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Assorted Cheese - Page 2

post #21 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade View Post

Hi Nepas - I am sure you know what you are doing but be somewhat careful about keeping certain cheeses that long - even/especially vac packed and chilled. 

 

A traditionally made, well aged, cheese with a low moisture content and relatively high acidity is likely to remain safe (smoked or un-smoked) for several years however some of the supermarket mass produced cheeses these days have high moisture content and low acidity and are not designed for keeping - the use-by date on these should not be ignored. There are always a number of pathogenic bacteria that survive the pasteurisation process when cheese is produced and in a high moisture content cheese these will continue to multiply even at fridge temperatures. The act of vac packing will keep out oxygen and prevent some of the aerobic pathogens from multiplying however it will also keep the moisture in and encourage the growth of the anaerobic beasties. Under ideal circumstances it is recognised that many bacteria will double every 20 minutes. At refrigerator temperatures this will be a lot lower but even if we say that they double once per week then after a single year, starting with a single live bacteria, you could end up with over 2 thousand million billion bacteria (2.25E+15). Almost too many to comfortably try to imagine!

 

Cheese is a wonderfully versatile product and one that also freezes VERY well. Once the smoked cheese has matured for several weeks I have found that longer maturation does not seem to significantly improve the overall flavour. I therefore usually freeze a proportion of it if I have smoked a large batch. Once subsequently thawed blind taste tests have shown that people cannot actually tell the difference.

 

Even supermarket cheeses usually have quite a long use-by date and following my re-processing (by smoking) I extend the final use-by date by 50%. Once it has mellowed for 3 weeks, any cheese that I don't think will be used by the new use-by date immediately gets vac packed and frozen. I sell some of my cheese so I have to be a little more careful than if it were all just for personal consumption.

 

Once you have opened and tried your super matured cheese please let us know so that we can be sure that you have survived :-)

 

LOL

 

Wade


I been doing this for years. 30+ and never been sick with anything.

 

The 2 year aged cheese was eaten earlier this years and was Havarti.

I have 1.5 year aged gouda that will get opened in May

post #22 of 36

This may be a difference in geographical nomenclature. In the UK "Use by" is definitely a safety date. It looks like your "Best if used by" is equivalent to our "Best before".

 

Many traditionally made cheeses have a low moisture content and higher acidity and so only have a "Best before"/"Best if used by" date whereas many mass produced supermarket cheeses are made with a higher mosture content (to minimise production costs or maximse profits) and therefore require a "Use by" date. If you are smoking an artisan crafted cheese then that is great, however most people tend to smoke supermarket mass produced cheese.

 

As cheddar style cheeses vary greatly in texture, from hard and crumbly to softer and buttery, IF freezing should change its texture slightly then this probably would not matter as you are already changing it from its original form simply by the act of smoking it. I sell a lot of fresh smoked and pre-frozen smoked cheese and from my experience you cannot tell any difference. The suggestion that thawed cheese is only good for being crumbled or shreaded in salads or for cooked toppings somewhat baffles me.

post #23 of 36

That's great Nepas - I am glad that you are OK biggrin.gif

post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade View Post

MMMMM - Someone after my own heart icon14.gif. Nothing better than some great home smoked cheese.

 

 

The secret is not to over-smoke (3 hours is usually more than enough) and to leave it wrapped in cling film in the fridge for at least a week after smoking for the flavours to mellow. If you like the smoke striped effect just leave the smoker running for a couple of hours before putting in the cheese. Some people like it and some don't...

 

Toby - can you spot the Red Leicester biggrin.gif

Wade....I have a question....looking at your cheeses in the smoker.  Why is the wax still on the ones cut into wedges?  I have only smoked cheese once....and thought the wax and wrappers were supposed to be removed.  The smoke won't penetrate that side of the cheese. Or am I way off base on this?

 

Kat

post #25 of 36

Hi Kat

 

You are correct that leaving the wax on will initially prevent the smoke from penetrating that part of the cheese - however it was left on to retain some of the unique character of the Edam. During the couple of weeks that the cheese is left to mellow after it has been smoked the smoke flavour actually permeates throughout the whole cheese. You can only do this with a cut cheese with a small amount of wax. As you suggest it would be pointless to try to smoke a cheese that was still fully waxed.

 

You will probably have also noticed the Camembert. Before this can be smoked it is necessary to prick holes all over through the rind or else this will also prevent the smoke from penetrating. Soft cheeses like Camembert really needs to be eaten soon after being smoked and cannot be left to mature for any significant length of time.

post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nepas View Post


I been doing this for years. 30+ and never been sick with anything.

