How to Make Great Homemade Mozzarella




HUGE thanks to everyone that has viewed this instructable! Without you amazing 290,000 people I would not have been featured and then included not one, but TWO eBooks, the How to Make Cheese and How to do Absolutely Everything: In the Kitchen books, and as of January 2013, the How to do Absolutely Everything has been sold as hard copies and I am receiving a copy for my input into it. Gigantic thank you to everyone!

After an interest in cheese I always wanted to make my own. This is my own adaptation of the recipe found here . I have used this recipe a few times and it didnt work as well as I hoped... So I took my time thinking through what changes I could make.
I hope this helps everyone that wants to make their own great mozzarella.

Step 1: What You Will Need:

Whole Fat milk - I used one litre (uk) as this was just a quick batch for fun.
Citric acid
Rennet - liquid or tablet. I used a liquid version. Use as the packaging instructs
Bottle of Water
Cheese Cloth / White Muslin Cloth - For straining curds
Stainless Steel Pot
Large Bowl
Cheese Press (optional)

Step 2: Gently Heat the Milk

Pour your desired amount of milk into your stainles steel pot (aluminium pots will affect the reactions later on)

Constantly stir the milk so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan and to prevent a skin forming.

At this stage, DO NOT HEAT PAST 80°F

Step 3: Adding the Citric Acid

At this stage, whilst the milk is still under 80°F, you will have to add the citric acid.

The acid will lower the pH of the cheese and give mozzarella its characteristic stretchy texture.

For every litre of milk, you add a quarter of a teaspoon of citric acid.

I made 1 litres worth of cheese, a quarter teaspoon. But if you are making 4 litres worth you will add a whole teaspoon.

Add the powder and make sure you mix it through thoroughly. You will notice that some of the milk will curdle and stick to your spoon. This is normal.

Step 4: Adding the Rennet

Now that you have added the citric acid, you have to heat up the milk to 90°F

Turn off the heat just before the thermometer reads 90°F.

Measure out a quarter of a cup of bottled (unchlorinated) water. follow directions of the rennet packaging.... My bottle of rennet says 'for every litre of milk, add 5 drops'

So for my recipe, 1 litre of milk, I added  drops of rennet to a quarter cup of bottled water.

Mix the rennet through the milk for at least 30 secs.  Leave the milk alone, off the heat, for at least 20 mins to curdle.

Step 5: Check for a Clean Break

After you have waited for the milk to curdle, you have to test to see if the milk has indeed curdled.

To test this, dip your clean finger into the milk and bring it back out. If you have a clean break, your curds are ready.

The second picture is NOT a clean break. I left the milk for a few minutes before I tested and took the third picture.

Step 6: Cut and Cook the Curds

Now cut the curds in a criss-cross pattern and turn the heat back on high.

Mix the curds, you don't want them sticking to the pot.

Cook the curds for around 10 mins until it looks like picture 3.

Step 7: Straining the Curds

To strain the curds, set up your large bowl, with your cheese cloth/muslin over it.

Pour the curds and whey into the bowl. The liquid whey will pass throught the cloth and the solid cheese curds will remain in the cloth.

KEEP the whey for later on. Also keep the pot handy.

Step 8: Cheese Press (optional)

If you own a cheese press, you can use it now.

Place your curds, still in your cheese cloth, inside the mould and insert into your press.

Press for 10 mins.

Alternativley, I made a quick homemade press with the water bottle used earlier, and a mould that came with a cheese making kit.

Step 9: Chop and Salt

Now you have your curds, either pressed or not, give them a rough chop (if pressed) and salt the curds.

Step 10: Prepare to Stretch Curds

Pour your whey from the large bowl, back into your pot on a high heat. Rinse out the bowl and fill with cold water. For ease place the cheese cloth back into the bowl to catch the curds wen they are stretched.

Place a medium sized curd onto your spoon and lower it into the hot whey. Leave the curd to heat up to the temperature at which it will stretch. This is around 160-165°F.

When the curd streches, you know the whey is at the correct temperature for the rest.

Step 11: Stretching Your Curds

Add all of the curds into the whey to heat up. Leave them for a few minutes.
You might want to place your cheesecloth back into the whey to catch all the curds again.

When the curds are hot enough, gather them with your spoon then shape them by hand.

The curds will be very hot. Most internet sites recommend wearing rubber gloves to keep yur hands cool. I recommend it as well.

I formed my mozzarella balls by kneading the curds in my hand until it started to look smooth. If the curds ever feel more resilient, place them back into the whey to heat them. When you are happy with the smoothness of the mozzarella and it is in an authentic ball form, place them into your bowl of cold water to set the shape.

Step 12: Finished Mozzarella

You have now just made your very own Mozzarella.

I don't know how long the cheese will last in the fridge as I always use it straight away.

Mozzarella is best stored in slightly salted water, in an airtight container in the fridge.


Step 13: How to Make Absolutely Everything!

Just received this through the post this afternoon, thought I'd share it with all of you people who made it happen. For anyone purchasing the book, this instructable's on page 24



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    126 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I am using fresh, unpasturized milk. To one gallon I used 1/4 tsp of liquid vegetable rennet and 1 and 1/2 tsp, of citric acid. After I added the rennet, it amost immediately turned into a cheese ball, never giving me the chance to cut the cheese curd. I waited the 5 min...the whey was milky also. What am I doing wrong?

