Help: what's the longest you've aged your smoked cheese?

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by forluvofsmoke, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'll be smoking some sharp and extra sharp cheddar, along with some pepper-jack for a late June wedding, and I'm wondering how long I can get away with aging before the event. I want to smoke it before the ambient temps get much over 75*, so I may want to smoke it in the next couple of weeks. I had even considered doing it tomorrow, but will I have mold problems with that long of a rest in the fridge? The only cheeses I've smoked were gone shortly after the first week, so I don't know if it will store for 2-3 months or not. Freezing isn't an option for this, either, as it will be too crumbly for slicing the harder cheeses, and this will be used for appetizers (cut into approx. 1" x 1" bars before smoking for maximizing surface area).

    Thanks for your assistance!

  2. redneck69

    redneck69 Smoking Fanatic

    i vacuum seal my cheese and let it rest for 2 weeks unless its a soft cheese..than ill let it sit a few days before eating....i just finished up my last batch of cheese that was in the fridge that i did a year and 2 months long as its sealed with the air out of the bag you should have no issues with mold
  3. sound1

    sound1 Smoking Fanatic

    I vac seal mine, I have some in the fridge now that has ten months on it. The extra sharp I did tends to crumble from the get go. It was four years old before I smoked and put it back to bed. You have some lucky guests....
  4. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      For a few months you should not have a problem if you vacum seal after smoking.

  5. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have some very sharp cheddar that I smoked two years ago...still awesome..

    I keep the big piece vac sealed with one of the foodsaver refrigerator kits...its a ziplock with a valve and a small vac pump...

    Works great!!!

  6. Check out Mr. T for your cheese information.  He's posted some great in depth info and QView.  I think Mr. T seals his smoked cheeses in cheese wax for extra long storage.
  7. Sorry, forgot to add that his forum name is Mr T 59874
  8. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    jaybone likes this.
  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    No problem with aging your smoked cheese.  I have some smoked Limburger that's close to 15 years old.  Like one above I usually wont smoke mine until it's at least 3 years old.  If it is to be consumed within a few months, you can vacuum seal it and keep at 70 degrees or less.  It does not need to be refrigerated.  It will mellow or equalize at a faster rate if kept at the warmer temps. If going to keep longer than a few months I would recommend waxing using cheese wax it will continue aging.  If a good seal is made you wont have to worry about mold, but if it does appear, the cheese can be washed or the mold cut off and resealed. 

    Any questions please ask. The link above this post should help.

     Enjoy your cheese.

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
    jaybone likes this.
  10. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks for all the great responses, EVERYONE!

    Mr T, just went through your thread...makes a lot of sense, and no reason for me to wait any longer. Weather forecast is for the lower 60's, so it's smoked cheese in the AM! I'd be doing it right now, but the day is not so young anymore. 2-1/2 months to age @ 65* or so sounds about right, once smoked, so this should be a nice treat for the wedding in June!!!

    Thanks again, all!

  11. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I'm sure the others along with myself would like to sample your cheese at the reception.  Don't forget to smoke some extra for later use. 
  12. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hah-ha! Thanks, yeah, I may have to garb more, but locally the prices are exorbitant, and selection is thin...bought this when grabbing cases of meats for the reception dinner as part of my planning last week...should have grabbed a 3lb Colby-Jack, too, as we love that smoked as well as cheddar...hope it will be enough, but appetizers pretty much always disappear no matter how much you have out if it's good eats:

    Hmm...7lbs might be enough though...we'll find out in a few months.

    Thanks again!

  13. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good luck and let us know how it comes out.
  14. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks! I've only smoked cheese a few times now. This round came out OK so far...aging for 6 days now in a cooler area of the house, around 60-65*...should work out fine where it is to equalize the smoke until we get some warmer weather, then, I'll probably have to drop 'em in the fridge for the duration. I checked out the bags and plastic wrap a day or so ago (stuck it all in a box) and no issues so far...mold-free, coloring is the same as when they came out of the smoke and rested in open air for a bit before packaging. So, I'm confident it will be a great treat in June, especially after reading Mr T's cheese thread...that was a huge eye-opener...cheese seems much more forgiving than I expected, as long as you don't expose to higher temps and alter the texture...been there already, too, btw.

    Here's the start of the cheese 37, page 2...I think you may have missed this thread (running it to help others make their decisions on how to do a similar event)...the rest is all about the planning and meat smoking I've cranked out so far for my daughter's wedding. I'll post updates on the cheese (probably when I decide to move it to the fridge) when I have other updates to add with meats:


  15. the zil

    the zil Smoke Blower

    Has the wedding happened? How did it turn out?
  16. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just got home from the trip...haven't even unloaded everything yet. The smoked cheeses worked out fine for what what I had to work with. I got so busy setting up for the banquette that I didn't get any sliced pics of the cheese (or the buffet, for that matter. I had roughly 5 weeks (if I recall correctly) to age at around 65*, then had to move it to a general purpose fridge at 35-38* for about another 5 weeks, which pretty much killed any further aging, but may have allowed the smoke to mellow just a bit more. I did have to scrape some light mold off the vac sealer is not up to par, so plastic wrap and baggies was the best I could cheese wax. I did end up removing the pellicle on quite a few spots in the process. With approx 85 to serve, all but a dozen or so small slices were gone, with only 2 bars of pepper-jack that I ran out of time to slice before I had to run to the ceremony. Overall, it was quite a hit, though.

  17. I recently got a vacuum sealer, but before that I wrapped the block in parchment paper, then tightly in saran wrap and into zipper bags. The cheese made it 3 weeks of aging and another 2 or 3 once opened. I tried to find cheese wax locally but could only find it online, so decided to just spend the money on a vacuum sealer instead.
  18. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Your cheese will do well with your new sealer, but for long term, consider waxing as it will age much better.

  19. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    26 months.

    Get the Ziplock hand vac pump with the qt & gal vac bags. Works great and saves some $ plus you can reuse the bags.
  20. Awesome Thank you, I will have to try that

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