How to Make Mozzarella Cheese

Here’s a checklist of everything you’ll need to make your own delicious mozzarella cheese at home.

  • Cheese Salt
  • Tablet Vegetable Rennet
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Laboratory Thermometer
  • Stainless Steel Skimmer
  • Citric Acid
  • 12" Curd Knife
  • 6 to 8 quart Stainless steel pot (Aluminum or cast iron will not work)
  • 2 quart microwave safe mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • 1 gallon milk (whole milk works best; you can use lower fat milk, but the cheese will be drier and less flavorful)

There are many recipes available online, this is just one that we thought was good:


  • 1/2 rennet tablet
  • 2 teaspoons citric acid
  • Cheese salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cool, chlorine-free water (most bottled waters are chlorine-free)
  • 1 gallon milk (whole milk works best; you can use lower fat milk, but the cheese will be drier and less flavorful)

A note about milk

Before we get started, a note about your choice of milk. Milk is obviously the most important ingredient in your cheese, so it’s important that your milk is NOT ULTRA- PASTEURIZED. Homogenized milk will work fine. Fresh farm milk will also work well, but we encourage you to try with 1 gallon of store bought whole milk first. Low fat milk will work, but the cheese will be drier and less flavorful.

Prepare your work area

Do not prepare any other food while you are making cheese. Put all food products away. Move all sponges, cloths and dirty towels away from your work surface, wipe your sink and stove with soap and water. Finally, use your antibacterial cleaner to wipe down all surfaces.


  1. Crush 1/2 tablet of rennet and dissolve in 1/4 cup of cool unchlorinated water and set aside to use later.
  2. Add 1.5 tsp. of citric acid to 1 cup of cool water and stir well. Once well mixed, pour this solution into your pot. Now pour the cold milk into your pot quickly to ensure that it mixes well with the citric acid solution. This will increase the acidity level so that the cheese will stretch well later in the process.
  3. Slowly heat the milk to about 88ºF. As you approach 88ºF you may notice your milk beginning to curdle. If you’re having problems with milk forming a proper curd you may need to increase this temp to 95º or even 100ºF.
  4. Remove the pot from the burner and slowly add your rennet solution (which you prepared in Step 1) to the milk and stir in using a top to bottom motion for approximately 30 seconds, then stop. Cover the pot and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  5. Check the curd; it should look like custard, with a clear separation between the curds and whey (the clear, greenish liquid). If too soft or the whey is milky, let set for a few more minutes.
  6. Using your curd knife, cut the curds into a 1” checkerboard pattern.
  7. Place your pot back on the burner and heat to 105ºF, while slowly stirring the curds with your stainless steel skimmer.
  8. Take off the burner and continue stirring slowly for 2-5 minutes. More time will make a firmer cheese.
  9. Scoop the curds with your stainless steel skimmer into your 2 quart microwave safe bowl. If the curd is too soft at this point, let it sit for another minute or so.
  10. You will now press this curd gently with your hand, pouring off as much whey as possible. Reserve this whey in your pot to use later in the process.
  11. Microwave the curd on HIGH for 1 minute. You will notice more whey has run out of the curd. Drain off all whey as you did before.
  12. Quickly work the cheese with your hands, kneading as you would bread dough, until it is cool enough to touch. Rubber gloves will help since the cheese is almost too hot to touch at this point. Add the salt a little at a time during this and the next step.
  13. Microwave twice more for 35 seconds each and repeat the kneading as in the last step. Drain all of the whey off as you go. Knead quickly now as you would bread dough until it is smooth and shiny. At this point the cheese should be soft and pliable enough to stretch like taffy.
  14. It is ready to eat when it cools. Shape it into a log or golf-size balls, then store in a solution of 2 teaspoons salt to 1 cup water; cool and refrigerate. When cold, you can wrap in plastic wrap and it will last for several days but is best when eaten fresh.

Yield: About 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese (12 ounces)


  • A substitution of reconstituted dry milk and cream is very viable and is a great option if you can not find the right type of milk. Use at a rate of 1 gallon reconstituted dry milk to 1 pint of heavy whipping cream.
  • Lipase may be added to the milk to provide a typical italian cheese flavor. Use 1/4 tsp. per gallon of milk.
  • If you want a softer texture, do not let the curd set as firm and work less when draining and kneading. This will make a moister cheese.
How to Make Mozzarella - PDF