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First Batch Of Smoked Cheese With The AMNS

Discussion in 'Smoked Cheese' started by daricksta, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Smoked Cheeses 2.jpg
    I bought the 6x6 A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker some months ago (I've been using the AMNPS for years) for cold smoking with AMN Dust. Yesterday was the hottest day of the year (so far) here in the Puget Sound area and so I decided it'd be a great day to smoke the Jarlsberg, mozzarella, and sharp cheddar cheeses I'd bought for that purpose. I filled the maze with Todd's applewood Dust. I own a Masterbuilt Gen 1 30" electric smoker and, I failed to do the math so I didn't realize that the AMNS is a bit too wide to sit on the parallel rails like the AMNPS does. I only needed to use 3 racks anyway so I placed the AMNS on the 4th (bottom rack) and faced it sideways. It burned beautifully.

    The one mistake I made was in not figuring that the cheese(s) sitting on the rack above would bear the full brunt of the heat rising up from the smoking Dust. You can see in the photo the square slice of cheddar that was right above the maze, and the square of cheddar that was next to it. I'm betting those two pieces of cheese will be extra tasty, but next time I'll keep the space directly above the tray clear. Once again, Todd's Q-MATZ were perfect for cold smoking cheeses. It keeps the cheeses from melting into the rack tines and sinking/dripping through them.

    I never plugged in the MES--never had to. From igniting the Dust, letting it burn for 10 minutes, placing the tray in the MES, to pulling the cheese, the tray burned for 4 hours and 10 minutes. I had fill all 4 rows of the tray but only 1.5 rows were burnt. I'm figuring I could've gotten about 10 hours out of that tray; you get at least 11 hours with the 5x8 AMNPS. This was THE easiest cold smoke I've ever had. Can't wait to use the AMNS for cold smoking salmon later in the year.

    I didn't take the time to shoot any photos of the cheeses inside the MES. But here they are fresh from being pulled from the smoker. I've vacuum packed all the cheese. They'll hibernate and age in the fridge for the next 3-4 weeks before I start giving some away as gifts and munching down on the cheese I'm hoarding for myself.
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  2. crazymoon

    crazymoon Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    DRS, Nice color on your cheese!
  3. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yeah , color looks great . Gonna be good .
  4. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That looks fantastic. B
    daricksta likes this.
  5. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice job on the cheese. I used Todd's dust in my last batch I really liked it.

    Point for sure.

    daricksta likes this.
  6. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks like your set for a while!
    daricksta likes this.
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the point!
  8. ksblazer

    ksblazer Smoking Fanatic

    That is something to be proud of there. I know I would be. Great smoke color on it.

    Sharp cheddar is my favorite cheese so far. But I just tried some mozzarella that I did for the first time today. It may overtake sharp cheddar for for being my favorite.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
    daricksta likes this.
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the compliments. For the first few batches of cheeses I smoked I used only mozz and sharp cheddar. Mozz is my favorite. This time I added some Jarlsberg. The last time I smoked cheeses I added Gouda and Gruyere to these three. I think I might expand out to Fontina and Provolone, maybe Edam as well. My idea is to smoke my own versions of the smoked cheeses you see in a grocery store deli counter or cheese section.
    ksblazer likes this.
  10. ksblazer

    ksblazer Smoking Fanatic

    Smoked Gouda is one of my favorites. I've been on the lookout for unsmoked gouda but haven't had much luck. The unsmoked Gouda a did find. Was a $1 more per pound than the smoked. It was $8 a pound if I remember correctly.

    Passed on that for the sharp cheddar that's $2.69 a pound at Winco near my house. Its also 18 months old too.
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We buy some of our cheeses at Winco as well. That store is great, one of our two main supermarkets for weekly groceries shopping. You're right, I think they only carry smoked Gouda. I buy the unsmoked Gouda at Safeway, another supermarket chain store.

    The sharp cheddar was aged 18 months? Was it the Winco store brand? My favorite sharp cheddar is made by Tillamook out of Oregon. Typically I'll buy a 2.5 lb. loaf at Costco at a cheaper cost than buying the 2 lb. version at Winco. This last time I bought that 2 pounder at Winco along with a 2 lb loaf of Galbani Precious mozz.
  12. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Seeing more guys using dust over pellets... I need to try that. Did you ever smoke cheese with pellets?
  13. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes I have. I've had problems with keeping them burning in the AMNPS. Bear recommended cold smoking with Dust since it does better at colder temps and where there's an airflow problem. The Dust I bought from Todd Johnson/A-MAZE-N worked superbly well. The only issues with Dust that I have are that 1) some of it falls through the holes in the bottom of the AMNS and 2) when you blow on burning Dust little bits of it blow onto my bare arms and sting something fierce. But the results of my cheeses cold smoke speak for themselves.
    zwiller likes this.
  14. Traeger.Rage.BBQ

    Traeger.Rage.BBQ Meat Mopper ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Just ordered a 4lb blend of dust. I had no idea of such a thing with the AMNPS. I was having trouble keeping mine lit and was running a test today with the fan running on a Traeger 34”. It decided to smoke away for me and I was snacking on cheese at the time!

    Yep that epiphany moment. Get more cheese! The smoke is about 4 hours old now.

    Can’t wait to do a cheese specific intended smoke. Thank you all for the input here.
    daricksta and zwiller like this.