First Time Smoker: Questions

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by zayas, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. zayas

    zayas Newbie

    Hey everyone,

    Today was my first time smoking cheese but I wasn't able to get the wood to smolder and burn on it's own.  I live in Japan, so my selection of smoking wood is very limited.  I picked up a bag of wood chips, but they are much smaller than normal wood chips.  They were about a few centimeters at their thickest and no longer than an inch.  I tried to light them with a lighter, but they wouldn't burn continuously.  As soon as I took the heat off, the chips would die.  The only way I could get the chips to continuously smoke was to cover a briquette with them, and even then, only the chips that were directly touching the briquette would burn.  Am I doing this wrong?  Are wood chips too big to be used as a cold smoke source?  Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
  2. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The shortest answer is buy a AMZPS & pellets BUT you are in Japan & there is a shipping cost. Whatever I  suggest about getting the chips to burn is going to be compromised by the fact that its going to generate too much heat,wrong sort of smoke & your cheese is going to sag.

    Have you tried a gas lighter,the ones that attach to a butane/propane bottle?

    What are you smoking in?

    There is probably a way to McGyver it as the Americans say but without the details I/we dont know what to suggest.

    I/we dont know what you have available to you equipment wise or how much space you have to work in. There will be a way to have the cheese in 1 chamber the smoke source in another & run the smoke another but might be way more work/$ than AMZPS option in the long run.

    Check out some of the cheese posts using AMZPS & you will get the drift.
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Try putting the chips in a coffee can and then put a soldering iron into the chips to keep them going. I would suggest the pellet smoker as well but in Japan that might be tough to get.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  5. zayas

    zayas Newbie

    Thanks for the replies, guys!

    Moikel: I'm smoking in a cardboard box, hahah. In Japan, the charcoal briquettes come in a cylindrical shape with a small hole in the center. It looks like a small black roll of toilet paper, if you can imagine. Anyway, the outside doesnt burn as hot as the center, so I've been pouring the chips into the center and that will burn out in about ten minutes. So every ten minutes, I'm dumping out the ashes and refilling the center whole with fresh chips. Definitely tedious.

    I don't have a butane torch as the nozel attachment is damn expensive at the local store (about $30). But even if I can get some chips to ignite, I don't think they're hot enough to ignite the surrounding chips.

    ChefJimmyJ: Thanks for pointing out the previous thread of the other Japanese smoker. I can't get those smoking sticks locally, but I've found them on amazon Japan. I put in an order or a stick and will try it out when it gets here. if I understand them correctly, I should jus. Be able to ignite them and they will continuously burn on their own, correct? That would definitely take out the headaches trying to smoke my cheese. Also, I'm wary of using the solder iron method because I can't read Japanese and I wouldn't know if te tips have been pre-tinned or not. Definitely don't want to chance anything!
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012

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