Cold smoked cheese!


 

Tim O

TVWBB Fan
Welp, trying my hand at cold smoked cheese…sharp cheddar, habanero cheddar, and Gouda…cherrywood pellets in the smoker tube…let’s go! Follow the cook on Twitter @smokeboiz - also, going to smoke a whole bottle of bourbon later (not sure how) but I’ll keep you all posted! 7B9FB515-8CBF-4A30-A11A-74BA41D54FFE.png
 

JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
That cheese looks very familiar. Costco, huh? If I might suggest, next time take the rind off the Gouda first. I also like to cut the large blocks into smaller pieces so there's more surface area for the smoke to penetrate.

The smoked Gouda is one of my favorites. Had some just the other day in fact. I love that sharp cheddar too, though I don't find it takes smoke very well. Tastes okay, just doesn't pick up much smoke flavor. I've been using the medium yellow cheddar instead for smoking. They have some Jarlsberg on sale right now. I was tempted to try smoking some of that.

Good luck with the habanero cheddar. I bought a block of that once. It's what I call "dare" food, as in, "I dare you to eat that." I don't mind a bit of heat in my cheese but that stuff is like lighting your tongue on fire. The only use I've found for it is grating for use with nachos, and then only when mixed sparingly with other less potent cheeses.
 

Mark Foreman

TVWBB Pro
Looks good. I would recommend Turing it over at some point with it sitting on that plastic tray To get even smoke.
 

Mark Foreman

TVWBB Pro
I would lightly smoke for 2 to 3 hours. It’s really easy to over smoke. Once smoked, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 7 days to allow smoke to permeate the cheese and mellow the taste.
Once I am ready to eat it, I cut off the outer edges that were colored by the smoke. You do not need to do this but i have found the edges to be too smokey for my liking.
 

G Mouser

TVWBB Fan
Smoked Swiss and smoked Pepper jack are my favorites. I also cut them down to smaller blocks to get more smoke on the cheese
 

BrianCal

TVWBB Pro
Agreeing 100% with @Mark Foreman on two things, definitely flip it to get a more balanced smoke layer, and also to let it rest for at least a week or two. I usually do a bunch all at once, so I have a stash for a long time. I use a vaccum sealer, and never touch the cheese without latex gloves so as to not get any bacteria from my hands onto the cheese before I seal it.


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JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
I use a vaccum sealer, and never touch the cheese without latex gloves so as to not get any bacteria from my hands onto the cheese before I seal it.
Minor point, but latex gloves are not sterile. While they do keep the bacteria on your hands from getting on the cheese, whatever was on the surface of the gloves is still going to be there. You also most likely touch the exterior of the gloves while putting them on, largely defeating your stated purpose. You'd do better bacteria-wise to wash your hands with warm water and soap, then maybe use hand sanitizer.

I like your variety of cheeses. When it cools off again I'm going to have to smoke a lot more cheese. I did some a couple months ago but it was too warm and the cheese was starting to get soft before it was really ready to come off. Still came out okay.
 

Seth Boardman

TVWBB Fan
I don't smoke mine for any longer than an hour. Cheese is one of those things where I like to taste mostly the cheese with just a subtle smoke flavor. I find that anything over that long makes the smoke taste too much and it overpowers the cheese. But that is just my personal preference.
 

BrianCal

TVWBB Pro
I don't smoke mine for any longer than an hour. Cheese is one of those things where I like to taste mostly the cheese with just a subtle smoke flavor. I find that anything over that long makes the smoke taste too much and it overpowers the cheese. But that is just my personal preference.
I vary it by type of cheese, specifically the hardness. Softer cheeses, like goat cheese or fontina, get an hour. Other, harder cheeses, like cheddar, get 1.5-2 hours. And the sealing and resting afterwards makes a huge difference in the too smoky issue. That bitter ash taste is usually from eating it right away
 

Seth Boardman

TVWBB Fan
I vary it by type of cheese, specifically the hardness. Softer cheeses, like goat cheese or fontina, get an hour. Other, harder cheeses, like cheddar, get 1.5-2 hours. And the sealing and resting afterwards makes a huge difference in the too smoky issue. That bitter ash taste is usually from eating it right away
I vacuum seal them after I smoke them and let them sit in the fridge for a month before I eat them
 
I've been doing smoke cheeses on my RT700 pellet grill. I was running it on lo, but I've taken to just burning a smoke tube like the OP. I have a side smoke box, so I put the smoke tube in the opposite side of the main chamber and the cheese goes in the smoke box. I have to either wait until night or put something over the smoker to shade it from the sun. The sun will heat the chamber and the cheese will melt.

