MAK Pellet Grill Cold Smoked Cheese

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by nepas, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Got some farmers cheese and a block of sharp in my MAK Grill side cold smoke box. Going with maple smoke.

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  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How are you generating the smoke?
     
  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great Start Rick!

    How does MAK generate smoke, and pass it thru the warming box, cool enough to cold smoke?

    I looked at MAK's site, but found nothing.

    Todd
     
  4. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    MAK is a pellet fired grill with an auger like a pellet stove for your house. Auger into the firepot into the main grill area. The smoke rolls from the main through vents at the bottom into the side cold smoker. The Pellet boss controller is on smoke setting 170-180* By the time the heat rolls through the side vents on both sides of the main area and to the bottom of the cold smoker the temp is around 50-80* Just like everything else, keep an eye on things,

    I'm using maple pellets located in the hopper on the left side.

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  5. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Put the cheese on a cooling rack with some cheese cloth to set at room temp for awhile before vac sealing. The cheese will be sealed from 2 weeks to a year. I'm getting into waxing cheese. From what i read the USA is the only country that keeps cheese under refrigeration. Waxed cheese can stay un refrigerated shelf stable for years.

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  6. Cheese looks great!  I'd be interested in reading some on the process for waxing the cheese - can you recommend any site in particular?  I assume you need a special type of wax to start with.  This *might* be a way for me to avoid having to buy another refrigerator to handle my little cheese projects when they put NY Extra Sharp on sale for $2.99 /lb and I roll home with 60 lbs of it and freak my wife out.
     
  7. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks very good, I never thought of waxing cheese, but that is a good idea
     
  8. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    [quote name="Malisaw" url="/forum/thread/105086/mak-pellet-grill-cold-smoked-cheese#post_619715"]
    Cheese looks great!  I'd be interested in reading some on the process for waxing the cheese - can you recommend any site in particular?  I assume you need a special type of wax to start with.  This *might* be a way for me to avoid having to buy another refrigerator to handle my little cheese projects when they put NY Extra Sharp on sale for $2.99 /lb and I roll home with 60 lbs of it and freak my wife out.



    [/quote]

    I have a few items to get yet. After we get back from NOLA i will start the waxing.

    Here is a site i like.

    http://kneadfulthingsnow.com/cheesewaxing.aspx
     
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I previously studied waxing.

    The research I have done on comparing Waxing cheese & vacuum packing cheese, tells me there are no benefits to waxing, other than you can make them look pretty.

    Waxing Cheese was very important, before we had personal vacuum packing machines.

    Both methods are to keep the cheese from getting moldy, by keeping moisture from forming between the cheese & it's cover.

    Moisture appears on the surface of the cheese, no matter which method you use, if you cover the cheese too soon.

    No moisture or mold appears to form there, if you wait until the right time to cover the cheese.

    So the only major differences that I have found are:

    With waxing, you can make your cheese look pretty.

    With vacuum packing, you can see if it gets moisture or mold, and you can't see that inside of colored wax. It is also a lot easier & quicker than waxing (the way I like things).

    I'm not saying there is anything wrong with waxing cheese, or waxing your legs, I just don't think I will do either.

    Unless I find some proven reason to wax my cheese, I will continue to vacuum pack.

    Bear
     
  10. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    [quote name="Bearcarver" url="/forum/thread/105086/mak-pellet-grill-cold-smoked-cheese#post_619733"]
    I previously studied waxing.


    The research I have done on comparing Waxing cheese & vacuum packing cheese, tells me there are no benefits to waxing, other than you can make them look pretty.



    Waxing Cheese was very important, before we had personal vacuum packing machines.



    Both methods are to keep the cheese from getting moldy, by keeping moisture from forming between the cheese & it's cover.



    Moisture appears on the surface of the cheese, no matter which method you use, if you cover the cheese too soon.



    No moisture or mold appears to form there, if you wait until the right time to cover the cheese.



    So the only major differences that I have found are:


    With waxing, you can make your cheese look pretty.


