Have you gotten caught up in the Instant Pot craze? I am not one to get too swept up in the latest fads, especially when it comes to cooking, but I did set my eyes on the Instant Post. It just seems that you can cook almost anything in them. You can even made sour cream in an Instant Pot.
Now before we get into how to make sour cream, let’s answer why you would want to make sour cream. It’s not like sour cream is hard to find at the grocery store, right? But, unfortunately, that store bought sour cream won’t have all the probiotics and beneficial bacteria that homemade sour cream has. Yes! Home made sour cream is a cultured or fermented food, just like yogurt. So it is just as beneficial to your gut as the probiotics in yogurt. And it’s just as easy to make at home as yogurt.
So now that you know why you should start making your own sour cream, let me tell you just how easy it is to make your own sour cream. It requires only two ingredients, just a few supplies you probably already have and about fifteen of active time. That’s all. And if you make sour cream in an Instant Pot, the active time is basically eliminated.
What you need to make sour cream in an Instant Pot:
- Cream (preferably organic, pasture raised cream)
- Good quality, plain yogurt or yogurt starter
- Mason jar or other similar glass jar with lid
- Thermometer (I use a candy thermometer like this)
- Instant Pot
Steps to making sour cream in an Instant Pot:
Watch me make sour cream in my Instant Pot below:
You’ll need to fill your glass jar almost to the neck with cream. Place the rack in the Instant Pot and pour one cup of water into the pot. Set the jar of cream (without the lid) on the rack and replace and lock the Instant Pot lid. Press the “steam” function and adjust the timer to one minute. Once this cycle has completed, turn the Instant Pot off and remove the lid so the jar of cream can cool. Pour out the water from the pot. Once the cream reaches 90 degrees, add in yogurt starter or 1/3 cup yogurt and gently swirl to mix. After your initial batch, you can then use the sour cream you make as a starter.
Place the rack back into the dry pot and set the jar on the rack. Replace and lock lid. Press the “yogurt” function and set timer for eight hours. Once this cycle is complete you will need to repeat it. (i.e. Press “yogurt” function again and set timer for eight hours.) This will mean that your cream will actually cook for sixteen hours. *Update- you can actually set the timer to 16 hrs. and just do one long cycle. For some reason while filming it wouldn’t let me go past 8 hours-I’m sure it was user error. lol!*
Sour cream takes longer to ferment than yogurt and can even be fermented for up to 24 hours. After 2 complete yogurt cycles, my sour cream was cultured and tasted wonderful. If you like your sour cream really thick, just let it sit in the warm Instant Pot for a few more hours after the second cycle. Of course, if you’re like me, you might just need your Instant Pot for another meal and will want to rush your cream along-or dream of buying a second one. 🙂
- 1 pint cream
- 1 pint mason jar
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt OR
- yogurt starter (for amount follow direction for 1 pint yogurt)
- 1 cup water
- 1 Instant Pot
- Fill jar with cream. Add rack and 1 cup water to Instant Pot. Place jar with cream on rack, replace Instant Pot lid and lock. Press "steam" and set for 1 minute. Allow cream to cool to 90 degrees and pour water out of Instant Pot. Add culture or yogurt to cream and place jar on rack. Replace Instant Pot lid and lock. Press "yougurt" and set for 8 hours. Repeat cycle-press "yogurt" and set for another 8 hours. Remove, secure lid on jar and place in refrigerator.
*Even though sour cream is not a dessert, it’s definitely not a savory food, so I highly recommend having two sealing rings and using the ring designated for desserts or sweet foods when making sour cream or yogurt. Otherwise, there could be some odor transfer. Yep, ask me how I know. :/
Now you have no excuses for not enjoying healthy, gut-nourishing sour cream. Go, eat and enjoy, knowing you are feeding your body and gut.
My fave Instant Pot Accessories:
Other Instant Pot recipes and posts:
How to make Pumpkin Puree in the Instant Pot
Ten reasons you should not buy an Instant Pot
Check out The Herb It Up Store for some of my fave Instant Pot accessories and must have items.
I’ve tried making yogurt in my instant pot but not sour cream. Thanks for sharing this recipe at Family Joy Blog linkup. Hope you can join again next time.
If you’ve made yogurt, sour cream is a breeze! Thanks for letting me join in. I’m looking forward to all the future recipes, these have been great.
Wow, it’s so amazing what can be done in this little magic pot. Thanks for sharing this great recipe with us at the Instant Pot Link Party this week!
Yes! I can’t believe all the recipes that have become so easy with this little pot. Thanks for letting me join in!
Could you potentially take this partway through the process and make cultured butter?
I honestly have never made cultured butter. I have bought it and researched it awhile back, but it has been awhile so honestly I’m not sure. I know that is not much help. I’m so sorry! That is definitely something I will research.
Hi. I wanted to know if you can just set the pot to 16 hrs. for incubation rather than hitting the yogurt button 2 times for 8 hrs. I have the Duo Plus. Also I was wondering what type of cream you used. Should I get heavy whipping cream or just heavy cream? Wasn’t sure if there is a difference. Thanks!
