Week 6 Cheese Smoke Inspired by Smoke-inator

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by disco, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I did one cheese smoke just after starting smoking last fall. It was good but I just never got back to it. I saw this post by Smoke-inator http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/143025/2nd-cheese-smoke-with-q-view#post_1003755. It moved my tired old body off the couch to do some cheese. 

    This project will serve two purposes for me. First, I wanted to try dust in my 'A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker (AMNPS). Second, I wanted to see if cheese would be better in the cleaner smoke from the AMNPS over the pucks my Bradley normally uses.

    I picked up two local commercial varieties of old cheddar. I've bought both before but this was an option to do a side by side test and one was definitely better.

    I have no idea how long one channel of the AMNPS will burn for with dust in it so I did two channels with apple dust and will see how long it goes.

    Bearcarver gave me some good advice not to use my propane torch to light it. or it would blow the sawdust out. So I used a butane barbecue lighter. I let it run for a bit longer than the 45 seconds recommended.

    When I blew on it, I didn't blow the dust out but I do have a nice coating of apple sawdust on the inside of my barbecue now. A little practice with soft breath blowing into the channel and I got a nice red cherry.

    I put the cheese in the Bradley with a tray of ice beneath it and the AMNPS on the bottom.

    Here in the Rockies, we had a major rainstorm over the last 2 days with flooding and road wash outs. As a result, it is only about 50 F and wet out so I don't know the ice was necessary. 

    Can it be too cold to smoke? With the ice in and 1/2 hour later the interior temperature of the Bradley is 44 F. Oh, well, there is a nice smoke coming out and we will see how it goes.

    I will post again when I take it out and in 6 weeks for the tasting.

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  2. Looks like you have it going on.The only problem that i cans see. Is their is an empty rack. I always have smoked cheese on hand.

    Happy smoken.

  3. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, David. However, with it just being me and the missus, 4 pounds of cheese will last quite awhile.
  4. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The texture of your cheese will begin to change at 80° internal smoker temperature.  I pull mine and re-smoke later if needed at 75°.   Looks to me that you are doing fine.  Doesn't look like the ice is needed, but keep an eye on the temp, especially if your smoker is insulated, as the AMNPS does put some heat out.

  5. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Tom. Your advice was sage. I don't know smoking but I have found with my cooking experience that cheese left out over 60 F for hours has a change in texture. Not huge but there. As the AMNPS ran and as the day warmed to a whopping 55 F the temperature in the Bradley threatened to go over 60 so I put the second tray of ice in and it is down to 53 F. Just about an hour left of the 3 hours I am trying.

    Thanks again.
  6. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Disco,  That's the reason I was concerned about the humidity in the smoker.  I generally smoke my cheese to a desired color rather than time using a heavy white smoke.  The AMNPS will do the job, but can produce other problems by taking longer.  As always though, it depends on your taste.

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice start Disco!!!

    When I told you to use a weak Butane torch, I forgot to mention watch out you don't blow too hard on the dust also.

    It's funny, because I had an AMNS a couple years before I got an AMNPS, and I never blew too hard on my AMNS until I got used to having to blow so hard on the pellets. Big Difference!!!

  8. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your method is what I did with the first cheese I did. The pucks the Bradley uses put out a lot of smoke and in one hour the cheese had a nice colour and a full smokey taste but there was a strong overtone that seems to come with the strong smoke. It will be interesting to compare with the 3 hours over the AMNPS. I just wish I didn't have to wait 6 weeks to find out!

  9. big dee

    big dee Smoke Blower


    Looks to me like you have it going pretty good. I normally smoke my cheese at the lower temps. Less than 60 for around 3 - 4 hours.

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I never waited longer than 2 weeks.

    Where did the 6 weeks come from.

    It must have started while was AWOL, because I never even heard of anyone waiting longer than 2 weeks.

  11. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is first time with that method. Thanks for the confirmation that is a proven method.
    I am here to learn but I have bookmarked a couple of posts that say 2 weeks is a minimum and some say 4 to 6 is better (Scarebelly, KathrynN) so I thought to go for the best. However, if 2 weeks is the norm, I will try a a taste test. Thanks Bear.

  12. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is the cheese out of the smoker after 3 hours. I was able to keep the smoker temperature between 50 F and 60 F.

    I did learn that one channel of the AMPS with apple dust in my smoker goes for 3 hours.

    Further to earlier posts in this thread, I will try some at 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 6 weeks and will post my comparisons.

  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's the best way to find out----Do your own test & decide..

    I've been here for 4 years, and this is the first I can remember anyone actually waiting 6 weeks.

    In don't remember Gary "Scarbelly" recommending that, but I might have missed it.

    Everybody I knew went 2 weeks, but 6 weeks might be better, but then again 10 weeks might be better than 6 weeks.

    I guess it depends on how much of a glutton for punishment you are.

  14. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looks good Disco,  I suggested in another thread today that he wrap the cheese and put some in the refrigerator and keep some close to, but not to exceed 70°.  You will see the difference in how it mellows. 

    As for time, the longer it rest the better it will become.  You should be able to keep it at 70° or below for a couple months.  If planning to keep cheese longer it would be good to wax it first, you will be able to keep it for years then.

    If you haven't seen it, maybe this will help.

  15. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    LOL, you are correct Bear.  It took me years to get the cheese supply that I have now.  It was a struggle, buying some and saving some.  I now have 70 pounds of aged cheese that is rotated normally FIFO with the average age being over 3 years old.  It is difficult, but before I smoke any, it is replaced first.  I normally smoke a five pound block cut into eights or if some is to be waxed and aged further I'll do ten pounds and wax half.

    Glutton for punishment? Yes, but well worth it.

  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I just got back from your cheese thread (your above link)----Very cool !!!

    70 pounds???? I'll be right over!!

  17. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Bring the fresh and we'll smoke the aged.  [​IMG]

  18. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In thread http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/123130/smoked-cheese-from-go-to-show-w-q-view  Scarbelly says: "Most of us who have been smoking cheese for a while let it rest in the fridge for a minimum of two weeks. I personally like 4-6 weeks. I have some that is 14 months old and Nepas just opened some that was aged 20 months."

    I have a few other posts where people say longer is better. However, as suggested, I will try for myself. I've learned over years of cooking, it is the only way to get it the way you like it.

    Thanks again for the advice. I wasn't looking forward to waiting that long.

  19. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have read that and I lot of what I decided to try came form it. Thanks!

    I must have been smoking some strange tobacco but I missed your post on keeping some close to 70 F. I will look for it and thanks for the advice.

  20. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My wife thanks you. She had a good laugh.


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