Master of the Pit
- Joined Apr 27, 2012
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.