I mentioned on my personal Facebook page that I had a life-changing experience when I learned how to make my own Instant Pot Cottage Cheese last night. You see, I am kind of a no-frills kind of cook, but I love to make my own dairy products from scratch. We have a family milk cow and I am always looking for new ways to utilize the milk.
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We eat a lot of cottage cheese at our house. As you know cottage cheese is not cheap. If you are a Trim Healthy Mama, you also know that many recipes call for cottage cheese. My husband and children love to put cottage cheese on their baked potatoes or eat it with canned peaches. I was always frustrated that I was buying cottage cheese when we are throwing away perfectly good milk from our cow because we can’t use it all.
If you have a dairy cow, one of the best investments you can buy is an Instant Pot. Not only can you make yogurt, but you can also make Instant Pot cottage cheese, you can pasteurize your milk if you like. There are many other uses for Instant Pot on the homestead too such as hard-boiling easy to peel eggs, making roasts, soups, whole chickens. I use my Instant Pot multiple times a day on the homestead.
In the past, I have tried to make cottage cheese on the stovetop with little success. It was time-consuming and complicated. The cottage cheese always turned out rubbery. However, I recently thought, “I wonder if I could make it in my Instant Pot” And sure enough, you can! And it is so simple!
Homeschool Cottage Cheese Project
Today, I am going to share a simple way to make cottage cheese in your Instant Pot. I am pretty sure I will never buy it at the store again, except when the cow is dry. This is definitely a good homeschool project to do with your children. The chemical reaction that happens is sure to amaze your children. It is so easy to make that you can teach your children how to do it independently.
Instant Pot Cottage Cheese Directions
You can use store-bought milk or farm-fresh milk for this recipe. If you are using raw, farm-fresh milk, simply skim the cream from the milk and set aside. Pour 1 gallon of milk in your Instant Pot. Press the Yogurt button. Then press Adjust. “boil” will appear on the screen (honestly after owning an IP for over 2 years, I did not know this function existed)
You can either place the IP lid or a glass lid on the Instant Pot. I used a glass lid from a large stockpot. The Instant Pot will not pressurize during this process. It is also a good idea to stir the milk a few times during the boiling process so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. I found that using a glass lid was easier to remove than the Instant Pot Lid.
The Instant Pot will beep when the milk has reached the correct temperature. It will take around 30-45 minutes. Stirring the milk occasionally will make this process go faster. The temperature will be around 180 degrees. You can test it if you want with a kitchen thermometer, but it is not necessary. Turn off the Instant Pot.
The Exciting Separation
Gather the children around because this is the cool part. SLOWLY, add 2/3 cup of vinegar or lemon juice to the warmed milk. The milk will immediately start to separate. The curds and whey form right before your eyes. Continue to stir, so the vinegar is well mixed with the milk. It will be difficult to stir due to the curd forming.
Replace cover and set a timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, it is time to drain the whey from the curd. I used my trusty 1970s Tupperware yellow strainer, but I have seen recipes that use cheesecloth. I do not like to use cheesecloth unless absolutely necessary because it is messy. The curd is not small enough to fit through a regular kitchen strainer so it worked fine.
There will be a lot of whey, like 3 quarts and 1 quart of cottage cheese. Rinse the curd in cold water to remove the vinegar.
Salt the curd to taste. It will probably take more salt than you think. I used 1 tsp and it could have been saltier. Add 2 Tbsp or more of cream or milk to prevent the curd from drying out and give it a creamier consistency.
The consistency isn’t exactly the same as store-bought cottage cheese. It will be chewier, but the taste is delicious.
Instant Pot Cottage Cheese
- Pressure cooker
- kitchen thermometer (optional)
- 1 gallon milk farm-fresh or whole works best
- 2/3 cup vinegar or lemon juice
- Pour 1 gallon of milk into Instant Pot
- Press Yogurt Button, Press the "adjust" button until the display reads "boil"
- Place IP lid or glass lid on Instant Pot
- Stir occasionally (optional)
- When the IP beeps (about 45 minutes), turn off IP
- Slowly add 2/3 cup vinegar
- stir until vinegar is distributed throughout the milk
- Set time for 15 minutes, replace the lid, let curd and whey rest
- Pour curd and whey through the strainer
- Rinse curd under cold water
- Salt curd and Add 2 TBSP of cream or milk
- Enjoy and store leftovers in the refrigerator
more Homemade dairy products
Are you looking for more ways to use farm-fresh milk or do you desire to make your own dairy products? It is really easy and rewarding.
Here are 3 ways to use your farm-fresh milk
Would you like to read more about owning a family milk cow?
One question is deciding if owning a milk cow is worth the commitment. This article will help you decide if a milk cow is right for your homestead.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and give making your own Instant Pot Cottage Cheese a try. You will not be disappointed with the simplicity, frugalness, and taste of your finished product. Please let me know your cottage cheese making experience in the comments.