Can’t wait to give it a try.
Hey! Yes, you can set the timer for 16 hrs instead making it much easier. For some reason when I was shooting the video, I couldn’t get the timer past 8 hrs. But since then it has worked properly and I just set it for 16hrs and am done. Great question-I need to update that on the video.
As for the cream, I’ve used heavy whipping cream, heavy cream, and cream skimmed off raw milk. They all seem to work out very nicely. The biggest thing I look for is cream with the least amount of additives and, if possible, not ultra-pasteurized. I can usually find some good brands with no additives, but it’s almost impossible to find cream that is not ultra-pasteurized unless it’s raw. But even using that I still find it cultures and sets with no problems.
Hope that helps and yours turns out great!
How long does this last in the refrigerator?
We eat ours up so quickly, I’m not sure if we’ve had much go bad. I know we’ve had it last at least 2 weeks if not longer. If you’re not sure how quickly you will eat it, I’d just suggest starting with a small amount, maybe even a half pint size. And I’ve tried freezing it, but the texture did seem to change a bit after being frozen. We didn’t like it as much, so I don’t recommend that. 🙂
I know that 24 hour yogurt does not have any lactose left. Do you think it probably works with sour cream too? Or should I add a few drops of lactase to the final product?
It should work the same way, but if you are very lactose intolerant it wouldn’t hurt to add a few drops of lactase.
Setting a boiling hot jar onto a very cold surface like granite or metal may fracture the glass due to the abrupt temperature difference. Sorry that happened to you. A shattered casserole that’s headed for the dinner table after smelling it cook can be so heartbreaking.
This seems very easy compare to what I do on the stove top. My question is, can I use sour cream starter in place of the yogurt starter?
Thanks a bunch!
yes, sour cream starter should work just as well. 🙂
Hi! So last night was the third time I’ve tried this. The first time worked awesome! The second and third, the bottom blew off the Mason jar when I removed it from the pot once cooled to 90°. I removed it to drain the water from the pot and both times, MESS. What is happening that would cause this? Can I use microfiltered cream and skip the steam step and just go straight to adding my starter and incubate for 16 hours? I’m stumped here!
The only thing I can think of is that you may be setting your jar on the bottom without the trivet. This could cause the problem. If you are using the trivet and this is still happening then I am not sure. Check your jars to make sure there is not an imperfection in them. I hope this helpers!
But I would not recommend skipping the steaming process. This kills off harmful microbes that will inhibit the starter from culturing correctly. If all else fails, you could do the steam process on the stovetop although I know this defeats part of the reason for the Instant Pot.
I don’t have the Yogurt setting in my IP. What is different about that setting than just a manual setting?
The yogurt setting does not pressure cook the milk as that would be too hot. Instead it keeps the temperature close to 90 degrees, warm enough to culture the milk yet not hot enough to kill the culture. If it doesn’t have a yogurt setting, then the closest setting would be the “keep warm” setting. I am not sure exactly what temp the “keep warm” setting is though so you may want to refer to your user manual to be sure.
Lorena M King says
I think I read somewhere the keep warm is 145 degrees
The keep warm temp should be between 90-110 degrees. You definitely don’t want it hotter than 125 degrees for incubating. Anything hotter could potentially kill the bacteria.
Fabulous! Soon I’ll only buy milk and make everything else.
One question – I assume no lid on the jar when it’s in the IP? So I could use any glass container?
You can actually do this last step with or without a lid. When I use my IP, I don’t put the lid on since the lids I usually use are plastic and I do not want them heated. But when I made sour cream on the stove top and cultured them on the counter, I would place the lid on them during the final culture phase just to keep them clean and bug free. So to answer your question, yes any glass container would work since you don’t need a lid since it’s contained (covered) by the IP.
But never use a jar with a closed lid during the steam setting as the cream gets too hot and needs an open top for the heat to escape into the IP.
What sort of cream should be used?
Coffee cream (1-% or 20%?) or whipping cream (35%?
I always use heavy whipping cream as it is the thickest and will produce the thickest finished product. The lower the percent of fat in the cream will produce a thinner finished product, with more of a yogurt taste instead of the milder sour cream taste. Just make sure it has the least amount of preservatives and additives as possible-preferably just cream.
Hi I can’t wait to try this recipe I am loving all the things I can make in my instant pot. I make yogurt on a weekly basis and will never buy store bought again. My question is can you double the recipe as this doesn’t look like a lot and we would go through it to quickly. Thanks
Yes! This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or more. 🙂
Laura Rosario says
When setting to steam, is valve sealed or on venting?
It is set to sealed and you will natural release the pressure after steaming is finished.
Maeve McGranahan says
Does it matter how old the yogurt is? (I am still eating from a sore bought pint, and was wondering if it is still good to use to cook with)
As long as the starter yogurt is still good and free of mold it should be fine, but I would recommend a relatively fresh batch.
Crystal U says
So there is no water in the pot when incubating for the 16 hours? Thank you!
No. During this time you are just keeping the temps warm to allow the good bacteria to breed. You do not need water during this phase.
