Pros: Fast, easy to use and makes yogurt that's much healthier (and cheaper!) than commercial brands.
Cons: Really just a glamorized pudding bowl.
I bought the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9 about a year ago, and it does exactly what it's meant to. But here's why I don't think you need to buy it...
So long, Saccharin...
Commercial brands tend to pump their yogurts full of added ingredients - artificial preservatives, colors, flavorings, sugar and sweeteners. A lot of the brands that claim to be "bio live" or to contain "live cultures"(the ones that are good for your health) actually don't. I like to know that my food is chemical-free and is made from quality ingredients. That commercial brands are not the best option, I am sure.
Features of the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9
The Salton Yogurt Maker YM9 consists of a clear one liter plastic tub with a white lid that sits inside an incubating shell. The shell has a separate lid - a clear one with a "clock" on the top. The incubator is plugged in to keep the yogurt warm and a power light tells you that all is well. The other major features of the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9 are:
*A "time due off" clock - this is just a dial that you turn manually to remind you what time the yogurt will be done by. It is largely useless, but allows the company to justify the price.
*1 meter of cable with a plug - this is too short in my opinion, and could be irritating if you don't have a socket nearby.
*A plastic spoon - WOW! Enough said.
You get no guarantee with the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9 as far as I am aware, but for the price I wouldn't expect it. The electrical system is so simple that it is unlikely to develop a fault and it is very robust, so you are unlikely to break it even if you drop it on the floor(believe me, I've tried). The Salton Yogurt Maker YM9 also comes with a leaflet explaining the yogurt making process.
There is a cheaper option...
The fact is, you don't actually need the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9 at all. The yogurt maker is just an incubator and you could do the same with a large bowl(or an incubated drinks flask) with a lid on it, some bio yogurt from your local store and some milk. Here's how the process works, and the budget option:
*Boil the milk(about a liter) to kill the bacteria in it - you only want the bacteria to be in the yogurt. Use UHT milk and you won't have to do this, but it might not taste as nice.
*Add two teaspoons of the bio yogurt to the bowl.
*Wait until the milk has cooled below 50 degrees centigrade (you'll kill the bacteria otherwise) and add it to the bowl. Mix and leave for 9 hours at room temperature.
*TA-DA! All the milk has become yogurt! If you want it a bit thicker, add a teaspoon of dried skimmed milk powder before starting it next time.
*Add flavorings. Fruit puree, honey, syrup, milkshake powders and ice cream sauces make nice sweet yogurts. Savory toppings and sauces can be made by adding herbs and spices.
*Stick it in some pots and put it in the fridge.
Rather than keep buying bio yogurt, you can use the yogurt you have already made as the starter for the next batch. There will still be enough bacteria in your yogurt to grow effectively for about a week's worth of yogurt making, but then you'll have to buy a new pot of bio yogurt to get them started.
Why You Might Still Need the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9
*If you have a cold kitchen - the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9 is plug-in and so will keep the yogurt at the right temperature whatever the temperature in the room.
*If you can't get a suitable bowl for the budget option or if you have kids - the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9 is the sturdiest, most robust and most convenient container to make yogurt in, and it serves the purpose well apart from the fact that it is more expensive than a good bowl. Kids and animals are unlikely to knock it over(believe me, my cat has tried).
The Verdict on the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9
If you do decide that you'd still like to buy a yogurt maker, I'd recommend the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9 as the best one on the market. It allows you to put in all the fresh ingredients yourself and you don't have to buy in prepackaged products such as dried skimmed milk directly from the company or from health food stores. It gets 5 stars because it does what it is supposed to perfectly well and I can't fault it on that.
I find the little pots in other yogurt makers a bit fiddly and prefer the large container in this one. If you don't want to buy storage pots separately, I quite like the Donvier Electronic.
Details on the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9
*Size - 7.5 inch diameter, 9.5 inches high. Not too bulky in my opinion.
*Cost - around $18
*Where To Buy - Kitchen Emporium do a very good price on the Salton Yogurt Maker YM9. You'll find a link to the exact page on the main Salton Yogurt Maker YM9 page.
Despite my querying its right to exist, it is a good product and I have had many years of reliable service out of mine. It does what it is designed for perfectly and that's why it gets 5 stars.
If you like healthy foods made at home, have a look at my bread machine review at the following address:
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*Cooking.com Stainless Steel Ice Cream Scoop (2") - http://www.epinions.com/content_63524802180
*Oxo 9" Cheese Plane (black) -http://www.epinions.com/content_63571267204
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*Oxo 7.5" Steel Bottle Opener - http://www.epinions.com/content_63716626052
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