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Best temp for cheese?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've been reading as much as I can about smoking cheese on the forum.  I built a smoke generator and adapted it to my 30" MES.  As a test run, I smoked some pork chops.  They turned out great.  Now I want try smoking cheese.  I have determined that temps below 40 is not good.  Max temp seems to be all over the place.  Is there a "best" temp range?  I hope I'm not too late in the season.  Temps here (near Pensacola, Fl .)  are already in the mid 70s by day and mid 60s at night.  Any wisdom someone is willing to share will be greatly appreciated.  Bill

post #2 of 12
I like to keep my cold smoke for cheese no higher than 70*, but preferably closer to 65*
post #3 of 12

I like to smoke my cheese about 70-80, seems to be a good temp for the smoke to absorb.  In the summer I definitely need to do it in the evenings in Oklahoma.  I have smoked at 90ish, and it still does pretty well, just have to be careful handling it.  I cut my bricks into about 3/8 thick slices before smoking to provide a lot of surface area for a 20 minute smoke then let stand a while before bagging and putting into the frig.


I posted a picture as a comment down in this link.  801Driver



Not ideal, but I have even froze some smoked cheese to use later.  It gets a little crumbly after it thaws, but works well if melted as a topping.  Smoked cheese nachos anyone?.


Good luck to you. 

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.  I'm going to give it a try in the morning.  Should be about 65 at sun up.  I have 3 types of Cheddar and a big wedge of Gouda.   Bill

post #5 of 12

If the smoker temp gets above 90 the cheese will start to melt. I'm in Florida too, and can only smoke cheese in the winter. If it's too warm outside then put a tray filled with ice right on a rack under the cheese. That should keep the smoker temp down low enough. If the ice melts too quickly, just put a fresh tray in.


Let us know how it turns out!



post #6 of 12

Anything below 90°F works. Use Light Smoke, for best result. Too much smoke gives some bitter cheese that needs weeks to months to mellow. Ice or frozen bottles of water work great for late season cheese or you Southern guys...JJ

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well....  I'm glad I didn't try to smoke all my cheese at once.  Every thing started out good.  A fresh charge of apple wood chips in the smoke generator, a good light off, compressor running and all is well.  About 5 minutes later this thing looks like an old locomotive going up hill.  I turn down the air supply some and all is well again.  Nice light smoke.  45 minutes go by and things still look good.  That is when I hear a bubbling/gurgling noise from the smoke generator.  It was spitting out black, watery, tar like stuff.  I took the cheese out of the smoker and it smelled like an old fence post and tasted bitter.  Tried to give some to the cat but she wouldn't touch it.  I think something went wrong or maybe nothing went right.  I'm clueless at this point.   HELP


post #8 of 12

If your smoke generator is a Pump, Venturi, Can deal, you need to take it apart and clean out the creosote in the tubes...JJ

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks Chef.  I'll do that in the morning and try again.


post #10 of 12

Don't throw that cheese that tastes bad now away.

Bet you can save most or all of it.

I read where someone else had a similar problem

and cut off the nasty part.

Let it mellow out for awhile and try it then, can't hurt.

Might turn out ok, let us know please.


Keep on smokin'                      Ed

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have not tossed the cheese yet.  It sat on the counter about 2 hours.  As it warmed, it would sweat.  I wiped off the sweat about every 20 to 30 minutes.  The cheese is now sealed up and curing in the refrigerator. Still haven't tried a second batch yet as intended.  I'll let ya'll know how it goes.


post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well,  Its been 7 weeks now.  That cheese has been mellowing in the frige and it turned out ok.  We tried some last night.  It still has a bit of a strong smoke flavor but its pretty tasty on a cracker with a glass of wine.  I learned from every ones advice and have since made 3 other batches since the failed batch.  I cleaned the smoke generator after each use, made a little less smoke, and cut the smoking time down to 30 minutes.  Cheese ends up with a nice light smoke and still retains a good cheese taste.  I'll be making a batch of cheddar and mozzarella tomorrow just before I smoke some ABTs.  


THANK YOU all for your help.  


PS.  I shredded some smoked mozzarella on a dish of baked ziti.  Holy cow it was good.



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