EuroCuisine Yogurt Maker - Anyone tried?
Depends on what you're after with a "EuroCuisine" yogurt maker. Do you want the kind of really thick yogurt that is common in most middle Eastern countries and most of Europe? If that's what you're after, the simplest way to get it is to line a colander (I use inert plastic and not metal) with some plain white paper towels (I use a double layer), then take any size container of yogurt, dump it in, put another paper towel over the top of it, then add a weight (I use a heavy ceramic chili bowl) on top and set the collander over a bowl to catch the fluid. Set it in the refrigerator over night, and voila! Thick, creamy, wonderful "old country" yogurt.
The longer you leave the weight on, the thicker the yogurt gets. You can make really delicious yogurt cheese by leaving it on until the yogurt is as thick or thicker than cream cheese. When you think the yougurt is at the stage you want, just remove the weight, remove the top paper towel, and turn the yogurt out into a bowl. It falls out clean and lovely.
Seems to me that since you have to use yogurt as a starter to make your own, this is just cutting to the chase to get the thick yogurt I want in the first place. And I do use organic yogurt. Don't need all those chemicals and hormones they feed non-organic animals in my diet.
Yogurt is really simple and doesn't need complicated recipes
or equipment. You've probably got all the cookware you need
1. Pour milk into pot.
2. Heat milk to simmering on the stove.
3. Let milk cool until warmish.
4. Heat oven to 100F then turn off oven.
5. Add some plain yogurt to the milk in the pot.
6. Put pot in oven.
7. Wait 12-24 hours.
We had one of those yogurt makers with the separate small jars in the house and we ended up either throwing it away or selling it at a garage sale, I forget which. Far more trouble than it was worth.
Nowadays, we make two quarts of yogurt a week with a basic heating pad like you use for backaches, a Tupperware container and an inverted Polishware ceramic bowl. Total cost: $0, since we already had all those things in the house.
Yep, we went through exactly the same thing. I bought an electric yogurt maker that costed about $70. I hated it because you couldn't control the temperature which turned out to be too warm, causing my yogurt to be very tart and sour.
Now, we use a therapy heat bag (warmed in the microwave) which we place with the yogurt (in mason jars) in a small picnic basket. Works beautifully without overheating the yogurt.
I just adapted my method from the yogurt episode of Good Eats, through trial and error. Here's the transcript for the episode:
You just have to think, you're not wasting much food or money if a single batch doesn't come out right, and I actually never made a batch that wasn't at least edible, even before I got really good at it.
I adapted my method from two books:
1. Ruth Yaron's "Super Baby Food" book (was learning how to make homemade baby food at the time).
2. "The Book of Yogurt: An International Collection of Recipes" by Sonia Uvezian. If you love yogurt, then you might consider buying this book (or at least borrowing it from the library).
However, homemade yogurt recipes are readily available on the internet, if you do a search.
I took a quick look at what's out there and came across this site which might help you:
This method also uses a picnic basket but instead of a dry therapy heating pad, they use bottles of hot water. Either works fine. It's just that a heat bag is tidier and more efficient. I also prefer to use Mason jars to contain the yogurt.
These methods of making yogurt may be low-tech but you have more control over the quality of your yogurt, once you've perfected your technique. Keep in mind, that people have been making yogurt for millennia (possibly as early as 10,000 years ago) without modern amenities.
As BarmyFotheringayPhipps noted, it takes trial and error to get your desired taste (sour, tart, etc.) and texture (firm, runny, etc.). As long as the milk and its container(s) are properly sterilized, the yogurt is safe to eat, even if the taste isn't exactly to your liking.