So I know you can't use UHT milk to make cheese, because of the way the proteins get denatured at that temperature. But can you use it to make yogurt?

18 Answers 18


UHT (Ultra High Temperature) processing kills all the pathogens in the milk, so it can be conserved for a long time. However to make yogurt you add bacteria (lactobacillus), so if there aren't other microorganism it should be even better.

  • 7
    Right, except that UHT also denatures the proteins in the milk and prevents them from clumping in the same way as natural milk. This is what prevents UHT milk from making cheese. Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 16:54
  • 5
    Are you sure it is the UHT that does that? I thought it was the homogenization. But anyway, yes you can use UHT milk to make yogurt.
    – kzh
    Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 11:28
  • 1
    In yogurt the proteins don't need to form long chains and precipitate out of solution in the way they do for cheese. If it's true that UHT can't be used for cheese (I don't know either way) I imagine it's because the denaturing prevent the proteins from binding together, which does not matter for yogurt.
    – Anthm
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 0:37
  • Wikipedia: "To produce yogurt, milk is first heated ... to denature the milk proteins so that they do not form curds.". If @DanielBingham is right (UHT milk has denaturated proteins) it would be ideal to make yogurt.
    – acorello
    Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 9:33

UHT milk makes excellent yogurt. I have had it on several occasions and the texture was fantastic.

Even if you don't use UHT milk it is necessary to heat the milk to denature the albumin- otherwise it stays water soluble and washes out in the whey.

  • 1
    Can you explain in what way it was "fantastic"? Some folks like thick yogurt, others like it a bit thinner. So what X finds fantastic, Y might find lacking. It would help to have a more specific description.
    – verbose
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 9:03
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    @verbose Good texture is smooth, homogeneous, and creamy verses bad texture which is grainy, stratified, or a fragile gel. It's really not a matter of thickness which is more affected by fermentation time rather than technique. Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 16:41

yes you can. a co-worker from a few years back did just that. the fermentation comes from the culture, not from within the milk. i didn't try myself though.


I just tried making yogurt with UHT Lactose-free milk (my kids and I are lactose-intolerant and there are few yogurt options where I live). It worked for me, but as mentioned in a couple of the answers here, I added powdered milk. (1 cup milk + 2 tbsp milk powder + 1 tbsp plain yogurt with live culture)

To test whether I need to heat the milk or not, I experimented and did one jar with heated UHT milk, and one jar with room temperature UHT milk. The heated batch was definitely thicker and creamier, but I suspect it has to do with some moisture loss during the heating process itself. I measured 1 cup of the milk into the saucepan, and one cup straight into the jar. After heating, the volume of the milk was (expectedly) smaller, so that's one hint right there as to why it's thicker and creamier.

The other things I did which, I believe, helped with the successful outcome were: (1) to keep the jar immersed in water that was at 100F, instead of 115F (the usual recommended temp) and did so for 8 hours; (2) I took the extra step of straining the yogurt for 2 hours.

So yeah, I was able to make thick, creamy Greek-style yogurt with UHT milk.


I have used UHT milk to make my yogurt for over five years now! Without adding milk power I have had a rich thick yogurt, Start it before bed in a yogurt maker and it's ready next morning


I use UHT milk for yogurt all the time. If you want a thicker texture try adding some powdered milk.


I agree with Jackie - just add a little powdered milk. I've been using unheated UHT milk to make yoghurt for years, with fab results. I've also made cheese quite a few times with it. I've made yoghurt with pasteurized milk as well and the results were the same, just less convenient than UHT if you live in the boonies like me.

If you want to know how yoghurt and cheese are made, I suggest you get a book (yes, libraries still exist) and ignore the massive amount of 'evidence' on the internet.

And just 2 more points: 1) Greek yogurt is made by straining the whey from regular yoghurt. Even in Greece (I lived there).
2) making yoghurt is a bit of trial and error. never assume you don't like something after trying it only once. you'll need to tweak lots of things until you get it right (kind of like making the perfect loaf of bread).


I always use UHT milk. I've tried all brands in Australia and all work well. I use a thermophillus + bulgaricus culture at 44c. 12 hours works for me.


yes you can, I do it all the time now. I have tried many different UHT types, the following are my experiences. I only used the full cream UHT type, I don't boil the milk, I just add some farmers union greek yoghurt to it and give it a shake, then start incubating.

Woolworthes UHT milk makes the thickest yoghurt.

