Making cheese from home is an exciting hobby that’s both incredibly rewarding and easy on the bank account. While there’s plenty of specialty cheesemaking equipment available, you likely have just about everything you need to get started! As always, The CheeseMaker has you covered for anything else you may need.
Cheesemaking equipment can range anywhere from $0 to over $500 depending on the cheese you want to make and the size of your operation. Making cheese at home can quickly become more cost-effective than buying cheese at the store and you likely already have everything you need to get started.
Now, you’ll still want to make sure you have everything you need before you get started. The bulk of cheesemaking supplies can be used in other culinary adventures as well, making cheesemaking equipment an investment that easily pays for itself. Let’s dissect what equipment you’ll need to make your favorite cheese and how much it’ll run you.
The essentials: why you need them and what they cost
Depending on the kind of cheese you’re looking to make, you might be surprised by how little supplies you need to get started. There are some essentials that you’re going to need regardless of the recipe you have planned, so be sure to stock up before you start cooking. If you don’t have these in your kitchen, odds are one of your neighbors might, and you might just get a cheesemaking partner out of borrowing them.
A Pot - Free (assuming you already have one)
Thermometer - Less than $20
Cheesecloth - Around $15
Once you’ve successfully gotten your milk to separate into curds and whey, you’ll have to separate them from each other to proceed with making your cheese. A strainer will only get you so far. With cheesecloth, you can wrap up the curds and squeeze them, pulling out much more whey than you’d be able to with just a strainer. Using cheesecloth may also help to increase your yield over using just a strainer, as it will prevent the loss of finer milk solids.
Sanitizer - Free (if you use the steam method)
While more of a material than equipment, the use of sanitizer is important to be able to use your equipment and safely make cheese. This can be done in a variety of ways (like steaming your equipment in a covered pot of boiling water for ~10 minutes) with a variety of materials (such as Star San or Steramine). What’s most important is that you prepare your cheese with equipment that won’t be adding any harmful bacteria or pathogens. Homemade cheese tends to not use preservatives like store bought cheese, so ensuring proper sanitization benefits the longevity of your cheese. See our sanitization tips to get you started! If you have equipment that needs to be sanitized that won’t hold up to steam (i.e. a digital thermometer), you can pick up food-safe sanitizers for about $10-$20.
The cost of cheese making equipment by mastery level
Some cheeses are easier to make than others, and it’s typically the easier ones that require less equipment. While these cheeses can be packed with flavor, there is a great variety of cheese waiting for you to add your personal touch. More involved cheeses may require different or additional equipment, but the resulting flavor makes it all worth it.
Whether you’ve never attempted to make cheese in your life or if you’ve just gotten started, The CheeseMaker is here to help you start with success! The main cost with beginner cheesemaking will be that of the ingredients, but you’ll still likely end up saving money over storebought cheese. Be sure to check out our answers to beginner cheesemaking frequently asked questions, too, to answer all of your preliminary questions (even the ones you didn’t know you had).
If you’ve got all of the essentials we listed earlier, your starting investment to try out cheesemaking is nothing more than the price of a gallon of milk and some vinegar! These ingredients are enough to make a crude mozzarella or ricotta, but you can really amp up the flavor if you take things to the next level with some added ingredients like a culture or firming agents.
When you start getting into more advanced cheeses like cheddar and parmesan, you’ll start to need some additional equipment for the best results. One of our cheesemaking kits is a great way to get started with your intermediate cheeses, and we stock each of the components individually so you can restock as you continue to make cheese. These kits start around just $50 and take the guesswork out of your shopping list.
If you’re going to be making aged cheeses, a cheese cave setup is a must. The optimal temperature and humidity ranges will vary by the kind of cheese you’re making, but a cheese cave thermostat makes it easy to control by externally controlling your refrigerator or freezer for an optimal aging climate. See the item’s page for the current price.
You’ll likely need to press those cheeses as well to ensure they have the proper moisture content prior to beginning the aging process. Rather than scrounging for miscellaneous weights in the hope that they’ll do the trick, a Dutch-style cheese press makes quick work of draining excess whey.
If you’re taking your cheesemaking to the next level where you may even be selling your artisan cheese, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper equipment to produce replicable results that meet the demand for your cheese. Buying in bulk will save you money in the long run, so be sure to browse our wholesale items.
The price of cheese-making kits and their benefits
If you’d rather not worry about all of the little details and just make sure you have all of the equipment you’ll need, one of our custom-built cheesemaking kits is the perfect solution! With these kits, you’ll get the equipment and nearly all of the ingredients you’ll need to make certain cheeses, besides the milk, starting at around just $50.
Deluxe Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit
This is a great kit to get you started! All of the supplies have been gathered for you and put in a convenient package, complete with recipes. See the Deluxe Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit listing for our most up-to-date price. We also carry a Deluxe Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit gift box, allowing you to easily share the fun of cheesemaking with your loved ones!
Deluxe Cheddar Kit
True to its name, this kit includes everything you need to make your own homemade cheddar cheese! You’ll save money when you purchase the deluxe cheddar kit versus buying each of the items individually, and you’ll be well on your way to making delicious, homemade cheddar. You can take it as far as you like, either cranking out cheddar curds or taking on the aging process.
Deluxe Soft/Hard Cheese Making Kit
This kit is made with the serious home cheesemaker in mind, including everything you’ll need to make an incredible variety of cheeses, including cheddar, colby, parmesan, camembert, chevre, and more! Not only that, but this kit provides enough materials to make more than 400lbs of cheese. If you’ve discovered a newfound passion for homemade cheesemaking and you just can’t get enough of it, this is the kit for you.
Be sure to browse our diverse selection of cheesemaking kits so you can pick up all of the supplies you’ll need to make just about any kind of cheese you’d like. If you have any questions along the way of your cheesemaking journey, feel free to contact us. Happy cheesemaking!