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cheese smoke - 2nd attempt (extra-sharp cheddar/hickory)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
June 07 2008 at 13:36

i've got my little chief plugged in and two one-pound blocks of extra-sharp cheddar (each cut into thirds) on the top rack. i am using the cold-box technique recommended by luhr-jensen-smokehouse, but am also putting a pan of ice on the lowest level below the cheese (on the drip pan, which is now sitting above the top of the smoker as per the illustration) in order to keep temperatures down.

i intend to smoke the cheese in hickory for around two hours, using as many pans of chips as necessary (probably 2-3). will give an after-action report when finished and also a taste report tomorrow after the cheese has set in the fridge overnight in order to let the smoke flavor work its way into the cheese.


June 07 2008 at 14:46

ok, i just turned the cheese over and put the 2nd pan of chips in. one thing i noticed is that a lot of smoke is escaping at the junction where the carton goes over the smoker, even though i cut the flaps to fit and hang over in an attempt to keep smoke from escaping there.

in order to alleviate this problem, i've secured a large rubber band around the flaps hanging down and have also removed the drip pan and moved the pan of ice right up below the rack with the cheese. this way, the drip pan won't push the smoke down as it comes up, which was previously right at the level of the junction and probably ended up pushing a lot of smoke out the junction. as it is now, the smoke should be able to flow much more freely up to the level that the cheese is on before flowing out the vents in the top.

we'll see if this produces desired results. the bottom of the drip pan had a dark, drippy fluid (concentrated liquid smoke, dude!) and in removing the pan, i imagine that the cheese will take on a little more of the color i would be expecting from smoked cheese.

June 07 2008 at 15:26

ok - the cheese has been smoking two hours and has used up two pans of hickory chips. the changes i made above (moving the ice up and securing the flaps down) in order to keep smoke from escaping seem to have worked very well.

using a meat probe thermometer. i tried taking temperature readings. at the point where the box and the smoker came together, the temperature was 160 degrees. up at the top, where the cheese was, the needle did not even register on the lowest setting, which was 120 degrees. this is a good thng when smoking cheese, because you don't want heat that will melt it.

the smoking process seems to have worked well and the cheese smells very good. there must have been some heat because the cheese has just started to sweat a little bit; indeed, the pan of ice that i put in at the beginning was melted down to water. perhaps in the future, it would be beneficial to re-fill the pan of ice when i rotate the cheese and put in the 2nd pan of chips.

i ahve sealed the cheese in ziplocks and will refrigerate overnight in order for the smoke flavor to distribute and permeate throughout the cheese. i am expecting good things from it tomorrow.


June 08 2008 at 10:12

well, i must say this second attempt has turned out to be an even better success than the first.

once again, no real visible "smoke ring" penetration into the cheese (although it does have a much darker coloring on the outside than i saw last time), but the flavor is outstanding! it compares very well with any that i've ever bought at the store and indeed tastes much better.

for those who have been having any trouble smoking cheese, i highly recommend the method and procedure described above!
post #2 of 3

low heat

I saw somewhere where the smoke cheese by filling a food can (green beans or so) half full of wood sawdust and then sticking a new soldering pencil in it. I never tried it but it sounds like it would work well.
post #3 of 3

CharGriller cold smoking

I have been cold smoking cheese on my CharGriller Smokin' Pro for sometime. I will get some C-view (cheese view biggrin.gif ) of the cheese next time I put some on.

I generally just start some coals in my charcoal chimney sit 3 to 4 coals down in the firebox and then just sit a full size log ontop of the coals. I try not to have more then 4 coals in the firebox at a time. This keeps a good amount of smoke going but next to now heat. I then fill my drip pans/water pans FULL of ice, heaping, I mean heaping to the point they are touching the bottom of the grates.

Last time I smoked 5 pounds of cheese (2 pounds of colby, 2 pounds of chedder and a pound of pepper jack), for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

I have yet to have any cheese melt on me.
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