FOODS     TOOLS     ABOUT        
Kitchen Appliance of the Month

Want to Buy a Yogurt Maker? Get One That Comes with Glass Cups!

So you've decided to buy one of those cool automatic yogurt-making machines that will transform cups filled with milk and some probiotic bacteria into cups filled with tasty yogurt? From an economical point of view, that's certainly a smart move. But the benefits of using an automatic yogurt maker are not limited to cost savings: using a yogurt maker that comes with glass cups (or other plastic-free containers) may also offer some health benefits. Here's the full scoop.

Why Get a Yogurt Maker with Plastic-Free Cups?

Some automatic yogurt makers come with cups made of hard plastic, and this type of plastic commonly contains bisphenol A (BPA). BPA, an estrogenic chemical that can mess up your body's hormonal balance, has been linked to a wide range of disease and health problems, including learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, impaired brain development, certain types of cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, and fertility problems.

So what about plastic cups labelled 'BPA-free'? Turns out, they may not be any safer than other plastic containers. A groundbreaking study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that a BPA-free label on a plastic container does not mean that the product is non-toxic. The scientists analyzed nearly 500 food and beverage packages made of plastic and more than 20 plastic baby bottles – many of which were BPA-free – and found that over 90 percent of the tested products leached chemicals that can disrupt your hormonal balance – just like BPA.

Yogurt Maker with Glass Jars

So, to be on the safe side, get a yogurt maker that comes with glass cups. Glass is naturally free of BPA, phthalates, and other similar toxic chemicals. If you can't find an automatic yogurt maker with glass jars in the stores in your area (or if you simply prefer to buy kitchen appliances online), check out Euro Cuisine's Automatic Yogurt Maker on Amazon.com which makes yogurt in just 6 to 10 hours. All you need to do is fill the jars with the ingredients in the evening and set the digital countdown timer, and you'll be rewarded with yummy yogurt the next morning!

Looking to buy an automatic yoghurt maker in the UK? Check out Severin's Yoghurt Makers on Amazon.co.uk.

Still not sure if you should get an automatic yogurt maker? Let's take a look at how this compact machine can cut your family's grocery bill:

Per Cup Price of Home-Made vs. Store-Bought Yogurt

Today, you can buy a good yogurt maker with glass cups online or at a local kitchen appliance store for as little as $30-$60. As the price of a container of store-bought yogurt can easily be more than twice the price of an equal amount of home-made yogurt, your yogurt maker will rapidly pay for itself. If you like yogurt made from organic milk, your cost savings can be even more dramatic.

Here's an example*:

In the US, the price of one gallon of organic milk is typically between $5.99 and $7.09. This translates into $0.37-$0.44 per U.S. cup. The price of store-bought organic yogurt is typically between $0.69 and $1.29 per a container or jar that holds 4-6 oz of yogurt. This means that 1 U.S. cup of organic yogurt costs about $1.66-$3.10 at the stores.

When you make your own yogurt at home using a yogurt-making machine, the only ingredients you need are milk and a small amount of yogurt that contains probiotic bacteria such as L. acidophilus, L. bifidus, or L. bulgaricus. (For the first batch, you will need to use store-bought probiotic yogurt, which will bring up the price of the first batch, but after that, you can simply take a bit of yogurt from your previous batch).

When you make yogurt at home, you will typically make several jars of yogurt all at once, but for the sake of this comparison, let's assume you only want one jar of home-made organic yogurt and that jar happens to measure exactly 1 U.S. cup. For this, you will need about:

  • 1 scant cup of organic milk which costs about $0.37-$0.44
  • 1 heaping teaspoon existing yogurt with live cultures which can cost anywhere from $0 to $0.08

This means 1 U.S. cup of home-made organic yogurt only costs about $0.37-$0.54. Now that's what we call good value for money!

*The prices in the above example are indicative only and are based on USDA's Dairy Market News, volume 80, report 46, November 11-15, 2913, which reported dairy prices for products collected in Madison, Wisconsin, between November 4 and 15, 2013.

Where to Buy a Yogurt Maker (With or Without Glass Cups)?

If you just want to get a yogurt maker that gets the job done, even if the cups are not plastic-free, check out stores that sell small kitchen appliances in your area. If you're looking to buy a nice-looking yogurt machine with glass cups and live in the US, you might want to check out Euro Cuisine's Automatic Yogurt Maker on Amazon.com. It comes with seven 6-ounce glass jars with dateable lids, 15-hour countdown timer, easy-to-read LCD display, automatic shut-off feature, plus instructions and recipes. If you're looking to buy a yoghurt maker in the UK, check out Severin's Yoghurt Makers on Amazon.co.uk.