Worst smoked cheese ever

  • 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.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Newglide

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jun 14, 2021
672
545
NC
So a few weeks ago thought I'd try making some smoked cheese.
I have a metal box that I got years ago to put in my gas grill to put wood chips in to smoke on the gas grill.
My neighbor has a pellet grill so I got a handful of pellets to try.
They seemed like a middle of the road wood mix, it was a hardwood and cherry and apple mix, Trager brand I think.
Filled the metal box and put it in the bottom of my kettle. Lit a corner of the box and let it roll. There was a lot of smoke.
Put in a 1lb block of cheddar and 1lb of Colby jack. Let them smoke for 3 hours, I think that's where I went wrong.
I flipped and rotated every hour, monitored my temps stayed around 80*.
Pulled them and noticed some oily drops all over the cheese, thought maybe this was the cheese "sweating"
Put them in the fridge for a few hours then vac sealed and back in the fridge.
I left them alone for 3 weeks, I cut into the cheddar this weekend and it was terrible. Way too much smoke, tasted like dirty smoke.
No way to doctor it up, I tried shredding and putting on nachos loaded with jalapeños, couldn't even eat them.
I'm thinking next time I'd try an hour and half on the smoke and see if that helps.
 
Your procedure sounded as though you did everything correct.

From your explanation however it sounds to me that you had too much heavy smoke for too long of a period.

Pellets tend to give off much more smoke than dust. Since your kettle is a rather confined space, you could of cut down the amount of time the cheese was exposed to the pellet smoke or used dust instead.

Don't give up on the cheese you have already smoked. The aging process in the vac sealing should eventually calm down the strong smoke taste.

I hope this helps,

John
 
Last edited:
Your procedure sounded as though you did everything correct.

From your explanation however it sounds to me that you had too much heavy smoke for too long of a period.

Pellets tend to give off much more smoke than dust. Since your kettle is a rather confined space, you could of cut down the amount of time the cheese was exposed to the pellet smoke or used dust instead.

Don't give up on the cheese you have already smoked. The ageing process in the vac sealing should eventually calm down the strong smoke taste.

I hope this helps,

John
Thanks, Sounds like I may be on the right track.
Definitely not going to give up, like anything else it's a learning process, usually takes me a little longer to learn sometimes.
I was about to dump the cheese I have, if you think it'll mellow over time I'll leave it alone for awhile and see how it goes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zwiller
Keep trying, you'll get it right! Look at the bright side...its gonna be easier to age this cheese.

Ryan
 
I've never liked my smoked cheese unless I used a mailbox mod to clean up some of the smoke before it hits the cheese. I have a drainage pipe that runs to the MES30 that I run the smoke through first, otherwise its too much for my taste.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mneeley490
Good advice above and as said it will mellow over time! Hopefully after, it will be to your liking! IMO, the hour and a half instead of three hours is a move in the right direction! Also if I could suggest… consider investing in an AMAZEN tray and some dust! It will give off a light smoke and can be used for more than just cheese!
 
  • Like
Reactions: indaswamp
Dust will help for sure but smoking cheese appears very simple to do but in reality it's actually hard to perfect. 6 hours dust and American deli cheese is my best.
 
Also Traeger pellets are not 100% fruitwood. I got really harsh smoke using pellets made for a grill. Try getting some 100% fruitwood pellets from Amazn or other brand that says they are 100% fruitwood on label.
You will get a better milder smoke for cheese.
 
Keep trying, you'll get it right! Look at the bright side...its gonna be easier to age this cheese.

Ryan
True
I've never liked my smoked cheese unless I used a mailbox mod to clean up some of the smoke before it hits the cheese. I have a drainage pipe that runs to the MES30 that I run the smoke through first, otherwise its too much for my taste.
Thanks, I see a lot about that on here. I may go down that road. I kinda like making changes one at a time and starting with the simple ones first. I'll keep it on the list

consider investing in an AMAZEN tray and some dust! It will give off a light smoke and can be used for more than just cheese!
Where do I get dust?

Dust will help for sure but smoking cheese appears very simple to do but in reality it's actually hard to perfect. 6 hours dust and American deli cheese is my best.
Thanks
Also Traeger pellets are not 100% fruitwood. I got really harsh smoke using pellets made for a grill. Try getting some 100% fruitwood pellets from Amazn or other brand that says they are 100% fruitwood on label.
You will get a better milder smoke for cheese.
Thanks

I have an article on SMOKED CHEESE, it's kind of long, but it includes tips I've learned over 45 years or so. I believe it will get you back in the ball park.
Thanks, Very good info thanks
 
  • Like
Reactions: bauchjw
NG, IMHO it is always better to start out light on your smoke , with each batch you can increase the time a little until you get it to your preference. Too little smoke is edible but as you know too much smoke is inedible.
 
