First cheddar in MES/Big Kahuna (BK)

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by stephenh, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. stephenh

    stephenh Fire Starter

    Saturday, the weather finally cooperated, giving us a couple of days where the high was forecast to stay in the 70's (F). Since it had been in the high 90's or 100's, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to finally try smoking some cheese. For this project, I had purchased two 8 oz blocks of Cabot New York State Extra-Sharp Cheddar.

    My equipment is the MES, which is not a good one for cold-smoking. I purchased a Smoke Daddy BK smoke generator, and got it mounted and tested. This would be my first attempt at cold-smoking though. Thanks to other posts, I got some helpful tips, such as putting ice beneath the cheese.

    Before Smoking.

    After smoking, packaged for aging.

    As you can see, one side is darker. That was the top. I should probably have flipped them over 1/2 way through smoking.

    I had mounted a remote thermometer to the shelf above the cheese to monitor internal temperature. I also noticed that the smoke seemed to be settling down at the bottom of the smoker and exiting though the drain pipe, so I placed a muffin fan on top partially covering the vent. This was to help draw the smoke though the cabinet. It seemed to work quite well. I am curious as to what other solutions people have used to get good smoke circulation.

    I also kept track of time and temperature. The ice definitely made a difference. If it were a hot day, I would probably be able to smoke cheese just by using more ice inside the cabinet but not above the cheese so condensation would not drip on it. I tried to post a table with times and temperatures, but apparently, the forum does not like that. I started with apple chips in the Big Kahuna (BK) smoke generator at 9:00 a.m. When the ambient temperature was 76 degrees F. The internal temperature started at 77 degrees, and decreased while smoking so that when I finished at 11:30, the internal temperature was 73 degrees. I did drain the melted ice and added more after the first hour, and then added cherry chips to the BK at the 2 hour point.
  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The pics are small and kind of hard to see but from what I could see it looks great - you will love smoke cheese  for sure congrats on a success
  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Soumds like the ice was cooling the smoke enough and adding enough humidity to make it settle instead of rise. looks like it all worked out .
  4. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    Good job -- we haven't done any more since our first time.

    This weekend, we opened up the other two blocks of cheese that we had smoked just before you visited with us.  It definitely had benefited from aging for two weeks. 
  5. stephenh

    stephenh Fire Starter

    I was having  a few problems getting this message posted.  I have the pictures in my photo gallery at 640x480, which is larger than the thumbnails that got attached.


    Thanks Dale,

    We have been enjoying the ones you sent home with us.  I had to try it after seeing (and tasting) yours.
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now the cheese looks great the pictures are alittle small but they do look good. I have to try that one day soon. Now you have to let it sleep in the frig for two weeks right????
  7. stephenh

    stephenh Fire Starter

    That's what I have read in the forum.
  8. tjohnson

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

    Great Job!!!

    Waiting is the hardest part......

  9. stephenh

    stephenh Fire Starter

    True, but we're just about halfway there now.  I've had some other projects to keep me busy and my mind off of dwelling on it. :)
  10. stephenh

    stephenh Fire Starter

    The two-week mark finally arrived so the first of the two blocks was opened and tasted.  Delicious.  My brother-in-law said that I should go into the artisan smoked cheese business. I was flattered, but don't think I will do that.  I will enjoy the smoked cheddar (and other varieties that I will smoke in the future).
  11. stephenh

    stephenh Fire Starter

    I had the opportunity and the weather cooperated for me to smoke another batch of cheese.  This time, I tried some different varieties.


    Starting from top left:

    2 blocks of NYS Extra Sharp Cheddar

    Below them is 1 block of Australian Cheddar (1 year old)

    Top right has two blocks of regular Gouda

    Below them (round) is a goat cheese, Degas, made locally and purchased at the local farmer's market

    Bottom right is a goat Gouda.


    This is the end result.  I did turn them several times during the smoking process so that they would come out more evenly colored than my first attempt.  They were smoked with hickory chips for about 6 hours (not timed exactly). with ice in the water pan.  The ice kept the inside of the smoker cooler than the ambient temperature.  Again, I used a fan to help ensure that the smoke was circulating through the box and not just accumulating at the bottom.


    Here they are packaged for aging.  Now for the hard part, resisting the temptation to cut into one of them before two weeks are up.
  12. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    How did the chipolte turn out?  Pictures please:-}}
  13. stephenh

    stephenh Fire Starter

    I'll post pictures as a reply on your Chipotle thread.  They turned out nicely, but I have not tried them yet.  Things got busy.

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