Smoked Cheese, 10yr evolution, self-built

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ald73008

Newbie
Original poster
Feb 13, 2012
21
26
Oklahoma City Metro
When I first learned of cold smoking, I was intrigued. My buddy has a big smoker and does brisket, turkey etc, so I wanted to bring something different to the table. Tired of paying inflated prices for fake spray on flavored cheese at the store, I wanted to see if I could do it.
I made my first box in 2012. As an experiment, I made it out of a cardboard box, and used a cheap smoke disc. It worked, not well and tasted like crap, but I realized the potential. It inspired enough me to get creative and immediately begin building a box.
My second box was made of wood. The hinged door with latches and panels attached to a full frame allowed me to avoid any chemical sealants. Also the box is kept out of the elements to avoid the use of chemical wood protectants.
After a few tweaks to exhaust and upgrading from a metal coffee can to a custom firewood chamber I was up and running. Over the next couple years, trial and error helped guide me to proper curing and storing, "cooking" times, and temperature control. I live in Oklahoma, so I am limited to late October till late March at best.
I shared my results with friends and family and they would then share with others. Occasionally, folks would say I should sell it. I never planned on selling, I just enjoyed sharing my successes with them. Well, finally I succumbed to pressure. My buddy's girlfriend works in a large office, and shared it with her co-workers. It was a hit! And they wanted more... a lot more. For the next couple years I continued to smoke cheese for myself, friends and family, and made extra for her to sell at work. I would run out quick, I'd have to do another batch and wait for cure again. It was time for another box, a bigger box.
My third box can hold five times the capacity, and is constructed the same way and of the same materials of the second, and seems easier to control temperature. All while still using the same fire chamber. I've also ventured into successfully selling local on Facebook.
So whatcha think? I wouldn't call myself an expert, but well seasoned that's for sure. I'll answer questions or offer tips of my experience if ya want.
Thanks for visiting!
(Gotta love that last pic, money shot!!)
 

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crazzycajun

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Feb 17, 2007
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wichita ks
If you used tod‘s tube smoker you might be able to squeeze a couple more months in there. I noticed it brings my smoker temp up about 10* above ambient. Nice rig though
 
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SmokinEdge

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That sound about perfect. 4 hours is the longest I’ve gone, and it’s not for every cheese, for sure. 2-3 hours is real nice after a few days rest.
 
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ald73008

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Original poster
Thread starter
Feb 13, 2012
21
26
Oklahoma City Metro
That sound about perfect. 4 hours is the longest I’ve gone, and it’s not for every cheese, for sure. 2-3 hours is real nice after a few days rest.
Great thing about the lower moisture cheeses, they are forgiving. I Let em all cure at least 2 weeks before eating/selling. And I've had folks, from the same batch, one say they we're not smokey enough and one say too smokey. I tell them to seal it up, and try it again in a week.
 

indaswamp

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Great thing about the lower moisture cheeses, they are forgiving. I Let em all cure at least 2 weeks before eating/selling. And I've had folks, from the same batch, one say they we're not smokey enough and one say too smokey. I tell them to seal it up, and try it again in a week.
Selling?
 

Smokin' in AZ

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I do my own cheese as well in my Weber S330 with a smoker tube.

Have only done it twice (maybe 3 times) but it sure comes out really nice.

Yes 3-4 hours is my guideline and then vacuum seal and into the fridge for at least a couple of weeks, that is if I can keep my wife out of it....:emoji_laughing:

Here is a post from my first batch.


John
 

ald73008

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Feb 13, 2012
21
26
Oklahoma City Metro
I do my own cheese as well in my Weber S330 with a smoker tube.

Have only done it twice (maybe 3 times) but it sure comes out really nice.

Yes 3-4 hours is my guideline and then vacuum seal and into the fridge for at least a couple of weeks, that is if I can keep my wife out of it....:emoji_laughing:

Here is a post from my first batch.


John
That batch looks like it went well! I agree with one of the posters, gloves are a MUST have for any stage of handling cheese to avoid any transfer of bacteria. But especially once it's been in the smoker, the residue left from the smoke will stain your skin and smell it for days😂
Also, that Gouda from Sam's is what I use too. If you want a real treat, give their Tillamook aged 4yr cheddar(black package) a smoke. It's a bit more expensive, but awesome.
 

Fueling Around

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I love smoked cheese. Nice setup.
Has it cooled enough to start smoking already this year?

You want to use raw milk cheese. Tillamook is a raw milk cheese.
There is a difference between raw milk and pasteurized milk cheese.
I cannot put my finger on it.
 
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ald73008

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Feb 13, 2012
21
26
Oklahoma City Metro
I love smoked cheese. Nice setup.
Has it cooled enough to start smoking already this year?

You want to use raw milk cheese. Tillamook is a raw milk cheese.
There is a difference between raw milk and pasteurized milk cheese.
I cannot put my finger on it.
Thanks!! Not sure if I've tried or had access to a non-pasteurized, I'll have to look into it
 

Smokin' in AZ

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
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Jul 13, 2019
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Chandler and Show Low Arizona
That batch looks like it went well! I agree with one of the posters, gloves are a MUST have for any stage of handling cheese to avoid any transfer of bacteria. But especially once it's been in the smoker, the residue left from the smoke will stain your skin and smell it for days😂
Also, that Gouda from Sam's is what I use too. If you want a real treat, give their Tillamook aged 4yr cheddar(black package) a smoke. It's a bit more expensive, but awesome.
It did and the gouda was the best one from the batch for sure!

I do remember having a black wrapped Tillamook before, just do not remember if I smoked it or just ate it....:emoji_wink: and it was good. Tillamook is our go to cheese.

John
 
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