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How far in advance can I smoke cheese?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi all. I want to smoke some cheese for Christmas and give some out as gifts to family. How far in advance can I smoke the cheese? I happen to be on vacation this week and thought it may be a good time but Christmas is still a ways out. Too early yet? The weather is perfect right now. Upper 30s. I a cheese newb. I do have a chamber vac sealer. Was gonna smoke. Wrap in plastic. Then vac seal batches and put in fridge til Christmas. Thanks......Matt

post #2 of 12

That will work.

 

You can keep cheese vac sealed for years.

post #3 of 12
Do it now, it only gets better with age. I smoked all my gift cheese last week. Do you mean you are going to plastic wrap AND vac seal your cheese? You will be fine just vacuum sealing it, no need to double wrap.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Cool. Thanks guys. I was gonna wrap individual pieces then place several wrapped pieces in one vac bag and seal to mellow. Should i seal them separately? Any recommendations on cheeses for gifts? 

post #5 of 12

Hi SemperSmoke,

 

         I just smoke cheese on Nov.1st. and vacuum sealed it for Christmas. After I finished it I got out my last pack of Pepper Jack and Mozzarella Cheese Sticks I did in March, so it's never too early. It just gets better with time. I was lucky I still had some. I always try to hide the last of it from myself until I smoke again. I love smoking it sealing it and having some from the last smoke to eat while I wait the 2 weeks for it to set. Not that it happens every time. Good Luck and Happy Smoking

post #6 of 12
I still have a few pieces left from my April batch.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/161405/last-cheese-of-the-season


So no...it's not too early.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SemperSmoke View Post

Cool. Thanks guys. I was gonna wrap individual pieces then place several wrapped pieces in one vac bag and seal to mellow. Should i seal them separately? Any recommendations on cheeses for gifts? 

If it was me doing it, I would seal them separately for each person you plan on gifting, unless you plan on giving a couple hunks to each person then seal them all in one bag. I still wouldn't plastic wrap them, doesn't look as nice I think. It won't last very long in just plastic wrap before molding, if you had planned on taking them out of the seal after aging. Vac sealed looks good and professional too, I think:) I smoked old cheddar for everyone, it's pretty much good anyway you want to use it. Gouda is awesome, but it doesn't get given as gifts;)
post #8 of 12

And for gifts look into zip loc vacuum sealer bags from Lisa at Vacuum Sealers Unlimited, one of the forums sponsors. They are very handy for cheese and add a nice touch.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SemperSmoke View Post
 

Hi all. I want to smoke some cheese for Christmas and give some out as gifts to family. How far in advance can I smoke the cheese? I happen to be on vacation this week and thought it may be a good time but Christmas is still a ways out. Too early yet? The weather is perfect right now. Upper 30s. I a cheese newb. I do have a chamber vac sealer. Was gonna smoke. Wrap in plastic. Then vac seal batches and put in fridge til Christmas. Thanks......Matt

 

Now is a perfect time - 5 weeks to mature.

 

As has been said above, don't wrap in plastic film. Once they come out of the smoker, allow to dry in the fridge overnight - then just vac pack straight into the bags. I would do the same as Red Dog and whataMESs - pack individually and for larger pieces of cheese in zip-loc bags.

 

Make sure they are dry before packing as this will help prevent any subsequent mold growth.

post #10 of 12
I smoked about 12 -1/2lb last April and I'll give them away at Christmas and they usally end up on the dining room table with crackers, deer sausage, pickled herring, beef sausage.I smoked 9lbs 3 weeks ago and i'll give them away next sometime next year.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen View Post

I smoked about 12 -1/2lb last April and I'll give them away at Christmas and they usally end up on the dining room table with crackers, deer sausage, pickled herring, beef sausage.I smoked 9lbs 3 weeks ago and i'll give them away next sometime next year.

Allen, you're a man of greater self control than me, to be able to keep smoked cheese around you for that long. I'll bet you are popular with friends and family. Good on ya.
post #12 of 12

I smoke 30 lbs at a time. Have a few blocks that have been vac sealed in fridge for close to 2 years . No problems as long as they hold the vacum seal

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