Cheese Making Kits and Supplies
It doesn’t take much to make a decent cheese at home and you can easily get the cheese making supplies separately. A complete Cheese Making Kit can make a great gift, and it’s a convenient way to get started. I will give you suggestions on how to buy the contents separately, and I will review 3 different cheese making kits.
Home Cheese Making Kits
I was surprised to see the variety of home cheese making kits available on Amazon. It can be difficult for a first time buyer to decide which kit to get.
I noticed one significant difference; whether a kit contains bacteria culture or not. Cheese kits without bacteria culture are lower priced and use citric acid instead. Cheese made with citric acid has very little flavour and cannot be aged, but it does work and it is still a fun experience.
I am recommending kits that include some starter culture. These kits also have better recipes.
The products I recommend below work well and have everything in it that you need. It is easy to buy all necessities needed to make cheese in a department store or online.
Cheese Shark’s Recommendations to Make Your Own Cheese Making Kit
Here are some suggestions to create your own home making cheese kit. These are low cost versions that require a trip to town or online ordering. The most important parts are the instructions and recipes, you can find them all HERE.
The most simple home cheese making kit from a trip to town
- Cheesecloth – fabric store or grocery store: $3
- 1L/qrt Buttermilk – grocery store $2
- Junket rennet tablets (8) – walmart $5
- Citric acid or vinegar – grocery store $5
- Kitchen or meat thermometer – grocery or department store $5
Total: Approx. $20
These supplies will last significantly longer than what is supplied in any premade kit.
The most simple home cheese making kit from items ordered online
I am assuming that you own a pot, a pasta strainer and a kitchen strainer, and your favourite salt.
Keep in mind that these ingredients will last you up to 5 times longer than anything that is in a cheese making kit.
Thermometers: I use this style thermometer in our commercial dairy. I’ve tested thermometers over the years, ranging from $10 to $500, and they all eventually stop working. We calibrate our thermometers twice a year and the accuracy of this low priced thermometer is always dead on.
Cheese Shark’s Recommendations for Cheese making kits
Standing Stone Farms Ultimate Cheese Making Kit
Standing Stone Farms is a Tennessee based family business. They offer great and prompt customer service, which I believe is important. Keep in mind, you are always welcome to contact me with questions or if your home cheese isn’t working out.
This kit is a little bit more expensive than the basic beginner kits, but as I mentioned above, it contains starter culture which will make you a much more satisfying cheese. The kit will still demonstrate how to make simple cheeses with citric acid. It comes with liquid rennet in a convenient, refillable, drop dispenser bottle. The kit does not include any cheese moulds, it requires you to manually mould the cheese, using your hands, in the cheesecloth. It’s not a big deal to skip the cheese mould since it’s one less thing to purchase and clean. If you are set on making a perfect puck shaped cheese, you can buy a cheese mould separately (see below).
The company offers an instructional DVD
If you need to restock certain items like culture and rennet, see my suggestions above. Most kits I looked at include “cheese salt”, which is not a thing. Cheese can be salted or brined with any salt (regular, kosher, sea, Himmalayan). Don’t spend any money buying “cheese salt”.
Standing Stone Farms Beginner Cheese making kits
I would definitely spend the extra $15 and buy the Ultimate Cheese Making Kit above, over this cheaper version. I’ve owned and operated a goat cheese manufacturing business for almost 30 years and I have a really hard time with Chevre recipes using citric acid. The other recipes, like Mozzarella and Ricotta, in this kit work just fine with citric acid. You can apply all my home cheese making recipes with this kit.
Grow and Make DIY Artisan Cheese Making Kit
Grow and Make is an Oregon based company. They seem to have good customer service and answer questions promptly. This kit doesn’t contain any culture and is very much comparable to the one above, however; it contains 2 cheese moulds (hence the price difference) and it uses rennet tablets. This is an inexpensive kit to get started, and if you look at my home cheese making recipes, you can apply this kit to all of them. Grow and Make offers a goat cheese (chevre) kit, whith no starter culture, which I don’t recommend. They also offer a Mozzarella kit, which is slightly less money because it has less options than this kit.
Home Vacuum Sealer
Personally I think a vacuum sealer is a great tool to have. For the home cheese maker, it gives you the option to seal your cheese and store it for months. You don’t have to worry about mould or the cheese drying out. It’s also a great way to present your cheese as a gift. When not making cheese, you can use it for vacuum packing meat and vegetables. Vacuum sealing prevents food from becoming freezer burnt and sealed food portions are great for hiking, camping, and day trips.
The vacuum unit I suggest works great and has a reasonable price. Many units are not made well and won’t last. The KOIOS sealer will last many years. Replacement bags are easy to re-order, and the compact design will fit into any drawer. It is easy to operate after the initial learning curve of what can be sealed and the spacing required. The machine cuts the extra plastic off automatically. If you choose the right size bags for your product, you will have minimal plastic waste.
Literature about Cheese Making
If you are looking for a well illustrated and very informative book about cheese making this is the one I recommend. It’s called Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll. The author has been well known in the artisan cheese making world for 30 years. There are many recipes to try out, they are well explained, and there are a large variety of pictures. This book will also make a great gift for a home cheese maker. As always, if you have questions, feel free to leave them below, i will answer them all.
Please leave me a comment below if you have any feedback on these reviews or other cheese making supplies. How is your home cheese making going?