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My first batch (learning as I go)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Last week was my first smoke ever, really about the only time I have ever made anything other than a frozen pizza or grilled some burgers.

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!

Smoke On,

Jake
post #2 of 9

Jake, Buy yourself an AMNPS tray and some pellets from Todd at A-MAZE-N products. You will be able to lower your temps and consistently get a good product.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyMoon View Post

Jake, Buy yourself an AMNPS tray and some pellets from Todd at A-MAZE-N products. You will be able to lower your temps and consistently get a good product.

Thanks!
I actually have one, but wasn't sure how to use it so it is still wrapped up. Do I light the entire thing? Just one side?
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 084runnerltd View Post


Thanks!
I actually have one, but wasn't sure how to use it so it is still wrapped up. Do I light the entire thing? Just one side?

I do just one end,,you can do both ends but I see no need in it,,,if you wan to really keep the temp of smoker down do the mailbox mod on your MES I am loving mine and you get good smoke while keeping heat in the mailbox and not in the smoker

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/127770/mes-mailbox-mod-for-use-with-amnps

 

The above link is a good one. 

 

Good luck and let me know. 

 

A full smoker is a happy smoker 

 

DS

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by driedstick View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 084runnerltd View Post

Thanks!

I actually have one, but wasn't sure how to use it so it is still wrapped up. Do I light the entire thing? Just one side?
I do just one end,,you can do both ends but I see no need in it,,,if you wan to really keep the temp of smoker down do the mailbox mod on your MES I am loving mine and you get good smoke while keeping heat in the mailbox and not in the smoker

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/127770/mes-mailbox-mod-for-use-with-amnps

The above link is a good one. 

Good luck and let me know. 

A full smoker is a happy smoker 

DS

Read through the thread, mailbox is in my near future. Just to confirm, people are using this technique for all of their smoking? (Not just cold).

So all of those wood chips I bought won't be needed?

Just light up the AMNPS as well as set the temp on the MES to the "normal" temperature, depending on what you are smoke, correct?

Thanks again. Bought some tips for those weekend!!
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 084runnerltd View Post

Read through the thread, mailbox is in my near future. Just to confirm, people are using this technique for all of their smoking? (Not just cold).

So all of those wood chips I bought won't be needed?

Just light up the AMNPS as well as set the temp on the MES to the "normal" temperature, depending on what you are smoke, correct?

Thanks again. Bought some tips for those weekend!!
Yes, I use the mailbox mod every time I fire up my MES. Light the amnps, turn on mes to preheat and get a draft going then put amnps in the mailbox.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamrhead1971 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 084runnerltd View Post

Read through the thread, mailbox is in my near future. Just to confirm, people are using this technique for all of their smoking? (Not just cold).

So all of those wood chips I bought won't be needed?

Just light up the AMNPS as well as set the temp on the MES to the "normal" temperature, depending on what you are smoke, correct?

Thanks again. Bought some tips for those weekend!!
Yes, I use the mailbox mod every time I fire up my MES. Light the amnps, turn on mes to preheat and get a draft going then put amnps in the mailbox.

Perfect, thanks
post #8 of 9

I wouldn't recommend turning the heat on at all - if it gets above ~70 in the smoker, the cheese will probably melt.  This is why we call it cold smoking - it's done without any heat (especially if you have an AMNPS).  Most people don't wipe off the "sweat" because it removes alot of the smokey flavor from what I understand.  I use my mailbox mod for both cold- and hot-smoking, it just makes everything much easier since I was having problems keeping my AMNPS lit while it was inside the smoker...instead of troubleshooting, I just mod-ed up a mailbox and haven't had a problem yet.  Keep on smokin' and taking notes of what worked and what didn't so you don't have to keep making the same mistakes over and over again...or you can try and reproduce the ones that turn out amazing.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoking4fun View Post

I wouldn't recommend turning the heat on at all - if it gets above ~70 in the smoker, the cheese will probably melt.  This is why we call it cold smoking - it's done without any heat (especially if you have an AMNPS).  Most people don't wipe off the "sweat" because it removes alot of the smokey flavor from what I understand.  I use my mailbox mod for both cold- and hot-smoking, it just makes everything much easier since I was having problems keeping my AMNPS lit while it was inside the smoker...instead of troubleshooting, I just mod-ed up a mailbox and haven't had a problem yet.  Keep on smokin' and taking notes of what worked and what didn't so you don't have to keep making the same mistakes over and over again...or you can try and reproduce the ones that turn out amazing.

Understood, I wasn't too clear in my post, when I was referring to "turning on the smoker" I meant for non-cold smokes.

Thanks for the info on the mod and the cheese sweat!
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