Do you have the valve on “venting ” or “sealing ” during incubation?
You can set the valve to “venting” during this phase as you don’t need to create pressure but just keep the temperature warm to incubate the microbes.
This is awesome! I can’t wait to try to make some as At least one of us in my family can’t eat corn products so store bought sour cream is out of the question.
I think a 3qt pot is in my future just for yogurt/sour cream if my children like it 🙂
Awesome! Yes, the 3 quart would be the perfect size just for yogurt/sour cream!
I’m really hoping this will work with UHT/ long life cream. I live on the small island of Mauritius and I can’t find sour cream in the supermarkets. We can get yoghurt, fresh milk (sometimes) but only UHT heavy/ double cream and no sour cream. I just got an Instant Pot for Christmas and flew it back with me. Fingers crossed!
Oh wow, I’m sure that is hard finding certain foods. Although it is not recommended to make sour cream from UHT or ultra-pasturized milk, that is often all I can find in stores here as well. So when our raw milk supply runs out, I do use the store-bought and have had good success. Hopefully it will work for you too! Let me know how it goes.
Oh wow, I’m sure that is hard finding certain foods. Although it is not recommended to make sour cream from UHT or ultra-pasteurized milk, that is often all I can find in stores here as well. So when our raw milk supply runs out, I do use the store-bought and have had good success. Hopefully it will work for you too! Let me know how it goes.
Matt Dolezal says
Simmering the seals in a strong baking-soda solution (about as much as I could dissolve) for a time (15 minutes in my case) will remove the garlic/onion odors they tend to retain.
That is a great idea! Will definitely try it. Thank you for the tip!
Is the rack necessary? My jars a bit tall, and though I can get the lid on and closed, they stick right out. I’m not sure if I should use it.
Also, I read online that for the incubating, you can remove the seal completely.
I would advise using the rack. You just don’t want to place the jars directly on the bottom of the Instant Pot. Placing them directly on the bottom could make the jars too hot on the bottom damaging the cream or could even crack your jars. This shouldn’t happen at this low level of heat, but it is a possibility. Another option is to place a wet towel under your jars so they do not set on the bottom. I’ve had trouble at times getting my jars to fit with the lid-seems I have to fit them just right sometimes too.
I’m not sure about removing the seal. Are you talking about the seal for the Instant Pot? While you don’t necessarily need the Instant Pot to “seal” during the incubation time, I don’t see how removing the seal would benefit anything. But I may just not understand your question.
Another question. Can I make more than one jar if I can fit it in my IP? Does the incubation time change?
Yes! You can make as many jars as will fit in your Instant Pot. It will not change the incubation time.
Perfect! I was just scrolling through to get that answered myself. I have a potluck at work and we’re doing tacos and I volunteered to bring sour cream and I want to make my own I’m super excited
Does this whole process make it lactose free? or does the ingredients have to be lactose free
While the culturing process does eliminate much of the lactose, it will still contain some lactose and would not be totally lactose free. Many people will find that they can handle home made sour cream especially if it is made with raw milk when they cannot handle store bought dairy products. But since we are all different and have different needs and sensitivities, that would need to be a personal choice as to try it or not.
ok Kind of new to all of the I want to make sour cream but no one will tell me what kind of cream I need to get.
I want to make this for my family But we are all lactose intolerant. I am working on the cottage cheese, sour cream, and maybe ricotta cheese. Help please!
You need to buy heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. It is best to also find cream that is not ultra-pasteurized, but that is often hard to find.
Holly Jordan says
Hiya! Followed the recipe, but it’s not quite as thick as I expected (I used heavy whipping cream and yogurt started). Given this started as whipping cream, can I take an electrical beater to it, or would that ruin it. Thanks!
I would not take an electric beater to it. You can try adding more or less of the starter yogurt as this will change the consistency of the finished product. If it is still not as thick as you would like, you can add some kosher gelatin. This will help thicken the product and is beneficial for health also.
Pat W says
Hi, I just found this site with the IP sour cream recipe. 🙂
My question when it says to use regular yogurt does this mean plain (non-flavoried) regular yogurt or do you need the plain yogurt with the live cultures (greek)?
I look forward to trying to make this IP sour cream. 🙂
Yes the “regular” yogurt is plain, unflavored yogurt and it must say it contains the live and active cultures. Happy Fermenting!
Sean Southworth says
Excellent tutorial and video thanks. Worked really well. I actually made yoghurt at the same time but putting milk in 2 other jars and the 1 min steam “cooked” the cream and the milk to 90 deg C and then I continued with your incubation method and worked perfectly. Was able to make sour cream and yoghurt at the same time.
Awesome! So glad it worked for you and you were able to make both! Happy Fermenting!
If you use UHT cream can you skip the steaming part?
No you still need to steam the milk. Bad microbes that cause the milk to sour are still present and need to be killed in the steaming process before the good microbes are introduces.
Love this recipe! I want my sour cream to be a little more “sour/tart” do I leave it in longer or add more yogurt starter? Thanks so much:)
Yes Erin you can leave it longer and it will sour more. Enjoy!