Yoghurt makers come in different configurations and styles and offer a variety of functions and features. They are widely available in kitchen shops, supermarkets, homeware departments and from online suppliers. Compare the features of different makes and models before you buy.
Yoghurt takes from four to 11 hours to make, depending on the size of the containers and the type of starter used. Some people start their yoghurt in the evening so that it will be ready in the morning. A built-in timer is convenient and is available on many models, but it is not necessary. Separate timers can be used.
The auto-shutoff feature is a convenience if your yoghurt is ready before you wake up in the morning, or if you suddenly need to dash off on an errand before the yoghurt is done. Yoghurt should be refrigerated soon after it is ready, so while the auto shut-off is an important feature to look for, it won't save your yoghurt from sitting out at room temperature -- the longer it sits, the more acidic it becomes.
The ideal temperature for making yoghurt is 42 to 44 degrees C (108F to 112F) and it should never drop below 38 degrees C (100F). A built-in thermometer will reassure you that the ideal temperature is maintained throughout the process, but a separate thermometer will do just as well. Some yoghurt makers come with a combination stirrer-thermometer which is also handy.
Some yoghurt makers have six or eight cups for individual portions. These are convenient for children, snacks or lunch boxes, and they come in plastic or glass. Other yoghurt makers have one to two larger containers that are easier to clean. They are more suitable for larger portions or if you are going to use the yoghurt in a recipe.
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