Also Traeger pellets are not 100% fruitwood. I got really harsh smoke using pellets made for a grill. Try getting some 100% fruitwood pellets from Amazn or other brand that says they are 100% fruitwood on label.
You will get a better milder smoke for cheese.

I'm with Lonzino on this one... It wasn't so much that it was to much smoke.. It was more so the pellets that were used... As he says... find 100% fruitwood or whatever... make sure they are not cooking/heating pellets as these are mostly filler wood for heat ...

As for dust.. daveomak daveomak has a thread here on how to make dust from pellets...
 
As he says... find 100% fruitwood or whatever... make sure they are not cooking/heating pellets as these are mostly filler wood for heat .
Thanks JD, Checked out your build in the link in your signature, very cool build
 
So a few weeks ago thought I'd try making some smoked cheese.
I have a metal box that I got years ago to put in my gas grill to put wood chips in to smoke on the gas grill.
My neighbor has a pellet grill so I got a handful of pellets to try.
They seemed like a middle of the road wood mix, it was a hardwood and cherry and apple mix, Trager brand I think.
Filled the metal box and put it in the bottom of my kettle. Lit a corner of the box and let it roll. There was a lot of smoke.
Put in a 1lb block of cheddar and 1lb of Colby jack. Let them smoke for 3 hours, I think that's where I went wrong.
I flipped and rotated every hour, monitored my temps stayed around 80*.
Pulled them and noticed some oily drops all over the cheese, thought maybe this was the cheese "sweating"
Put them in the fridge for a few hours then vac sealed and back in the fridge.
I left them alone for 3 weeks, I cut into the cheddar this weekend and it was terrible. Way too much smoke, tasted like dirty smoke.
No way to doctor it up, I tried shredding and putting on nachos loaded with jalapeños, couldn't even eat them.
I'm thinking next time I'd try an hour and half on the smoke and see if that helps.
I don't smoke cheese but I have cold smoked salmon lox and I encountered slight stale smoke issues.

I wanted to raise the issue of Stale Smoke because it is something that totally happens when people cold smoke cheese and other items.

Stale smoke tastes horrible no matter the wood used!
See smoke flavor is good when smoke is not thick and heavy AND smoke is allowed to circulate and be oxygenated.
My understanding is that once the smoke lingers too long and doesn't have fresh oxygen it's flavor changes into nasty bitter stale smoke.
If this stale smoke is lingering over your cheese well you get nasty flavors.

I had a slight bit of this happening with my cold smoked salmon lox in my MES40.
All symptoms pointed to stale smoke and the solution was to keep the smoke flowing constantly just like when doing a regular hot smoke cook.

So the solution to your problem may be as simple as keeping a steady flow of smoking going where it doesnt linger.
How you do this is the tricky part.

I built a little cold smoke gadget that has a computer blower fan wired to a plug and the fan blows up a coardboard tube. I place that over my MES vent and boom, manufactured draft to keep a constant flow of smoke moving through, up, and out of my smoker.
All stale smoke issues solved!

Here is one I made for my brother just last month or so:
k7mz54B.png


If you can use some kind of fan to even just blow horizontally over your smoker vent, that may be enough to cause a draft to keep circulating the smoke through your smoker and pull it up and out so it doesn't linger.

I just wanted to bring this up as it was not mentioned and is likely part of the problem you are experiencing. I hope this info helps :)
 
I've successfully smoked cheese in my kettle using a pellet tube.
I don't have my journal with me, or I would give the conditions.

How big are your cheese pieces?
Maybe slice off the outer 1/4" and let it age some more.
 
Could you explain the "metal "box? What, exactly, is this? Is it perforated or have solid sides? How far open did you have the vents?
 
  • Like
Reactions: tallbm
I wanted to raise the issue of Stale Smoke because it is something that totally happens when people cold smoke cheese and other items
Thanks tallbm, Stale smoke may very well be my issue, there was a lot of smoke when I smoked it. I didn't have the thin blue line of smoke I am used to seeing with my stick burner
 
  • Like
Reactions: tallbm
Could you explain the "metal "box? What, exactly, is this? Is it perforated or have solid sides? How far open did you have the vents?
SmokerBox.gif

Similar to this, it has holes on the bottom and the sides than this one. I had my vents wide open
 
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Clicky