Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Cheese?
12th Jul 2020
Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Cheese?
Are you looking for the perfect complementary cheeses for your charcuterie board or would you like to pair your wine with some fine aged cheeses? Let The CheeseMaker share some world-famous cheese hacks with you! If you’re a cheese enthusiast, you’ve probably considered making your own cheese at home. Let’s face it, those fancy gourmet cheeses at your local supermarket often come with a price, but what if we told you that you can still have your favorite high-quality cheeses for a fraction of the cost? Homemade cheese-making is your solution!
Why Should I Make My Own Cheese?
While there are many benefits to making your own cheese at home, one of the key advantages is affordability. Depending on the type of cheese you prefer, making your own cheese is less expensive than purchasing it from your local supermarket because you don’t have to factor in the manufacturing, packaging, marketing, and freight costs. Rich, aged, and high-quality cheeses often come with a higher sticker price attached because of the duration it takes to make them. However, if you opt in to make your own cheese, the overall costs will save you a ton down the line! To put this into perspective, on average, the retail price of a block of cheese at most supermarkets costs between $8-10 per pound of cheese versus a gallon of organic milk is $5-6 which makes about one pound of hard cheese or two pounds of soft cheese. Our estimates show that cheese enthusiasts spend approximately $50-60, if not more on “high-quality” cheeses from local grocery stores which averages out to only about 5-6 lbs of cheese. Whereas, if you choose to invest in cheese-making products and supplies, you’re looking to save yourself on average of $3-4/ pound of cheese which can easily add up over time. In addition, many craft cheeses like ricotta, mascarpone, mozzarella, feta, and even brie or camembert are actually very easy and inexpensive to make at home. In terms of taste, depending on the type of cheese you enjoy from bitter to sweet, you can add more or less of certain kind of ingredient to help you satisfy your taste buds! If practicality and convenience is a dominating factor for you, our starter cheese making kits (both for soft and hard cheeses) make it extremely simple to start making your own cheese! Especially if you are looking for economical and budget-friendly ways to enjoy the same high-quality cheeses for a significantly reduced price, homemade cheese is definitely the smarter economical option.
Healthier & Cleaner Cheese Ingredients
When made properly, homemade cheese is often times better for you than store bought or commercial cheeses because they don’t contain as much preservatives or other harmful, artificial ingredients. If you’re looking for healthier cheese alternatives that can save you a money while retaining the rich flavors of your favorite gourmet cheeses, stay tuned for how to become a cheese expert all from your kitchen!
The Convenience & Practicality of Cheese Making
In today’s fast-paced society, many struggle to find a balance between convenience and individuality. Homemade cheese making is a perfect blend of convenience, and fun while allowing you to add a personal touch to your food! Although making your own cheese may seem time consuming and expensive, it is really quite the opposite! This is especially true if you are mindful about what you put into your body and genuinely enjoy making foods from scratch. Depending upon the type of cheese you make, it can take as little as one hour and all the way up to almost an entire day to make it! While this may seem intimidating, one block of cheese will last you up to 6 weeks versus commercial cheese will only be good up to 4 weeks (if stored in the fridge). When it comes to ease, practicality, and convenience, homemade cheese is a fantastic choice because once you have the appropriate starter equipment you will only have to restock 3 simple ingredients which are: culture, milk, and rennet-- all of which can be purchased in one neat little package from The CheeseMaker!
Taste, Flavor, Texture
The kind of cheese you decide to make will depend on a variety of factors. For example, what kind of flavor(s) do you prefer? Bitter like aged cheddar or a bit on the sweeter side like goat cheese? Salty like romano or acidic like cream cheese? Your answers to these types of questions will determine what type of cheese will satiate your cravings. Before deciding what kind of cheese you’d like to experiment with making, you may also want to ask yourself: what texture do you like most? Crumbly or pasty? Or, chalky and grainy? Refer to the Cheese Taste and Texture chart below to help you select the perfect cheese to make! Another factor to consider is the aroma, which is a significant factor in the cheese world. You can smell aged cheese from miles away with its distinct aromas and just like wine-- the older it is, the more unique the taste.
