1st cheese smoke

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by big bass, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. big bass

    big bass Newbie

    Figured I'd post my first cheese smoke. I'm new to smoking and this forum has helped a ton.

    I used royal oak lump with cherry wood on a vertical smoker. I used ice water to control the temp. My temp ranged right around 70 but it did spike a couple times up to 100. I smoked all the cheese for 2 hours. No problems with melting cheese thankfully.

    For this smoke I wanted some variety to figure out what I like. I did several blocks of cheddar, colby, swiss and gouda. I also used different brands ranging in quality to see if cheap stuff turned out as good as the pricier stuff.

    For the cheap brands I used generic Winco cheddar and colby. After aging for a couple days they sucked. After a week they were much better. Well worth the effort.

    The swiss turned out ok, but I don't like swiss in the first place.

    For a mid grade I tried tillamook cheddar. Awesome. Worth the extra money. After only two days of aging it was tasty and getting better with each week.

    Finally the high grade I bought some kerrygold aged cheddar. WOW. That stuff is awesome. That being said it tasted great before I smoked it.

    After all that I decided it's probably better to go for cheaper/mid grade cheese and age them longer to get that bang for your buck.

    Any tips on cheese, specifically aging would be appreciated. After cooling to room temp, I just tossed them in ziplock bags in the fridge.

  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    bb you must have been lucky the cheese did not melt at 100* I smoke most of mine for 3 hrs. and sit in the fridge over night,then vac seal it,age 3 weeks minimum.I just opened some that was double smoked and aged 3 months Fantastic.

  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    For long term storage and aging I like to wax the cheese. We have some that is several years old now (Tillamook medium cheddar).

    My all time favorite cheeses to smoke are pepper jacks. The smoking process really brings out the flavor of the peppers. Tillamook is what I normally use. Our restaurant supply Cash and Carry has the best prices on the 5 pound blocks. They also have a cheaper brand called 5th Street that's good too.

    Prior to smoking I cut the 5# blocks in half lengthwise, then I quarter those halves length wise. Ending up with (8) 2" square (approx) pieces of cheese. Perfect size for crackers.

    I'll smoke for 4-6 hours depending on the wood I am using. I prefer milder woods like apple, cherry, peach, alder. Cob is another good choice. I avoid woods like hickory and mesquite.

    After smoking I let the cheese rest in the fridge loosely covered for 3-5 days. Then I wax the cheese and let it rest at least 4 weeks before cutting into it. As I mentioned I have some that right at 3 years old now.

    Mr T has some good threads here on aging and smoking cheese. Check them out too.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  4. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Good looking batch of cheese. Thumbs Up. Wrap it tight. If you don't have a vac sealer, use saran wrap to get as much air out as possible.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  5. big bass

    big bass Newbie

    Tropics, yea I was watching it carefully and pulled the top of the grill when the temp spiked.

    Good tips guys. I think I'll try waxing my next batch since I don't have a vacuum sealer. Thanks for the info.
  6. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    BB, Once you taste those blocks you will be hooked on cheese smoking . [​IMG]
  7. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Nice Cheese BB - an AMAZN smoker would fit just right in your smoker and is the perfect tool for Cheese.

    Happy New Year

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