Jumbo Mini Cheese w/ Pics (Semi Fail)

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by jarjarchef, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So I pulled a bone head move today. I decided to smoke a bunch of cheese and I did not take into account the weather and how hot it was going to get. I think it is good to show the bad as well as the good.

    So enjoy the show........

    I will do this same process again, when it is cooler.

    Setting up the AMNPS in the charcoal basket. I had some charcoal left from the tri tip, did not light it.

    The line up of cheese:

    Cut and ready to smoke.

    After an hour things looked great. Temps were at 90* and getting a very nice color. Sorry no pics was on the phone when I looked.

    So after another hour and no more distractions I went to go and look. Well this is when it all went south. I went out and found the smoker at 125*.......

    So now I am going to cool what I have been able to save. After it rests for a couple weeks I will see if any can be sliced, but I am not too sure. At least I can grate what I have and use for other things.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Oh man! That' sucks!! Melted cheese sandwees????
  3. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    So sorry it worked out THAT way....when I first saw the picture, I thought it was a new type of recipe using hotdog rolls!
  4. I feel your pain. It will still be good grated. They have cheese on sale here and I am starting to stock up. It should be cold enough here to smoke it soon. I see you have your AMNPS lite in 3 places. Do you not find to heavy of a smoke that way?

    Happy smoken.

  5. orlandosmoking

    orlandosmoking Smoking Fanatic

    Too early to smoke cheese here in central FL Jeremy. Earliest I've ever felt it was cool enough outside was Nov 12. a few years back. Usually I'll do mine in Jan or Feb. Make 30 to 40 pounds and I'm good for the year.

    The one time I suffered a similar meltdown I was lucky in that the water pan was clean and caught the melt and was still edible, just not very pretty and flavors somewhat blended.

    Not sure we should try this at the SFL Gathering. Need the weather to cooperate with a nice cold front or we will likely suffer a similar outcome.
  6. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Stuff like that happens. I am thinking all kinds of melted stuff. We shall see. I am going to seal it tomorrow.

    Thanks.... nope no hot dog rolls. But that is an idea.

    I am not sure what I was thinking when I tried it today. It was 80's when I started in the shade. The last couple times I smoked cheese I felt it was too light. I have don 1 and 2 ends, so I figured I would go for 3 spots with a new smoker :hit:

    I wanted to try it a couple weeks back when we got a little cooler, but for some reason I did not. I was actually in a really good place in the shade, but then the sun came over the tree and I was distracted with other issues.

    I agree we need to look at the weather for the gathering. We should be able to at night.
  7. Looks like you had the Mozz and Jack on the top and the Colby and Cheddar on the bottom? Mozz is a quick melter and the heat must have accumulated at the top of the smoker to melt the two white cheeses so basically you hit critical mass and had a melt-down.  I learned a similar lesson (with the 6" Amaz-n-Smoker using sawdust).  

    What I've learned in my cheese making (and smoking) is you need to keep your cold smoker temperature below 85F and preferably less than 80F.  For some reason 90F max seems to be the accepted practice but above 80 the cheese (especially commercially-made cheese) starts loosing oil.  This is called "free oil" that comes to the surface and if heat increases will be eliminated from the cheese resulting from loss in flavor and a "harder" cheese.   If you smoke at 85 or below with ambient temperature less than 70 for 2 to 4 hrs (and wrap or bag for at least 2 weeks to even out the flavor) I think you will like the results, but then again yours looks tasty and beauty is in the eyes of the smoker.

    ps.  See pic attached of cheddar cheese warmed to 90F showing free oil loss.

  8. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you for the information. I did not know about the free oils. I will keep the temp threshold in mind for future smokes. So below 80 from now on. I appreciate you taking the time and sharing your knowledge.
  9. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    Had to pick up a few things at the local supermarket as the temp today was about 60 and tonight near mid 40s. The cheese was a bit pricey. Last year I scored between $1.89 and $2.50. They were about $2.70 to $3.50 tonight. I would have smoked a few instead of watching NCIS re-runs. :biggrin:
  10. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yea that is a bit of a price jump, but everything is going up due to fuel prices and other market issues.

    We watch NCIS too.... Abby and Heady are out 2 favorite characters. Have not seen too many of the new one.
  11. Thanks jarjarchef.  I feel like the student talking to the teacher being new here so you're very gracious.  Maybe I can add some cheese making / smoking advice as cheese, meat and beer is the perfect trilogy (maybe throwing in some pork skins and boiled peanuts).
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  12. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Experience is experience. You should not be shy from sharing your knowledge. Just because it took you a little longer to find the site? That should not stop you from sharing where you have experience. Mine is cooking, but I have gained more from here in diffrent smokers and limited in some building. But I have little or no knowledge in cheese, curing, sausage and many other subjects covered on this site. We all are teachers and students here and in life. If we forget that, we become useless and don't have a point anymore. So don't ever be shy with your knowledge or your learning. That is why I posted my fail, so I could learn and maybe someone can learn from my mistakes.
  13. Very well said.

    Happy smoken.

  14. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you.
  15. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So was the heat from the pellet smoker the problem or the heat from the day?

    I use dust to smoke cheese.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014
  16. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The heat of the day. It did fine for the first hour and stayed at around 90*, then the sun got over the trees and the temp shot up.

    Based on new info from JohnPC, I will keep my temps under 80*.
  17. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yea, I do cheese when its snowing
  18. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I agree with using dust.. pellets... especially lighting in three spots (which gives you 4 hot spots) puts out way to much heat... I tried some hard boiled eggs that same wknd (since it was cold... 60`... brrrrr)... .I started at 7 in the morning while cold out... using pellets as well... lighting 2 ends... got to hot and eggs became kinda hardish and rubbery .... but always remember.. you can freeze some half gallon jugs of water and put in the smoker to help keep temps down too.... so with my CRS syndrome.. I forgot these 2 factors (dust, ice) .... better luck next time ...
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014
  19. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I will have a long wait for snow.........
  20. Lighting the AMNPS in 3 different places was your biggest issue besides placing it farther away from the cheese without any cooling in there. I live in South Florida and can smoke cheese in the middle of summer when temps are in the mid/uppper 90's. BUT, you got to do it with your smoker in the shade, the AMNPS in a different unit and then "pipe the smoke" to the cheese. I also put some frozen water bottles up around the cheese to be sure it stays cool in the smoker.... Actually, if you had just put some frozen water bottles in there and lit the AMNPS on one end, you would have been fine!

    Don't give up man! Give it another try! I plan on doing it here in a few days. I plan on taking some as gifts for the holidays.


    EDIT: LOL! Yea, no snow down here anytime soon!
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014

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