|Type of Cheese||Taste / Aroma||Texture|
|Blue Cheese||Barny||Soft, Creamy, or Crumbly|
|Brie||Mushroomy||Soft, Rich, Buttery|
|Camembert||Ammonia||Crumbly and Hard|
|Cave-aged Cheddar||Musty||Hard or Firm|
|Cream Cheese||Acidic||Soft and Spreadable|
|Danish Blue or Roquefort||Blue-veined||Crumbly|
|Fresh Goat Cheese||Citric and Acetic||Soft|
|Heated Juustoleipa||Butterty||Creamy and Nearly Melted|
|Irish Grass-Fed Cheddar||Grassy||Hard|
|Mascarpone||Combination of sulfurous and sweet||Spreadable|
|Mizithra, Pecorino Romano||Basic Salty||Hard and Crumbly|
|Paneer||Non Nitter||Firmy but Spongy Body|
|Parmigiano Reggiano||Fruity and Citrus||Hard, Gritty|
|Romano||Soapy||Crumbly and Hard|
|Sharp Provolone||Rancid||Soft or Hard|
|Whole Milk Ricotta||Creamy||Creamy and Slightly Grainy|
*Source- Center For Dairy Research: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Cheese Making Cost
Despite the starter/upfront costs, making your own cheese is cheaper than buying it from the store. Let’s break this down even further for you so you can get a good taste of what to expect. As of December 2018, the retail price of cheddar cheese in the U.S. was $5.36 per one pound or block (Statista.com) and the production of cheddar cheese in 2019 was 3.7 billion pounds. If you chose to make the same cheddar cheese at home it would cost you around $1.25-$1.50 per pound because you typically would make a larger batch.
In comparison, while making your own cheese may seem like a significant time commitment, it’s actually the more cost-effective option. For example, even when you factor in the starter costs that include the ingredients, equipment, supplies, and other recurring costs, you’re looking to pay less for a high-quality block of cheese than when you purchase it from your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Here’s the breakdown of your two options:
|Option A - As You Go Cheese Makers||Option B - Longterm Cheese Makers (Starter Kits)|
|Milk||$3 - $4 (Local Grocer)||Soft & Hard Cheese Kit||$180 - $500 (The CheeseMaker)|
|Culture||$7 - $15 (The CheeseMaker)||Standard & Deluxe (Camembert, Brie, Blue Kit)||$75 - $192 (The CheeseMaker)|
|Rennet||12.97 (The CheeseMaker)||Mozzarella, Feta, Chevre, Butter Kits||$36 - $145 (The CheeseMaker)|
Depending on if you want to completely DIY from scratch or rather purchase a once-for-all Cheese Starter Kit, both are great options! However, as you can see Option A is less expensive but it doesn’t factor in other items you may need in order to actually make the cheese such as: thermometer, cheese press, molds, wax, wraps, draining mats, cheesecloths, curd knife, etc. Therefore, we highly recommend to get started with one of our popular cheesemaking kits to take the hassle out of cheesemaking!
Is It Worth Making Your Own Cheese?
If you’re still having doubts, let us reassure you that cheesemaking is truly an investment! It is definitely worth it to make your own cheese. If you are a DIY enthusiast that loves to experiment with new recipes and products, then this will be an exciting new journey for you. However, if you only eat cheese once in a while or cannot have any dairy products due to dietary restrictions--we have alternatives for you, too! Many of our products are organic, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly with a few non-dairy options also available. Making vegan-friendly cheese at home is now possible thanks to our vegan products like culture, rennet, moulds, and so much more! Be sure to check out all our ingredients to ensure you’re receiving the best and highest quality items. Aside from the monetary aspect, if you needed some more reasons why homemade cheese is better for you, we’ve started a list:
- It’s Healthier & Cleaner
- It’s Cost-Effective
- With Practice, It CanTaste Even Better Than Commercial Cheese
- The Process Becomes More Efficient With Practice
- You Can Make Large Batches That Will Last Longer
Let’s help you get started with our all-in-one Cheese Starter Kits! Whether you enjoy soft cheeses like brie or prefer the hard cheese types instead like provolone, we’ve got plenty of choices to get you started. Host your next dinner gathering and impress your guests with a charcuterie board or dessert made by yours truly (including the CHEESE). Learn how to make your own cheese here and be sure to follow us for our favorite homemade cheese recipes to add more flavor to your weekday dinners!