Previously I’ve used a double boiler method for heating milk during the cheese-making process. It was hard work maintaining the correct temperature and there was always some drift up or down the scale which is not ideal. Additionally, it does not induce the state of calmness that one needs to maintain during a session.
Although I’ve been making cheese at home since 2009, I cannot honestly say that I’d perfected a method of heating milk during cheese-making and keeping it at a constant temperature during the entire process using a double boiler until now. Well, now I believe I’ve cracked the code. I use a precision cooker!
Precision Cooker is a Useful Tool!
I recently discovered an easy method of heating the milk using my kitchen sink and a precision cooker (aka Sous Vide cooker). I was so excited that I made a video about the entire process. https://youtu.be/uDCTTJjVjyQ
Now, is it perfect? Well, as perfect as it can be for the home cheesemaker without costing the earth. I tend to set the temperature one or two degrees celsius higher than required. This is due to the heat loss from the metal sink and convection lag between the water bath and the milk. It’s not an issue and is easy to account for during the process.
Also, the divider between the two sinks is just narrow enough to screw the precision cooker to without it moving. Our sink only holds my 15 Litre / 4 gallons stockpot with enough water flow to surround it. If I need to make a larger batch of cheese, I would get a bigger pot and use a large plastic tub to hold the water. To aid in water flow underneath, I sit the pot on a trivet.
Originally I purchased an Anova brand precision cooker. It worked okay but emitted a high-pitched whine that was irritating beyond words. It also came across in the audio of my videos, so it was a show stopper for me and I had to stop using it.
However, I then found the Inkbird ISV-200W Wi-Fi Precision Cooker. No noise and about 2 times cheaper than the Anova precision cooker. It has all the same features and works as expected without any fuss. I also control mine via the Android/iOS app that you can download for free.
It can be set to Celcius or Fahrenheit and you can get the Australian/New Zealand ISV-200W version here or the US/Canada ISV-200W version here.
I’ve used mine for about two years now without issues and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take home cheese making to the next level with this set-and-forget heating tool!
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