About two years ago, I decided that I was eating enough yogurt that it would be healthier and more economical to make my own, so I bought a Salton 1-Quart Yogurt Maker. It worked as it was supposed to, but I still ended up donating it to Goodwill about eight months ago.
In order to make yogurt, you have to bring milk and powdered milk to a certain temperature, cool it to a certain temperature (I can’t remember the numbers), strain it into the provided container (optional), add starter yogurt, and incubate the mixture for 6 to 10 hours. After a few months of repeating this process, I got tired of it. For one thing, it was a pain to heat and cool the milk. I kept dropping my thermometer into the saucepan, and the cooling process was either long (if I just left the milk on the counter) or tricky (if I submerged the saucepan into ice water to cool it faster, I had a tendency to splash water into the milk). For another thing, I really needed a 10-hour incubation because I prefer thicker yogurt, but it was hard to find a convenient 10-hour block. The consistency always came out slightly different, too.
In the end, I just threw my hands up in the air and decided that it was more economical – in terms of time and mental health, at least – to buy yogurt at Trader Joe’s. But making my own yogurt with this inexpensive appliance (about $18 on Amazon) wasn’t difficult. I might even give it a try again sometime.