Temps... what is ideal?

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by hewgag, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. hewgag

    hewgag Fire Starter

    I have a crap-ton of cheese in the ol' cold smoker. Been going on about 3 hrs now... its a chilly 43F here in Fort Worthless tonight and my cheese is not showing much color despite the absolute perfect hickory TBS in my smoker right now. So my question is this:

    Does temperature matter much to color and flavor, and if so what is the "ideal" smoking temp?

    Also... what is too cold when cold smoking?

    Thank you and SMOKE ON!!

  2. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Not sure what the 'perfect' temp is , but you need to stay under 100 degrees. Don't forget that after smoking you should wrap and refrigerate for 2 weeks before devouring! This will let the smoke flavor intensify.

  3. hewgag

    hewgag Fire Starter

    Yes Mike, previous batches last spring and late summer were in the 80 - 87F range and the cheese did sweat just a tad bit. But it also showed a LOT more color at 2 hrs running at those temps than this batch is at 3, going on 4 hrs now. So my gut tells me that cold temps don't lend to the deep dark smokey color... which is fine by me so long as the flavor is there. And the batch I did a few nights ago at roughly 40F is in my fridge... virtually no color change, yet is permeating my fridge with smokiness even through the bag!! I cant wait to try it out.

    So... I was just wondering if someone with deeper knowledge had the inside scoop on if temps affect color and taste during smoking.


    I just removed the cheese and there is an ever so slight tinge of color to the cheese and it has a really nice deep smokey aroma. All bagged up now for its 2 week ride in the fridge!! =)

    BTW Todd (I know you'll read this) You sir are my HERO for making this AMNS!! I LOVE this thing!!
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I would say anywhere between 40 & 90 degrees would be optimal.
  5. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do like AL said  40-90  and i do it only in the winter.
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I would say any temp that the cheese doesn't melt is the best temp. Now you know if you can smell the smoke then your smoking. your cheese will be fine.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The "spaces" between cheese curds do tighten as the cheese gets colder so there may be less smoke particulate penetration, but the fat in the cheese loves to absorbs the smoke flavor. 40 - 90 degrees will get it done...JJ 
  8. I'll be over directly,.what part of town are you in? :p
  9. tlcase

    tlcase Smoke Blower

    I myself have also noticed cheese takes on a better color the closer to 90 degrees you get. My first batch hovered just shy of 80 degrees and picked up some nice brown color. The 50 degreeish batches not so much but tastes fine. Don't know what kind of smoker you are running but I toyed with the idea of turning the element on in my mes for a few minutes, just to bring my rack temp up around 70 or so. I didn't and it's still all good.
  10. hewgag

    hewgag Fire Starter

    @ bigbob73 - I'm over by Lake Arlington....

    @ tlcase - I am using the AMNS with hickory dust in this this! http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/99091/stainless-steel-hospital-food-service-cart-build/20

    I am thinking the higher temps are making the cheese sweat oils that collect excess soot from the smoke, hence the brown coloration. With this in mind I feel the lower temps would create a cleaner, more flavorful smoke on the cheese. Only a side by side taste test would reveal what tastes better. And taste really is what matters here. =)
  11. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Jimmy is right. If it gets too cold the cheese does not take on smoke 

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