and it aim is to display the remaining processing time.
- Automatic shut-off or alarm system is necessary: When you are checking out the best yogurt maker, look for an automatic shut-off system. Some of the products have an alarm that goes off when it reaches the end of the fermentation or straining process. It is important to remember that if you go for a maker with an automatic shut-off capability then don’t forget to adjust the settings based on the type and quantity of yogurt being made. Time is of essence as under-fermenting can make your yogurt watery and thin where consistency is concerned while over-fermenting can make it extremely thick.
- Machine with automatic chilling: One of the important functions of the best yogurt maker is to ensure automatic chilling of the milk. Some makers have the ability to go to the chilling mode right after fermentation is complete. They can chill from 4 to 12 hours and this ensures your yogurt is being made even when you are asleep.
- Re-usability of containers and maintenance: This is also a key area to look at as high maintenance of containers and yogurt makers would end up making a hole in your pocket. Hence, you need to look for yogurt makers that are not only reusable but are dish washer safe as well. There are some machines that have multiple jars and you need to check whether they are BPA free and the warranty applicable.
- Types of milk that can be used: When looking for the best yogurt maker, find machines that can handle different types of milk. Some yogurt makers can only churn out flavored yogurt from any type of milk including cow or goat milk, soya milk, etc. You need to also check the type of yogurt it can produce. Specific yogurt makers can produce only low fat yogurts while others can make low fat and non fat yogurts.
Now that you know all about finding the best yogurt maker, it is time to go hunting! The good thing about yogurt makers is that they will not cost a bomb and you will find one that fits your budget as well as need for flavored yogurt.