Originally Posted by Blue Hill
It's my understanding that smoked cheese needs to rest after it's smoked, optimum 4 weeks or so.
I smoked some cheddar, feta and Baby Bels a few days ago and the suspense is killing me. Do the softer cheese like the feta and Baby Bels require less mellowing time than the hard cheeses like cheddar?
Welcome to the forum. You will find that the longer it rest the milder and more consistent the smoke flavor will become throughout the cheese.
The smoke flavor will transfer throughout the softer cheese at a faster rate than the hard varieties.
Originally Posted by Slackbarry
I've been smoking cheese for about four years now, the longest I've left to "mature" is about a week.
I will try leaving it a little longer now I have read this. Will it make that much difference to the taste etc?
Will it matter that much on how long I smoke it. I usually leave between 6-8 hours to smoke ( using a homemade dust mix of maple, mesquite and dried mixed herbs) And it is a very strong, but a nice and sweet taste.
Welcome to the forum.
A week definitely is not very long, but at times we serve ours the very same day it is smoked. It all depends on how and what kind of smoke is applied. Without getting into detail here, the cleaner and smoother the smoke, the earlier it can be consumed without any bitterness. As many here use smoke generators in close proximity to the cheese, it picks up the bitter molecules and then requires a longer waiting period before consumption.
I suggest to both of you that you smoke enough cheese at one time so you can sample at different times. Keep good notes of the woods, color and density of the smoke along with taste. Try smoking to a desired color rather than time as many factors can determine the end results. If making changes, make them one at a time and record the results.
Slackbarry, the dust mix you are using most likely contributes to the short waiting period with good results. Good on you.
Maybe the following will help both of you. Mr T's "Smoked Cheese From Go To Show" w/ Q- View, My Cold Smoking Options w/Q - View