Need advice, newbie at cheese

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by gmebey, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. gmebey

    gmebey Smoke Blower

    I got a Big Kahuna and really want to do cheese, but I'm at a lost, and need some advice.

    My plan is to tackle this Sunday.

    1) What is a good basic cheese?

    2) What is the proper temp, cold is defined as less than 100F. So how low can I go?

    3) Aging, why and how long?

    4) Fridge or freezer for aging

    5) What happens if I don't age it?

    6) What is a good wood?

    In advance, thanks guys.

  2. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  3. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    1. Cheddar, Swiss and Gouda are good cheeses to start with.

    2. I would shoot for temps around 60 degrees. Of course if your in the South or your ambient temps are higher, then it's tricky. 100 degrees I would not do, cheese may get to soft. When the cheese starts to leech out the oils, your smoking too hot.

    3. Aging. Aging allows the full flavor of the smoke to penetrate the cheese. Simply smoking and cutting into it right away will not make smokey cheese. If you can, take smoked cheese and place in a food saver bag and suck all the air out. Leave in the fridge a minimum of 2 weeks. A month is better.

    4. Age cheese in Fridge.

    5. See number 3. You will have a pretty plain cheese.

    6. Alder and Cherry are good woods.

    If your outside temps are hot, smoke with the lid off your smoker or set to the side so the heat can escape. Cheese is a bit different from smoking meat, in that you are going to want a heavy smoke the entire time. 2-4 hours of heavy smoke should give you a nice product. After 2 weeks are up, I suggest you start another batch as when you open the first batch, you will wish you had made more.
  4. grampyskids

    grampyskids Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    1, Any hard cheese that you like; Cheddar, Provolone, Jack, Gouda,  Mozzarella etc.

    2. Ambient temperature; under 100.

    3, and 4. I age in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

    5. It won't bloom. The smoke will only be a surface smoke.

    6. Wood is your choice. I personally use apple or alder, I prefer a lighter wood.

    Cheese can be smoked in any smoker without using fuel. If you use wood, charcoal or propane you will end up with a gooey mess.

    !Qst, take the cheese out of the fridge and put it on a rack in the kitchen for an hour before smoking. I now use my amazen smoker, but before that, I bought a cheapo soldering iron and used a tin can with holes in the bottom. I filled it with chips and stuck the iron.

    go to the forums and you will find a cheese section, Good luck
  5. gmebey

    gmebey Smoke Blower

    Well I did some test cheese, and now I need some analysis of went wrong.

    I added a Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna to my ECB. This was my first run with the Kahuna!

    For some reason I could never get a low flow of blue smoke, but rather more white-ish smoke at high rate of flow. After reading several post about the Smoke Daddy generators and this problem I suspect the solution is a balancing act with air and chip/chunk sizes. But there was one common thing I noticed concerning the smoking power of the Kahuna and that was to allow flow of the smoke.

    To help this over abundance of smoke I placed the cheese on the top rack with door open and lid partly off to allow flow. Smoked for 1.75 hours.

    We tried a small piece and were rather shocked at how strong the smoke taste was, almost like chewing on a camp fire log. So for now we wrapped up the other cheese and placed in the fridge to age.

    My questions:

    1) Will this strong unbalanced smoke taste improve with aging?

    2) Or did I mess something up?

    3) Need some advice on the Kahuna smoke power.

    4) Why is white smoke a bad thing?
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can't help you at all on the Kahuna smoker power but I can tell you from experience back when I first started I did a bunch of cheese and I was getting thick white smoke and it tasted like chewing on a burnt log. With that being said it did get better once it sat in the fridge for a while to mellow out but it still wasn't as good as when it is smoked correctly. When you have white smoke you are going to get a build up of creosote on the food you are smoking that it will give you that bitter burnt stick flavor you are talking about. That is why you want thin blue smoke. You don't need to see the smoke coming out of your smoker. As long as you can smell the smoke you are smoking. Like the saying goes around here Less is more (smoke that is). Or is also referred to as Ninja Smoke. (Smoke that you can smell but you can't see). Hope this helps. Hopefully someone can give you some adive on your Kahuna Smoke Power. Also one more thing make sure your top exit vent is always cranked all the way open to allow the smoke to flow out of the smoker.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010

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