Discussion in 'Cheese' started by loppy, Sep 30, 2014.
Smoking cheese for the first time. Any ideas for wood to use. Thanks loppy
I like maple.
For your first time I would pick a lighter wood flavor.
Remember to let it rest for at least 2 weeks. Trust me on this one.
Apple, peach, and alder are some if my favorites.
On top of what Adam said start with smoking for a couple hours and see how you like that batch. If it's not smokey enough, go longer.
Make sure that your smoker has great air flow, and that the smoke is thin and blue (TBS) not white and thick.
I like both Oak and Hickory. With the stronger wood smoke I usually give it about 2 hours and with the milder wood I give it 3.hours. As Dirtsailor says keep plenty of air flow through the smoker and also allow the cheese to rest unwrapped in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) before wrapping it to allow any surface moisture to evapourate. After that wrap in plastic wrap or vac pack and leave for at least two weeks in a cool place for the smoke flavours to mellow.
Please trust me on this. Since it is your first run, go Short and Mild... No more than 2 hours of mild smoke like Apple, Peach or Cherry. The other suggestions stated above can't be over stressed. Keep the smoke at the point that is smells great but can barely be seen or thin and blue. Keep the exhaust wide open for good flow and continuous fresh smoke and don' t even bother tasting before it rests 2 weeks, 4 is better. Yes sir, it is a tough proposition, but more folks have been turned off by tasting fresh from the smoker or too soon. Last, under no circumstances let the smoker temp rise above 80-90°F. Anything higher and you might as will shove a pan of Macaroni under the cheese and have a nice extra cheesy dinner. Good luck...JJ
I am not sure what smoker you are using but if it is likely to get warm then you can place a bag of ice directly under the cheese or in the water bowl to help counteract this. Also avoid smoking during the day in direct sunlight as even direct sun can increase the IT of the smoker by a surprising amount. Try to keep IT of the smoker at a coolish room temperature and as JJ says definitely below 90 F. You want to avoid the cheese sweating and certainly not let it melt.