Making cheese sounds like one of those things best left to the experts. Considering that every day people have been making cheese for thousands of years, it’s pretty safe to say that with the right cheese making tools, even you can do it. In this post, we share our tips on how to choose the best home cheese making kits. From artisan cheese making kits to kits for specific cheeses, we’ll explore what to look for.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.See The Top-Rate Cheese Making Kit On Amazon
The Best Cheese Making Kits
We include detailed cheese making kit reviews below, but if you are short on time, feel free to use the table below to see our best picks. We recommend using Amazon for making your purchase.
First, we find Amazon to have the best at-home culinary kits in terms of price and quality. Second, we try to recommend products that are part of Amazon Prime, which provides purchasers with free and often super-fast delivery. (Get 30 days of Prime free here.)
Why Make Your Own Cheese At Home
There’s been a renaissance of producing various food and drink products at home. Beer brewing, winemaking, and even the curing of meats at home have all taken off. Not to leave out is homemade cheese making.
But why make something that requires several steps and a fair amount of patience when it’s so easy to buy in the store? Here are a few reasons why you should make your own cheese at home.
1. Quality ingredients
Food companies pack artificial colors and additives into mass-produced store-bought cheeses. By learning how to make your own cheese at home, you control the ingredients.
This ensures any food allergies or dietary restrictions are taken into consideration. It’s also an opportunity to select ingredients from local food producers who can explain how their product is produced.
2. Learn a new skill
Ask any food lover and they’ll say that winemakers, brewers, and cheesemakers are culinary artists. Making cheese at home is a skill. And much like any skill, it takes time and practice.
Thankfully there are DIY cheese kits that provide the necessary tools and instructions to begin developing this new skill.
3. Source Appreciation
Sourcing ingredients locally for your cheese makings connect you with the people producing those ingredients. It develops an overall appreciation for how food is produced. The methods of productions. And why it’s so important to protect the environment.
4. Family Fun
In today’s on the go world, family time is critical. Making cheese at home is a fun activity for the entire family. Cheese starter kits provide all the cheese-making supplies a family will need to get going.
Making cheese at home is a hands-on activity that children can easily and safely participate in. It’s a great way to teach children about where their food comes from. And dare I say teaches them a little science along the way.
5. Costs Less and Tastes Great
Make your own cheese kits are not that expensive. They include all you need to get started, minus the milk. With the exception of some real stinky cheese, even bad cheese tastes good. Knowing that the cheese you’re eating is the cheese that you made with your own hands makes it taste even better.
How To Make Cheese At Home
While the number of people making cheese has quickly grown, one thing has remained the same; the process for making cheese. At its basic, cheese is made by culturing milk.
There are two different methods used to turn milk into cheese. One is to allow natural enzymes and bacteria in raw milk to work their magic. The other is by introducing a starter culture containing microorganisms into milk to start the transformation process.
Making cheese at home requires a handful of cheese making supplies. These supplies are easy to source at homeware stores and supermarkets. The basic supplies you’ll need include a large stockpot preferably with a capacity of at least 2 gallons.
Other supplies include a thermometer, measuring spoons and cups, and a long-handled spoon. Lastly, you’ll need a large bowl, cheesecloth or butter muslin, and a colander.
Cheese Making Ingredients
There are only four ingredients you’ll need to make cheese at home. Milk, starter culture, coagulant, and salt. Most at-home cheese making kits will include all of these except for the milk.
In terms of actually making cheese, there are several steps in the process. While these processes can vary slightly, they are the same steps used in making both soft and hard cheese.
Cheese Making Process
The cheese-making process begins by slowly heating fresh milk. Once heated, a starter culture is added to the warm milk. The culture transforms lactose into lactic acid in a process called acidification.
Next, a coagulant most commonly rennet, is added. The rennet takes the milk from its liquid state to a semi-solid, gel-like form. As the milk solidifies, curds and whey are formed. The next step in the process is to cut the curds into pieces. The smaller the curds are cut, the less moisture retained resulting in a hard cheese.
Curds are cut into larger pieces to produce softer cheese. The curds and whey are cooked from several minutes up to an hour depending on the type of cheese you are making. The curds and whey are separated by draining them through a cheesecloth.
The resulting curds are then salted and shaped depending on the type of cheese. Some cheese such as ricotta can be eaten right away. Others are left to age completing the process.