1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

So my wife says...

Discussion in 'Smoked Cheese' started by cooker613, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. cooker613

    cooker613 Smoking Fanatic

    why not smoke some cheese? After all you’ve smoked almost everything else. And when she’s right, she’s right.
    Can use some general advice and guidance. Will be using an amazen pellet smoker in my weber. I have some sharp and mild cheddar, some feta, some goat cheese, some manchego (both Spanish and Mexican), and some Gouda with carroway seeds. Will any of these be a problem? Also general guidence on times, temps, and techniques will be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Holly2015

    Holly2015 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm not sure smoke would compliment Feta all the well but the others I say full steam ahead.

    The pellet tray in the Weber will work a treat. Just keep it low in the Weber, not directly under the cheeses and as far away as possible.

    1. Remove cheeses from packaging and let rest at room temperature for about an hour.
    2. Clean the grill grates or use clean cookie cooling grates on top of the grill grates.
    3. Light pellet tray and place in Weber
    4. Place the cheese on clean racks then in the smoker and put the lid on
    5. Smoke for 3 hours at between 40 and 90 degrees. For best results 40 to 70.
    6. Remove cheese from smoker and place in fridge uncovered for 18 to 24 hours to "gas off"
    7. Vac pack cheese or if you don't have a vac packer wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap then put in a zip top bag and back into the fridge for 1 to 3 weeks to mellow.

    If vac packed the hard cheeses will last in the fridge years. If plastic wrapped keep an eye out for mold that will occur within a few weeks.

    As a side note Apple wood is very smooth and mild and compliments cheese's extremely well IMHO

    As a side side note the further you can get the smoke source away from the cheese's the milder the flavor will be. Some folks using the mailbox mod have the mailbox 8 feet away from the smoker. This allow time for the smoke to cool and creosote and off flavors to drop out of the smoke leaving only clean pleasant flavors transferred to the cheese. If you can't do a remote smoke setup do not worry. A few weeks of aging will also mellow out the bitter flavors.

    Cold remote smoking advantage is you have edible product almost as soon as it comes off the cold smoke verses a few weeks of aging when the smoke source is within close proximity to the cheese's.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
    KrisUpInSmoke likes this.
  3. Steve H

    Steve H Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I agree. Not sure about the Feta. Apple wood is good. But, I just did a batch with the A-MAZ-EN comp blend pellets. And the taste is very good. The advice from Holly2015 is spot on.
  4. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Everyone will have their own preference but after running pellets in the past, tried dust this first batch for the year and much happier. Personally, I think the "cheaper" cheeses take on smoke better and would never smoke manchego or feta but that's me. My favorite is jack and am with Holly that apple is my go to but plan to try pecan and oak for giggles.
  5. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I've never smoked cheese but I have cold smoked in my MES with an AMNPS.
    Word of advice, stale smoke will impart a strong not so great taste to the cheese.

    Stale smoke was something I encountered when cold smoking Salmon Lox. My salmon turned out fine but had to "mellow" a day or 2 in the fridge to shake off some of the stale smoke flavor.

    Stale smoke happens because when you cold smoke there may not be a draft to suck the air and smoke up and out of the smoker like there is when you hot smoke. The draft is caused when the inside of the smoker is hotter than the outside of the smoker.
    In higher temp areas like Arizona (or TX for me) you likely don't have the luxury of a 30-40F outdoor ambient temp which would allow you to put your smoker at like 50-55F to cause a draft without melting or cooking whatever you are cold smoking. This means you likely don't have a draft and therefore you will likely encounter stale smoke.

