Among the small homesteading tasks I perform, I make Greek-style yogurt. I’ve done this for years now. (Here’s my previous post on how I make it: https://farm.firehazel.com/2019/02/24/yogurt/.)
When I first started, I used regular coffee filters lining a strainer for straining the yogurt. After a while, I got frustrated with that, and acquired a HUGE stack of commercial sized coffee filters. These work well enough, but they do take up some space for storage. It can also be messy and somewhat annoying.
I’ve eyeballed the dedicated yogurt strainers for some time, but I make yogurt in 1-or-more gallon batches (because I’m lazy like that). I really didn’t care to shell out for the Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker ($50 when it first came out), when it wouldn’t strain enough yogurt at a time. Buying two? Yeah, not going to happen.
So I’ve held off. However, this past Amazon Prime Day, I saw a highly intriguing option show up:
(The above IS an affiliate link.)
It’s a 1-gallon yogurt strainer. Accordingly, it’s NOT small, about the length of a standard egg carton, and about 2 wide. (Per the manufacturer, the dimensions are 14″x10″x7″, but if you’re like me, the numbers don’t translate into an actual size.) The oblong shape works well for straining in the fridge. When not in use, I stack it … somewhere. Wherever it fits, which varies. However, unlike the now-gone commercial coffee filters, it doesn’t take up an entire shelf on its own, roll off said shelf, and get damaged by dust.
A neat aspect about it is the center riser in the strainer basket, which also has channels for straining the yogurt. One of the more frustrating aspects of using the filters was that the center wouldn’t strain. This resolves that problem, and the resulting strained yogurt is far more uniform in liquidity. I still whisk in a bowl before putting into containers, but it doesn’t need nearly as much of that processing. The lid is an awesome plus, particularly in the summer when we have a never-ending supply of fruit flies. (Sigh.) It beats wrapping an awkward contraption with plastic wrap hands down.
One concern I had was cleaning, and now that I’ve used it for several batches, I can say that cleaning isn’t bad. Just be sure to do so immediately after taking the yogurt out. The one time I waited, it was more difficult to get clean. I use a rubber spatula to scrap down the sides as best as possible. I use the kitchen sink sprayer to rinse the strainer down, which takes a couple of minutes.
If you make a lot of yogurt, I highly recommend this upgrade to your process. It’s fantastic, and it’s held up to pretty significant use over the last four months. I do not see any spots of failure occurring yet on mine.