First cheese smoke!!!!

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Original poster
Nov 29, 2013
24 degrees here in Indy today so I thought I would try to smoke some cheese.  I loaded the AMNPS with about 70/30 Apple/Hickory pellets.  After an hour and a half of smoking my temp in the 40" MES is 59 degrees at the top rack.  The cheeses are: Dubliner, Jarlsberg, colby jack, and sharp cheeder.  LOL.. I didn't even know what Dubliner or Jarlsberg was until I bought it and tried a piece.  They taste good to me.  Debating at this point on how long to let them smoke...  2 hours, 3?

Nice selection on cheese.  If just starting out I would go two hours smoke then two weeks rest then eat as fast as you can.  Keep notes on time, cheese and wood then you can adjust time in future smokes and get what you think is perfect cheese.     59-60 perfect temp.

So I have read a couple different methods when dealing with the cheese, seal it tight in saran wrap or dry age for a few days open in a bag...

What is everyone's favorite method?
I always let it sit out on the counter till it has completely dried off then vac pac.  In the winter the cheese seems to have more moisture on it then in the summer.  Don't wipe it off just let it dry on its own.  if you can't vac it then wrap in plastic wrap very tight and then do it again.

O.K., there is no visible moisture on the cheeses and all of the various cheese portions feel dry to the touch, is that because my highest temp was 61 degrees?  Or am I just letting set to dry out moisture that I can not detect with a finger swipe?
Well, I got side tracked doing some other stuff today, i.e., watching football... and this smoked for just over 3 hours.  Everything looks mildly darker except the Jarlsberg which is noticeably darker. 

Looks good. I like to loosely cover the cheese and keep in the fridge a few days before vac packing. Really helps it mellow out a bit.
Sounds good, say three days in fridge before I double wrap with saran wrap and put in zip lock bags?
That looks real good.  3 hrs is going to be just fine.  I like 5-6 hrs on hard cheese and after it sits in the fridge for a year it mellows out a lot more than after the two week wait and ends up like a 1-2 hr smoke.   So if its too smokey just let it sit and on the next smoke go less time.   Keep it as air tight as you can.  Good job the Jarlsberg is going to be great.

Smoker, good looking cheese.  Stan is giving you good advice.  Try and learn to smoke to a desired color rather than time alone.  Different environments will cause any smoke generator to produce smoke differently.

I notice the foil on the bottom rack.  Suggest taking a pencil and poking holes in it across the entire surface.  This will allow the smoke to distribute more evenly before it reaches your product.

If your cheese is dry when it comes out of the smoker, there is no need to let it rest prior to sealing it, unless you plan to wax it.  Waxing works better with a very slight crust on the cheese.  You may store the hard chesses at 70° or below, the soft cheese will have to be refrigerated.

Enjoy your cheese.

Too much smoke for us.  We like a slight hint of smoke and this is just too much for us.  I served for our New Year's eve party with some deer summer sausage and crackers.  Most of it was eaten with good reviews, however I am always a little skeptical of food reviews when the bubbly is flowing.  LOL.  So next time I will go for maybe 60-90 minutes and see what happens.
My first, second and third cheese was to smokey after only two weeks of aging.  I have now aged some for over a month and it has certainly mellowed out.

The Mozzi was great and had the best smoke flavor.  Very slight.  I used Pecan and 3 hours.  I have been learning with all my smoking that we like a bit less than what I was doing so I have been not worrying about keeping the chip box full.  I just fill it once and that seems to be enough for us.  With cheese I use the AMNPS and after three hours only one of the three sections were used.

You just have to play with it and get it to the taste you like.  Wood types make a huge difference I am finding with items like artichokes, cheese and poultry.

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