9 Best Cheesemaking Kits, Tested by Food Network Kitchen

We found the best kits for every kind of cheese and for cooking with kids.

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June 16, 2022

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Photo by: SJ McShane

SJ McShane

Our Top Cheesemaking Kit Picks

Tested by SJ McShane for Food Network Kitchen

In 2020 Americans spent roughly 16 billion dollars on cheese, making this comfort food a favorite for the masses. From appetizers to main dishes, cheese plays a special role in many recipes, hence, having the ability to make your own cheese any time you want is a no-brainer for cheese lovers.

At-home cheese making kits allow you to make your favorite cheese in the comfort of your own kitchen. After you learn the basics, cheesemaking at home isn’t as complicated as you might have thought. Plus, no matter what kind of cheese you prefer, there a cheesemaking kit for every variety including dairy-free and vegan, and most kits are affordable and easy to use — we tested them. From creamy mozzarella to classic cheddar, here are the top cheesemaking kits for you (and your family) to enjoy.

Photo by: SJ McShane

SJ McShane

What to Know Before Using a Cheesemaking Kit at Home

A beginner’s cheese-making kit is a great way to get your feet wet in the cheese-making world. They contain most everything you need (except the milk and, sometimes, the dairy thermometer), plus step-by-step instructions.

“Start by keeping it simple with soft fresh cheeses, such as a farmer’s cheese, mozzarella, or ricotta,” says Chef Patty Morrell-Ruiz, founder of the Mad Table.

Choose the right milk. “You’ll need to purchase your milk of choice separately, while making sure to avoid ultra-pasteurized milk,” says Patty. This process heats the milk to such high temperatures that all of the native bacteria and enzymes are changed and destroyed, denaturing the proteins to a point where it will be impossible for the cheese to form. You’ll also want to avoid non-homogenized milk. Heat milk gradually on low heat when making cheeses. Milk that is heated too quickly will give an unpleasant bitter or cooked flavor to your final product.

Milks to Use When Making Cheese

  • Store-Bought Whole Pasteurized Milk: Most widely available; high-fat milks are generally better for flavor, texture, and higher yield
  • Raw Milk: From a grass-fed cow or goat is the best option

Be sure to use non-chlorinated water during the cheesemaking process.

What is Rennet? Rennet is a set of enzymes that cheesemakers use to coagulate milk and separate solid curd from liquid whey. (Separates cheese from the liquid) It can come in a tablet, liquid, or powder form. Rennet also comes in vegetable form

  • Rennet Alternatives: The most common rennet substitutes are apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, but you can also use baking soda, baking powder or yogurt cultures.

Cheesecloth vs. Muslin Butter Cloth: Cheesecloth is a loosely woven cloth used for lining colanders, making draining sacks, covering air-drying cheeses, making smoking sacks, and bandaging both hard and soft cheeses. Muslin butter cloth is a tightly woven clot used for draining, pressing, and bandaging both hard and soft cheeses. Rinse cheesecloth in hot water immediately after usage. Try and remove any food bits as you can, then air dry. Butter muslin requires cold water for rinsing.

Photo by: SJ McShane

SJ McShane

How We Picked

We tested each kit following the directions included in the package. We took into account how much cheese each kit made, how long the process took and the taste of the final product. Finally, we took into account user reviews of each kit online. We chose these kits due to the high volume of positive reviews that matched our cheesemaking experience with these kits.


You’ll be cheesin’ ear to ear with this easy-to-use, versatile cheesemaking kit, which allows you to make mozzarella, burrata, feta, halloumi, cheddar cheese curds, Monterey jack, cream cheese, marscapone, chèvre, ghee, and more. Equipped with an instant thermometer and the instruments and ingredients you need to make your favorite cheese, all you have to do is grab your choice of milk (cow, goat, or sheep) and cream and let the cheesemaking begin. This kit does come with calcium chloride (not included in all cheesemaking kits) which helps the milk coagulate faster and more firmly. (This is helpful when using store-bought milks.) We chose to make cheddar cheese curds and they came out delicious!