    With vacuum packing, you can see if it gets moisture or mold, and you can't see that inside of colored wax. It is also a lot easier & quicker than waxing (the way I like things).



    I'm not saying there is anything wrong with waxing cheese, or waxing your legs, I just don't think I will do either.


    Unless I find some proven reason to wax my cheese, I will continue to vacuum pack.




    Bear
    [/quote]

    I still vac seal.
    But i gotta do something when we have non smoking/BBQ weather here in PA-LASKA
     
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No way!

    I barely even have time to read all of your magnificent posts!

    Now you say you don't have enough to do???

    I think I was right, when I said there are 3 of you!

    Bear

    BTW: One of the things I ran into said it is OK to mix paraffin with crayola crayons for waxing cheese, because they make the crayons safe, in case kids eat them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  12. Great - thank you.  I had read that waxed cheese can keep for 25 years.  Wish I had known that while they had my new favorite cheese on sale for $2.99 /lb.  Sadly I got the last 6 pounds of it about a week ago.
     
  13. So BearCarver (or any one else) - are you keeping vacuum sealed  cheese unrefrigerated?  That was my only goal with the idea of waxing it.
     
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No, I personally wouldn't keep waxed or vacuum packed cheese unrefrigerated.

    Bear
     
  15. I did a lot of reading,hard cheeses,waxed at room temp is sold all over the world,even in Euro supermarkets. So I reckon vacuum packed is just as safe,no? Im asking,my research said OK but I want advice if this is incorrect,thanks.
     
  16. Am planning my first attempt at cold smoking cheese with my MAK 2-Star and have been reading a lot of forum posts to nail down my plan of attack.

    I have noticed users who specifically state they are using a MAK 2-Star say to smoke cheese from 30-60 min depending on your tastes while users of other equipment say to smoke the cheese for up to 4-hours.

    I wanted to verify that 30-60 min range is valid for a MAK 2-Star and also ask, "why such a big time difference for the non-MAK users?"
     
  17. I have a MAK 2 Star and love smoking cheese on it. The reality is, the amount of smoke all depends on your taste. I run Gouda for 2 hours on 75% apple/ 25% alder and medium and sharp cheddar for 3 hours. (I've gone up to 4 hours but not beyond that- still great at 4 but not a huge difference.) Blue cheese, about 45 minutes.

    The key w/ the cold smoke box is that you have to recognize the exhaust from the grill is hotter and thus if you have cheese up against that on your baking grate, you need to "turn" the grate every 45 minutes or so in order to keep things even. If it's warm in your area, I'd smoke at night. You can also put an ice bath underneath the grate to offer more cooling. 

    For the processing after, I let the cheese breathe outdoors (way too smoky indoors) for about an hour, then put it in a loose big ziploc for 4-5 days. If you don't let the smoke mellow, it will be overpowering. Then you can vac-seal or wax. I just started waxing and it's really easy - new england cheese waxing http://www.cheesemaking.com/RedCheeseWax.html  is awesome. I used a mixing bowl in a big pot filled w/ water and couldn't get the temp hot enough (210F) but since this isn't homemade cheese, I wasn't concerned about killing anything before waxing. 2 coats ea. side and you're done. Great for gifts or storage. 

    Note- to get the wax out of the bowl, freeze it and then you can break it out after. And reuse.

    Have fun!

    Ed
     
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just a safety note here.... If you open a sealed package of cheese and smoke it..... there are many bacteria that can "attach" to the cheese.... Whether you wax or vac pack the smoked cheese, botulism likes to grow in an oxygen deprived environment, and refrigeration is highly recommended....
     
  19. Vacuum packing smoked hard cheese has been hugely successful for us,FWIW.

    Thanks for all the advice on the topic folks.Much appreciated.

    Oh,it makes very nice gifts for your foody friends too. We gave some to folks at thrift store and do we get bargains now. Gave some to a neighbor and they moved....they are raising a farm pig for us,we pay its expenses,now thats a nice trade!

    Stuff is barter 'money' supreme!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013

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