Supplies and Ingredients Needed to Make Cheese

To make cheese at home it requires first buying a few essential tools and ingredients. You can buy these supplies separately, or an easy option is buying a cheese kit that includes all the essentials.

These kits can be bought from online cheese supply stores. Kitchen supply stores and stores that sell beer brewing equipment typically sell cheesemaking kits and equipment too. Below is a basic shopping list for making small batches of simple cheeses in your own kitchen. Consult the recipe you are...MORE using for specific, additional ingredients and supplies.

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    Stainless Steel Pot

    Stainless steel pot
    Anne Clark/E+/Getty Images

    Stainless steel is important because it will not react with the ingredients. We find that pots made by All-Clad are durable and heat uniformly. The pot should hold at least 4 to 6 gallons.

  • 02 of 12

    Slotted Stainless Steel Spoon

    Metallic sieves, spoons, ladles, and spatulas hanging from a rack
    Steve Shott / Getty Images

    As with the pot, stainless steel is best because it is non-reactive. Slotted works well because when it comes time to scoop the curds out of the pot, some of the liquid (whey) will drain from the spoon.

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    Curds Draining in Cheese Cloth
    Photo by Jennifer Meier

    Cheesecloth is a lightweight, gauzy fabric. When wrapped around cheese curds, it is used to drain the liquid (whey) from the curds. Cheesecloth is used in most, if not all, home cheesemaking recipes. 

    Cheesecloth is also wrapped around certain types of cheese while the wheels age.

  • 04 of 12

    Curd Knife

    Knife on curd during cheese production, close up
    David Marsden / Getty Images

    A curd knife is a flat, long knife used for cutting curds. Curd knives can be bought from online stores like New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.

    When making small batches of cheese at home, a butter knife can be used instead.

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  • 05 of 12

    Stainless Steel Thermometer

    Stainless Steel Thermometer
    Courtesy of Amazon

    A thermometer makes it easier to know when the milk has warmed to the correct temperature. A thermometer that reads up to at least 225 Fahrenheit and can clip onto the side of a pot and monitor the temperature of the milk as it heats on the stove is best.​

  • 06 of 12


    Milk splash
    antonios mitsopoulos / Getty Images
    Whole milk works best. Do not buy ultra-pasteurized milk. Look for regular pasteurized milk in the grocery store. If you want to use raw milk or goat’s milk, it is easier to find at gourmet grocery stores or health food stores.
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    Cheese Curds
    Getty Images

    Healthy bacteria helps flavor cheese and also starts acidifying the milk, which thickens milk into curds. Specific cultures are needed specific cheeses.

    To buy starter cultures, look online at stores like Cultures for Health or New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.

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    Liquid Rennet
    © Image Jennifer Meier

    Rennet is an enzyme that thickens the milk.  Rennet is often derived from animals, but vegetable rennet is also available. It comes in liquid or tablet form.

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  • 09 of 12
    Cheesemaker turning farmhouse cheddar curds
    Photo by Echo/Getty Images
    A powder that helps increase acidity and separate the solids (curds) from the liquids (whey)
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    Salemville Blue
    © Image 2014 Jennifer Meier
    An enzyme that helps specific flavors develop in cheeses like Mozzarella, Blue Cheese and Parmesan
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    Salt In Wooden Container On Table
    Michelle Arnold / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Salt meant for cheesemaking has no iodine, as iodine will react with essential lactic bacteria. Kosher salt, which typically does not have iodine, can also be used.

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    Close-Up Of Milk Glasses
    Sasta Fotu / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Helps re-stabilize the milk structure of homogenized milk so it will thicken (most milk in grocery stores is homogenized)