1st cheese with MES40

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by tymidga, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. tymidga

    tymidga Newbie

    First smoked cheese.

    Wednesday evening I cut the blocks to the size I wanted with the goal being the size of a stick of butter for most of them.  Left them in the fridge uncovered overnight prior to smoking (mistake?).

    Yesterday (Thursday) I left work an hour early so I wouldn't be pushed for time.  I have an MES40 with the cold smoker attachment.

    Cheese pre-smoke

    1.5 hours in.  I pulled the cheese on the top rack and added some string cheese.  I had duplicate and triplicate pieces of some of the cheese.  Solos were smoked 1.5 hours, duplicates 3.0 hours, and the loan triplicate was smoked 4.0 hours.

    Cold smoker distanced with dryer duct.

    Cheese off the smoker.  One tooth pick means 1.5 hr, two means 3.0 hr, 3 tooth picks means 4.0 hours.

    Double plastic wrapped and in a zip top bag.

    Air temp was 74 degrees when I started and 54 degrees at the end.  Temp in the smoker roughly equaled the air temp. I coded the tooth pics with stripes to keep track of the brand and type.

    BTW, the plastic wrap was very frustrating.
  2. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    Hey Ty,

    Great looking cheese smoke you've got there, and a good method for keeping track of smoke levels. 

    I smoked a lot of cheese last winter.  I use two 2 six inch amazn tubes and hickory pellets in my 18 1/2 inch WSM.

    I just cut the cheese [​IMG] out of the packaging as I am getting the smoker set up.  The 6 inch tubes will burn for 3 hour's + or -, and I generally smoke for 6 hours.  After smoking I just stuff it in zip lock bags, put it in the fridge and leave it alone for at least 2 weeks,  (I feel that the cheese needs several weeks for the smoke flavor to meld into the cheese.  Eating before the 2 week rest can give you a harsh over smokey flavor), then take it out of the zip locks and dry wipe any moisture from the pieces with paper towels, vacuum bag whatever amount I cannot eat in two weeks and store it in the refrigerator.

    (Without the wiping of accumulated moisture at two weeks some cheese with deteriorate fairly quickly, and I make a point of removing any cheese that I keep in regular zip lock's and periodically wiping it dry).

    I like your dryer hose isolator.  [​IMG]   I depend on cooler ambient temps and figure that the tubes will raise the temp in the WSM by 10*.  Most cheeses that I have smoked will withstand 80* before they start to "slump".  Even cream cheese will withstand a fairly high temp.

    Cream cheese is in the center of the grate in the second pic.  It is my personal favorite although I have to say that I don't have any access to what I would call boutique cheese in the area I live.

  3. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    Those look great. Those boutique cheeses are very expensive doing in quantity and with a nice quality cheddar, you're getting great flavor. I've let mine sit over night in the garage fridge, then vacuum seal with the portion of the original label tucked inside. I have some from December 2013 that we had last week and they were outstanding. It took 15 years to find a good use for that crazy vac sealer. Now I use it all winter long.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  4. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    I have been very happy with the results I've gotten from smoking the very ordinary, everyday cheeses that are available to me round here.  Curiosity has me wondering what sort of results I could get using "boutique" cheeses, though. 

    I use the vac sealer quite often for even short term freezing.  I feel like it preserves the quality of products and I can buy special cuts of meat when I find them without the need to cook / smoke shortly after buying.  I put the labels from articles vac packed in the vac bags, too, as well as noting description and bag date on the vac bag.

    Agreed on the quality of smoked cheddar.  I've had great results from grocery store sharp cheddar, "Cabots" extra sharp, and others.  My favorites run from Philadelphia Cream cheese, # 1,  Grocery store Swiss #2, various Cheddar's #3 and Pepper Jack, Muenster,  Provolone, etc, after those.
  5. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    Not being a cream cheese user, Ive never smoked any. How long are you usually smoking it for?. My wife and daughter like cream cheese so I'll do some tomorrow as well. Just saw TV weather for tomorrow with a high temp of 52.... Of course, I did just fill my oil tank for winter heat... Guess you gotta take the good with the less good ⛄️
  6. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    The Cream cheese got 6 hours of smoke, right along with the rest of the cheese in the smoker.  I did use a "Frog Mat" on the grate that the Cream Cheese was under to give more support to the much softer cheese.  Not sure that the Cream Cheese would have slumped without the Frog Mat  but I had the mat and so I used it as a precaution.


    Best luck with your Cream Cheese smoke.  Hope your peep's love it.
  7. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    Thank you one-eyed Jack, I have had one cheese smoke on a warmer day and the cheddar did find its way 1/2 way thru the grid. Good tip
  8. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    You are welcome Knuck.  Glad I could help.
  9. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ty yours looks good, no I mean great, good job on the marking each on for the amount of smoke, I don't usually take mine out of the wrapper till ready to smoke or not so don't know if that was a mistake or not, let us know on that part. 

    Now the dang waiting period. I usually let mine rest in fridge overnight or a day or so before wrapping or vac packing. 

    You will have some nice cheese there when it is ready. 

    A full smoker is a happy smoker 


Share This Page