Monterey Jack Cheese Making Recipe

This is a generic recipe for making Monterey Jack.

Ingredients – American

  • 1 US gallon/3.8 liters whole Cow’s Milk.
  • Optional: 1/2 cup/150 ml Heavy Cream.
  • Mesophilic Starter Culture of your choice, simple recipe here.
  • Optional: Calcium Chloride if using pasteurized milk, amount depending on type.
  • Rennet diluted in 1/4 cup/50 ml water, amount depending on package directions and your experience with that brand.
  • 0.06 ounces/1.6 gram & 0.5 ounce/15 gram non-iodized Salt.
  • Optional: Finely diced Garden Herbs or Horseradish or Habanero Chili or Jalapeno Chili.


  1. Combine milk, optional cream and diluted calcium chloride in a stockpot or double boiler and heat to 88°F/31°C.
  2. Add a mesophilic starter culture, whisk in thoroughly, allow the milk to ripen for ~45 minutes.
  3. Stir 0.015 ounces/15 gram salt into the diluted rennet.
  4. Increase the temperature of the milk to 90°F/32°C. Stir the salt-rennet solution gently into the milk.
  5. Allow the milk to set, covered, at 90° F/32° C for ~60 minutes or until the milk has set into a firm curd with a clean break.
  6. Using a long bladed stainless steel knife cut the curd into ~1/2 inch/1 cm cubes. Let the curds set for ~10 minutes.
  7. Place the stockpot into a second pot of 100° F/38° C water or in a sink filled with 100° F/38° C water and indirectly heat the curds to 100° F/38° C by increasing the temperature no faster than 2° F/1° C every 5 minutes. This should take ~30 minutes, stir the curds gently but frequently during this cooking period to keep the curd pieces from matting together.
  8. Maintain the curds at 100° F/38° C for an additional ~30 minutes stirring every several minutes to keep the curds from matting.
  9. Do not stir for ~5 minutes to allow curds to settle, then pour off the whey down to the level of the curd.
  10. Allow the curds to set for 30 minutes stirring every ~5 minutes to prevent matting.
  11. Pour the curds and whey into a cheesecloth lined colander and allow remaining whey to drain.
  12. Sprinkle 0.5 ounce/15 gram of salt and optional garden herbs, jalapenos etc over the curd and gently mix by hands.
  13. Press curds in cheesecloth lined mold with 4 lb/2 kg for ~15 minutes.
  14. Remove the cheese from the press and cheesecloth, flip cheese, replace, and press with 8-10 lb/4-5 kg for ~12 hours.
  15. Remove the cheese from the press and cheesecloth, lightly apply brine (0.5 ounce/15 gram salt in 0.5 cup/100 ml of water) wash to outside of cheese.
  16. Place the cheese on a drying mat and air dry for 1-3 days at room temperature turning over twice each day.
  17. Wax cheese when starts to form a yellowish rind and is dry to the touch.
  18. Age waxed cheese ~55° F/13° C for 1-4 months, turn the cheese over daily for the first month and 2-3 times a week thereafter to ensure even ripening.