    I made a little contraption which seemed to solve my stale smoke issue. It is cardboard rolled into a tube shape and a 12V computer blower fan that is angled up the tube to blow air upwards through the tube. I put this contraption over my MES vent and the fan creates suction up the tube which pulls air and smoke through the smoker helping it circulate and avoid becoming stale. I think some guys have just put a fan on top of their MES that blows OVER the top vent which does something similar but I can't confirm this. Here is my little contraption to give you an idea :)


    Anyhow, if you read up on cheese smoking you will notice a lot of people saying the smoke flavor on the cheese has to "mellow" out for a few days. I believe this is due to stale smoke and my experience with cold smoking but that is just my hunch since again I haven't done cheese but I have battled stale smoke while cold smoking.
    I hope this info helps and best of luck! :)
    BrandyLee likes this.
  6. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Hey cooker, a couple of questions. Are you using a kettle or a WSM? I've never smoked feta so no comment on that cheese, but all others should be fine. I also agree with Sam(Zwiller) dust and cheese are a great combo. If your using your kettle keep the tray on one side and the cheese on the other. Also keep all vents wide open. I would also have the top vent over the cheese so the smoke drafts thru it. I like to use apple dust for smoked cheese if it's just the wife and I smoked for about 3+ hours. I use apple or hickory pellets for cheese I smoke for the kids as they like a heavier smoke profile.

    You may want to try smoking the cheese for an hour and slice a piece off to see how smokey it is. If it's not strong enough then give it another hour and repeat taste. You'll wind up sacrificing part of one block, but you'll be that much closer to an eatable product. Then the next time you smoke cheese you'll have a baseline to go by.

  7. cooker613

    cooker613 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for all the advise and help. I will use my weber kettle for the cold smoke. Mabe I’ll try it in the evening when it’s cooler. Of course being in Arizona “cooler” is a relative term .
  8. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I can verify the 'last years' thing. Properly vaccum sealed, apparently, smoked cheese in a fridge never goes bad. I learned this at the place I got cheese. They've got blocks that were cold smoked over a decade ago, and have are still good when opened.

    I advocate a fruit wood for cheese as well, and I am curious how that feta turns out.
  9. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    While cheese lasts long I think there is diminishing returns on aging the oversmoked stuff. I aged some that were rough a year or so and they didn't really improve that much.

    5GRILLZNTN Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Smoked Gouda is probably my favorite smoked cheese. Colby second. I use Apple dust made from pellets. Smoked cheese on a Triscuit with a dab of hot sauce is a great appy!
  11. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    My favorite is Muenster, and it will last a long time vac packed in the fridge, just don't freeze it.
    5GRILLZNTN likes this.
  12. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sweet, meunster on deck. First time I read anyone liking it. Gonna try pecan dust with it. At this point, I am favoring milder cheeses for smoking.
  13. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    I have smoked quite a bit of cheese....and butter. Last year I smoked cheese for 21 different people. There will be many that disagree with this...but I fill the AMNPS up and leave the cheese in the smoke for as long as it takes for the pellets to burn out...normally around 12 hours. Every last one of the 21 people LOVE it. One of my "customers" that is waiting for me to smoke his cheese wants it done longer. I pretty much just use Maple pellets....
  14. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Not looking for an argument but....I smoke cheese in one of our XL Eggs. Put the pellets in the bottom. Use a Weber grate (long story), covered with a piece of HD Aluminum foil cut to the size of the cookie cooling racks I put the cheese on. Stack the cookie cooling racks on top of the Weber grate/foil. I prop the lid open on the Egg...and leave the exhaust wide open...unless it is raining than I use a Smokeware Stainless cap to keep the rain out of the Egg. No stale smoke. Several of the 21 folks I have smoked cheese for did not wait 2 weeks to use the cheese....and all of these folks regretted not waiting. The 5 of them all described it different...acidic was mentioned a few times.
  15. bill ace 350

    bill ace 350 Smoking Fanatic

    Same here. 12 hours sometimes and never had any comments about poor flavor. if temps permit, after the smoke, I sometimes leave it in the smoker for up 24 hours.
    I have only used hickory, apple or a mix of the 2, not sure about other wood.
    no mats required, whether stood on edge or otherwise, never noticed a difference. I stand mine on the narrow end only to get more cheese per tray.
  16. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It's important to remember each smoker will give different results so it's hard to generalize times. 12 hours on pellets in MES would be really strong. There must be alot of airflow in the Egg... I remember reading MrT's posts about 18hrs and was like WOAH.
  17. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    No argument from me here :)
    I've never done cheese and the only input I can give is on stale smoke and to keep an eye on it is all :)