First Time Nerves - Live

  • 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.


Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
Herefordshire, England
So I set up my first smoke this morning.

Goats Cheese, Cheddar, Soft Goats Cheese, Peppers, Aubergine, Onions, and Butternut squash..

Box over.  A temperature of 10c, it will be interesting to see what that rises to..

 The aim was to give everything 3 hours and then swap for some Gouda, Butter,  Cooked lentils (Merchant Gourmet pouch into a shallow dish) a Macsween 2-3 portion haggis and some more onions.

3 hours passed so I went out for the big switch over.. and..

Everything looked about the same.. except the goats cheese, which were yellow inside the rind.  The Cheddar just took on a slight butter yellow. So disappointed I did my exchange, but left half the cheddar, the aubergine, and uncut peppers - the latter 2 being in their skin which will be removed as part of the cooking process so could risk over smoking.

I came back in to sort out my produce and after dealing with everything eat a crumb of cheddar that had fallen off.

 WOW!!  maybe it had taken on taste after all.  Yes it was extreme, as mentioned in these forums it will get it's required bed rest in the fridge,  but it's taught me that colour isn't a great indicator of smokiness.

So I think I'll go back out in 30 minutes and remove the stuff that's still there from the start as it will have had 4 hours.  I'd partially baffled my chimneys after 3 hours (not a phrase you hear every day!)  but I'll probably open them again.

The temperature has risen from 10c to 13c, but I'm sure at least 1c of that will be due to the day reaching it's high (!!).
Goats Cheese, Cheddar, Soft Goats Cheese, Peppers, Aubergine, Onions, and Butternut squash..

Everything looked about the same.. WOW!!  maybe it had taken on taste after all.  Yes it was extreme...

The temperature has risen from 10c to 13c, but I'm sure at least 1c of that will be due to the day reaching it's high (!!).

Unless the cheese is being directly hit with the smoke plume you will not usually get any colour on it. The taste will certainly be there though as you found out... The colour that you get on the shop bought processed "smoked" cheese is usually down to a sprinkling of paprika for effect. 

Did I see some Camembert or small Brie on the top? If so then these will benefit from being pricked all over with a toothpick before smoking to help the smoke flavour penetrate the rind.

You may also want to cut the peppers in half as the skin will act as a very efficient smoke barrier. Peppers (especially chillies) work really well if you smoke them and let them completely dry out. They can then either be used whole in cooking (like an Ancho or a Chipotle) or can be ground and used as a powdered seasoning.

10-15 Deg C is a good temperature to smoke these at. 

Looking forward to the next update
Last edited:
I think you're looking at the goats cheese, which I have cut in half.   I cut one red pepper in half and left 2 whole.  These are for a smokey pepper sauce to cook pork in.  I wondered whether to prick them but decided to try them as they were first time.  I'll leave them a few days.  Similarly the Aubergine will be roasted and the flesh scooped out and added to lemon juice etc to make Baba ganoush. I decided to leave this intact first time.

The Haggis likewise could be pricked but I thought I'd leave it in its natural casing, and then bake it in the casing in the oven (rather than removing the casing and microwaving).

The problem is you read so many articles when starting ie. smoke whole/half/pricked that it's seams a good idea to just try a few ways yourself and learn from experience.
That's it.  I've packed up my second half smoke.  The temperature did reach 15c, so I guess I've got to allow for 5 to 7c increase over a 6 hour smoke.  I don't know what the implications of this are for the Haggis (which is precooked), but I guess as I never released it from the casing, the mild antiseptic smoke and a bit of drying will help keep it ok for its original shelf life.

The butters and cheese will now get their extended rest in the fridge.  I'll probably use the vegetables quite soon.  I'm expecting only a mild smoke effect as I left the skins on and will be removing these before or during preparation.  The lentils are vac packed and with an original packet date of August 2015 there's no rush - however I'll probably not be able to resist for too long before trying them.

I guessed at 7 to 8 hours smoking when I put the wood dust in and that looks about right.  so, waste not want not I put some canned tomatoes in for the last hour just to help that pepper and tomato sauce when I get to it later this week.  I'll also be roasting the butternut squash to go into a risotto later in the week.

Thanks for all the advice.  I better get back to whatever I'm supposed to be doing.
With smoked butter it is best used as an accompaniment when you server rather than something you cook with. I have a restaurant that takes my smoked butter and they use it on fish and meat as it is served. The flavour is very delicate and is not sufficiently robust to use as a main cooking ingredient. Melted over a steak, lobster or prawns as they are served though is magic. 
Hello Pfaas.  Sounds like you had a good first run.  I think you are right.  Set a benchmark from which you can very the process to achieve the results you want.  Hope you made notes.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

Danny is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads