Smoking Cheese

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by bmorris, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Hey guys.....This is my first post on this forum......I just recently ordered Todd's products (a-maze-pellet smoker box)....I currently have a MES 30" that i purchased in Nov. 2013 (still in seasoning mode).......The purpose of this post is to ask a few questions regarding on how to "cold" smoke cheese....from what information that i have seen and read the AMNPS is being placed on bottom left hand corner of the smoker....along with foil on the rack above to protect from drippings......what are begining steps to take to get the AMNPS ready (oil residue) along with preparing my MES....Do i pre heat the smoker prior to the "cold" smoke or just use the AMNPS....also i got the Q-Matz as there anything i need to do to the Q-Matz before smoking.....As far as what cheese to smoke not sure what are soft cheese and hard cheese....this project is to make my better half (wifey) happy....she likes all sorts of cheese....yes im sure it is up to you what to smoke but since this is going to be my first time smoking cheese i didnt want to spend big time money on exspensive cheese so i figured i would get cheap Kraft cheese from Wal-mart to start off....smoke times i have read are about 2-2 1/2 hours this by just using the AMNPS and no heat?...will the AMNPS generate enough heat to get smoke flavor in the cheese?

  2. Hi Brandon,
    I've read you should not let smoker temp get above 80-100 degrees. The cooler the better. You are not relying on heat to impart the smoke flavor. Some folks even put pans of ice in the smoker to keep it cool. If you go to the "Articles" section there is a small search box in the bottom left corner. Search for smoked cheese and read Meateaters article. Sorry, I would stick a link in here but for some reason unable to do that right now.
  3. thanks goliath.....that was great information.....still one question that really hasnt been answered for me though.....Is the AMNPS all i need for smoking cheese?....does the AMNPS produce temps in a MES that reaches 80-100....our current temps here in PA are in the low 30's...planning on doing this smoke this weekend.....with all this smoke talk i may have to fire up the MES for dinner on Sunday after my smoking cheese on Saturday lol

    Thanks guys ....It really means alot to be able to come to a forum and receive help and not be looked at as "stupid" for asking questions!!!!!
  4. denappy

    denappy Fire Starter

    All you need to cold smoke is the AMNPS, it should not got too hot, but if it does, add a tray of ice; just monitor your interior temp and you'll be fine.  With you'r MES you may have to crack the door to insure good air flow for the AMNPS.  I've used mine (not in a MES) to smoke cheese and it works GREAT!!

  5. thanks denappy......that explains what i was looking for.....wasnt really sure if the AMNPS produces alot of heat or you know or have heard of anyone using the QMATZ....if so do they like them?
  6. Brandon,

    I'll chime in a bit here.  I have the AMNTS, used it for the first time last night to cold smoke some steaks to get ready for the grill tonight.  It should be similar in temps to your AMNPS.  It was around 37 degrees inside the smoker when I started and when it was smoking real good I gained about 13 degrees in the smoker, up to 50 degrees.  That was running vents wide open and producing a very nice thin blue smoke.  I didn't have my water tray in but that would have probably kept it a bit lower for a while, also.  You should have no problem with too much heat right now.

    On the Q-Matz, just bought them a few weeks ago and have cooked on them twice.  They work great to keep things clean and for stuff like ABTs they keep them from falling through the grates.  Do you need them?  No, not really.  But, now that I have them I will probably never go without again.  I use them on each rack no matter what I'm cooking, they clean up real l easy and make the grates easier to clean afterward also.  Plus, I think they are still on sale by Todd at 50% off right now ........... 
  7. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    After doing a few batches of cheese, I've noted that the AMNPS will raise the temp of my smoker by 10 degrees.  This is based upon the usage of the pellets.  If you burn dust, the temp doesn't go up very much at all.    I would really refrain from using ice or water when doing cheese for it will create moisture on the skin of the cheese.
  8. Thanks for the input.....yes I ordered the QMATZ along with the AMNPS package with the 2lbs of variety pellets.....hickory cherry maple and anther one......I'm getting excited about my new toy to use.....any time I get something new for smoking I'm like a kid at Christmas lol.....I believe I'm going to first start off smoking the cheap products of cheese you can get at the great Walmart (cough cough).....once again thanks for the help
  9. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey bmorris

