AMNS on the way! Just a few quick question...

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jan 17, 2011
Largo, FL and Dunlap, TN
My AMNS is supposed to deliver Thursday.  I've been hot smoking for several years (even though I am new to this forum) but have never cold smoked before.

So I have a few questions, most of which I am sure has been covered before, but I have had little luck finding them in a search.

I am thinking about trying cheese for the first go.  Probably some Cheddar and Jalapeno Jack.

I have a bullet-type charcoal smoker.

The temperature outside is supposed to be in the Mid 60's this weekend

1) Placement of AMNS and Cheese:  Should they be kept as far apart as possible?  should I use the water pan to keep the temp from getting too high?  I am afraid that adding water to the pan will add humidity to the smoker and affect the AMNS.  Any suggestions?

2) Time to Smoke:  How much time is "enough?"  Should I let it go for the full burn, burn from both sides (2x the smoke, 1/2 the time?), only load half the AMNS?  

Sorry if these have been answered a hundred times before.  Thanks for your help.

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I am a begginer 'cold smoker" and recently smoked some Monerey Jack cheese for the first time using the AMNS and a Masterbuilt Smokehouse (MES 40) and it turned out pretty good. This is what I did. 

- I did not turn on the smoker at all. The outside/climate temp was 75 degrees.

- I did not use a water pan.

- I pulled out the side wood feeder to allow better air flow.

- I lit only one end (1x) in the AMNS

- I cut the cheese in to smaller block size (approx 2"x 3" x 3").

- I used apple wood dust

- I stored the cheese in refrigerator for 2 weeks after smoking and before eating.

As for smoke times, I pulled some of the cheese at 2 hours, some at 3 hours, and some at 4 hours to test what some optimal smoke times might be. I could tell that there was more smoke flavor with the longer smoke times of course, but they all tasted good. I don't know at what point too much smoke time would result in bad results. I think that using the 1x smoke rate (rather than lighting multiple ends in the AMNS) is probably more important to avoid oversmoke/bad taste. Just my experiences as a beginner.
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I put  "AMNS and Cheese  " in the handy dandy search tool and got 9+ pages of cheese smoking answers.

Try it'll like it.

Ask Mikey .. he'll try anything.

Contributing factors:

Ambient temp?

How insulated is the smoker?

Keep AMNS as low as possible in smoker---Cheese up high.

What kind of cheese?

Lighting one end of AMNS or two?

Among other things.

Thanks.  Got the info I needed.  Can't wait to try it out!
Yer welcome.

My folks lived in Largo for 20 years. I have lots of fond memories...Crabby Bills Indian Rocks.

They are buried at Bay Pines.

 Have a great day!!

Make sure you place a piece of foil over the AMNS, just in case you get a drip.  Also, it deflects the heat, so it does not go directly up.

I light one end and smoke for 2 1/2 - 3 hours on most cheese. I really like smoked pepperjack or sharp cheddar.  My neighbors were drinking red wine, and liked the contrast of the wine and smoked mozzarella.

Make sure you seal up your cheese and put it away for 10 days or so.  The smoke mellows with a little age.  Right out of the smoker, the cheese can be a little strong.

The type of wood or sawdust will also make a difference in the flavor.  I use Apple for smoking cheese, but any fruitwood is works well.  Hickory can have a little too much "Bite" for me on cheese, but may be perfect for you.  It's all about trying different things!!


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