Keep in Mind: Liquid rennet should be refrigerated, (never stored in the freezer), and the mesophilic culture should be stored in the freezer. Be sure to read the instructions carefully as each type of cheese requires different instructions and recipe times.

Recipe Time: 30 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the cheese

Yields: Up to 25 lbs

Includes: Liquid rennet, calcium chloride, citric acid, cheese salt, lipase, cultures, instant-read thermometer, cheesecloth

Buy It

Perfect for beginners, this easy-to-use (vegetarian-friendly) kit comes with all of the cheese-making essentials, so all you’ll have to do is add milk. With simple step-by-step instructions, you can whip up fresh ricotta, mascarpone, or paneer in as little as 30 minutes. The tartaric acid is used to coagulate the milk, which separates the curds nicely. We used this kit for ricotta. The process was simple, took 30 minutes, and the results were delicious.

Keep in Mind: The kit instructions recommend rinsing the butter muslin in cold water immediately after usage or placing the cloth into a bowl of cold water and wash later. Rinsing in hot water may cause curds to get cooked into the cloth.

Recipe Time: 30 minutes

Yields: Up to 20 1 lb batches

Includes: Dairy thermometer, 1 yd butter muslin, 3 oz citric acid, 3 oz tartaric acid, recipe booklet

Buy It

Not only is this DIY cheese kit easy on your wallet, but it’s also easy to use. This 4-piece set includes everything you need to get your cheese fix (except milk) and makes five types of delicious, soft, and fresh cheeses in just a few hours: mozzarella, ricotta, burrata, mascarpone, and goat cheese. Equipped with a user-friendly cheese making book, this kit is perfect for beginner and experienced cheesemakers alike. Packaged in an attractive gift box, this cheese kit makes a perfect gift for the cheese lover in your life and offers a lifetime of support from the makers at Sandy Leaf Farm.

Keep in Mind: This kit does not come with a dairy thermometer.

Recipe Time: Less than one hour

Yields: 3-4 lbs of cheese depending on the type of cheese

Includes: Fine cheese salt, citric acid, a cheesecloth, and vegetable rennet

Buy It

In as little as 30 minutes you can make a fresh batch of delicious mozzarella. This kit produces 10-plus batches of fresh cheese (mozzarella and ricotta), giving you more bang for your buck. With easy-to-follow instructions and in-depth tips on their website, you’ll feel confident in your cheesemaking experience. The butter muslin cloth provided in this kit is great for draining soft and moist cheeses because the tighter weave does not allow for the complete draining of vital moisture and butter fats. This style of cloth is great for holding in small, soft curds.

Keep in Mind: The mozzarella technique can be complicated, especially if it’s your first time making it. There are tips on stretching the mozzarella on the Cultures for Health website that are helpful. You may want to use gloves when stretching mozzarella. It may take longer than 30 minutes to make the mozzarella if it’s your first time.

Recipe Time: 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the type of cheese

Yields: 10 batches of Mozzarella + 9 batches of Ricotta or 16 batches of Mozzarella or 24 batches of Ricotta

Includes: Cheese salt, citric acid, butter muslin, thermometer, vegetable rennet tablets, instructions, and recipe booklet

Buy It

If you’re dairy-free or vegan, you don’t have to miss out on the flavory goodness of cheese. The Urban Cheesecraft Dairy-Free kit allows you to make dairy-free cheddar, mozzarella, and brie, while everything in the kit is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, paleo, and non-GMO. With easy-to-follow instructions printed on the inside of the box, and a simple explanatory video on their website, you simply need to add: a base, that's 1/2 -1 cup of your choice of nuts, seeds, veggies, or even white beans, one cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of optional oil (for melt) and enjoy! We made the brie and used cashews as our base, which produced a creamy finish and delicious flavor.

Keep in Mind: You provide the base (nuts, seeds, beans or veggies) which will provide a different flavor depending on which one you choose. You may want to try different bases to find your favorite. This kit does not come with a cheese mold.