    When I smoke cheese, I keep the temp as low as possible.  That means I only use about 4 charcoal briquets and a buch of cherry wood.  I also use a frozen enclosed water bottle to keep the temp down.  I generally smoke for about 2 hours. As you can see I used my "small veggies" tray to hold the cheese--makes clean up a whole lot easier. Here's a couple of pic of my last cheese--as you can see, not much melting.  I package it in ziplock bags, squeeze out as much air as possible and leave it sit in the fridge and mellow for 3 weeks--that's the hard part


    muck man likes this.
  10. Thanks Gary .....cheese looks good.....also got my attention with smoked veggies.....really didn't think of that
  11. graniteman

    graniteman Smoke Blower

    I do not preheat,  and I use a stainless rectangular 2 " deep dish in hotter weather, this helps keep the temp down inside your smoker.  I use cheese Sharp Cheddar, mozz., mont jack from Kroger's, but you will need to shop around to fine what you like. I like cherry, apple and hickory dust or pellets.  I vac pack my cheese, then leave it the fridge for at least 2 weeks. Then try to hide it, it will disappear.    

    ENJOY [​IMG]
  12. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Don't turn the MES!! Just use the amazn.

    2-5 hours depending on how smokey you want it.

    Kraft cheese is fine. I just smoked a variety of cheeses for the first time. I used boars head and it all turned out good. Cheddar was my favorite. It was the only hard cheese I smoked.

    I also smoked Gouda (haven't tried it yet), Monterey Jack (tasted good), pepper jack (also good), and Munster (haven't tried it yet either). I'm thinking I liked the cheddar best because of the fact it's a hard cheese and a lot firmer than the other soft cheeses I smoked.

    My buddy Stan and I smoked it all with mulberry and I have to say the mulberry gave it a great smoky flavor. It's about 3 1/2 weeks old now and it's awesome! Cheddar is gone!
  13. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Brandon,  One of the most important things you can do now is to keep good notes on everything you do.  When you make changes, make them one at a time and note the results.

    Keep your smoking temps below 80°.  When the temps approach 75°, pull the cheese and if more smoke is desired, continue smoking when the temps are more desirable.

    No need to smoke a large amount of cheese all at once.  You are learning now, so smoke in small batches until you discover what you like best.  Cheddar is always a good choice.  It can be bought in 5# blocks at the large box stores and cut down to size prior to smoking.

    Cheddar is a good hard / semi hard cheese to start with.  Hard cheeses can be identified as a cheese that can be easily grated.  Hard cheese other than cheddar will normally hit you in the pocket, so stick with cheddar for a while.

    Many of your questions can be answered here.

    Hope this helps.  Any further questions, please ask and of course you can PM me, but many may have the same questions.

    java, bmorris and bertman like this.
  14. java

    java Smoking Fanatic

    Brandon, if you want to try a soft cheese here is what i do. (might be wrong, but it works for me)

    get some cream cheese blocks, 8oz, unwrap them, and let them set on the counter for an hour or so.

    load them in the smoker with the amazen for about 4-6 hours.

    then let them set on the counter for about an hour.

    wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

    now comes the hard part, put them in the fridge and wait at least 2-3 weeks.

    open them up and have at them.

    the wife has a friend that calls ti crack cheese , once you try it you just have to have more!

    works real good on mozz as well.

    just keep smoking temp below 60 or it can make a mess.


     p.s i just did 18# about a month ago and its about half gone
  15. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you want to speed the process along with cream cheese.  After taking it from the smoker, blend or whip it.  This will mix the smoke in and it can be used immediately in your cream cheese recipe.

    java likes this.
  16. java

    java Smoking Fanatic

    Mr t , i hadnt thought of that. thats why i love this site!
  17. Great info thanks for the helpful tips....will be smoking cheese Saturday ....went to Walmart purchased numerous blocks of different cheese....will post pics after the smoke is complete .....thanks again for the pointers

  18. Ok after some frustration with my new AMNPS here are the pics I want to share on my first smoked cheese experiment....the problem I had with the AMNPS was u didn't fill the try up to the dividers....there for the smoke keep going out...a two hour smoke took me 7 hours because every 20 minutes or so it went out....but the good thing about today we have internet to help solve our problems...I google searched and found my trouble shooting the day after I smoked the cheese.....problem resolved

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