Cheese Smoking question...

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

02ebz06

Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Feb 1, 2012
2,097
1,968
Rio Rancho, NM
I know many of you smoke cheeses, so have a question for you.
I bought 16lb of cheese in 2lb blocks.
The blocks are about 2" thick, so do you smoke them like that or slice them down to 1" thick?
I would think more smoke for smaller volume if 1" thick.

Oops, OK, two questions. How long do you typically smoke for?
I've gone 4 hours in past, and was not good. Started doing 1-2 hours and better, but not much smoke flavor.

Plan on testing the "Cold Smoke" mode on the LSG.
It fills the burn pot with pellets, then after ignited, it turns the fan off and lets the pellets smolder for and hour+ they say before dumping more in pot.
Will have a pan of ice over burn pot area.
TIA
 
Once a year for our employees, myself and another manager buy "logs" of colby that is 4" in diameter and then we slice it into 2" thick rounds.

These are then placed into the smoker with an AMAZEN tray or tube filled with apple pellets. We smoke for 3-4 hours, pull, let rest on the racks for an hour or so outside of the smoker, wipe them a bit, and then vacuum pack. After vac pack, they go into the refrigerator for a week before we hand them out.

So far we've had good results doing this. The apple is pretty tame for smoke and the hour rest outside on the racks has seemed to help as well.
 
I use dust for smoking cheese. I have one block that is deemed the sacrificial lamb. Meaning that at the two hour mark I'll try a slice(cut from about a quarter of an inch in) and if I like it then the cheese is done. Once pulled off the smoker it's allowed to rest on a cooling rack for an hour or so on the counter - then into the fridge overnight. In the morning I'll try another slice and if it's good. Then I'll vacuum seal it. If I think it needs more smoke then I'll put it back on the smoker for another hour or so and repeat the process. Doing it this way I don't have to wait two weeks to eat it. The size of the block should be the size that you'll serve. I like the 8oz blocks.

On the smoker
1704756543045.png


and on the cooling rack
1704756592524.png


Chris
 
Chris, I've always been under the impression that it doesn't taste good right away and needs to rest for a week or two before it is good to eat.
I remember the first time I tried making cheese is was nasty when I tasted right away.
 
  • Like
Reactions: okiwen
This is how I “cut the cheese”. Most of these blocks in my post were 2lbs before I cut them up

 
Last edited:
Chris, I've always been under the impression that it doesn't taste good right away and needs to rest for a week or two before it is good to eat.
I remember the first time I tried making cheese is was nasty when I tasted right away.
Dust produces a cleaner/lighter smoke than pellets. That coupled with semi-frequent checks for doneness allows me to enjoy the cheese right away. My formula is basically - No heat, clean smoke and frequent checking. The cheese in the pictures above were done with pellets and the temps got higher than I wanted. I used them because they showed the block size I like and the cooling rack rest.

Chris

Edit: My wife and i like a lighter smoke flavor. So I use apple dust for us, usually between a 2 to 4 hour smoke. My kids like a heavier smoke profile. So for them I use hickory dust, and about the same time.

Edit #2, Time is usually determined by ambient temp. The warmer it is the quicker the cheese seems to take on smoke.
 
Last edited:
I wrote up my approach in this thread: Smoking cheese on a WSM

It's not that different than what others have already described here, other than the tricks I need to use to keep the Weber under 90 degrees F for the smoke.
 
This is how I “cut the cheese”. Most of these blocks in my post were 2lbs before I cut them up

I have never tried to cold smoke but now it's on ! Needed a good step by step.
I did try "hot smoked' last weekend and can verify that it DOES NOT WORK 🤨.
Cream cheese will hold up but not blocks of cheddar!

20231220_213144.jpg
Keith
 
I have never tried to cold smoke but now it's on ! Needed a good step by step.
I did try "hot smoked' last weekend and can verify that it DOES NOT WORK 🤨.
Cream cheese will hold up but not blocks of cheddar!

View attachment 685303
Keith
That made my night lol! Happens to the best of us! Just so you know, I would still eat it.....
 
I cold smoke mozzarella cheese every winter. I buy 2# blocks and cut them into 6 smaller blocks. I then cold smoke them for 3-4 hours using apple pellets. Vacuum seal afterwards and let them sit for a month plus before trying them.
 
to your original question on size
I like to cut to the size I plan to serve.
Crackers 1" x 1" is perfect and takes smoke a lot faster.
Crostini 2" x 2" is the target and a little longer smoke.
Cutting either log across the grain gives a great visual of smoke ring
I would use a smoke tube or tray and not use the LSG except as a smoking chamber.

I don't smoke cheese much anymore, but best was from my unplugged Big Chief and a smoke tube.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 02ebz06
Thanks all for your replies. I really appreciate it.

Since my goal was to try out the "Cold Smoke" mode on the LSG, I am going to stick with that.
Won't know how well, or how poor, it works if I don't try it.

As for responses to thickness, no 100% thick or thinner winner, but leaving at 2" had an edge.
From what's been said, seems like either way works well. Guess I'll do some 2" thick and some 1".
I'll end up with more cheese by cutting some in half. 🤣

As for Apple and Dust, don't have either.
I do have Lumberjack Cherry, Pecan, Hickory, and Comp Blend pellets.
I guess Cherry or Pecan would be best choice to use.

Also, I think I will try a few pieces in the CampChef vertical smoker.
I have a smoke box to put in it, and can set the controller to "Fan Only" mode.
This has been my go-to for smoking cheese and doing jerky as it has the 6 shelves.

Again, thanks to everyone: crankybuzzard crankybuzzard , gmc2003 gmc2003 , flatbroke flatbroke , 912smoker 912smoker , TNJAKE TNJAKE , S Smoke-Chem BBQ , Buckeyedude Buckeyedude , Brokenhandle Brokenhandle , cmayna cmayna , Winterrider Winterrider , and Fueling Around Fueling Around .
 
  • Like
Reactions: 912smoker
I use dust in a tray and smoke about 4 hrs. I don't have a problem eating right away. I usually cut the larger chunks to 4 or 8 oz size. I think it allows more edges for smoke and also usually package 2-3 different cheeses together for vacuum seal fridge time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JLeonard
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads

Clicky