Minimum Temp for Cold Smoking Cheese

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by smoking4fun, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. smoking4fun

    smoking4fun Smoke Blower

    Is there a minimum temperature for effective cold-smoking some cheese?  I went out to smoke a load (~13 lbs) of various cheese and butter - and when the butter went in, it was room temperature (slightly melted), but when I took it out after an hour in the cold-smoker, it was nearly frozen.  I'm not sure how much smoke it picked up in that hour, especially because it solidified as it cooled from room temperature DURING the smoke.  Also, my cheese does not look like it picked up any color after nearly 4 hours.  The outside temp started about 43 degrees and when I pulled the cheese, it was down to about 35 degrees. 

    Since I won't really know how much smoke the cheese/butter actually got during the smoke today, it's hard for me to answer my question - but does anyone else have any thoughts on whether cold temperatures make the adherance of the smoke more difficult at low temperatures?
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Above freezing works but may require more time. Take a taste and smoke longer if too mild...JJ
  3. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have been going by color lately and not time,,,cold weather will take longer to get a good smoke on the cheese. 

    Good luck and let us know 

    A full smoker is a happy smoker

  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I try and keep my smoker above 40 when smoking cheese. Doesn't always work that way though. As the others mentioned it takes longer when it's colder.
  5. I learned a hard lesson last winter with cold.

    it got down into the low 20's and after a long extended smoke only the bottom row of cheese had a hint of color or flavor. I let them rest and there was not much change. I then put them in or another smoke and it was also cold, what I found was since it was so cold the smoke generated with amps did not rise in the smoker but layed there and flowed out varius holes etc at the bottom third of the smoker box. once I fired off the burner and got internal box temps up to 50 + degrees and the smoked started flowing correctly (go figure) and then had a sucsessful smoke.

    So I now in the cold weather I maintain a 45-60 degree smoker box temperature. Now with the new MES it should be a whole lot easier this winter due to the ease of control and having an insulated box. my propane smokes are just SS with no insulation.

    Just my two cents,

    smoking4fun likes this.
  6. smoking4fun

    smoking4fun Smoke Blower

    Thanks for that here's a follow-up. I don't think I got much smokiness with the first smoke. Do you th8nk it would be ok to throw the cheeses back into the smoker for a second go-round (when it's slightly warmer)? Or do you only get one shot at smoking the cheese?
  7. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    No problem.  Keep throwing it back in until you get it the way you like.  Actually smoke will adhere to a cold product better than hot.  For various reasons though it may seem not too, but we wont go into that here.  Depending on your setup, one thing to look out for is condensation on your cheese as when that happens you could pick up some undesirable flavors in a short amount of time.

    Hope this helps.


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