 

The 2 year aged cheese was eaten earlier this years and was Havarti.

I have 1.5 year aged gouda that will get opened in May

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynN View Post

Wade....I have a question....looking at your cheeses in the smoker.  Why is the wax still on the ones cut into wedges?  I have only smoked cheese once....and thought the wax and wrappers were supposed to be removed.  The smoke won't penetrate that side of the cheese. Or am I way off base on this?

 

Kat

Baffles me also Kat.  As the wax on waxed cheese can be reused maybe he plans on rewaxing with smoked wax. th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nepas View Post


I been doing this for years. 30+ and never been sick with anything.

 

The 2 year aged cheese was eaten earlier this years and was Havarti.

I have 1.5 year aged gouda that will get opened in May

Like nepas, I have both aged smoked and plain cheeses mostly the hard cheeses like cheddar that are several years old.  The oldest is a 15 year old Limburger.   

post #27 of 36

Thank you for your answer Wade.

 

Kat

post #28 of 36

What makes Edam cheese "Edam" is the red wax coating. If you want it to look like a piece of Edam after it has been smoked you need to leave some of the wax on for effect. Once it has been removed it cannot be replaced and it still look the same.

post #29 of 36

You are welcome Kat

post #30 of 36

Wade, Are you saying that Edam cannot be rewaxed or are you leaving the wax on for immediate cosmetic purposes after mellowing.  If so, it makes sense.

What temps are you smoking at?

 

T

post #31 of 36

Hi Mr T

 

It is purely cosmetic for me.

 

I have never tried to re-wax Edam but once the original wax has been removed from the cheese it does not seem to reattach. Once it has been smoked and matured it gets vac packed anyway so for me there would be no point in trying to re-wax it for any preservative effect.

 

I try to keep the smoke chamber around 18-20C -  64-68F during the smoke. That can be difficult in the summer though when temperatures rise and so I mostly smoke cheese in the evenings when its cooler. It is early spring here and so last night I actually had to raise the internal temperature of the smoking chamber as the outside air temperature was only 8-9C - 46-48F.

To prevent a build up of moisture in the chamber and condensation forming on the cheese, I keep a constant air flow passing through. It is not enough to significantly dilute the smoke but enough to manage the internal humidity. I also use a small thermostatic heater in there to help keep the temperature constant. This is not so important for cheese as it is only in for 2-3 hours but it is more important when smoking salmon which will be in there for 2-3 days and needs to lose moisture.

post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade View Post

Hi Mr T

 

It is purely cosmetic for me.

 

I have never tried to re-wax Edam but once the original wax has been removed from the cheese it does not seem to reattach. Once it has been smoked and matured it gets vac packed anyway so for me there would be no point in trying to re-wax it for any preservative effect.

 

The wax would have to be melted and reapplied in order to attach. Your temps are on the mark.  The following is how I do mine.  Hope you enjoy.

T

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/123130/smoked-cheese-from-go-to-show-w-q-view

post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 

I been known to smoke some cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #34 of 36

I have just read and really enjoyed your thread Mr T. We have very similar approaches. I have never tried to wax the cheese once it has been smoked though but now I will give it a try as it gives the cheese a whole new level of sophistication.

 

I think we also broadly agree on the principles regarding the length of aging of the different cheeses - with the dryer cheeses potentially aging well but the higher moisture content cheeses just "getting old". However for resale I could not risk trying to age the mass produced Cheddar outside of a climate controlled store or "cave" for times that exceed any specified or revised "Use By" date or I would likely be closed down and fined by our Environmental Health officers. That would not be a problem though for purely home consumption.

 

Personally I would not risk eating the higher moisture cheeses after prolonged aging without them being allowed to lose moisture during an appropriate aging process - but as both you and Nepas say, you have been doing it for years and have not suffered any ill effects.

 

Nepas - That batch of cheese looks great. What is the cheese that you are showing sliced in your last picture?

post #35 of 36

Nepas, Nice looking cheeses, the garlic and dill curd really caught my eye.

 

Wade, glad you enjoyed.  If you check out the "Cold Smoking Options" link, it might give you some ideas to consider when the ambient temperatures are higher.

T

post #36 of 36

Rick love to see your works!  Always makes me want to try things too!  (except for the charcoal snack sticks icon_eek.gif)

 

Kat icon14.gif

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