For my second project, I figured since we had about 5 blocks of cheese left over, (along with some summer sausage and some salt (brine)) from Thanksgiving, I would give it a try.
My MES only goes down to 100degrees, so I set it there and loaded the cheese....
I got great smoke when preheating....so as I typically do in life, figured "more is better" adding excessive amount of Apple chips.
My smoke quickly died down, after 3hrs I removed the contents and was going to put away the smoker. I then noticed my ashtray was full of unburned chips. So I started over, cleaned out the tray, added one small load of apple chips and reloaded the smoker for 2 more hours.
After that, I pulled everything out and figured I really messed up. The top rack had almost melted through and the cheese was very greasy. I threw away the large block of pepper jack, figuring that everything would end up in the garbage anyway.
Sealed it all up with the plan of waiting 2 weeks, fast forward 1 day (lol) I tried a small piece of sharp cheddar about 2 hours ago, now the block is almost gone!! I can't believe I trashed the pepper jack, this stuff is phenomenal!
Not saying I did anything correctly, and I am confident 99.9% of others cheese batches are better than mine, but this is the best smoked cheese I have had! (Disclaimer: the only smoked cheese I have ever had is the gift baskets that are common around the holidays).
So a few questions.....
1). Since I can't get below 100, would it make sense to vent the smoke exhaust into another chamber to keep the heat down??
2). Do you typically let it sit after smoking but prior to sealing?
3). Should I leave the "grease" on the cheese afterward to "reabsorb."--I feverishly wiped the cheese off.
4). Any other tips??
This is getting addicting, heck the smell alone is better than the taste of most food!