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An essential tool in the cheese making process. A curd knife is a long, blunt-ended knife that will reach to the bottom of the pot without immersing the handle. Having a curd knife with a long flat blade makes it easy to uniformly cut your curds from top to bottom.
This knife is specialised to carefully cut delicate curd without tearing when making cheese. The long blade makes it very easy to cut right down to the bottom of deep pots and cheese vats.
How to Cut the Curd
Cutting the curd is an essential step in the cheese making process, as it provides more surface area for continued drainage of the whey. Some recipes advise cutting the curds in larger pieces to achieve a moister cheese, while some advise cutting them smaller, to produce a drier cheese. Most recipes will specify the curd size needed for the particular style of cheese being made.
Once gel development is complete and a clean break is achieved, the curd is ready to be cut. The purpose of cutting the gel into equal sized pieces is to control the draining of whey from within the curds. Cutting the gel into curds increases the exposed surface area providing more places for the whey to escape.
Insert the point of the knife into the gel and slice the curd from left to right into the required size slices as indicated in the recipe. Turn the pot 90° and once again cut the curd from left to right creating a grid pattern. This will create long vertical columns of curd in the cheese pot.
You will now make horizontal cuts to create cubes of individual curds. You can use the curd knife to make these cuts by inserting it into the curd mass at a 45° angle and rotating it around the pot. Adjust the angle and rotate again. Continue this until most of the curd has been cut into pieces. They need not be perfect cubes.
Recipes for softer cheeses may advise using a ladle or a spoon to cut slices out of the curd and scoop them straight into a colander for draining. Follow your recipe's instructions on cutting curds, and remember that curds must be handled gently, as they are prone to sticking together (matting) and/or excessive loss of butterfat. Don't overdo it as the curds are very fragile at this point and can shatter, giving up fat and protein to the whey, resulting in lower yields.
Once the curds are cut, the recipe will call for a rest period of usually 5 minutes. During this time the curd will form a thin film on its surface in a process called healing. After this healing step, the curds are ready for further processing.
To clean: Wash with warm, soapy water after use and allow to dry before storing.
Measurements: 10" Stainless Steel Blade (one side sharp, one side dull)
Overall length: 375mm (14.75")
Blade length: 255mm (10")
About Mad Millie
Mad Millie is a young Kiwi company with a passion and love for all things delicious and handcrafted. We also love to share our passion with you by giving you the opportunity to do this yourself at home.
We're famous for our cheese making kits which allow you to make an array of gourmet cheeses such as feta, cheddar, halloumi, mozzarella, Camembert and more, as well as including making butter! Homemade cheese is something we want to prove can be done in your kitchen with your own hands! Plus they make fantastic gifts too.
We don't stop there though. What better way to accompany your gourmet cheese than with homemade sausages, cider, beer, yoghurt and more. Our Fresh Sausage Kit is packed with homemade sausage making recipes, our Boutique Brewery Kits allow you to make refreshing cider or beer to help quench your thirst and we look after you too with kits such as Greek Yoghurt and Kefir that are full of healthy benefits!
The beauty of making things yourself is that you know exactly what goes in it, you can avoid nasty additives and you can make it just how you like it! Don't just take our word for it though we've had others tell us how much they enjoy our kits too.
We've made it easy, quick and provided you with anything specialised, so why don't you give it a try!