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First Time Smoking Cheese

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have never tried smoking cheese before but I would like to give it a shot..
I was wondering what kinds of cheese everyone uses??
I will be using my Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite electric smoker.. I figure using this smoker for my first time will allow me to regulate the smoke as well as the temps.. What temps am I trying to keep..
80 degrees?
I am also planing to use a light fruit wood maybe Apple or Cherry... Possibly alder.. Don't think I would want a very strong smoke for my first attempt..
Suggestions on wood?
I am looking for any advice and hints from all the experience on this forum!! Thanks in advance!! Good smokes
post #2 of 16
I've smoked cheddar (mild, medium & sharp), Colby Jack, blue cheese & my personal fav pepper jack.

I use my MES 30 & an AMNPS with usually Apple dust for smoke. The AMNPS will heat up your chamber a bit, but you'll want to keep your temps below 70*. You can put some frozen water bottles in the smoker as well to help keep temps down.

Make sure you have good air flow & your good to go. Usually I smoke cheese for 2 1/2-3 hrs. Once done, let cool on the counter for a few, wipe down with a paper towel & I put mine in a brown lunch bag for a couple days & then vac pack it. I wait at least a few weeks to eat it, the longer the better. Broke out some year old pepper jack last weekend & it was awesome.

Good luck & let us know how it goes.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response, I plan to try it today. Will the 70 degree temp be high enough to produce smoke from the chips in my electric smoker? And I have looked around and most all I seen really recommend the pan with ice..
Is the ice pan necessary?
post #4 of 16

The MES bottom end is 100 and it will not generate smoke, by itself, at set temps under 180-200. Even with ice, you won't be able to stay under 90 with 70 better for soft cheeses. You need a separate smoke generator and cool weather or lots of ice. Any cheese you like to eat is best to smoke. All smoke flavors contain creosote, an oily acrid tasting component that needs to be addressed. One method is to have 5+ feet of hose or pipe between your smoke generator and the smoker. This allows time for the smoke to cool and creosote to condense out leaving sweet smoke to go in the smoker and on the cheese. The other option is keep smoke time under 2-4 hours, use mild wood like oak or apple and the hard part, let the flavor mellow giving the cheese a min 2 week rest with a month or more being better...


If this is your first smoke, l suggest Chicken thighs and the recipes below. Best to learn the pool before jumping in the deep end...JJ


Juicy Smoke-tastic Chicken and Turkey


Here is a Brine and Rub that is a Favorite with members of my Family. I like Apple and/or Hickory with Chicken or Turkey. We determine doneness by measuring the Internal Temp (IT) in the thickest part of the Breast and Thigh, 165* and 175*F respectively. For a One Step Smoke with Crispy Skin the birds have to be smoked at a temp of 300-325°F. You can figure about 15 minutes per pound to reach the desired IT. Electric smokers usually only go to 275°F. With these you will be smoking at the most common temp range of 225-275°F. You can figure on about 25 minutes per pound cook time + or - 5 minutes depending what part of the range you choose. Usually the skin will not crisp so if the skin is not Crisp enough when the IT is 145*F in the Breast, put the Bird in a 425*F Oven to finish cooking to 165* and Crisp the Skin...JJ



Families Favorite Brine


1/2C Kosher Salt

2T Paprika

2T Gran. Garlic

2T Gran. Onion

2T Dry Thyme

2T Black Pepper

1C Vinegar (Any)

1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover Chix


1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional

1T Red Pepper Flake Optional


Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.

Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.

Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.

This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...


Bubba Chix Rub


1/2C Raw Sugar

2T Paprika (I use Smoked if I'm just Grilling)

1T Cayenne

1T Gran. Garlic

1T Gran. Onion

1tsp Black Pepper

1tsp Wht Pepper

1tsp Allspice

1tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or Thyme


Mix well. You can put directly on the skin or mix with Butter, Oil or Bacon Grease and rub on and under the Skin.

Reduce Cayenne to 1 teaspoon if less heat is desired. Add 1T Kosher Salt if the bird is not Brined.


post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Not my first time smoking, however it is my first time smoking cheese
post #6 of 16
Originally Posted by nate07 View Post

Not my first time smoking, however it is my first time smoking cheese


Sorry, thought this was the first time you were using the MES as well...JJ

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

Sorry, thought this was the first time you were using the MES as well...JJ

No worries.. Just my first time smoking cheese... Which I did tonight.. I'm not sure how I did but I do know it began to melt after about 2 hours so I took it off.. I tried to regulate the heat by using an ice pan and by opening the door.. It worked pretty good for about 1 1/2 hours.. But then not so much.. I'm still new to smoking cheese and honestly I'm pretty stoked about seeing how mine turned out.. Next time though I think I will try in cooler weather and on my vertical offset.. This was a learning curve for me.. And like I have heard "if you aren't learning something everyday then it's time to do something else"..

Here is the start of my cook

About 1 hour in..

End result..

post #8 of 16

You need a Amazen tray smoker for cheese.


This way you don't have to even turn on the smoker.


Sawdust works best for cheese.



post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post

You need a Amazen tray smoker for cheese.

This way you don't have to even turn on the smoker.

Sawdust works best for cheese.

What is better for sawdust? The tray?
post #10 of 16
If your using sawdust as rings stated I believe the tray is the only option. The tubes are for pellets 1c9e5f1baba2bd52b82cad1343b1efce.jpg

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post #11 of 16
I've used my horizontal offset for cheese using 2 or 3 pieces of charcoal and a small piece of wood on top but it's a pain. I have the best luck doing cheese with ambient temps between 50-60 outside air temp using either method.

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post #12 of 16

The AMNPS tray will use either pellets or sawdust, that's what I use.



post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post

The AMNPS tray will use either pellets or sawdust, that's what I use.

Guess I can use it in the ECB then. 😀
post #14 of 16

The Mailbox Mod along with the AMNPS works the best for me.  Perfect results every time.  You will need at least 5 feet of pipe between the smoker (MES 30) and the mailbox.


What is nice about this setup is that you do not have to turn the smoker on at all.  Smoker is just used as a boxed chamber and the cheese will not melt.


Good luck,



post #15 of 16

The tray is the only one that works with sawdust. Tubes aren't able to use dust.

post #16 of 16
I just recently smoked my first batch of cheese as well. It was medium cheddar and I have a Louisiana Champion smoker/grill. The cheese got quite hot but I used ice and smoked in the third chamber. I will use a DIY smoke generator next time and do it at night when we have cooler temps. Mine did not melt like yours did. It turned out really well. I did half of a 5 lbs loaf and cut it into 4 butter size chunks. I let them rest several hours and then waxed three of them. I let the fourth rest for a few days and then had to try it. It was delicious. I have since eaten one more on a beach trip. It was even better. The other two are still in my little cheese cave aging. I did buy two more 5 lbs loafs from Costeoporosis and they are aging while I learn about the DIY Venturi pipe smokers and gather all of the components to build one. It needs to look nice and fit with the look of the Champion smoker on the patio. Great job on learning from and doing your first cheese smoke. I did not mention that my cheese smoke was done at the same time that I did a batch of ribs which were great too.
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