What can I reuse or recycle to make cheesemaking moulds?

Apologies for not posting yesterday – I was away on an “introduction to cheesemaking” course over the weekend and too tired to type yesterday ;)

I’ve been making super-easy cheeses like paneer for a few years now but before I committed to anything that needed months of effort/ageing, I wanted to learn some core skills from someone who knows what they’re doing. The course, through the Low Impact Living Initiative, was great for that and very very interesting – so now I have a burning desire to make all sorts of cheeses – and that requires moulds.

We saw a selection of stainless steel moulds and (food-grade) plastic ones – and someone else on the course mentioned they’d heard about moulds made from drainpipes. The course leader didn’t exactly advocate that but said that in theory, it would be fine — just drill holes in the rigid sides, making sure the outside of the hole was wider than the inside, and that there was no jagged bits of plastic left on the inside or outside of the holes.

So that got me thinking: what else could cheese moulds be made from? Any food-grade plastic packaging perfect for reusing? Or do any other household/kitchen utensils lend themselves to being used as cheese moulds – either as they are or with a bit of modification? Because it’s just for my consumption, I’m not bothered about them being pretty round cheeses.

If you make your own cheese, what do you use?

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7 Responses to “What can I reuse or recycle to make cheesemaking moulds?”

  1. Dani says:

    I don’t make firm cheese (only ricotta) but how about yoghurt or cream tubs? (cream tubs could give you individual servings?)

    Alternatively, how about cool drink (coke) or milk bottles?

    • louisa says:

      From seeing purpose built moulds, I think they have to be a little more rigid than most drinks bottles but I like the thinking – perhaps I should ask friends for fresh soup or pasta sauce containers – the ones in the fresh food section tend to use pretty sturdy plastic…

  2. Alexis says:

    I’ve read about – and seen pics & suppliers of teracotta moulds so I wonder if a (seriously scrubbed) flower pot might not also work?

  3. Cipollina says:

    I hear wood – particularily the heartwood of pine – is best in all kinds of cooking/foodmaking, because it inhibits the growth of bacteria. So, I’d look for scraps of (preferably) pine to make my mould.

  4. Dani says:


    I would just be careful with wood – if it’s new scraps it must have been kiln dried and if it’s old, do you know what it has been treated with in the past.


  5. Annette says:

    I am making a larger size wheel of cheese and the only molds that were available were commercial ones. Needless to say they all have a large price tag. So…..I opted for a one gallon ice cream bucket.

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