So you want to get into cheese-making. You’ve been a cheese enthusiast for long enough. You have read about the farmers in the Netherlands making Gouda, monks in Italy making Parmesan, you’ve learned about Goat cheese and how it’s been around for five thousand years!
You must be thinking: “If cheesemakers have been doing it for over five millennia, what’s stopping me from giving it a try in the modern-day?”
Heck, it could probably be even easier for us, with all the technological advances that have been made since then. Well, you’re right! In its simplest form, cheesemaking really isn’t difficult.
It’s just a matter of getting the hang of it, and since we mentioned all those technological breakthroughs, getting the right equipment. And there’s nothing’s more important than getting a quality cheese press!
So what is cheese pressing? For aged cheese (and some fresh cheeses), pressing is the most important part of gaining texture that certain cheeses are famous for. Pressing expels any moisture still caught in the curd and gives a uniform consistency throughout the cheese.
Every cheese needs different amounts of pressure, depending on how much moisture you need to have in the final product. Don’t worry; there are recipes for every kind of cheese that you can imagine. You’ll find that the usual instruction is something like – “press for 20 minutes with 10 pounds of force”.
So what are the best cheese presses to get? Well, we’ve compiled a shortlist to cut some time off your research.
Our Favorite Cheese Presses
We start in the middle ground, price-wise. But the quality isn’t the middle, that’s for sure. The quality is top-notch, with polished aluminum and stainless steel being the materials of choice.
Those are obviously the hygienic choices, which is definitely one of the most important factors to look for when buying a cheese press. A bit of a learning curve is required considering that you don’t have a guide for how much force you’re applying, but these are things that can be easily calculated.
A quick internet search will give you the information needed for such a calculation, but you know it will be needed. The press is handmade, which is great for the environment, but it also means that plenty of care and attention went to detail in manufacturing.
Next on the list, we have an old school stainless steel press, made in Italy. If you were to choose only one country from which you want anything cheese related, it might as well be Italy.
You can fit up to 5,9l of cheese in it, and it will last you a lifetime. The fact that it’s so big gives it an advantage over other presses that you can find.
Like all presses and anything you use in the cheese-making process, you need to make sure you clean it and clean it well. Luckily this is a stainless steel model, which helps quite a bit with hygiene.
All in all, if you want something that will last you a long time, Italian hand-made quality is the way to go.
Another simple to use stainless steel press, ready to give you and your cheese-making desires a kick in the right direction. The quality is superb, steel all around, which means that the gears are made of it.
The fact that a good press uses such a simple mechanism in combination with the high-quality material with which it’s made means this will last as long as you’re willing to make some cheese.
It doesn’t have a pressure gauge, but the cranking method that makes applying the weight possible uses, on average, 15 PSI. More than enough for some quality homemade cheese.
Now we move on, for the finale, to the heavyweights. The Sausage Maker Cheese Press is a pricey kitchen utensil, but one that is worth your money.
The cheese press is made from the same material as the others on the list, except that this is a Food Safe Grade 304 stainless steel.
What makes it stand out even more is the pressure gauge. This inclusion will help a lot since you can be precise with the weight and pressure you’re applying.
This means you can follow the same recipe each time, and trust us, being consistent with your recipes is the secret to quality cheese.
The materials, the gears, and the overall built quality ensure that it will last you a lifetime if taken care of. But that’s something that can be said about all of these presses.
While yes, obviously the Sausage Maker press is the one we would recommend to all who are willing to pay the heftier price, all the other presses on this list are well worth the chance.
A good cheese press can be carried from generation to generation if you properly take care of it. But what should also be carried on is the cheese-making tradition.
That’s what kept the cheese on our tables for thousands of years. Sure the industry can produce quality-grade cheeses even if there are sometimes no great products on the market. But homemade cheese is what we should all bring back to our dining room tables.
So there you have it, our quick little list of some cheese presses, to help you out with searching for the right one. You can note that we only mentioned ones that were made from stainless steel, not one wooden press!
We mentioned a couple of times that hygiene is and should be your top priority. If you’re going to use the press to make cheese for a long time, which we hope you will, you’re going to have to take good care of it.
If you do that, you’ll have some homemade cheese for you and your family for a long, long time.