Worth it or Not – Homemade Cheese

Cheese

Making homemade cheese is ridiculously simple. It only takes about 15 minutes of cooking time, a little cleanup and you let the cheese do the rest of the work. If it’s that simple, why don’t more people make their own?

I originally started this project by researching goat cheese, one of my favorites. After a little investigation, I decided to expand my findings to mozzarella and ricotta cheese. These are three types of cheeses that are easy to make without preservatives. Sounds like fun to me!

Goat Cheese – you need a quart of goat’s milk, lemon juice and a cheesecloth.

$4.00 one quart of goat’s milk

$0.50-$1.00 fresh lemon juice

$5.00 2 sq. yards of cheesecloth

Approximately $4.50-$5.00 for five ounces of fresh goat cheese not including the cheesecloth.

Store bought is $3.50-$5.00.

When you buy the store bought option, you don’t have any clean up, simmering or hassle. You also know from the beginning that your cheese is going to taste amazing. When you make it at home, there are mixed reviews. It turns out to be a goat milk version of ricotta cheese and can be very lumpy. A lot of people have had great successes and some still prefer to buy it. I think it could be fun, but I’ll skip this one. I’d rather get what I know will be good.

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Mozzarella Cheese – you need a gallon of milk, citric acid, a rennet tablet, cheesecloth, and a thermometer.

$3.00-$3.50 gallon of milk

$0.50-$1.00 rennet tablet

$0.50-$1.00 citric acid

$5.00 2 sq. yards of cheesecloth

Approximately: $4.00-$5.50 for one pound not including the cheesecloth.

Store bought mozzarella is $5.00 or $6.50 for fresh mozzarella cheese.

There are plenty of mixed reviews on the product. It doesn’t melt as easily as store bought cheese and if you purchase ultra-pasteurized milk, what is typically found in the grocery store, you’ve just wasted all of your ingredients. For the slim savings, I say mozzarella is not worth it, just a fun thing to do.

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Ricotta Cheese – you need one gallon of milk, one tsp of salt, ¼ cup of lemon juice, a cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer and a candy thermometer.

$3.00-$3.50 gallon of milk

$0.50-$1.00 fresh lemon

$5.00 2 sq. yards of cheesecloth

Approximately $3.50-$4.50 for 8-12 ounces of fresh ricotta cheese not including cheesecloth.

Store bought ricotta is around $4.50.

Ricotta cheese is rumored to be foolproof. You can use vinegar instead of lemon juice, a mesh strainer instead of a cheesecloth and you can use any type of milk. Overall, it just boils down to cost and time involved. I don’t use a lot of ricotta cheese unless I’m making lasagna or manicotti.

This one is up for debate. In the other two cases, the original product was better than the homemade version. You would be creating something without preservatives, however the savings aren’t there. Ricotta cheese is better when it’s homemade. The flavor is better, the preservatives are gone, and it’s really easy to make. The problem is that the margin of profit is so small. After accounting for your time, you’re really not saving anything. It’s up to your personal preference.

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If you’re interested in making your own ricotta cheese, you can follow the simple instructions with pictures provided here.

Overall, it’s pretty clear when you look at the numbers that making your own cheese is more for your own pleasure than the financial savings. If you’re going to do it, just have fun and savor your creation.

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6 thoughts on “Worth it or Not – Homemade Cheese

  1. Pingback: Worth it or Not – Homemade Cheese | Old Meat

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