Box it up - who needs a smoker!

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by malisaw, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Decided to just use the AMNS and a cardboard box to smoke my cheese rather than drag the smoker to the back deck. (Mr. Smokey lives in the dungeon)....

    1st go at this so smoking mozzarella, mild chedder, extra sharp chedder and swiss.


    Loaded up AMNS w/half load of hickory and lit both ends

    Cheese is just on an oven rack


    Add a box and let the magic begin...


    2½ hours in and pulling all but the extra sharp chedder


    4 hours and time to pull the extra sharp


    Man - I wanna bite in to that right now...but from what I've read on here...if I do I'll never smoke cheese again!!!

    Vacuum sealed and waiting...for weeks!  Smoking cheese is masochistic!!  Hoping payout will be well worth the torture of waiting.


    Extra sharp on left, then mozzarella, swiss and mild chedder. 

    To make all this worse -> I'm lactose intolerant! (and right now..I don't care)!
  2. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Now is when you plan a years load of cheese so you don't run out. I am using 2/2010 "well aged" and stocking 1/2011 right now.
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK - I am really impressed.

    To make all this worse -> I'm lactose intolerant! (and right now..I don't care)!

    I am also impressed with the cardboard. Todd has done this several times and I need to give this a try
  4. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    I just did some a few days ago...i'm still in the waiting stage too. I'm pretty sure you can get started on the mozzarella now!
  5. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    Great looking cheese.. And i love the box smoker [​IMG]
  6. Malisaw, Now that's some good looking cheese!  I am a cheese fanatic, I think everything is better with a good cheese on it.  I was wondering just how I might smoke some cheese because although I eat some smoked cheese, and love it, I had not decided to try and smoke some of my own till recently, more so now that I have seen your....your......your......your BOX !!!!  I am now convinced that I can do this without too much trouble.  All I need now is to find out how long each type of cheese must be kept in order to be good and ready to eat.  It appears, that they are different times for each type of cheese as far as the aging goes.  Thanks for the nice Q-View and just hold on a little while longer and then it will be  MM MM GOOD!

    Your SMF Friend,

    Barry  [​IMG]
  7. Thanks for the nice comments everyone.  Barry - I'm afraid I can offer little in the way of advice as this is my first go!!  That being said - I did a little reading on this forum before diving in.  I'd say the key element is the AMNS -

    With that neat little thing you can "cold smoke".  I have used it twice for bacon - and this time for cheese.  Next up (I think) is pastrami!

    My understanding from what I've read is to vacuum seal it and wait for at least 2 weeks.  Some here have said that Mozzarella can be eaten much earlier (same day?) -- I'm inclined to wait the full 2+ weeks as I don't want this to be a negative experience at all.

    The AMNS is what allows you to "cold smoke", unless you have another method.  It's a sweet little contraption that is probably manufactured for a couple of a bucks...but it's a quality item - good quality steel and made right here in the U.S.  Regardless of what it costs him to manufacture --> his price point is right on and I'd advise anyone to make the investment if you're interested in cold smoking (and no... whoever he is doesn't give me kickbacks)!  Hmm.. why not?  HEY, DUDE!!!  If Barry orders your cold smoker toss me some cheese!!

    Seriously - It's a sweet little contraption and well worth the bucks to buy it in my opinion.  Bacon pays for itself...cheese -> it's a bonus!  I'm gathering I can cold smoke then vacuum seal this cheese for well over a year (in the fridge) with no worries.  I can promise mine won't last that long.

    Now let's get down to it...  Open up a new thread - ask specific questions you have -> the folks on here seem to be great and are all about helping.  Toss your questions out there and let them experts stomp all over it awhile.  Good group of folks here that just enjoy the smoke!
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I didn't see any vent in the box. I can see you would get air flow from the bottom thru the deck. Was there a hole for a top vent?
  9. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Smoking some cheese is on the short list.

  10. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    Not sure SmokinAl but looks like there is holes punched in top of the box...
  11. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Great Looking Cheese My Friend!!

    The wait sucks, but worth it!

    I stagger my cheese smokes, so we always have some in the fridge.

    I bought a 3-pack of cooling racks fro Walmart for $9 for smoking cheese.

    Temps are pretty cool outside right now, but you may want to place a foil tent over the AMNS for future smokes.  IT does (2) things, keeps the drippings off the sawdust and also deflects the heat from going straight up.

    Great Job!

  12. Hi Al,

    There are actually 13 holes visible in the picture of the box - but unless you know they are there you don't really notice them.  I just made 3-4 holes on each side around the bottom of the box - around pencil sized...and 10 (smaller than pencil size) holes in the top.  Either I peformed several weeks of tests in a wind tunnel to determine the optimal hole sized and angle given the prevailing wind direction and speed....or I randomly jabbed my car key in to the box until I got tired and decided to play with the roll of packing tape..can't recall which!
  13. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yea a cardboard box works great for cold smoking cheese. I tried to get my father in law into smoking because he likes it so much but he doesn't want to spend the money or go through the work. I showed him some posts on the AMNS and the cardboard box but he just isn't into doing the work. He would rather I smoke it and he eats it.
  14. jmk3921

    jmk3921 Smoke Blower

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  15. jmk3921

    jmk3921 Smoke Blower

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  16. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    He sure likes to eat it but he doesn't get to very often. I try to get him to come and help me out with the smoker and meat prep but he doesn't very often. He will some times come out and have a few beers around the smoker but for the most part he doesn't want anything to do with the smoker. Not sure why as he loves the food. Probably because my wife and her brothers kind of rag on him for not being able to grill or cook much of anything. My wife never liked grilled food until she met me. I guess that's what years of eating burnt hockey pucks will do to you.
  17. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You gotta just love that box contraption....that's American ingenuity at it's best. The cheese looks awesome. I have to get me one of those AMNS's. I have some big restaurant stove racks in the garage I've been saving for I didn't know I'm glad I did. Smoked cheese now on the ever growing list...
  18. Thanks for the kind replies all... 

    The results are in!

    Only had Hickory - rather strong wood for cheese but I was impatient and wanted to just go for it....

    I'd have to say the Extra sharp NY Cheddar is the winner - but starting with a 1st place winning Adams Reserve cheese probably gave it an unfair advantage!!  (btw - Food Lion, at least in GA, has this cheese on sale currently for $2.99/lb --> amazing price for such a fantastic cheese).  There is nothing I'd change about this - and after just a single bite of this I stopped off on the way home from work and bought 8 lbs.

    The Mozzarella - a not too distant runner up.  Very impressed - and it started life as a cheap store brand.  I seriously doubt I'd bother trying this with any other type of wood - it's seriously good with Hickory!

    Swiss - expected much more out of this.  I doubt I'll do Swiss again with Hickory - *might* try it with a milder wood.

    Mild Cheddar - boo hiss...  wouldn't do this again with any type of wood.  I'll eat it, but I'm probably the only one that would.
  19. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the update on the cheese results....looks like my first run will be a sharp cheddar and a motz.....and I read on another post brie was excellent as well
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thank You for that report!

    I'll have to try that Extra Sharp NY Cheddar---Mozzarella always wins in my cheese tasting parties, and I only use the cheapest too.


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