If you’re a cheese addict like me, you’ll be excited to learn that it’s easy and cheap to make many varieties of cheese yourself at home, with a kit.
If you know someone who is into science, food, chemistry or just LOVES cheese, then cheese making kits make a perfect gift as well.
There are different kits for different types of cheese. After doing some research I’ve shortlisted the best cheese-making kits in the UK at the moment. All of them turn out good quality cheese, if you follow the directions.
Later, I answer some frequently asked questions about making cheese at home.
The Artisan Cheese Making Kit by Cheese Monkey
Best for: All-round variety and number of cheeses you can make
- Make over 20 cheeses – something for everyone’s taste
- No need to buy separate kits for different cheeses
- Plenty of materials in case you mess up a batch
- All the cheeses are vegetarian
- Might be too basic for more advanced cheese makers
- Takes time to learn the different cheese techniques
The Cheese Monkey is one of the most well-established cheese making kit manufacturers, and they’ve thought of pretty much everything in this kit. You can make over twenty(!) kinds of cheese at home, including cottage cheese, halloumi and many more.
The kit contains all the equipment you need, apart from milk. If you’re a beginner and want to learn different styles before ‘specialising’ in one, this would be a good starter kit.
Cheese of the World Kit By Sandy Leaf Farm
Best for: Regional and National Cheeses to make at home
- Make every cheese you can imagine, including unusual ones like paneer or burrata
- Cute design and packaging makes a good gift
- Great for beginners
- May be too basic for some
- Makes ten kinds of cheese, a small number compared to other kits
They’re good at what they do, and that’s producing well-presented, cheerful kits that do what they say on the tin.
If you’re just getting started and looking for a homemade cheese kit that has enough to make some variety of cheese without getting too complicated, then this is a good choice.
Deluxe Cheese Making Kit by Country Trading Co
Best for: Foodies and those who fancy Artisan, pro cheese making
- Makes Artisan Brie and Camembert, two cheeses rarely found in other kits
- High-quality ingredients and equipment
- Excellent accompanying materials and instructions
- Small variety of cheeses – this is more of a focused kit
- You send off a voucher to order fresh cultures – not for the impatient
This deluxe kit is the Rolls Royce of cheese making kits, for those who are possibly thinking about a cheese-making course but want a more economical yet luxurious option.
I was particularly impressed with the attention to detail on this one: really good kit, quality ingredients and the cheese (I made the chive one) turned out so well, nobody believed I’d made it (thanks, friends).
If you’re a beginner, though, you may find this fiddly, but I found it interesting and exciting.
Cheese Making Kit For Children By Cheese Monkey
Best for: Fun making homemade cheese with the kids
- Cheap and Cheerful
- Has ‘cheesy science’ for kids to learn as they go
- Make cheese that many kids like to eat, like mozzarella
- Quite basic – but good if you just want to have a go with the kids
- Doesn’t include a dairy thermometer like other kits
This is the children’s version of a grown-up kit, so it’s pared down to the basics to have some fun making mozzarella and other cheeses at home.
There’s a focus on science so kids can learn at the same time, and it’s better than making sweet, sticky cakes all the time. I tried this with my nephews and they loved it, even if we eventually put it on pizza!
Ultimate Cheese Making Kit by The Big Cheese
Best for: A higher-end gift for adults, with lots of variety
- Looks great, would make a good present for a cheese lover
- Makes 40 batches of ten different cheeses so plenty of room for error!
- Very good recipe book included
- Lots of milk needed if you want to make all varieties
- May be a little basic for those who are at a more advanced level
This ultimate cheese making kit by the Big Cheese Making Kit is an all-you-need kit (apart from the milk!). It’s nicely presented and has enough varieties of cheese to learn the different techniques and styles, for example, you can make mascarpone or ricotta, or more unusual cheeses like a Greek-style one.
The basic ingredients are both gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly, too.
Common Questions about Home Cheese Making Kits
Is homemade cheese safe?
“Homemade” cheese used to have a reputation as it often contained raw milk, which is milk that is unpasteurized. None of the kits above include milk, as obviously it would spoil quickly.
Therefore you can choose your own milk to go in the cheese – and if it’s pasteurized, as most UK milk is, you greatly reduce the risk of any bad bacteria developing in the cheese. Good bacteria, on the other hand, is what makes cheese delicious in the first place.
So long as everything is sterile, you should be fine. However, if you’re pregnant it might be more sensible to wait, because the bacteria in cheese isn’t always safe.
Is homemade cheese healthy?
The good thing about homemade cheese kits is that you can control the milk content, so you also control much of the fat content.
Although many cheeses are made with whole milk, you could try experimenting with skimmed or semi-skimmed versions to make the cheese less heavy on saturated fat, and benefit from its protein content instead.
Refer to the instructions in each individual kit to see if you can adapt the basic recipe to make it healthier.
Which cheeses can you make at home?
Many of the kits above will make several varieties of cheese. The list of cheeses you can make (depending on the kit) includes:
- Cypriot cheese
- Greek cheese
- Scottish Crowdie
- Labner / Labneh
- Goat’s Cheese
- Queso Blanco
- Cheshire Cheese
Considering how much ‘artisan’ cheese costs, even per 100g in most delis or supermarkets, a homemade cheese kit, coupled with some good quality milk, can be both economical and fun.
Plus, because you made it yourself, you can control the ingredients and add ‘signature’ flavours to make it truly your own. They also make excellent gifts for cheese lovers, too.