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October Cheese

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Although I have been smoking cheese for some time now, this was the first attempt in warmer weather. A cold front is due in on Tuesday, however our afternoon temps were in the 80's today. Due to the unseasonably warm weather, I decided to smoke my first cheese of the Fall during the evening Football Games after the temps had dropped at least a little...

 

Because all cheese should be smoked "low and slow" and cold cooking is a bit of an art, I didn't begin my smoke until the evening temps had reached 70 degrees. After cutting into thirds the two pound baby loafs of Tillamook "Special Reserve" Extra Sharp Cheddar and allowing to sit on the cabinet for approx. 30 min. at room temps, I then placed them in the smoker...

 

Never using any fuel source other than hardwoods, I started the heat source with pecan kindling and moved to pecan chunks, progressing to a combination of apple, cherry, and a touch of hickory. Temps never exceeded 85 degrees. Unlike any time I have ever smoked cheese, the temps were extremely difficult to manage, due to a unusually warm October. However, I think I succeeded. Smoke time was 4 hours.

 

All product is tightly wrapped and placed in the refrigerator. (Notice Qview and the golden color already forming!) It is too late to vacuum seal and label now. That will be done tomorrow after church. The cheese will rest for two weeks and then I will begin to ship to family and friends. I hope they like it...

 

October Cheese.JPG

 

post #2 of 14

Good looking cheese!

 

Nice color!

post #3 of 14

Yup!!!

 

Very nice color!!!!

Family & friends will love it!!!

 

 

Bear

post #4 of 14

looks good

post #5 of 14

Looks really nice. I like the color.

post #6 of 14

Looks great!

 

  What is a "touch" of hickory???

 

  Craig

post #7 of 14

I agree the cheese looks awesome. When I have done mine in the past I have only done a smaller amount so it all fits in the fridge and gets eaten right away but I was thinking of doing a larger batch like you did and give them away. When you vacuum seal yours do you freeze it or only put it in the fridge? I remember I froze  some cheese from the store way back when and if I remember right all it wanted to do was crumble when I thawed it and tried to eat it. Just curious how the smoked stuff holds up if you put it in the freezer. Great job on the cheese.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

FPNMF - Thanks you. "A touch of hickory" translates introducing the cheese to hickory during the last 10 min. of the smoke.

 

RBRANSTNER - Thank you. Actually this was but half of my last smoked cheese project that totaled 20 lbs. (see post entitled, Twenty Pounds!) After sealing, we have only kept ours in the refrigerator. Freezing has not necessary since it vanishes so quickly at the hands of extended family and friends. As long as the outside temps are cool, I just smoke some more. However, when shipping to family/friends, many have frozen the cheese and really enjoyed it after some cabinet time at room temps. I have never tried it that way.

 

After two weeks of mellowing, we sampled the first block this evening. It might just be the best I've ever done! Thanks for the comments!

 

Here are some pics of several cheese smokes...

 

Cheese Smoke Prep.jpg

 

Cheese Smoke Action.jpg

 

Cheese Smoke Rest Time.jpg

 

Cheese Smoke Color.jpg

post #9 of 14

Stonebriar that looks like it will make people very happy. I've been wanting to ship some to family in the midwest but not sure how. Do you ship with dry ice or is it necessary?

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

I have never used a cooling element in shipping. Because I typically smoke in the cooler months of the year, shipping through the USPS w/ a two day arrival guarantee has worked well.

post #11 of 14

looks just the way I like it, nice jobdrool.gif

post #12 of 14

I found that diff cheese do better frozen than others.  I have a fridge just for my smoking hobby.  I don't freeze anymore cheese, I did have problems with crumbling on certain cheese.

post #13 of 14

That cheese looks awesome!!  Must have lots of very happy family and friends!

post #14 of 14

Your Smoked Cheese Looks Awesome!!

The smoked chunks make awesome gifts for friends and family.

 

Great Job!

 

 

Todd

No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

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