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    The whey should not be milky. If it is, sounds like you are not getting a clean break. If you didn't put the wrong amount of rennet, you either need to look for another milk supplier or maybe you didn't get the milk to the right temp. If you need more help, visit my website.


    3 years ago



    3 years ago

    You should enter this in a contest. It's great!


    Reply 4 years ago

    Yes, but in some places it is hard to come by due to health concerns. I always have to plan a road trip to Philly for cheese steaks (Phillips on Passyunk!) & milk at the Terminal Market.

    The only real concern with milk is that you don't want it UHP. That's ultra high pasteurized. The high temps ruin the caseins I believe.

    On a personal note: I won't drink raw milk, but the heat of cheese processing should be enough to render it safe for eating.


    5 years ago

    Great instructable! I use the microwave to knit the curds, but really haven't been happy. To the poster that has hard curds, try reducing or eliminating the calcium chloride. Though it ups your amount of cheese it has a side effect of making curds really hard. Generally I've read, it's used mostly in hard cheeses because of this effect - a little goes a long way. Also an interesting source for citric acid - Indian spice shops or stores that cater to that ethnic type. I used to buy from my local brew supply warehouse, but can find 4oz packages for a couple of dollars!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I am having exactly the same problem, as ustky, I am using fresh milk straight from the cow. I have tried with cream and without cream ( skimmed off the top) What am I doing wrong? My cheese is hard and dry, even when still warm.

    "Each time the curd just broke apart. These curds were very hard, just like paneer. At 195 I just dumped everything into the whey and let it sit for two minutes. I tried to mold using rubber gloves, but everything just crumbled apart, dry and not at all elastic.""


    6 years ago on Introduction

    The one ball came Before I drained curds the first time, Just before you chop them up and salt them. It looked way different than yours so wanted to make sure I didnt over cook it or something lame like that. as they were definitely not curds it was a glob. lol Batch I tried today went Exactly like you said though so it was Amazing! Then I went on to make Ricotta with left over whey. My husband thought I was crazy wanting to do this now he sits back and reaps the rewards. lol

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Strange... I'm glad it worked out the second time round! Everyone always is a bit apprehensive about cheese making at first, then they taste it and fall in love with this excellent skill. Keep up the good work :)


    6 years ago on Step 11

    Can you knead them to much at this point? or just keep working it and heating it till it comes out all smooth and stretchy without tearing?

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm not sure if you can over-knead mozzarella... With bread it activates the gluten or something like that but I don't think that there is anything similar in cheese... Not sure so don't take this as gospel.


    6 years ago on Step 6

    I cooked them for 10 minutes but should I lessen that time before it all starts to become one mass? when the 10 minutes was up it saw all connected and one ball. I am also using milk straight from the cow so dont know if that makes a difference or not.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You should be aiming for one ball ideally so just heat until it does form one mass, the time may vary. Lucky you getting the milk fresh like that! Hope you remembered to pasteurise!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! I never realized that looking at Instructables for 'how to make mozzarella' would be such a history lesson. I suppose it's a good thing the immigration laws were lenient and America opened her doors all those years ago. Now nearly every country can somehow lay claim to wonderful items we couldn't live without now.


    7 years ago on Step 12

    Hi thomas9666. I was very excited to find this. I live in Taiwan and it is near impossible to find fresh mozzarella here, especially where I live. I tried it tonight for the first time, but I failed. Everything was to the letter and looked perfect up through pressing the curds. But then I could not get them to stretch. I dropped in my test curd when the whey hit 150 degrees, then checked it at 160, 165, 170, 175, etc. up until nearly boiling. Each time the curd just broke apart. These curds were very hard, just like paneer. At 195 I just dumped everything into the whey and let it sit for two minutes. I tried to mold using rubber gloves, but everything just crumbled apart, dry and not at all elastic. After a while I gave up, repressed the curds and intend to maybe use it like paneer. But, I want mozzarella. Do you have any suggestions about what I did wrong? I used 2 liters of whole milk, 1/2 tsp citric acid, liquid rennet and spring water. I will try again anyway, but would love any suggestions.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 12

    I think the reason for your problem could be in the milk that you are using. pasteurized (low heat) is best for making cheese at home. UHT ( ultra high Temperature sterilisation, or long life milk) is nigh on impossible to make mozzerella with. Besides all the goodness has been removed from it. UHT is the only kind of 'fresh milk' you get in most asian supermarkets, unless you source straight from the farm your best sticking to making paneer. Hope this helps.

    Noodles likely were invented in China. About the "pasta making equipment including a guitar like device were found in Italy and carbon dated back to about 2,000 years ago," Marco Polo and his uncles brought a bunch of that kind of stuff back with them over their China trade route. Carbon dates time, not place. (I love the banter on this site!)

    Not to interrupt the country of origin war that's going on but........I have a cheese question.....the directions say press is optional so, what are the benefits of using it, as I do not own one? Thanks.