A question about a recipe: Mozzarella

Why does the FOOD52 team prefer rennet tablets over liquid? Did you test with both? What were the differences? And does very fresh milk make better mozzarella? Also, is there any reason not to use a large Mauviel copper jamming kettle for the hot salty water stretching step? (I'm going to have two or three batches going at once this weekend, in various stages, with a limited number of suitable pots on hand.) Finally, can the hot salty water be reheated and re-used for a second and third batch? Thanks so much. ;o)

Recipe question for: Mozzarella


ChefOno April 16, 2012

Hmmm… Excellent question, just the kind that intrigues me.

Experiment: In a glass vessel, dissolve a relatively large quantity of salt in a small quantity of tap water and bring to a boil. The quantity of salt is not important, we're only testing theory, not attempting to quantify the results. The glass vessel is important to exclude any reaction between the copper and other metals. Drop a (lightly) tarnished penny into the solution and observe.

Results: Within seconds the penny begins to brighten.

Conclusion: Don't cook in copper.
Kristy M. April 16, 2012
Can't you use the copper pot to boil the water and transfer it to a large mixing bowl?
ChefOno April 16, 2012

Don't use the copper pot! Copper is toxic and will leach into your food under certain conditions, especially in the presence of an acid.

Kristy M. April 16, 2012
I did test with both the tablets and the liquid. I didn't see much of a difference between batches, I prefer the tablets because I think they are clean, precise, and easy to store. I'm sure very fresh milk makes a better mozzarella, as all fresh ingredients make for better food.

I don't see any reason you can't use your copper pot to boil salty water. I've actually poured the hot salty water into a large mixing bowl and that has worked perfectly (if you're out of pots). And, yes, you can definitely reuse the hot salty water for more batches of mozzarella.
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