Monterey Jack Cheese Recipe – How To Make At Home

Monterey Jack is an American semi-hard cheese made using cow’s milk. You may also find other ‘Jack’ varieties including Pepper Jack and Colby Jack.

To get a softer Jack the cheese is aged for 1 month while some can be aged up to 6 months but this will result in a firmer, crumblier cheese.

Monterey Jack Cheese Recipe - How To Make At Home

Monterey Jack Cheese Make Time

Make Time – about 6 hours

Pressing Time – 12 hours

Aging – 1-6 months

Monterey Jack Cheese Ingredients

  • 10 litres of Raw, Whole Milk
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Mesophilic Starter
  • Rennet diluted in 50mls boiled and cooled water – amount according to makers instructions
  • 15 grams Kosher or Canning Salt
  • Optional – finely diced garden Herbs, Horseradish or Chilies

How to Make At Monterey Jack Cheese

  1. Pour Milk into stockpot and heat to 32 degrees Celsius.
  2. Add starter culture and stir thoroughly to combine.
  3. Leave milk to ripen for 45 minutes.
  4. Stir 15 grams of salt into the diluted Rennet.
  5. Pour the salty Rennet into the milk and stir for 1 minute.
  6. Leave the milk to set for 1 hour or until the curd has set with a clean break.
  7. Cut the curd in 1 cm cubes and then let the curds rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Heat to 38 degrees Celsius over 30 minutes. This means increasing the temperature no more than 1 degree every 5 minutes.
  9. Stir frequently during this time to stop the curds matting together.
  10. Once you have reached 38 degrees Celsius maintain this temperature for another 30 minutes, again stirring frequently to prevent matting.
  11. Let the curds rest for 5 minutes.
  12. Pour off the whey so that the curds are only just showing at the bottom of the pot.
  13. Leave the curds to set for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to prevent matting.
  14. Pour the curds into a cheesecloth line colander to drain remaining whey.
  15. Add 15 grams of salt and herbs if using and mix by hand.
  16. Pour curds into mold and press at 5kg for 20 minutes.
  17. Remove, turn and redress and press at 10kg for 20 minutes.
  18. Remove, turn and redress and press at 15kg for 12 hours.
  19. Remove the cheese and wash with brine solution.
  20. Air dry at room temperature on cheese mats (cover with fly net) for 3 days.
  21. Wax or vacuum pack when cheese is dry to the touch and the rind has turned a darker yellow.

Storing Monterey Jack Cheese

Store in cool area or cheese fridge and age for 1-6 months, turning the cheese every few days in the first month and once a week for remaining months. The longer you store monterey jack for the firmer and crumblier it will become.


Do you have any questions or comments about Monterey Jack? Join the discussion over at the Curd Nerd Forum. We would love to hear from you! We hope you enjoy our monterey jack cheese recipe as much as we do.


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