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- 105 Posts. Joined 1/2012
- Location: Englewood, FL
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Hey monoxide. Cold smoking cheese is great and a fairly easy smoke. No sense in putting the cheese in before you're rolling smoke since the whole idea behind cold smoking cheese is to have it in the box with smoke and no heat. As for mesquite... IMVHO, that might be a bit strong for smoking cheese if you haven't used it before - for cheese. Just my $0.02. I typically use a 50-50 blend of Apple and Maple or Apple and Pecan for cheese... But like I said, that's just my opinion and thought I'd pass along the info about mesquite being a pretty strong smoking wood. Perhaps some of the other members can comment on using mesquite for cheese.
Yes I would go with less time with mesquite. The cheese will take up the smoke really fast & personally if you can wait. I would not use mesquite for cheese. Hickory is about as strong a wood as I would use. Fruit wood like apple & cherry work really well with cheese.
I typically cold smoke my cheese for 4 hours but that's using apple/maple or apple/pecan. Your idea as to smoking for a lesser amount of time might be a good one if you're going to use mesquite. There will be a trade off though between smoke flavor and color. If you only roll smoke on that cheese for 1.5 hours, you're probably not going to get a lot of color... but with using mesquite, I think you're going to get the smoke taste. The other thing that contributes to a darker color when cold smoking cheese is the temp of your smoker. I find that running around 75* - 85* gives me a deeper color than say running at 40*-65*.
The other thing I'm wondering is how deep of a smoke penetration you might get by only smoking for 1.5 hours....I've never cold smoked cheese for that short of a time....this could turn into a very interesting topic of discussion....
Have you smoked with mesquite before? We don't like hickory (gives me heartburn), but we do use mesquite on nearly everything. I smoke 2 lb blocks of cheese with mesquite and throw in some apple or cherry. I haven't had any complaints about it being too strong. GrayStratCat is right on the money with " I find that running around 75* - 85* gives me a deeper color than say running at 40*-65*." I cold smoked some and the temp was lower, so I fired up the MES to 100*, shut if off and cooled it to his recommended temps and the cheese had great color and smoke. I smoked it for about 3-4 hrs.
If I don't smoke the burgers and put them on the grill instead, I don't put my chips in foil, I just soak them a bit in a small aluminum pie plate and sit the pie plate on the coals, and sometimes throw a few of them on the coals (yes I use charcoal in conjunction with propane, turning the propane off once the coals are hot).
Hope it helps! Good luck and good smoking!
i was looking at the smokers at wally world today and they have one for like 33 or 38 i cant remember how much it was excatly. it was a wood burner id really like a electric or propane so i could always rig it to use those. it was basicly a uds style just fancy. lol it also doubled as a charcoal grill so that was nice i guess i can skip a few days of getting cigs and get that. the back of the bag of chips i got said to wrap in foil and put holes in it and put on the grates. all the chips burnt but didnt produce alot of smoke like i had hoped. i guess its just gonna be some trial and error on using the chips in a gas grill to get a smokey flavor.
DO NOT USE MESQUITE on cheese. been there done that I used it a long time ago and its the wrong wood. The cheese will not be near as good. Your cheese will have a sharp kinda bitter taste to it, even smoking for a short time. If ya can't get chips use chunks or pellets. You want a mellow wood smoke for cheese, and mesquite is way too harsh. I use a mix of apple and hickory, some where around 75% and 25%. Smoke for no more then 4 hours.