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Thanksgiving and Christmas Cheese Smoking

pops6927

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Once again, I am smoking cheese for the holiday - longhorn cheddar. However, this is similar to, but not really a "cheddar" cheese as it doesn't go through the cheddaring process (stacking and turning every 10 minutes stacked curds, cut into slabs, until the correct acidity is reached). It is a washed curd cheese, known as Colby Cheese, produced in a "Longhorn" (cylindrical tube) container, which is milder. But, it still has great flavor and is more moist than cheddar.

Went to Bassham's retail outlet off I 20 in Fort Worth and got 8 slabs of it, each approx. 8" round, varying thicknesses:

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Cut them in ¼'s


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Then laid them out on A-Maze-N Matz on two racks in the smokehouse:

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Got the A-Maze-N pellet tray smouldering with an inch of pellets going with my torch:

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then put in the smokehouse where it can get airflow underneath, then out the upper grate:

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Coming out the top vent!

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Let it smoke for minimum 8 hours (last year I did it 6 hours and it wasn't smoked enough).
 

tallbm

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Mmmmm! What pellets do you smoke cheese with?
 

PerazziMx14

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Damn good lookin so far pop's
Back in September my daughter and I made a 2lb round of cheddar. It took 7 hours to go through the process, 48 hours of pressing and were are still in the 4 to 12 month waiting process to see if it even turned out. It was one of the most entertaining evenings I ever spent with my kiddo. We played music, sang and just shot the sh!t fro hours. Did I mention she's 16?? Now that some cold weather is approaching I hope we can replicate the evening.
 

pops6927

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Mmmmm! What pellets do you smoke cheese with?
I use a combination of Corn Cob Pellets and some Maple Pellets this time around; I put about 3 cups into a plastic coffee can and heat them in the microwave for two minutes, then put them in the A-Maze-N Pellet tray:

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and light them for about 4-5 minutes with a torch, until i get about an inch of them glowing. Then, set them in the smokehouse with both the bottom and top vents open to provide upward draft:

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...and leave them alone and let them do their thing! I started them at 9 am until 8 pm tonight, about a whole tray's worth of pellets.
 

pops6927

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I pulled the cheese from the smokehouse at 8 pm, allowing it to smoulder through a whole tray of pellets. Then, stacked them on the white tray I used to take them out to the smokehouse with and brought them in:

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Time is wrong on the camera, but date is correct). Now doesn't that look good? I packed them in ziploc bags and took them to the back fridge to store and mellow for a few weeks:

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Just let it cool, rest and mellow! Actually, the date is wrong too - it's a new camera, have to set it properly!
 

amberg

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I pulled the cheese from the smokehouse at 8 pm, allowing it to smoulder through a whole tray of pellets. Then, stacked them on the white tray I used to take them out to the smokehouse with and brought them in:

View attachment 343773

Time is wrong on the camera, but date is correct). Now doesn't that look good? I packed them in ziploc bags and took them to the back fridge to store and mellow for a few weeks:

View attachment 343774

Just let it cool, rest and mellow! Actually, the date is wrong too - it's a new camera, have to set it properly!
Wow, that looks good!
 

venture

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Looks great Pops.
Thanks for the reminder. I have to get going on smoking my Christmas presents for neighbors.

Good luck and good smoking.
 

browneyesvictim

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Great cheese Pops! Must have been cheese day. I just did a couple of bricks of Tillamook cut in half- one Cheddar and the other Pepperjack. Half Hickory and half Cherry pellets.
Chese.jpg
 

Rings Я Us

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I'm thinking of getting some of the Pinconning cheese here at a place they make it using the original recipe. It's a cross between a Colby and Cheddar and it can be aged. I would love to smoke a few blocks of that .
Williams Cheese is the place we tend to stop at on the way home from northern Michigan and get a few goodies. Good stuff. They have won international cheese awards there.
 

gmc2003

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Neat! How do you keep the cheese from molding after a couple weeks?
If you have a vacuum sealer let it rest overnight in the fridge post smoking then seal it up. Some on here have had cheese stay good for over a year. If you don't have a sealer wrap it tight in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. Some people store it the freezer, but it changes the texture of the cheese. If you do get mold you can just cut it off.

Chris
 

Rings Я Us

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If you have a vacuum sealer let it rest overnight in the fridge post smoking then seal it up. Some on here have had cheese stay good for over a year. If you don't have a sealer wrap it tight in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. Some people store it the freezer, but it changes the texture of the cheese. If you do get mold you can just cut it off.

Chris
Old school . Just like the Grandparents did. Lol just cut it away. Thanks..
 

dirtsailor2003

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Neat! How do you keep the cheese from molding after a couple weeks?
Vac packing is a good option. So is waxing the cheese. Both will keep the cheese from molding. I have vac packed cheese that was smoked 4 years ago. Waxed cheese that was smoked 2 years ago.
 

Rings Я Us

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You dip it in hot food grade wax? We used to use that on top of canned jam or preserves.
 

dirtsailor2003

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You dip it in hot food grade wax? We used to use that on top of canned jam or preserves.
That is paraffin wax which can be used. However it will tend to crack and not hold up as well as cheese wax.

Cheese wax is best. Cheese wax should have microcrystalline in it. The best method is to heat the wax to 224°-230° and dip the cheese into the wax. 2-3 coats is plenty. This high temp dip will kill any mold spores . The alternate method is to heat wax over a water bath and brush the wax on. This method will not kill mold spores so you need to make sure that the surface of the cheese is free of mold and clean. A good method for cleaning cheese is to use a brine wash. Mix 1 teaspoon salt with 1 cup cold water. wipe with a cloth soaked in solution. dry and wax.
 

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