First cheese smoke - Is there any way to get rid of the stale smoke flavor?

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ryan in louisville

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 30, 2007
Louisville, KY
I smoked a lot of cheese for Christmas presents around Thanksgiving. I made a cocktail shaker smoker and fed the smoke into a cardboard box that I sealed pretty well except for the removable lid. I used apple chips and smoked some cheese for 2 hours; some for 3 hours. I vacuum sealed it and put it in the fridge. Just before Christmas I opened a pack up to try. It had a bitter stale smoke flavor.

Looking around at other posts it seems as though I sealed the box too well and the smoke became stale. Is there anything I can do to salvage this batch of cheese or do I ditch it and try over?
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I would keep checking the cheese as it ages. It may mellow. Having good air flow is critical to good smoke flavor. I also always loosely wrap my cheese for a couple days before vac packing it. Test with the open package by not wrapping it tightly and let it sit for a few days and see if that helps.
Like Case said, maybe a little more time, but it sounds like you had too heavy a smoke & trapped it too, causing creosote on the surface.

You could try washing it good with warm water & rinsing with cold water. Nothing to lose at this point.

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i agree with should have had an exhaust port on your box...your cheese has to much heavy smoke...TBS is what you want from the exhaust port of your smoker..also know as Thin Blue Smoke...anything more than that will cause a bitter nasty taste...creosote...what you may have to do if washing doesn't work...try trimming off some of the outer layer of your cheese and see how the smoke flavor is deeper into the cheese
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I know I had creosote in my smoke generator, it was dripping everywhere. I had the tube carrying the smoke on an incline to keep the creosote from dripping into the box. Like I said previously, I used apple chips. Is it normal for those chips to create a lot of creosote in smoke generator like this?

I'll rinse a few off and put them in iploc bags and see how they are in a week or 2.
it's normal if there is to much smoke with no exhaust stated above about a sealed box with a removable lid.....maybe cut a few holes in the lid or towards the top of your box on the sides.....a hint of smoke is all you need for flavor
Maybe you sealed it too quickly.  I have noticed a huge difference between the cheese I opened and ate and the cheese that I put in zip lock bags and store in the chill chest.

I am such a novice, so I could just be all wet.

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