I had the opportunity to review another product from CSN Stores and my friend Kenora suggested I try the Cuisipro Donvier Electric Yogurt Maker. I loved this idea! I had never made yogurt before and if a machine can help me make food from scratch I just had to try it!
It comes with a warming base and eight plastic containers with lids from hell and a thermometer. Those lids were almost impossible to come off. It took me at least half an hour of fighting with them, all the time hoping I did not re-injure my shoulders or screw up my hands to get the bloody things off. I am not the strongest woman in the world but seriously, anyone would have had a hard time with those flippin’ lids!
Because I was making low fat yogurt with skim milk, I had to add some skim milk powder to my sauce pan. Yes, sauce pan. I did not realize there would be work involved when making yogurt. I thought the machine was going to do all the work. Nope! I put four cups of skim milk in a large sauce pan and added 1/2 cup of skim milk powder. I warmed it up so there were bubbles around the edges and steam coming up from the middle.
I took it off the heat and put in the thermometer. Now I love this thermometer, it is so easy to read! No squinting at various numbers. Nope, you just had to wait until the red line ended up at the “add starter” line. No worries!
It actually took longer than I was expecting to come down. I kept doing a little housework here and there, waiting and waiting… but it did eventually come down.
In order to make yogurt, you need to have yogurt. You need that good bacterial culture and you get it from a container of plain yogurt. You put some in one of the plastic jars…
… Then with a ladle you add some of the cooled down milk mixture, tempering the bacterial culture and then adding it back to the sauce pan. I transferred everything to a large measuring cup for easy pouring.
Then I equally divided the milk mixture between the jars, put on the evil lids and the cover for the incubator:
They suggested 10 hours would be a good amount of time for your first batch which is what I set mine for. This is one of the reasons it took so long for me to test this product. It meant starting the process in the morning which is not how I usually roll when it comes to food. I did not want to be woken up in the middle of the night by my yogurt maker beeping!
The purpose of this machine is that you can properly incubate the yogurt in a controlled environment but I really wish these containers were glass, not plastic. I usually never do any kind of cooking using plastic ever. Still, this is part of the process of making yogurt and most recipes and tutorials online suggest making it in plastic containers. So, I will let that go.
Will you save money by making your own yogurt? Probably not. Skim milk powder is very expensive and when me and my friends looked at what was involved, maybe you will save 50 cents by making your own but you end up spending at least half an hour doing the cooking and ten hours of time waiting. You do end up with a tangier and tastier yogurt though, that is for sure. We taste tested my version of Fran’s tzatziki and there was a definitely taste and texture difference. Interestingly when we taste tested the yogurt in a homemade cappuccino yogurt, we ended up with mixed results as to which one was better.
Overall, this product is best for the health enthusiast. The person who truly does not want things like modified corn starch, gelatine and sucralose added to it. I am one of those people! If I can get around additives, thickeners and sweeteners, I will do my best to do so. If only they would change those lids this would have gotten full marks but as such, I can only give this product four out of five wooden spoons.
I’ve got a details on my site of a couple of other methods that do not need the yoghurt maker. One does it in a thermos bottle, and the other in a cooler or in the oven. Complete with videos
I have not tackled yogurt yet. I am not sure if I can have another appliance in my small kitchen. Happy holidays! -Tien
Debra She Who Seeks says
I ate home-made plain yogurt once and it had a much stronger and “earthier” taste to it, if you know what I mean. It would definitely be an acquired taste. Compared to commercial yogurt, the taste was like eating goat cheese versus Velveeta. Commercial yogurt is like a dessert, not a dairy product.
Hi Suzie, I wonder if buying a yogurt maker is a good investment. I have been making yogurt at home for the last two months, with no special equipment besides a thermometer and a vaccuum flask. It’s really easy, cheaper (for me, since yogurt is very expensive here), and I find it a thrilling part of my weekly routine. It’s made from milk and 3 T of yogurt (from the last batch, or commercial yogurt). I love making yogurt at home, but this product seems a little like overkill.
Suzie Ridler says
If you can figure out how to make it at home yourself, then I would not bother with this appliance. It isn’t something I would do on my own but with one now, I am already planning on making more tomorrow.