The "Moisture on Cheese" Issue and Cheese Storage..

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by skyclad, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. skyclad

    skyclad Fire Starter

    Hello again to my smokin' friends....!

    Got a couple of quick questions regarding cold smoking cheese..  You'll note that I'm a novice when it comes to this issue by the questions I'm asking..  Gotta start somewhere I guess!  I'm thinking this is the right place for that...

    First off, did I read somewhere on this forum that it's a good idea to wipe off the moisture after the cheese is smoked before bagging it?  Thought I read this somewhere, but I could have dreamed that one up so wanted to ask to be double sure.. 

    Also, once the cheese is smoked, will it be preserved in the refrigerator from the smoke alone all summer, or at some point should you put it in the freezer?  I'd like to avoid the latter if I can get around that since freezers seem to mess with the texture of the cheese...

    Thanks in advance for any and all info you guys might have!
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I wipe mine w/ a kitchen towel and then vac seal. DO NOT freeze hard cheeses they get real crumbly when thawed, i have smoked cheddar in the veggie tray of my fridge that is 2 years old, No mold at all.
  4. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    i pm'd Mr T about the same thing awhile back. its OK to wipe the moisture off. different cheeses have different moisture content... BUT DO NOT wrap the cheese in paper towel and then vac pac it, as the smoke flavor may migrate to the paper towel.

    Good Luck

  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When you smoke the cheese it will end up with some moisture on the surface from the water vapour produced by the smoke generator. You do need to let this dry before you pack it or you will get condensation on the surface of the cheese inside the packaging. This often does not do any harm but it is a little off-putting when you open the cheese later to find that its surface is wet. Just after smoking (and before the flavour has had time to equalise) most of the smoke flavour is still on the surface and you don't want to wipe some of it off before it has had time to penetrate.The easiest way to dry the cheese and retain maximum flavour is to simply leave it on a rack in the fridge for 24 hours before packing. Even if you do wipe it off with a paper towel you would still get plenty of smoke flavour in the cheese.

    The smoking of the cheese is more a flavouring than a preservative. Yes smoke does have some antibacterial and antioxidant properties however in the concentrations on the cheese after only 2-3 hours of smoking the effect of this will be limited. The length of time it will keep will really depend on the moisture content of the cheese (the lower the better) and whether any air-born mold spores have been allowed to settle on the surface during the the smoking or before packaging. I smoke a lot of cheese and I do it in an outdoors smoker so some air-born "contamination" is unavoidable. Very occasionally I get a couple of packs from a batch of smoked cheese that will start to develop a mold over time. This is more likely to happen though with the mass produced supermarket block cheese (as it often has a higher moisture content) than it is with a good shelf aged cheese.

    Freezing cheese... This question always raises a lot of heated debate on here. I regularly freeze my smoked cheese for longer term storage and it is as good when it comes out of the freezer as it is when it went in. There may sometimes be a minor difference in texture but that will depend on the cheese itself and is no different to the variation of textures you get in the different types of cheeses before they are frozen. I have blind tasted with friends before/after freezing and they have not been able to detect any significant differences. I think it will be a case of trying it for yourself with a couple of pieces to see what you think.

    Once you have smoked your own you will not want to buy shop smoked again.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
    duffman likes this.

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