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vacuum sealer for seasoning smoked cheese?

Discussion in 'Smoked Cheese' started by viper, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. viper

    viper Smoke Blower

    I understand cheese needs seasoned for 1-3 weeks to properly infuse the flavors.  I am curious if vacuum sealing would be an acceptable method for long term storage or if once the seal is broken, your shelf life will suffer?  I would like to do some cheese for family members and would like to store it for a while.  I understand some used the wax method but that is kind of messy IMO and I already have a vacuum sealer. 
  2. dalton

    dalton Smoke Blower

    I smoked 30 lbs of cheese for christmas gifts about 3 weeks  before christmas and vacuum packed to rest till christmas.  turned out great and everyone liked it.

    just my 2 cents

  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Vacum sealing is the recomended method for storing and aging cheese.
  4. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Works for me---vacuum & freeze.

    Don't know how long it keeps, because it never lasted more than 3 months.

    Somebody keeps eating it!

  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now the vaccum sealer is the best way of saving and freezing everything.
  6. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I am also a vac sealer and have had great results with them
  7. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    We opened some vacumn sealed cheese for Christmas that had been in the spare frig for about six months.  No problems with it.
  8. viper

    viper Smoke Blower

    I guess the big question now is if this cheese I did has a problem or just needs to season.  I know now that 1-2 weeks is needed but I am still surprised how bitter and off the flavor is right now.  I guess I have doubts that 1-2 weeks will really do it. 
  9. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    It could be you did give it too heavy a smoke.

    I found your post about cheese, but you didn't say much about the smoke or the length of time, and no pics.

    Was there dark stuff on the outside that could be wiped off by hand?

    Was it smudgy on the outside?

  10. dalton

    dalton Smoke Blower

    my first try at cheese the cheese was pretty bitter and strong right after smoking.  let it sit a few days and it was MUCH better.  it got better the longer it sat.  it has been 5 weeks and I just had some of the last package today.  when I think back to how bitter it was to start I am pretty amazed!  it will happen faster than you think.

    good luck.
  11. I read somewhere here and now cant find it, but as we hang out around the smoker before, during, and after a smoke...we get pretty accustomed to the "taste" in the air, and when we grab a bite of something right after smoking it...that can change our taste buds.  I found this to be true as after a smoke, I can't resist...but consciously went a while without the temptation. What I found was that by as early as 1/2 a day later - the taste was better, especially with cheese. Then waiting a week or longer it got even better.

    I also vac seal. Not alot...so I went to Sears and bought the Kenmore version (which is their labeled version of the main  brand), which was $60 less than the name brand and the EXACT same unit. I used that extra $60 to get tons of bags!

  12. viper

    viper Smoke Blower

    After waiting about 5 days not, the cheese certainly is coming around.  The problem that I have noticed though is the cheese is very crumbly now.  Does not really taste dry, but sure looks it.  Is there a way to avoid this or fix it?  
  13. dalton

    dalton Smoke Blower

    Ive only seen cheese get "crumbly" if its dry or has been frozen.  my guess is that maybe you smoked it too hot and cooked a little too much oil out of it.  just my guess!

  14. viper

    viper Smoke Blower

    Uh, I did freeze it for a day.  I thought most people here did freeze it.  Maybe that is the issue...???

    It was certainly not dry when I first removed it and temps did not get over 80* and mostly hovered around 60*
  15. dalton

    dalton Smoke Blower

    then i would definaltly guess that your "crumbly" issue is caused by freezing.  anytime I have "accidently" let cheese freeze it has always ended up being "crumbly". 
  16. I've noticed Sharp Cheddar is real bad for getting crumbly and mealy after freezing.
  17. papagreer

    papagreer Meat Mopper

    I unfortunately do no have a vacuum sealer but I wrapped them tightly in saran wrap and then into a zip-lock freezer bag and got all the air out of there. I know that they wont last as long stored that way vs the vacuum sealers, but hey, gotta make do with what you have. 3 more days and I am at the 2 week mark. Cant wait to taste this cheese! 

    I do have one question...I have noticed the cheese becoming darker in color...is that normal? The smoke color after they came out of the MES was pretty light and now after its been sitting in the fridge for almost 2 weeks, it is significantly darker. Just curious to see if you guys experience the same thing or if not vacuum sealing them is causing that.