smoking cheese in mes

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by mvincent42, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. mvincent42

    mvincent42 Meat Mopper

    Got some nice sharp white cheddar Cabot im going to try tomorrow. Plan to fill the water tray with ice and turn the thermostat down to 100. From the research I've done it seems you need to let it sit in the fridge for 2 months or so before consumption. Is this true? I don't have a vacuum system so will zipper bags do? Should I freeze the cheese before I start? Should I freeze it afterwards? Should I not bother since I don't have a vacuum sealer?
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Your plan will work IF your smoker will generate smoke at that low a temp. Most of us MES owners can't get much smoke generation until the MES hit 180*F, way too hot for cheese. You will find that 100*F will Melt your Cheddar or just about any Cheese for that matter if the smoker ever gets that high. Keep it as cool as possible. Ice in the water pan may not be enough and will require a lot of replacement. Quart Milk Cartons filling the lowest and highest shelves are a good choice as are 1Liter Soda Bottles filled with Water and frozen but takes planning. If you want to Cold Smoke the cheese with no headaches, a great choice is an AMNPS or AMNS which use Pellets or Saw Dust to generate Smoke without adding more than 10-25*F to you Smoker.   There is also Wood Chips or Saw Dust in a Soup or vegetable can Can with a Soldering Iron stuck in through a hole in the side of the can. Only hassle is you may need to Burn out any plastic or other coating lining the interior of the can.

    Most guys smoke their Cheese 2-4 hours with a variety of Woods. Even the mildest of woods will give the cheese a bitter taste straight out of the smoker but simply wrapped in Plastic Wrap and bagged with a 2 week rest will allow the cheese to mellow and let the smokey goodness penetrate the cheese. 2 Weeks is good but there are guys that do large volumes and let them rest in the refer for Months! It just gets better the longer you wait. It is not necessary to Vac Seal and neither is freezing before or after. Good luck and have patience your Taste Buds will be rewarded...JJ
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
    mvincent42 likes this.
  3. mvincent42

    mvincent42 Meat Mopper

    Cool. Thanks for the heads up on 2 liter bottles have 3 or 4 in the freezer at all times for camping, parties, etc. If I put those on the lowest and highest shelves it wont melt the bottles if the smoker is set at 100? My mes says it smokes from 100 to 275 and was specifically why I bought it so I will try it and let you know. Should I put the cheese right on the rack or on foil or cardboard or something? Been reading a lot about the amnps and amns for the past few days since I joined the forum but don't think its something im going to get right away. Seems cool though.
  4. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      If you plan to smoke cheese regularly or do other cold smokes, you really should invest in the AMNPS. It makes smoking much simpler. Good luck on your sharp white cheddar

  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I hate to say this but there are hundreds of MES owners here and the biggest complaint is generating consistent smoke below 150-180*F. Even though the MES can be SET to 100*F the Heating coil will not be on long enough to get the chips going and once it gets up to temp the insulation will hold the temp well enough that it does not cycle frequently enough to keep the chips burning. You have some things in your favor...Loading up with ICE and the temps outside are so Cold. This will keep the coil coming on more frequently and hopefully you will get some smoke going, but it is going to take some attention and possibly having to raise the set temp to get the chips going then lower the temp back to 100*F so the Cheese doesn't melt. Place the Cheese right on the rack so smoke gets to the whole deal.

    Get the AMNPS. It can burn Pellets or Saw Dust and overcomes both of the MES problems of generating smoke at low temps and having to load more chips every thirty minutes. With the pellets the MES will Cold smoke so you can leave the MES off for Cheese or Bacon and it will burn consistently for up to 10 Hours so you can get some sleep during a 12-20 hour Brisket or big Butt Smoke overnight. Have fun with the Cheese...JJ
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  6. mvincent42

    mvincent42 Meat Mopper

    Good notes...I will post more after.
  7. mvincent42

    mvincent42 Meat Mopper

    Ok so I couldn't sleep I was so excited to try this. Am a half hour in and am holding steady at an internal temp of 51 on the cheese and 97 on the smoker. Have my water bin full of ice and 3- 2 liter bottles on the shelf under the cheese. We have smoke!

    I just flipped my cheese over because I noticed how high in the cheese I had my probe.

    Seems everything is going well....knock on wood chips!
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Well there you go! Like I said it can be done but may take some messing around. Since you're Pumped full of Adrenaline and Anticipation...Keep an eye on Temps and how much smoke is flowing and you should be fine...JJ 

    BTW...Good Luck with the Oneida Thermometer. Mine took a crap after 6 months of light use and the Probe fell apart. Be gentle the probe and don't get it wet. The unfortunate thing is the Lifetime Warranty is worthless since the Website they give to setup a return for repair does not exist and mailing it back to the address provided comes back, " No such Address "
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  9. mvincent42

    mvincent42 Meat Mopper

    1 hour in. Holding about 70* and good smoke flow. Cheese is sweating but not melting. Hope this is normal. Seems all is well Will flip cheese again in about 30 minutes. This is pretty exciting stuff!

    Got some beef marinading in the meantime for jerky tomorrow...going to go post over there.
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sweating is normal. You can blot it off before wrapping...JJ
  11. mvincent42

    mvincent42 Meat Mopper

    About an hour and a half in. Have changed out ice cubes in water tray once. 2 liter bottles are holding nicely. Smoker heated up to 109 and internal temp of cheese is almost 90. Going to try to hold on for another half hour. Will post pics once I pull it out. The excitement level is not going down. Not sure how much im going to sleep for the next 2 weeks....
  12. mvincent42

    mvincent42 Meat Mopper

    Let it go for 2 hours...yea! Got soft but no meltage. Turned white cheddar yellow which I'm assuming means it took the smoke.
    Wrapped in plastic wrap then put in zipper bag in fridge. I need a time machine for 2 weeks so I can try it.

    Will post follow up when I taste it. Antici-freaking-pation!

    smokinmissy likes this.
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks good. You did fine...JJ
  14. roadkill cafe

    roadkill cafe Smoking Fanatic

    Looks good! Put it to the back of the fridge so you don't see it every time you open the door. I'm going to try to do some today.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  15. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    you might want to try 1 bricket with some dry wood chips. I think this might work.
  16. Looking good![​IMG]

    "Smoker heated up to 109 and internal temp of cheese is almost 90." caused the bit of softening you had. 
  17. mvincent42

    mvincent42 Meat Mopper

    By the way jj thanks for the heads up on the thermometer. Got gift cards to bed bath beyond as wedding present so while the wife was picking out towels and picture frames I found a probe thermometer that looked decent for what she allowed me to spend of the gift cards (about $16 after 20% off coupon) it did kill a lot of time looking between the thermometers though... I will probably go to restaurant depot and see what they have for industrial if this one craps out. By the way restaurant depot is a wonderful store. Not sure if you have them there, but I got the brisket for my wedding for $2.25/lb. They have pork loin for around $2/lb. Great place to shop if you work at a restaurant and can use their tax id number as no membership fee.
  18. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So you can see how well you did, this is the mess I made the first time I tried to smoke cheese. I used the inexpensive cheeses from the supermarket (thankfully)

    After it cooled, I shredded it all together and used it on tacos and pizzas; so it wasn't a total loss.
  19. mvincent42

    mvincent42 Meat Mopper

    Wow, rabbithutch, that's exactly what I was afraid of...thankfully I had lots of help from the guys on this thread!
  20. tjohnson

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

    Now, THAT'S FUNNY!
    smokinmissy likes this.

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