1ST attempt at smoking cheese.

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by jaymax, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. I've never done this, but with all the info on this great forum, I am pretty sure there isn't anything you can't do!

    I smoked sharp cheddar, swiss, co-jack, mozzarella, Monterrey jack, & 3 alarm co-jack.  I also threw in 6 eggs to give them a try.  I have a mes 40 & an amnps that I used pit maters choice from Todd.  I smoked for 2.5 hrs & was between 55-65 degrees.  It was 10 degrees outside so I turned the mes to 100 degrees for a couple minutes twice just to keep it from dropping too low.  It is all vacuum sealed & in spare fridge in basement next to my 1st attempt at bacon sitting in brine.

    Thanks to everyone on this forum for all the info!

    eggs, pepper co-jack, Monterrey jack, & swiss pre- smoker

    swiss, mozzarella, co-jack, & sharp cheddar pre-smoker

    after smoking. hard to see color, but its there

    after smoking

  2. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Man in a few, 2 to 4, weeks you are going to be so happy.  Well done.
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Gonna be tasty! Love me some smoked egg salad sandwees!!
  4. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    Be sure to wait for at least 2 weeks 3 is better.
  5. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    While your at it, you might try going for a 4 or 5 hour smoke to compare the taste. I've noticed that in cooler weather I am still getting good color but I am never less than 4 hours. I've also found that the inner core of the cheese in lesser smoke times, has less smoke flavor then the outer surfaces. I am now waiting at least 3 weeks before tasting but now that I have an inventory of 9-10 weeks on some cheeses, we probably like the taste a bit more bold.

    Nice work and as mentioned in the cheese topics....keep notes. You'll be able to dial in your most favored tastes with nice repeatable results
  6. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks great.  Just remember that when you have consumed say half of the cheese, to smoke some more so you never run out due to the waiting time.
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    They look great Jaymax.

    Don't worry about the colour - unless you are using a thick smoke or extended smoking times the colour will usually be quite subtle. You will often find that the blocks nearest the smoke source colour up more than the ones further away as more smoke is deposited.

    Try a wide range of cheeses to find the ones you like the best. You will find though that many of the very strong flavoured cheeses (e.g. mature Stilton, or some of the stronger blue vein cheeses) don't take smoke quite as well as the milder cheeses as the smoke flavour tends to compete with the cheese flavours rather than compliment them. You will quickly find the ones that you like though.

    How did your eggs turn out?
  8. the color is accomplished with dye, in the commercial world as best as I can tell. I have never really been concerned about it, just the lag time between the smoker and the mouth.. 3 to 6 weeks[​IMG]
  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes either dye or commonly a dusting of smoked paprika.
  10. 1st time with smoking eggs & the jury is still out. Not sure how I like them. I think they had just the right amount of smoke, left them in 1hr. Next time I will make deviled eggs & I think those would be good.
  11. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    ive never needed to add liquid smoke, colour or paprika to obtain a deep smoked colour and flavour in my store. Its time, temp, wood type and smoke density.

    Best to have a small fan to circulate the smoke evenly. The air flow also drops smoking time because it helps more smoke to come in contact with the food making it deeper in colour and stronger in flavour in a shorter time. 

    3-4 hr smoke with natural venting or 2 hrs with convection smoking. This will give a great colour and flavou

    Smoked English Blue Stilton is one of the best if you like stronger and blue cheese. Long smoke, but it melts easy so smoke house must be kept below 60f.

    Watch out when smoking cheese that it doesnt 'sweat' too much, preferably not at all. This is not condensation, it is fat. Cheese can become what is referred to as 'heat shocked'. It is fine for eating, but never as good as when it doesnt get too warm to be heat shocked. 
  12. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Mike - Like you I don't use anything to colour the cheese and as you say the colour does vary depending on the type of wood/smoke etc. I have found that I get much less colour smoking with pellets than I do with sawdust. Maybe that is because the pellets burn cleaner (?)

    Appreciating the stronger cheeses smoked is probably down to personal preference. I have tried smoking mature Stilton and some of the stronger blue cheeses and I have not got on with them at all. We each have to find what we like and dislike by trying it.
  13. I they have you covered. I am now up to some 4 year old smoked cheese. When I find it on sale. I buy a bunch and smoke it. Vacuum seal it and put in the project fridge. I have 35 pounds waiting for me to smoke now. The Kraft 8oz. Blocks are on sale now 2 for 2.59. I have been buying all they have and then going and getting it price matched. I will buy all they have everyday this week untill the sale ends.

    It has a much better flavor. The longer it rest. Mr. T can tell you everything you want to know about cheese if you PM him.

    Happy smoken.

    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  14. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice vac packing David. What packer do you use?
  15. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    Great stash for smoking!!!!

    The older the cheddar the better i say. That 4 yr old you have is going to be awesome!

    You ever put any aromatics in with the wood when you smoke your cheese, like certain kinds peppercorns, bay leaf or other herbs or spices?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  16. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Mike

    Have there been any cheeses that have surprised you when you have tried smoking them? pleasantly or otherwise?
  17. I have now moved up to the Vac Master VP 112 chamber vacuum sealer.

    Happy smoken.

  18. Mike

    No I just use wood pellets or dust. I use a AMNPS. I do mix the pellets at times.

    Happy smoken.

  19. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I must admit I did look very carefully at that one and was tempted. I was just a little wary of the cantilever lid. Is it more robust than it appears in the photos? I have read very good reports about its performance. I ended up going for a Henkelman in the end.
  20. I make it a point to use both hands to open it. It could made be a little stronger. I think as long as you use both hands it should be ok.

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