Got my AMNPS, now a cheese smoking question

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by bcrisco, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. bcrisco

    bcrisco Fire Starter

    Been reading a lot about the use of an AMNPS to smoke cheese and I've been wanting to branch out. Most seem to also have the mailbox mod going with there MES (I have a MES 30). Is MB mod necessary to smoke cheese? Thanks for help
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Some wait for cooler weather, or Smoke at night.

    Using Dust in your AMNPS will burn cooler.

    Or you can fill a Jug or two 3/4 full & freeze.

    Below is one I had in my Old MES 30:


  3. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

  4. bcrisco

    bcrisco Fire Starter

    Thanks for the input. May wait for fall and may have to go with a mod to "clean" things up
  5. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Wise choice, if a higher quality smoke is obtained with an extension, why wouldn’t one want to use it?

    When you are ready for your build we can help.

    Until then,

  6. bcrisco

    bcrisco Fire Starter

    Thanks Tom.
    The 2 links were good reads. Thinking either the MB or using a tabletop charcoal grill (to stay away from any galvanized materials
  7. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Do what you are comfortable with, but realize any galvanized metal used would never get warm enough to cause a problem. The air ducts in your house would probably get warmer.

  8. bcrisco

    bcrisco Fire Starter

    You know, that completely slipped my mind that the ducts in the house are galvanized (duh). We'll see what I end up going with. Have found a couple of little grills for about the same as the mailboxes.
  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The more mass the more efficient your firebox will be, mass creates a better heat sink. I use a cast iron stove for mine. When your nights are getting into the low 50's, we can be ready.

  10. bcrisco

    bcrisco Fire Starter

    Lord knows when that'll be with the daytime highs in the upper 80s-mid 90s. Probably will have to wait until fall
  11. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Air, Air and More Air!
    Intake air and a large exhaust are your friends when cold smoking

    A small 1/2" intake and exhaust hole just do not allow for enough combustion air and exhaust

    I smoke 20 lbs. of cubed cheese 3-4 times per month for demos, and don't use extension hoses or a mailbox mod.

    I've smoked cheese in 5 different Masterbuilt Smokers, gas grills, Weber Kettles, Pellet Grills and even a cardboard box.

    I've used sawdust and pellets with similar results

    Every time I smoke cheese, I make sure all the vents are WIDE open and I'll even crack to door or hood for more air

    Keeping smoke inside your smoker too long will cause creosote and other chemicals to drop out

    An inefficient fire with not enough combustion air will cause creosote and other chemicals to form

    Excess moisture will cause creosote and other chemicals to form

    The Mailbox Mod works for many guys because there is a heck of a lot more air available for combustion

    So, open your vents and even crack a door if you need to, in-order to minimize the formation of creosote

    Also, I smoke cheese for 2 - 2 1/2 hours MAX

    It's not bitter, and ready to eat the next day

    Todd Johnson

    Owner - A-MAZE-N Products
  12. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Being an ex Hoosier, I know that well. Until then, relax and listen to the corn grow.

  13. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can smoke cheese all year long here.

    Night temps always fall into the 70's here, use dust to keep the temps down.
  14. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Whatever works to get your desired results is the important thing. Using a tray type pellet smoke generator, I can smoke mine for 20 hours using a very light thin smoke and it is ready to eat right out of the smoker.

    Mr T
  15. bcrisco

    bcrisco Fire Starter

    With all of suggestions, looks like I'm going to have fun during the experimental stages yo see what works best for me. Thanks everyone👍
  16. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Remember....$.99 Cheese tastes bad before it's smoked and even worse after!

    Buy good quality cheese

    Start with a little smoke for a short period

    If you want more smoke flavor, you can always cold smoke it again

    Too much smoke, and you may have to let it mellow for weeks

    Throw in a plate of Kosher salt while you're at it

    Makes a great gift!

  17. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yes have fun. Todd hit on several bases above.

     Regardless the type of smoke generator used. Things to consider when cold smoking a product are the color and density of the smoke being used and the internal temperature of the food chamber. I attempt to explain that in the following.   Understanding Smoke Management - updated 12/08/14

    The color and density of the smoke can be adjusted by the type of fuel being used and the amount of air supplied. Temperature is adjusted by the use of air supplied to the fuel and the proximity of the fire to the product, the more air supplied, the hotter the burn.

    Using an analogy. Regardless the make, look at a smoke generator, as a pick-up truck. Some are happy with the way it performs as is. Others modify it to fit their individual requirements. The modifiers can change the tires, suspension, engine, and add accessories to fit their needs. Modifications to a smoke generator can be made by the use of different types of fuel and airflow adjustments, not to mention the placement or the delivery system.

    Certainly, acceptable cheese can be smoked in close proximity to the smoke generator. The downside to it is, the closer it is to the product, the less forgiving it is. It requires shorter smoking times or you risk the bitter taste signifying over smoking. The shorter smoking time is indeed desirable by many. I did it for years thinking it was somewhat comparable to my walk-in smokehouse cheese. Since then, I have made an effort to replicate the walk-in smokehouse by the use of the remote firebox, and smaller food chamber, which in my humble opinion produces a much better product.

    After selecting a product to smoke, the first thing I consider is the color and density of the smoke desired. Second is the type of generator followed by the type of fuel.
    Depending on the equipment used and the cut, cheese can be smoked anywhere from 24 hours using a very light, thin smoke or in five minutes using a heavy dense smoke. 

    It all boils down to personal preference. Do what works best for you and enjoy. Most importantly, have fun doing it.

    Mr T
  18. bcrisco

    bcrisco Fire Starter

    Ok, now you guys bring about another question. So if I'm hot smoking (pork butts, brisket, etc). Would it be advantageous to also use the MB mod? Would I simply have the heating element on, but simply have my smoke coming from the amnps in a MB?
  19. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Very good question and one which may get different responses. There is quite a difference between hot and cold smoking/cooking. As you are learning cold smoking in general is, applying smoke to a product that readily absorbs smoke. When cooking, the product can be somewhat resistant to accepting smoke due to moisture escaping on the surface. So what am I saying? If you were cooking for a short amount of time, the mod most likely would be of little benefit. If cooking for a long time such, as when cooking a butt or brisket, the mod could be a benefit.

  20. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My MES 40 is dedicated for smoking Salmon (hot or cold) and I use the MB mod, mainly to help minimize the need to open the smoker's door to attend the AMNPS if necessary.  One of the best mods created.

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