here's a pic of the yogurt maker. it's basicially like a little incubator. you turn the dial to the number of hours you want to leave the jars in (lids off), and the timer turns off when the yogurt is ready. you have to then chill the jars for at least 3 hours before eating it. our first batch is kinda firm on top, then creamier as you go down. i've read that if you don't have a yogurt maker, you can basically do the same thing by letting the jars sit in an oven overnight.