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Time in the smoke?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

AK1 got me to thinkin.


I usually cold smoke cheese for about 3 hours.  I like the flavor and I usually get good color.  I vacuum seal and leave it alone for a minimum of 2 weeks, oftentimes 6 months to a year.  Just had some 2 year old cheddar that was outstanding.


What's the difference between smoking for 3 hours vs. 12 hours?


Please don't reply with, "It's smokier."  I get that.  But is the flavor that much more different?  For those of you who can offer a comparison, what do you think?

Thanks for looking.

post #2 of 3

I've done both & for my taste the 3 to 4 hours in the smoke is plenty. But the only cheese I smoke is Muenster. It's a soft cheese & really picks up the smoke. Now if you smoking cheddar or a hard cheese like that, maybe it would take more smoke to get to the same flavor as a softer cheese. If your not sure why not try a batch & take the cheese out at different intervals. i.e. 4 hours, 6 hours, etc. If you do I think we would all like to know the results.



post #3 of 3

Not sure if this is what you were looking for.


There could be a noticeable difference or slight. That difference determined by the color and density of the smoke applied to the cheese. At risk with a longer smoke is a bitter taste due to applying an overabundance of creosote to the cheese. This could happen at three hours with a heavier smoke and not at all at twelve hours with a lighter smoke. The last I did was four-year old cheddar in a light smoke for twenty hours and it was edible directly out of the smoker.


 Example:  Curds are best when consumed shortly after production, therefore curds taken from the smoker after a half hour in a heavier smoke will be edible while those smoked longer may be inedible and require a long rest period in which the quality will diminish.  


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