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Discussion in 'Cheese' started by mr t 59874, Jun 11, 2012.
Great thread, I have been thinking about smoking some cheese and now I have a great resource.
If I can be of any help, please ask.
Wow, amazing information. Thanks for sharing this. I'm excited to start smoking some cheese soon.
Greetings Mr. T! I followed your tutorial and smoked up 13 lbs. of medium cheddar and Colby Jack cheese yesterday. My ambient temperature was 80 degrees. I used my Smoke Hollow smoker and AMNPS5X8 pellet smoker. This was my first cold smoke. I used one single course of BBQ'rs Delight Hickory pellets. As an experiment, I laid in a about 3 linear inches of Western BBQ Products Hickory Smokin' Chips at the end of the line of pellets. I tried this because the chips are so much more economical than pellets. I cut up the cheese to resemble 1/4 pound sticks of butter as you suggested. I lit off the pellets and off we went! The pellets worked flawlessly. In turn, they lit the Smokin' Chips and they also worked perfectly. The cup of pellets and the 1/4 cup of chips smoked for an incredible 3 1/2 hours! I still had chips left unburned, that I moved in order that they would not ignite. I let the cheese "rest" overnight and sealed it up with a FoodSaver vacuum sealing system in the morning. During the smoke, the temperature spiked to 90 degrees twice. Both times were when the Smokin' Chips were smoldering. I simply opened the smoker each time for a couple of minutes to bring the temperature down. I just HAD to taste some of the cheese before I sealed it for aging. The cheese already tastes AWESOME! The next 30 days of aging is going to be killing me! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Glad the tutorial was helpful. Good job on the cheese. Do to your location, I understand it may be difficult to keep the cheese under 75°, but try to do so. Have you considered waxing any of it and building your inventory?
If I can help in the future please ask.
Great info. I will be buying some wax today.
Thanks for the help in the PM
I am trying the smoked cheese now, thanks for all the info. I plan on air vac sealing the cheese after it is done for it to age. Can I vac seal it right after it comes out of the smoker or place it in the regular storage bag for the 24 hours first?
Wes, sure you can vac seal after smoking, if the cheese is dry. Smoking cold cheese in a warm smoke will cause condensation to form on the cheese. Although not harmful to the cheese, allow it to air dry prior to sealing.
If you intend to age more than two or three months, seal your cheese in wax, it will result in a much greater product. If you need help doing this, I would be happy to help.
Thanks for the reply. I did end up waiting a couple of hours and have had it in the back of the pantry to age. I pulled it out last night just to see what was going on with it. It seems that maybe I didn't give it enough time to cool. There isn't any holes that I can see but it looks like there is air in it now that wasn't in there when we vac sealed it. When I squeeze it I don't hear or feel any air escaping. I also noticed that there is some oil (I'm assuming thats what it is) from the cheese. It is yellow and looks thicker than water. Do you think it will still be OK or should I ditch it and try again. It is sharp cheddar and colby jack I bought at Sam's Club if that makes a difference.
You are doing just fine. Don't worry about the moisture in the vac seal. You will be fine with this process using the hard cheeses. Soft cheese will need to be refrigerated.
Keep an eye on it and if mold does begin to appear, carve or wash the mold off and reseal or wax. If you are not getting a good seal with your bags, rub some vegetable oil on the cheese before sealing. This will help in keeping air from reaching the cheese.
Be patient, you will be rewarded.
When you allow your cheeses to dry before sealing, typically how long do you let them rest?
Also is it necessary to oil the cheese if you are vacuum sealing them?
It wouldn't hurt to coat in oil, but it isn't necessary, I don't. Let it rest until any or all condensation has gone or if waxing let rest at least overnight up to a day.
Mr. T.........thank you so much for this thread. About 4 years ago I tried my first batch of cheddar in the smoker. It turned out so bad, I said I would never ruin a good cheese like that again. Now, after reading this thread, I can see so many things I did wrong. I have two black labs that will eat almost anything and they wouldn't touch it.
So, with this info, I'm headed to Sam's Club tomorrow. I think some cheddar and jack cheese........maybe some Colby......is in my future. Now, back to re-read this all again and book mark it. I'm excited to give this adventure another try.....
I use the AMPS for the cold smoke,....I also add 2 foil trays of ICE on the bottom 2 racks to help keep the temp around 50 degrees. Never turn the electric on the MES on at all., AMPS N ICE is all I use. If you put the ice in a deep freeze overnight to make sure it is really really cold it will last longer,. Works for me.
Brad, If I can help, please ask.
Thanks Tom.........I will put you on speed dial.........
The weather here is in the 40's and 50's right now and my large offset will stay nice and cool..........not like my first try in my ECB.
My first ???........I have a nice collection of pellets for my AMNPS and yesterday I picked up some corn cob pellets. Do you think that corn would work for cheese or shall I stick with a good wood type.........and for about how long in the smoker? Is the 2 to 3 hour time about right?
The weather is perfect for you. If you have a good collection of pellets, try different ones, no need to smoke all of it at once. Stretch it out and enjoy what you are doing. Corn cob will work fine, try some on your Colby.
As for time, don't fall into the time rut. Different weather conditions will cause any smoker to react differently. Keep good notes and learn to judge your smokes by watching the smoke color and density, then smoke to a desired color.
I will get the cheese tomorrow but I'm sure some of it will be in the smoker by the weekend this time. The rest of it will sit for a bit. And I will be good enough to let it rest for at least a week for a sample. I will give the bulk of it until the holiday's to open.
Fantastic information Mr. T...thanks. My wife and I had frequently bought cob smoked cheddar on the many years of visits to her family in the northeast kingdom.
I am starting this process next week when local temps will be nearer to the 50's. I am going to add a Smoke Daddy to an old whiskey barrel I have here. Is it realistic to build a series of grates inside ? How far apart might be a good idea? Never having cold smoked before is there something I should know about the corn cobs? Yes they are dry...but do they get chopped up to pellet or chip size?
Thank you knuckle.
The Smoke Daddy will give you plenty of smoke so keep an eye on the cheese and smoke to a desired color rather than by time. Also watch the temperature and keep it below 80° for hard cheeses, 55° for soft. If you have problems controlling the heat we can fix that.
Give yourself 7.62cm clearance between the top of your product to the next shelf.
Breaking the cobs up with a hammer should work.
Make a test run before putting cheese in to test the temps and burn time.
Hope this helps,