Devondale UHT milk makes ok yoghurt.

foodland/coles UHT milk makes less thick yoghurt

Pauls UHT milk makes very runny yoghurt


I have been making yoghurt from full fat Devondale UHT for 4 years. The results are usually excellent, though I recommend allowing the cycle to run a bit longer for thicker results. I use an instant pot to boil and then ferment the milk for a bit more than 8 hours. I often start the process a little bit hot, as I can't be bothered to wait for the boiled milk to reach room temperature. I believe that the starter culture makes a big difference. I have used a cheap Chinese culture (probably targeted at making yoghurt drinks) and two Danisco professional cultures (Yo-Mix 495 LYO 250 DCU and 883 LYO 50 DCU). The 495 seems to be targeted at making Greek and does indeed produce a thicker, creamier, slightly less sour yoghurt. I normally reuse some of the existing yoghurt to make the next batch, so buying good culture is worth it. The ultimate thickness of the Greek yoghurt I make depends more on the straining process (I often leave it until all the weigh is separated as I like yoghurt cheese and the weigh is good in smoothies). I haven't tried making the yoghurt without boiling; this is something that I intend to try since it would reduce the process time by about 4 hours (I make 5L batches).


I believe the same issue would apply since yogurt is essentially a step on the path toward cheese. One recipe I looked at did say not to use UHT.

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    No, it didn't. I've now seen recipes and comments where people say that their yogurt makers recommend UHT milk and that they typically do. Best thing to do, as with so many cooking ideas/questions....give it a shot and see how it works! Sounds like it must. Commented Aug 8, 2010 at 16:18

I have been making home-made yogurt for a month on an every-day basis.

I tried UHT once and it was extremely watery and flaky that I threw it away.

I have since sticked with fresh (skimmed/semi skimmed/whole) milk, which works perfectly.

I do notice that different brand of milk give a different texture too.

Puzzled, I searched on Google trying to find an answer why UHT milk can't be used, and found this. I do not have an answer myself but I thought it is helpful to share my own experience with making yogurt.

  • This shouldn't be downvoted. It is a differing experience, but an experience nonetheless.
    – piojo
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 19:56

My mother used to make yogurt with UHT milk. But as Lorenzo said before, it doesn't have any bacteria. That's the reason why my mother used to add a little quantity of an existing yogurt in the mix of milk and sugar. Afterwards she put it in the yogurt-maker for a few hours and tada! you've got your homemade natural yogurt!

As Gapton says, the resultant yogurt is more watery (texture doesn't anything to do with greek yogurt for example), that is right, but I love it!! it is very natural, it's my childhood yogurt and I am still alive ;)

Hope this helps!

Btw, happy pancake day!!


I have made excellent thick yoghurt with uht semi skimmed milk, for every 3 cups milk add 1 cup of skimmed milk powder and a couple of tablespoons of live yoghurt from fridge. I use my easiyo to make (I started with one of the packet mixes and used the yoghurt made to supply the 2 tablespoons - then I use the next batch to start a new one) works brilliantly. I use cup cake flavouring and stevia sugar to sweeten. Not fat free but low, thick and delicious and full of good bacteria. Tip - freeze some berries (I chop up grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and banana and put in single portion bags). When fully frozen tip into bowl and add 3-4 large spoons yoghurt above, stir in. Leave for 2 mins and yoghurt hardens. Just like having chunky icecream - I have daily yum!


I have used UHT skim along with powdered skim in my yogurt for years. Heres why 1. it works 2. it saves sterilizing the milk, I'm a rational male 3. its actually a little cheaper 4. I've read concerns that heat treating whole milk causes oxidation to cholesterol which has health implications, so skim all but eliminated the cholesterol. This may be wrong


Use UHT many years now. To a 2 ltr container I add 1 cup of cream milk powder. I always use fresh culture. The result is Greek strained type thick, rich yogurt that brings me MANY compliments

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Do you mean "I have been using UHT for many years now"? Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 16:33

UHT milk is great for making yoghurt. To thicken add a tablespoon of gelatine when the milk is approximately 45ºC then place the container in the yoghurt maker. You will only be able to thicken yoghurt by using an ingredient like gelative or guargum to thicken.

  • 2
    -1. You can make perfectly good, thick yoghurt without gelling agents. Thick enough for a spoon to stand in it without falling. #
    – rumtscho
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 10:49

I produce yogurt for sale. I use UHT milk but along with milk powder.

Based on all the responses claiming to have done it, you will notice powdered milk is involved.

  • No, all the responses claiming to have done it do not use powdered milk. It's not required.
    – flywire
    Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 5:34

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