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Storing cheese

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi all, i just smoked a ton of cheese and i am vacuming sealing them as im giving as xmas presents. I left on counter on a grate for 1 day allowing it to dry, then i put in the fridge for a day, now going to vacucme seal. After i seal do i put back in fridge? Or leave on a counter. I have read many different solutions to this and wanted to throw it out there.
post #2 of 16
I vacuum seal and keep them in the fridge, they keep for months.i still have a few packs that I smoked last October for Christmas gifts. Some people freeze them but I don't like the texture freezing gives cheeses.
post #3 of 16
Keep them in the fridge. If you can dedicate a small fridge just for cheese, set it for around 50 degrees. Don't freeze. They won't age if frozen. I coat with Olive Oil before vac sealing just to guard against mold. They can actually keep for years that way, if they last that long ☺️
post #4 of 16

As noted above,  fridge them after you vacuum seal.   I have some from spring of last year still in perfect condition.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks all,all my ? answered.
Im going to vacume seal tomorrow (after i rub with oil).So glad they will keep in fridge.This is my 3rd time smoking cheese and im addicted.I did put some smoked chedder in the freezer last time and did use it tonight on a chicken sandwich..it was delish. I do however agree that it compromises texture but if your using to cook with its just fine.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
So, now my smoke box looks nasty. Not sure if this is smoke build up or paint peeling? If paint then it got into my food. Its very stixky when you try peeling it and peels like paint...any one else have thia issue with the masterbuilt smoke box kit?
post #7 of 16

That does look like paint from the photos though sometimes the smoke/tar can look very similar. What are you using for the smoke? If it is the standard Masterbuilt Cold Smoke kit then I assume it will probably be chips?


Where you have wiped it is that bare metal underneath or is it the original powder coating? If it is the original finish then what you are seeing is almost certainly just a combination of smoke and tar. Does it smell like scalded paint or does it smell of creosote? Creosote smell is fine inside the smoke generator but you don't want an acrid burning paint/plastic smell.


I suggest that you get a warm soapy cloth and give the inside a wipe over. Next time you use the unit it will probably come back.

post #8 of 16

Do not leave the cheese too long in the fridge before you vac pack. With a batch I smoked a while ago I packed half of it within 2 days and the rest I left in the fridge for a week before packing. There was a marked difference between the two lots - the batch that were packed later had significantly less of a smokey flavour.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks Wade, i am going to vacume seal today. They have been in fridge for 2 days. Do you rub yours with oil also before vacume sealing? Also, i am using chips and have followed the dirextions for the unit. I called Masterbuilt this am and they assured me they dont use paint in that box unit and that it is smoke build up, even though we clean it every time. New to this whole xold smoking thing..loving itand want to learn so my finished product is desireable.
post #10 of 16

No I don't use oil before I vac pack. Even if the surface of the cheese is looking a little dry when you are packing do not worry - the vac packing will redistribute the moisture from the centre of the cheese and it will look nice and moist again when you come to open it. It is also not unusual for the surface of the cheese to seem a little damp once opened after vac packing. Do not worry about this.

post #11 of 16
I think that's just smoke "build up". I get that on the door of the offset. I just brush it off with a stiff brush. Just make sure that if it falls on the grates you clean them off....
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by ilovesmokin View Post

So, now my smoke box looks nasty. Not sure if this is smoke build up or paint peeling? If paint then it got into my food. Its very stixky when you try peeling it and peels like paint...any one else have thia issue with the masterbuilt smoke box kit?


Very unlikely to be paint in my opinion


Most of my devices I smoke on wind up like this after a while.  Smoke build up after a few years, and then it starts flaking off. 


I start out with a putty knife to remove the harsh loose stuff, the go over lightly with a wire brush.  I use a shop vac to remove the loose stuff that has dropped down and into the corners. 


I do not try to clean to a shiny finish, just knock off the loose stuff.  It will build back.  Not much different than a few ashes coming off a charcoal or a wood burner fire in my opinion.


Just keep the smoke rolling.



post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ok, i smoked some mozarella balls, they are deilish. I want to save some for xmas gifts...any ideas on storing them? Will they keep for some time in fridge? I know the integrity of the cheese is lost if it is frozen...ideas?
post #14 of 16

Were they fresh mozzarella balls in brine or the harder pizza mozzarella made into balls?


As the fresh Mozzerella is a soft unripened cheese with a high water content the FDA actually class it as a high risk cheese. It potentially contains a number of Listeria strains which will multriply over a period of time. That should not put you off though - I have smoked Mozzarella before and it has worked out well. I have not kept it for more than 2-3 weeks after smoking though - usually not much longer than the original use buy date on the original pack.


At first I only smoked the mozzarella balls, squeezed and tied (see below). These were good but it did change the texture of the cheese and the cheese balls formed a firm skin as they lost moisture. Over several days after smoking the smoke flavour permeated throughout the mozzarella ball



The way I now smoke my mozzarella (and fetta) though is to place the cheese balls in a flat glass dish along with the liquid that it is packed. The cheese balls are almost completely exposed and the liquid just covers the bottom of the dish. I then place the whole dish in the smoker and both the cheese and the liquid pick up the smoke flavour. Once smoked I place the balls packed fairly tightly in plastic containers and the smoked liquid is poured back over to cover it.


Even so I would not try to store the fresh mozzarella for more than 2-3 weeks. Trying to keep it until Christmas, you may be OK, but I would not risk it.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wade, they are the mozarella balls that come vacume packed, from the super market. I just vacume packed them agaim after smoking and keeping in fridge for several days. I could freeze it but of course the integrity of the mozarella will be compromised. I read that the smoking works as a protector against bacteria??
post #16 of 16

The "smoking" works as a preservative in two ways, The smoke itself is mildly antibacterial on the surface however the main antibacterial factor is the moisture reduction when meat or fish is smoked. Most of the things that are smoked these days are smoked more for flavour than for its preservative properties. As mozzarella is a soft unripened cheese with a high moisture content, unless you give the mozzarella balls a really heavy smoke you should not rely on its antibacterial properties for the length of time you are suggesting.

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