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First time smoking cheese came out PERFECT, just wanted to share my cheap and easy approach!

Discussion in 'Smoked Cheese' started by Hauser, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Hauser

    Hauser Newbie

    I'm brand new to smoking (and the forums!) and started small yesterday with a 12" AMNTS, about half a pound of BBQr's Delight hickory pellets, my Napoleon P500 propane grill and a block of Balderson medium cheddar cut into 2"x2" logs, starting around 8am in 75F weather with zero wind.

    I started up the AMNTS with my cigar lighter then put it on the grill and closed it up for a few minutes while I prepped the cheese and other goodies to smoke, when I came back out and opened up the grill it had a nice flame going so I blew it out and it started to smoke like a train! I put it at the back of the grill on top of the burners underneath the grill grates, added the food and walked away, checking on it every hour and hoping for about a 4 hour smoke.


    Just after 3 hours I noticed the smoke had gone clear so I opened it up and found the pellets had caught fire - I basically cut the smoke short at that point as the flame was crisping up some of the food I had directly over top of it (next time I'll put the AMNTS under one of the grill's flavour bars so flame can never reach the food), but all in all I got 3 hours of very smoky hickory on my cheese.

    Long story short the results were FANTASTIC! From what I had read on the forums here I was fully prepared to let my cheese rest on the counter until at least the evening before sealing them and then not touching them for weeks, but I popped one piece straight into a ZipLoc and then into the fridge to try as a snack later and lo and behold, it tasted delicious right out of the bag after cooling down for a few hours, better than any smoked cheese I've ever bought at the store including Balderson's own smoked cheddar!

    I have no idea why this worked so well compared to other folks who get campfire-tasting cheese from their experiments, but I suspect it's just a matter of dialing down the smoke and increasing the airflow - the AMNTS with hickory way off to the side (not underneath!) my cheese doesn't produce get nearly as much smoke on the cheese as some other approaches, and the grill itself is very well ventilated so the smoke didn't get to hang around for long giving me zero "campfire" taste or smell whatsoever.

    Anyway I just wanted to share my experience, in my opinion this setup (with a few tweaks) is a winner for cold smoking cheese, producing a delicious product that's ready-to-eat. Cheers!
  2. SmokinVOLfan

    SmokinVOLfan Smoking Fanatic

    That looks awesome! How did the potato chips and goldfish turn out? Never thought to give that a try.
  3. Steve H

    Steve H Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    How smokey the cheese taste all depends on the consumer. Only once did I go ewww. And let it sit for an extended period of time. That was with Swiss cheese. Though letting it sit does help the flavor to absorb further into the cheese. And mellow. Your set up looks very good. I really need to do some almonds and cashews.
  4. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you like the taste now you will find it "undersmoked" in a few weeks. if it lasts that long.
  5. GATOR240

    GATOR240 Smoking Fanatic

    That's a good looking mix of snacks.
  6. ksblazer

    ksblazer Meat Mopper

    Glad to hear your first cheese smoke was a success. Sounds like there will be more in the future, since it turned out so well.

    I'm also curious how the other snacks turned out. Never thought about smoking up potato chips. May have to give that a try, if yours turned out well.
  7. Hauser

    Hauser Newbie

    Thanks guys, the chips and Goldfish came out really well (my wife says the chips are the best Hickory Sticks she’s ever had) while the pretzels and almonds weren’t smokey enough for me, likely because they’re quite dry compared to the other snacks so next time I’ll brush them down with some oil or butter so the smoke sticks better.

    Next up I’ve got a 4 hour mesquite smoke planned for some stronger flavoured foods including hot Italian sausage, habanero Monterey jack and some big poblanos and tomatillos I’ve been waiting to turn into salsa - will report back with results!