First Cold smoke W/ Pic

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by rpeters48, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. So did my first cold smoke with some sharp cheddar and cream cheese. Used Bradley digital and AMNPS. Used apple pellets with some pecan mixed in at beginning and end (No clue why but sounded fun). Smoked for 3 hours on about 4oz of pellets

    Few questions now

    1) Would sawdust burn cooler? it was about 27degrees out and smoker stayed about 68-70 with just the AMNPS

    2) best way to store to allow smoke flavor to sink in (If it will even)

    3) not as much color but smells strong

  2. I'm a complete noob with four lb of smoked cheese, cream cheese, and butter waiting for the first judgement day....but here are my thoughts:

    1. Haven't used dust, but a 40 deg gain with the AMNPS sounds really high. I was getting 15-20 gains with the AMNPS in a MES30. I was getting so much smoke that it didn't hurt to pull open the door when temps started to climb.

    2. I vac sealed mine at between 4 and 24 hours since removing from smoke, and kept notes on each piece to see which I prefer once I taste test. Once vac sealed I put some in the beer fridge and some in the basement to see what works. You can also oil and wrap, and there was a fantastic thread on here about sealing cheese in wax and doing it right.

    3. I don't believe there is a direct connection between smoke color and smoke flavor, but I could be wrong.

    Happy smoking, from one newbie ruining cheese to another!
  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Rick

    The temperature gradient does sound quite high but without knowing the weather and the position of the smoker it would be difficult to try to understand why. Even on cool days if the smoker is in full sunlight then it can increase the internal temperature significantly. If it was shaded the cooking chamber of the Bradley is not massive and so if there was little air flow through the smoker the heat from the AMNPS could have noticeably raised the internal temperature.

    When it comes out of the smoker leave it on the wire racks uncovered in the fridge or other cool place for a couple of hours to dry. Inside the smoker the dust/pellet combustion produces significant water vapour and with limited air flow the surface of cheese can become quite damp. This mat not be aparant when it first comes out but it can cause the cheese surface to become damp after wrapping. After that, if you have a vac packer then that is ideal. If not then use clingfilm or zip-lock food bags and try to get as much air out as possible. Store in a cool place - the fridge is ideal - for a minimum of a week before using or freezing. I suspect from the photo though that you will probably not be freezing any [​IMG].

    The colour you get on commercial "smoked" cheese is usually paprika that they have dusted on afterwards. Because you only smoke cheese for a relatively short time you are unlikely to get much change in colour at all. The exception may be any cheese pieces that are directly in the stream of smoke coming from the AMNPS. This cheese will have taken on much more smoke/soot and is likely to taste different to the other cheese - possibly over smoked.

    What you have done looks great though - I am sure that you will enjoy it [​IMG]
  4. I thought I had read from Mr. T not to freeze cheeses. Just vac pack and put in the fridge after drying. They will age in the vac pack and not go bad. I could be wrong. I am going to try my first go with cheese in the next week or two.
  5. Thanks all,


    It was east facing on porch, started about 430pm and house had all light blocked, by 530 I was needing the porch light to see. had the puck feeder pulled out a few inches so would have a little air flow. Just seemed high based on other posts I have read and couldn't figure out why
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Were you using the stock therm or some other therm to take your temp readings. The stock therms are notorious for being inaccurate.

    I have found that I get higher temp spikes when the outside temps are above 50*. When it's below 40* I get lower temp spikes.

    There is no need to freeze cheese if it's stored vac packed. I have smoked cheese that is close to a year and half old.
  7. Was using a different therm. found the same thing out the first time I used it, was about 40* off. Ordered a dual probe PID controller for it today.
  8. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If I recall Mr T and I have discussed this point in a previous thread. He prefers not to freeze cheese because he recons it changes the texture however I regularly freeze it and I find it makes no difference. We will have to agree to disagree on this as both of us have been smoking cheese for a long time and both of us know that we are right. I guess that so long as it still tastes good when its thawed it really does not matter. The only way to find out is not to take either of our words for it and try it for yourself. It is likely to vary with cheese type though so there is a very good possibility that we are both correct.
  9. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    :Although my experience is short, my success in cheese smoking seems really me, anyway . I have similar experiences. Above 50, I can hit 85 in the smoker, too high. Below 40 however, it can't get it over 65 and mostly 55. My whiskey barrel smoker is on the north side of the garage where I do much of my outdoor work. It is always very cold there with so little sunlight there until near sunset but it's too late then, you're usually frozen by then. I have a bi-metal thermometer In a silicone bung hole plug but it's "sweet spot" is more towards 200-250 and it's accuracy is off about 20 degrees at room temp. I am using the maverick dual probe which seems to be darn close to actual temps so I keep one probe on each rack.

    I have had anyone in the house immediately notice when I bring a rack of cheese in from the smoker and that's after maybe 20 minutes hanging in the garage. My color has been intense you can see the crosshatch clearly from the rack on the cheeses' surface. At the highest temps I've had, about 85, one of the cheddars' started to get oily. I let it dry and vac sealed it a day later. It looked great but remains to be tasted. I wait for temps below 50 and just go ahead and do it. That has not been a problem in the last 3 weeks.

    As mentioned, it's a lot of fun and I'm always out there doing something. It mind mellowing, to watch the smoke rolling out of the short stack. I've done over 10 lbs at a time and just 1 lb alone. Always feel like I've accomplished something.

    Enjoy, if you really get into smoking these cheeses, keep a close watch for local supermarket sales. I've run into a few that built my inventories well.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  10. I have never froze blocks of cheese but I have shredded and sliced. Shredded I notice no difference but sliced seems to become more brittle. haven't noticed a taste difference though. I'm sure at one point I will make more than my fridge will hold and end up trying frozen for yet another opinion on here.
    That's about the same I have read on here and why it seemed odd I was getting such high temps at about 28 degrees outside. I did notice the color seemed to get darker after sitting a bit. Also noticed my fingers are stained of the dark smoke color and it does not was off.
  11. knuckle47

    knuckle47 Meat Mopper

    The only thing I don't care for is : even when I stick my arm in just to flip the cheeses over sometimes, I smell like a used fireplace, clothes and all, until I run and take a shower
  12. dave17a

    dave17a Smoking Fanatic

    Smoke wont hurt ya. Try some Lipton onoin soup mix or bread crumbs on the cream cheese, just another dimension.[​IMG]

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