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Want to try my first cheese smoke...

Discussion in 'Smoked Cheese' started by shaneyb72, May 19, 2018.

  1. shaneyb72

    shaneyb72 Fire Starter

    So I want to try smoking some cheese for the first time. I’ve read a lot of posts on here and have gathered that this is a winter project right? At 70 degrees it’s way too warm to do this right? My plan is to use my propane smoker cabinet, but without any heat. I have a new A-MAZE-N tray with some pellets. But this still generates a fair amount of heat correct?

    Thanks for any help here!
     
  2. oddegan

    oddegan Smoking Fanatic

    I don't smoke cheese if the outside temp is over 40. For myself I don't run cheese this far into spring I just suck it up and wait till fall to start cheese again.
     
  3. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I do cold smokes during the night. It's naturally cooler.
    And for my method, I have my version of a mailbox mod where the smoke travels 8 feet through an aluminum flexible dryer vent hose to further cool it, and to filter out any crosote. Kind of "cleans" the smoke.
    That actually gives the smoker only a 2 degree rise over the ambient air temperature.
    Some folks simply set their tray inside their sm00ker box. As long as you can control the incoming cool air to help vent heat if it occurs.
    But try and stay low in temperature, I try for 65-80 range. I've even modified my MES 30 to run with an external temperature controller that can function at 1° points. It operates in a tight band, but in reality the temperature swings a total of 9 degrees, nominally.

    So give it a go. If the temperature gets wonky, use sawdust. It's supposed to run a much cooler smoke. I'm assuming you have an external temperature monitoring device you trust?

    I had a bit of trouble getting my Oak dust to stay lit. I laid in about a 1/3-1/2 row of pellets, and overlaid with saw dust in my AMNPS. The pellets acted like a fuse under the Oak and kept everything going.

    Let your cheese age after the smoking process. And nothing wrong with running small batches until you find a level and method that YOU like the taste of.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  4. kenn67

    kenn67 Newbie

    I’ve tried smoking cheese a couple of times. Still working out the timing. Less is more with smoking cheese. As long as you can keep the temperature below 90 degrees you should be safe. The amazen tray will work great for you without raising the temperature too much. You could always sit the cheese above a tray of ice. My first attempt was using the propane burner to create smoke. I used an aluminum roasting pan full of ice to keep the temperature down. Worked well. My second attempt was with the amazen tray and no ice was needed. I just have to cut back on my smoking time a bit. It’s all trial and error until you find what works for you. Good luck.
     
  5. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    Personally I use two 32oz soda bottles full of frozen water instead of ice when it's on the warmer side. It seems to keep the moisture level at bay in my WSM. Also sawdust smokes cooler and cleaner then pellets, but takes longer to penetrate the cheese so it will be a longer smoke. I've been playing around with doing my cheese in two stages about 2 - 3 hrs each with the dust. I've almost got it to the point were it can be eaten right out of the smoker without the resting period. I'm not quite there yet but almost. Let us know how it goes.

    Chris
     
  6. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I'm never able to let mine rest. It's just too good to wait.
    OINK!
     
  7. shaneyb72

    shaneyb72 Fire Starter

    Well, I’m giving it a shot now. I just went and picked up 8 fairly low cost 1/2 pound blocks to try out. I got Colby jack, pepper jack, Cabot Habanero, NY Sharp Cheddar, NY Xtra Sharp Cheddar, VT Sharp Cheddar, and 2 mozzarella. I have them in the smoker with a pan of ice. The A-MAZE-N tray has Pitmaster’s Blend pellets and is smoking away in the bottom. I seem to have nice smoke flowing through.
     
  8. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You can always open the door a crack That will cool it a little.Your location would get you better info
    Richie
     
  9. shaneyb72

    shaneyb72 Fire Starter

    I’m in the Buffalo, NY area. It’s only about 60 degreees out today and is damp and cloudy. The temp inside the smoker is holding at 67 at 90 minutes in. Thinking I should be okay.
     
  10. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds good I like 3 hours of smoke when I do it
    Richie
    Oh Throw some Hard Boiled eggs peeled in while your at it
     
    SonnyE likes this.
  11. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Oh, I LOVE sharp Cheddar's!
    Especially NY Extra Sharp!
    Have fun, and sample a bit to find what level of sm00kiness you like.
     
    daricksta likes this.
  12. shaneyb72

    shaneyb72 Fire Starter

    Went for 3 hours and just pulled it all. Nice golden color on all sides and looks great! Smells extremely smoky and tasted a bit of mozzarella and it was what I expected...too smoky right now. I’m going to let them air out in the beer fridge for 24 hours, vac pack, then back in the fridge for 4-8 weeks I’m guessing.

    Does this sound reasonable?
     

    Attached Files:

    ksblazer likes this.
  13. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Sounds reasonable. But let's see how your perseverance holds out.
    If you each the 8 week mark and it's all gone, I guess you will simply have to do more. LOL!
    No shame in that! ;)
     
    KrisUpInSmoke likes this.
  14. shaneyb72

    shaneyb72 Fire Starter

    Moving on to some almonds now...another first for me! Picked up 2 pounds of raw almonds and split them into 4 ziplocs, added a touch of oil to each, seasoned each differently, and now on the smoker at 220. We’ll see!
     
  15. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That looks good the color will get better as it ages. Weres the Eggs LOL
    https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/cold-smoked-eggs-deviled.200685/
    Richie
     
  16. SmokinVOLfan

    SmokinVOLfan Smoking Fanatic

    Nice looking cheese. The Hot Habanero is my favorite and its 10x better smoked
     
  17. I have been smoking cheese for a few years now and found a magic number for mine. I cut mine no thicker than one inch thick and cold smoked it for two hours. No heat had my smoke vented into my cabinet and then wrapped sarhan wrap or vacuum packed. If left in the fridge for six weeks it turned out great no matter what kind you use as long it is in bulk.
     
    SonnyE likes this.
  18. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    "I have been smoking cheese for a few years now and found a magic number for mine. I cut mine no thicker than one inch thick and cold smoked it for two hours. No heat had my smoke vented into my cabinet and then wrapped sarhan wrap or vacuum packed. If left in the fridge for six weeks it turned out great no matter what kind you use as long it is in bulk."

    Sounds good!
    What do your use for your smoke? (Hickory, Alder, Apple, Oak, ???)

    I use my version of a Mailbox Mod, with 8 feet of aluminum dryer vent hose to cool the smoke, and a small fan.
    In tests, the temperature between Ambient and inside my smoker held at 2° difference.
    I've been real pleased.
    Glad you are as well! Smoke on! :D
     
  19. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, it does generate heat. I use the 6x6 AMNS with Dust and it also generates heat, as much as 20°F additional in my MES 30 Gen 1. I have to place it on the 4th rack which is higher than I like. I set the controller to only 100°F and it's proven to work perfectly. The cheese directly over the AMPS gets darker with more gridmarks from the Q-MATZ I place them on, but I monitor the heat to not let it get over 130°. If it does, I turn the controller off. I try to cold smoke on cool days but the heat on warmer days helps to maximize air circulation within the smoker, which is crucial for older MES units like mine.

    Here's my post on the cheese cold smoke: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t...ked-cheese-with-the-amns.274941/#post-1823693
     
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