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First Cheese Smoke - Mozza with AMNPS

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Got a Masterbuilt Cookmaster electric smoker cheap recently.  First electric smoker and its pretty basic but have been quite happy with it.  Gets to 250-260 on warm days.  There are no vent/exhausts to adjust so might be a bit limited but a little work down the road and I could fix that.

 

I've done one hot smoke on it, chicken and turkey breast.  Wife and kids liked it which was a first for smoked food (normally I do it on charcoal grill before but got tired of too much work and poor results).  I recently got myself and AMNPS and decided to give it a trial run.  Let it go for half hour or so and worked perfect.  Didn't add any temp to the smoker so cold smoking is now an option for me.  Saturday was a beautiful day here in Canada, about 70oF outside and I had a block of mozza for some pizzas but decided it needed to be smoked.    Had about 3/4 of one tunnel in the ANMPS filled with Pitmasters blend.  Think it smoked for about 3 hours (was gone after 2 and it was till going).  Here's the QView:

 

 

 

 

Vacuum sealed up the blocks and threw them in the freezer to age for a week.  Looking forward to some home made pizzas next week!  if it turns out I'll be heading to Costco to stock up and do a big cheese smoke.

post #2 of 10

Homemade pizzas with smoked mozzarella...now that sounds absolutely incredible! You gotta update us once you make them!

 

Never cold smoked before...going to try it out in the early fall.

 

Nice lookin' cheese bud!

post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Consigliere View Post
 

Vacuum sealed up the blocks and threw them in the freezer to age for a week.  

 

The cheese looks great - a suggestion though... I would recommend that once the cheese has finished smoking leave it uncovered in a cool refrigerator for 24 hours to reduce any surface moisture from the smoker. Once you have then vac-packed it leave it in the cool fridge for a couple of weeks before you freeze it. Freezing it immediately will have the effect of slowing down the maturation process.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tip Wade!  Will do that next time for sure.

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade View Post

The cheese looks great - a suggestion though... I would recommend that once the cheese has finished smoking leave it uncovered in a cool refrigerator for 24 hours to reduce any surface moisture from the smoker. Once you have then vac-packed it leave it in the cool fridge for a couple of weeks before you freeze it. Freezing it immediately will have the effect of slowing down the maturation process.
What he said.

I age mine in the fridge.
post #6 of 10

Silly question perhaps. Why would you want to freeze cheese? It isn't necessary. Cheese does fine in the fridge.

post #7 of 10

Hmmm. The question of freezing cheese has caused a lot of controversy on here in previous threads.

 

The harder the cheese and the lower the moisture content the less need there is for freezing. According to some posts on here members have cheese that they smoked 10+ years ago which has been kept at room temperature and is still good enough for them to eat. I am sorry to say that I am not that brave. I have found that some bulk produced supermarket cheeses, even after a couple of months can be prone to throwing quite an unpleasant tasting mold inside the pack even if stored in a cool place. Not all of them by any means, however enough so that, once matured, if I am going to store them for more than a few weeks I will freeze mine.

 

Some also claim that freezing cheese dramatically changes its texture. I have not found this to be the case either. Everyone has their own preferred way of doing things and for the long term storage of mass produced hard cheese that I have smoked, mine is to freeze it.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK1 View Post
 

Silly question perhaps. Why would you want to freeze cheese? It isn't necessary. Cheese does fine in the fridge.

 

There wasn't room in the fridge...12lbs shoulder for pulled pork and a10lb brisket in there to celebrate Canada Day long weekend....not to mention 4lbs of northern pike pickling.  Just no room for that cheese!

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

After 2 weeks in the freezer (no room in the fridge) I tried my first block.  It was smoky!  Too much so really.  I put a few slices onto a pizza but mixed it with other cheese because it would've been too powerful.  I put the rest of the block back into the fridge in a ziplock bag for another week.  It's perfect now.  Mild smokiness now and great taste.

 

I'm thinking that either not letting them air out for a day before vac sealing may have been the issue, or aging in the freezer.  Either way, I will do it a bit differently next time, and the rest of the cheese will air out for a day before using it to make sure the flavor is right.

 

Will definitely be doing some more, maybe this weekend since the kids are at grandmas...but really want to get out and catch some lake trout for the smoker...touch choices!

post #10 of 10
Leave them in the fridge for a week at least (I guess there is room now). I am sure the flavour will even out. Freezer is freezer - pretty much stops any activity in the food: aging, spoiling, tenderizing.

When I take some dried meat out of the freezer I notice an improvement in taste and texture over time as I keep in the the fridge.
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