I smoked my first cheese today, using my unplugged MES-30 and my AMNPS. The cheeses I smoked were:
1 lb. Sharp Cheddar, aged in the fridge for 7 months
2 lbs. Extra Sharp Cheddar bought this week,
1/2 lb. Colby bought this week
1/2 lb. Colby-Jack bought this week
1/2 lb. Sharp Cheddar bought this week
1 lb. Monterey Jack bought a few weeks ago.
I used hickory pellets, because it's what I had. This was my first use of the pellet smoker, too, and I loved it. However, I think I had it too close to the bottom cheese (it was on the bottom rack, the cheese was on the other 3 racks). At one point, the pellets either flared up, or just got too hot, and the cheese just above it melted a bit, and oozed down and put out the pellets. :(
Here's the melted cheese. It was a delicious treat while I was waiting for the rest to be done.
After that small catastrophy, I moved the re-lit pellet smoker down to the top of the chip burner, and everything went fine.
I smoked the cheese for approximately 3 3/4 hours, and the white cheese ended up with a lovely light caramel color.
Here's a picture of the finished product. They look like sticks of butter - and indeed, that's exactly the size they were - 1/4 lb per stick.
My biggest question is: They all sweated a lot more than I thought they would, and are consequently coated in small bubbles of oil. Should I wipe them or anything before I vacuum seal them? I was planning to do that tonight, but am not sure whether to leave the oil or not. Please tell me if you have experience with this! Thanks!