Also, I use those grill mats that keep the cheese from sagging between the grate bars, yet let smoke circulate under.

I've tried different woods, but have settled on cherry wood pellets from Lumberjack. I like my Tillamook Medium Cheddar (Costco) cut into about 1 3/8" blocks. That makes 5 blocks from the big Costco Tillamook block.

Going against the grain here, I smoke for a minimum of 6 hours and lately, I did a couple batches at 9 hours. I age them for sometimes months, which mellows the smoke. We love the outer dark rhind. It makes a decadent grilled cheese sandwich.
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JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
Going against the grain here, I smoke for a minimum of 6 hours and lately, I did a couple batches at 9 hours. I age them for sometimes months, which mellows the smoke. We love the outer dark rhind. It makes a decadent grilled cheese sandwich.
I'm leaning in the same direction in regard to smoke time. I like a pronounced smoke flavor. Perhaps it depends on how you consume the cheese. If you eat it with crackers or something else that's strongly flavored the smoke flavor will be diluted, so a stronger smoke flavor won't be overpowering. I've noticed this with my Canadian bacon. I typically eat it on a bagel with cream cheese, so the smoke and salt are blended with the far less flavorful bagel and cream cheese. Today I had an end piece that was inedible on its own but tasted fine with a small piece on the bagel.
 
I'm leaning in the same direction in regard to smoke time. I like a pronounced smoke flavor. Perhaps it depends on how you consume the cheese. If you eat it with crackers or something else that's strongly flavored the smoke flavor will be diluted, so a stronger smoke flavor won't be overpowering. I've noticed this with my Canadian bacon. I typically eat it on a bagel with cream cheese, so the smoke and salt are blended with the far less flavorful bagel and cream cheese. Today I had an end piece that was inedible on its own but tasted fine with a small piece on the bagel.
On occasion, I'll put some of my smoked cheddar out on a charcuturie platter during our neighborhood evening happy hour/doggie play times. It goes fast with adults and 10 year olds. Almost always served with crackers, but I see some just eating my smoked cheddar alone. 9 hours with a smoke tube alone has been producing what I like and what others seem to like.

I've been using cherry wood pellets, but I think I could be convinced to use another wood with sweetness.
 

Seth Boardman

TVWBB Fan
I've been doing smoke cheeses on my RT700 pellet grill. I was running it on lo, but I've taken to just burning a smoke tube like the OP. I have a side smoke box, so I put the smoke tube in the opposite side of the main chamber and the cheese goes in the smoke box. I have to either wait until night or put something over the smoker to shade it from the sun. The sun will heat the chamber and the cheese will melt.

Also, I use those grill mats that keep the cheese from sagging between the grate bars, yet let smoke circulate under.

I've tried different woods, but have settled on cherry wood pellets from Lumberjack. I like my Tillamook Medium Cheddar (Costco) cut into about 1 3/8" blocks. That makes 5 blocks from the big Costco Tillamook block.

Going against the grain here, I smoke for a minimum of 6 hours and lately, I did a couple batches at 9 hours. I age them for sometimes months, which mellows the smoke. We love the outer dark rhind. It makes a decadent grilled cheese sandwich.
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Now i kinda want to try smoking some for this long just to see what happens after a few months.
 

JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
I would add at this point that in my experience, if you don't have a vacuum sealer, don't even bother. The smoked cheese will get moldy and nasty long before the smoke has mellowed. Vacuum packed it will last quite a long time.
 

 

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