It’s simple: if you want to make greek yogurt, you need to have a yogurt strainer.
Why you need a yogurt strainer
Since greek yogurt is basically yogurt with less whey, you need some way to separate the liquid whey from the yogurt which results in that thick greek yogurt that you love.
If you’re not making greek yogurt and just making homemade yogurt at home, you don’t need a strainer. The whey is part of your yogurt and you’re pretty much done.
On the other hand, if you want to have greek yogurt, you need one extra step. Strain your yogurt for two hours and you’ll get greek yogurt.
Ok, if you need to strain yogurt, what’s the best tool to do that? A yogurt strainer.
Choosing a yogurt strainer shouldn’t be too difficult but it’s important to understand your options.
There are several types of yogurt strainers, the one that you use is up to you and what you have but I have a personal favorite so I’ll start with it.
Nylon Yogurt Strainers
Before buying a nylon yogurt strainer, I tried my best to make the most out of a cheesecloth but I didn’t make greek yogurt that frequently – why?
Removing the yogurt from the cheesecloth was very difficult and it seemed like a lot of the yogurt itself was still on the cloth – all that yogurt in the cloth and lots of wasted yogurt down the drain – and you know I much I vouch for reducing food waste.
Plus cleaning the cheesecloth and waiting for it to dry…
Let’s just say I almost never made greek yogurt.
This nylon yogurt strainer is a game changer.
It’s easy to remove the yogurt from the strainer and it dries more quickly than the cheesecloth.
I’d prefer to use a natural solution like the cheesecloth but it didn’t do it for me.
As someone who strives to be more eco-friendly, I know that nylon has a ton of environmental consequences but I also believe that when trying to be more eco-friendly you cannot just use something if it doesn’t work for you.
There’s always a way to be more eco-friendly but you don’t need to give yourself mental anxiety if it’s not right for you.
This one is not exactly the one I have (couldn’t find it online) but it’s close enough.
Now that I’ve sang all the praises about the nylon yogurt strainer it feels weird to talk about the cheesecloth. But I’m giving you all the options, even the ones I don’t currently use.
The big advantage of the cheesecloth is that not only is made with natural materials but it’s also something you probably have at home.
This might be a good way to try out making greek yogurt at home without investing any money.
And you might even like it and tell me that I’m 100% wrong by not using cheesecloth.
Very similar to the cheesecloth, there’s the “Better cloth”, it specifically made for yogurt straining and it has a thicker fabric which makes it less fragile than cheesecloth.
I personally found it also difficult to remove the entirety of the greek yogurt as I did with the cheesecloth but it might be a good solution if you’re trying to find a stronger alternative to a cheesecloth.
You know that fine mesh strainer that you use to sift your flour? It can be used as a yogurt strainer as well.
This is very surprising but it actually works. Although not as good as the other strainers, it does its job. I have used this when I didn’t have a cheesecloth with me and it does remove a lot of the whey from the yogurt.
I also use this if I want to use the yogurt in a recipe but don’t want to have that much whey. It works!
And if you don’t have a cheesecloth, you might have a fine mesh strainer which makes this a good candidate to at least try it out once before buying something new.
If you want fancier options, you can also opt out for the following yogurt strainers.
Container with a strainer
These containers are interesting because there’s a whole built-in system to strain your yogurt and you don’t have to think of a system to strain your container with the bowls that you currently have.
This one strains the yogurt, and you can even put it in the fridge while it’s straining (although I don’t believe it’s necessary).
This container in particular uses a fine mesh strainer so if you want to opt-out for a cheaper option just go with a regular fine mesh strainer.
If you want convenience you got it with this one. It’s still a bit overkill for just a strainer but it will help you if you regularly make greek yogurt and will pay in the long run.
Dash Greek Yogurt Maker Machine
This yogurt maker also has the ability to strain your yogurt. After you are done making your yogurt, just put it on the strainer and you’re good to go.
There are several yogurt makers that have this functionality but if you already own a yogurt maker the options above might be more enticing as I’m sure you don’t want to buy another yogurt machine just to strain your yogurt.
But, if you haven’t bought a yogurt maker yet, it’s worth considering if this functionality makes sense to you.
What is the best yogurt strainer for you?
Ultimately it depends on what you have. If you already have a cheesecloth and/or a fine-mesh strainer start off with those. See if you enjoy the final greek yogurt.
If you don’t, start exploring other options: my suggestion would be to try out the nylon yogurt strainers first.
If you end up making a lot of greek yogurt and want to have the convenience of having a specific container that strains for you, a strainer that’s within a container is probably the best option for you.