I've always loved smoked cheese! Ever since I learned how to make delicious hot smoked foods I swore hell or high water I'll figure out this cold smoking method when the weather cooled down. So this fall I embark on a journey into cold smoking.
While trying to modify my smoke-vault for cold smoking, I figured I should put something in on the maiden voyage since the temps were staying stable.
Batch 1 9/23/16: Winco bulk Pepper Jack, cut into small blocks for taking backpacking. Max temp 72 degrees before putting a fan on the ducting. Smoked with charcoal and apple wood in the remote bbq.
Batch 2 10/1: 5lbs of First Street Pepper Jack, and 5lbs of First Street Sharp Cheddar. Max temp was 64 degrees, with a 59 degree ambient temp. I pulled a couple blocks of cheese at 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours and 5 hours to see how long we like our cheeses smoked for.
On this run I added a 4" duct fan with a rheostat to keep the smoke moving when the wind picked up, and I decided to leave it going since the smoke was smelling "clean."
Batch 3 10/2: Cause why waste cold smoke when the bacon doesn't take up that much room? Smoked Feta just sounded delicious, and with my large Greek side of the family I figured they would appreciate some.
2lbs of Feta cut into small blocks. 64 degree high temp, with an upper 50's ambient temp high.
The smoke was pretty clean on the last 2 after adding the exhaust fan, and the cheese was edible shortly after removing from the smoker, and progressively is getting smoother and smoother. The first trial batch took 4 to 6 days to start calming down to be palatable. Most of it will rest for quite awhile before consumption, but I can't help myself and the scientist in me requires a daily testing regimen.
I don't have any really good finished product pictures, so I'll try to get some soon. Maybe a few shots this weekend while we are backpacking in the rain and making some burritos and wraps...
The cheese didn't get really brown, just a very very slightly darker color. I know my wife is now pushing to speed up a purchase of a second garage fridge/freezer to with the upright freezer! Not being able to put our work lunches in since at one point there was 9lbs of bacon resting, 20lbs of pork butts till we finally ground them into sausage this week, 18lbs of blackberries thawing for a Blackberry Melomel, and a growing pile of cheese! :-) There was excitement when the Breakfast sausage and patties were ground up 2 days ago and made it into the freezer.
So I need to get a bigger fridge and do some more cheese! Beechers Flagship, Havarti and that Yancey's Fancy Horseradish cheeses could be delicious! Time to start trolling the Costco cheese isles.
Edited by CookFarms - 10/7/16 at 6:38pm