Recipe Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 3 wheels, each wheel measures about 1.5 cups (varies slightly depending on your chosen added base)

Includes: 3 pre-blended packets (one for each wheel), and 1 pouch of our quick-set agar powder

Buy It

If you fancy the tangy taste of goat cheese, you can now make it when the craving comes. You do need to have access to fresh goat milk to get this kit started. All equipment included is reusable, and there is enough cheese salt and rennet to get you started on your first eight batches, with the option to make feta and chevre. The goat cheese produces a creamy texture and pairs well with rosemary and thyme.

Keep in Mind: The directions to this kit are online, not in the box. Read online directions carefully when using this cheese kit, (or any cheesemaking kit) as it can be easy to use too much salt. The packet of salt and rennet tablets are meant to be divided into 8 servings.

Recipe Time: 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on the cheese

Yields: 8 batches

Includes: Square cheese basket, cheese thermometer, cheesecloth, vegetable rennet, cheese salt

Buy It

Hard cheeses require more equipment which makes this cheesemaking kit pricier than the other cheesemaking kits on the market. Made in the USA, this hardwood cheese press was designed by Homesteader Creations in Sparta, Tennessee with the options to choose hard maple wood or hard cherry wood for your gorgeous cheese kit. In order to make hard cheese, the whey and water content need to be more forcefully expelled making the cheese press an important part of this kit. Perfect for making all types of hard and semi-hard cheeses, this kit has ergonomically designed handles and followers to reduce the stress to your hands and fingers making cheese pressing a breeze.

Keep in Mind: Hard cheeses take longer to make, so keep that in mind if you’re wanting hard cheese for a time-sensitive event. The longer you age the cheese, the sharper the flavor. When pressing the cheese, place it in the sink or in a place where it can drain properly.

Recipe Time: 24 hours for semi-hard (or more with aging)

Yields: 7 batches

Includes: Ultimate Cheese Press, meso culture, thermo culture, vegetarian rennet, cheesecloth (90 count 2 yards) thermometer lipase (for sharper flavors), calcium chloride 1 oz, for use with store-bought pasteurized milk, but best used with any milk, even raw, for consistent curd formation, all-natural Himalayan pink sea salt, HS recipe booklet

Buy It

With enough ingredients in this kit to turn 20 gallons of milk into delicious, preservative-free, non-GMO cheese in as little as 20 minutes, you can enjoy mozzarella, chevre, goat cheese, queso blanco, queso fresco, mascarpone, and ricotta. All you have to do is add the dairy. Made in the USA with easy-to-follow instructions, detailed recipes, and a soft curd drain bag, not only can you make a variety of soft cheeses, you can whip up creamy butter as well! The curd drain bag is of great quality, and perfect for draining softer chesses and butters. We made the queso blanco; it was an easy process and came out delicious.

Keep in Mind: This kit does not include a milk thermometer, so it will need to be purchased separately. The liquid rennet needs to be refrigerated and the citric acid should be stored in the freezer. Recipe times vary depending on the cheese you choose to make.

Recipe Time: 20 minutes

Yields: 1 lb of cheese per one gallon of milk

Includes: Liquid microbial rennet, calcium chloride, cheese salt, citric acid, curd drain bag and detailed recipe book

Buy It

This mini, DIY cheesemaking kit is a fun way to enjoy time in the kitchen with your kids, and perfect busy families looking to participate in an easy and delicious cheesemaking experience. This kit makes four batches of ricotta and farmer’s cheese and is a great place to start for the young and old. Simply add milk and in just 30 minutes you will have creamy farmer's cheese perfect for pasta dishes, chili, veggies dips, pancakes. After purchasing the kit, there is unlimited email support for any questions you may have and the product has a shelf-life of five years (in a cool-dry pantry).

Keep in Mind: You could make these cheeses without a kit, but a kit is a great place to start when learning. Does not include a dairy thermometer.

Recipe Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4 batches

Includes: Instructions, fine mesh, unbleached 100% cotton cheesecloth gluten-free, non-GMO citric acid non-Iodized cheese salt (fine flake salt)

Buy It

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