The "Griddle" System
This is but one of many methods you can use for heating milk and controlling temperature. We've pretty much tried them all, and now use this "griddle" system for all of our cheesemaking. Whether you use our products or not it's an economical and effective system you may want to consider.
1. Kitchen sink or tub:
For pre-heating milk to starting temperature (and of course, clean-up).
3. Electric griddle:
You will need to have a griddle with a surface large enough to accommodate your pan, While you can set the pan directly on the griddle surface we recommend using a glass-reinforced silicone pad to prevent direct contact. If you're using a supplemental digital heat controller, pretty much any standard griddle with a manual control (dial) thermostat and plug can be used.
A supplemental temperature controller will reduce the manual supervision required to maintain target temperature while preventing overheating. We designed our LPTC temperature controller with a counter-top base with milk-heating in mind.
Note: All equipment that comes in contact with the milk must be clean and sanitized. We like to store all cleaned equipment in our table pan with the lid on; when ready to make cheese we add a quart or so of water and steam sterilize. You can use the left-over hot water to add to the pre-heat water in the sink.
There's not much to say here except it always pays to pay close attention when heating and cooking curds, especially if you're not using a digital controller. If you're using a griddle you will want to set the griddle dial controller according to how fast you want the temperature to ramp. There are some tips in the sidebar that will help you to find what the right settings are (assuming you're using a heat distribution tile) and pre-testing the system.
And very important: You want to suspend any direct heating during curd formation because the heat will not distribute uniformly. The easiest way to insure this is to unplug the controller or griddle until after the curds are cut.