First Smoked Cheese
Having always smoked with a hot smoker there have always been smoked items that were a bit of a mystery to me. How the heck do they smoke cheese? I had heard of cold smoking but never really gave it much though as to how or much into doing. After having a nice chat with Mr. T, I felt like cold smoking was much simpler and easy to attempt than I had previously though. Cold smoking has opened new doors for me and the smoker has been going strong everyday since the arrival of my AMZPS.
Since I don't have a refrigerated cold smoker the warmer ambient temperatures in this area have been well above what I would have preferred for cheese smoking, so the wait has been on for cooler temps. This week was the ticket. Temps have steadily dropped from high to middle 60's to middle to low 50's a night. Now I could smoke in my target range of <68 F to +60 F. I would have liked things to be even cooler, but in this case I had to let mother nature handle that part.
My selection of cheeses included:
Tillamook - Med. Cheddar
Tillamook - Pepper Jack
Tillamook - Med. Vintage White Cheddar
Tillamook - Extra Sharp Vintage White
These will be a gift for my brother and his fiancee at their wedding. I introduced my brother to hot smoking several years ago. I'm sure he'll be impressed with the cheese. Tillamook is always a top selection for those of use who live in the Northwest. They have nothing but the finest quality products offered. So far in this project this is the first round of cheeses.
The cheese was smoked in my Char-Griller SFB combined with an AMZPS filled with 1 row of AMZ hickory pellets. After about an hour or so I didn't feel that the smoke density was great enough so I added another row. I was near the smoker anyhow, but having a Maverick wireless thermo was really handy. The cooler ambient temperatures allowed the smoker to maintain between 63 F and 66 F for the bulk of the smoking. This seemed to work very well as the texture of the cheese did not change. Here are the results after 3 hours in the SBF.
As you can see these are resting so their temperature can normalize before vacuum packaging. This should also help any excess moisture on the surface dry.
Sampler pack for myself
Vintage Med. White Cheddar
Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar
Edited by Mr dirt - 9/19/13 at 9:35am