Author Topic: Cheese Chart  (Read 2580 times)

SuperDave

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Cheese Chart
« on: January 14, 2015, 04:46:29 PM »
A friend shared this with me from their Traeger smoker.  I thought this would be some great information to share here.


Model 4, Harrisville, Utah

jcboxlot

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2015, 04:57:23 PM »
Thanks, will be helpful.  Is there a way to post have or have a printable version?  PDF? like the smoking times and wood /temp chart?

John
Smokin It #2.  Weber Genesis. Old Smokey charcoal.  Work from home antique tool dealer and living the dream.  Dad, Husband, Cook.  John~York PA

NDKoze

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2015, 06:00:44 PM »
The times seem kind of short compared to some of the other threads I have been reading. Most say 2-5 hours depending on the type of cheese and amount of smoke that you want. I think the average that I have seen tends to range in the 2-3 hour range. Most do say that you should smoke until the desired color is obtained rather than a time chart.

I'm not saying the above chart is wrong as I am going to do my first smoked cheese this weekend. So, I am only writing what I have been reading in other threads. I have been on a self-study cheese smoking boot camp the past 2-3 days reading as many posts as I can and watching several videos.

Here is a thread that I found very informative and may help some others too:
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/123130/mr-ts-smoked-cheese-from-go-to-show-w-q-view
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

DivotMaker

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2015, 08:17:30 PM »
I believe those times have to be for hot smoke - not sure how you cold smoke with a Traeger.  Not near enough time for a true cold smoke, imo.
Tony from NW Arkansas
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SuperDave

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2015, 08:20:56 PM »
It states "85 degrees" so use it as a guide or ignore it altogether.  But funny that the other posts here mention 2 blasts of 30 minutes.   :P

Model 4, Harrisville, Utah

DivotMaker

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2015, 08:37:38 PM »
It states "85 degrees" so use it as a guide or ignore it altogether.  But funny that the other posts here mention 2 blasts of 30 minutes.   :P

Whoa, easy Dave!  Didn't mean to hit a nerve! ???   When I said I'm not sure how you cold smoke with a Traeger, I meant just that.  A very good friend of mine is a Traeger guy, and I've seen his operate many times.  I'm sure there's a way, but not sure how.  I've also never heard him talk about cold smoking anything.

As for the times you referred to - the "2 blasts of 30 minutes" are heating times for the wood, not total time in the smoke.  Personally, I heat the wood for no more than 15-18 minutes, then let the cheese rest in the smoke for 40 minutes, and repeat this 3 times.  So, I end up with roughly 2.5-3 hours in the smoke - not 15-45 minutes.  I even put an upside-down glass over the top vent to trap the smoke.  Guess I should have explained better. ;) Still friends? :D
Tony from NW Arkansas
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Elliottbte

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2015, 08:39:40 AM »
Personally, I heat the wood for no more than 15-18 minutes, then let the cheese rest in the smoke for 40 minutes, and repeat this 3 times.  So, I end up with roughly 2.5-3 hours in the smoke - not 15-45 minutes.  I even put an upside-down glass over the top vent to trap the smoke.
DM, I have a couple questions for you.  What temperature setting do you use to heat the wood?  Do you use the cold plate and ice in drip pan above?  Do you monitor the temp of the SI, and if so, what would be the maximum temp?  The idea of covering the top vent sounds good, even if a bit escapes where the maverick lead has to exit under the glass.

Brad from Chattanooga
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NDKoze

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2015, 10:31:43 AM »
Admittedly, I am a relative newbie when it comes to smoking cheese. But I have read a LOT in this and other forums over the past 2 weeks in preparation for my first cheese smoke. So, I think I have a pretty good handle on the process.

I'll let Tony respond as well, but here are my suggested answers:

1. What temperature setting do you use to heat the wood?
Gregg: I would set it to 250. This just ensures that the element is on for the entire 15 minute period. Technically, you could probably set it at some temp below and accomplish the same thing as it takes some time for the element to get to 250 and will most likely not get close to 250 in the 15 minutes that you will have it on. The purpose of this step is to hit the wood hard for a short amount of time to get it smoldering, then kill the heat and let the wood continue to smolder for 45 minutes before you hit the wood with more heat again.

2. Do you use the cold plate and ice in drip pan above?
Gregg (edited): You would place the Cold Smoke Plate in the lowest position right above the smoke box, then place the pan of ice on top of the cold smoke plate. I have seen several users use frozen 1 or 2 liter soda bottles or 2QT/1GAL milk jugs instead of exposed ice. The nice thing about this, is that it does not introduce moisture into the smoker which will accumulate on the cheese as condensation, which is not good.

3. Do you monitor the temp of the SI, and if so, what would be the maximum temp?
Gregg: Absolutely, you must monitor the internal temperature! Anything over 85-90 degrees will start to melt your cheese and you will have a mess. The preferred smoking temp is between 50-60 degrees, and many prefer to not go over 75. If you ever get to close to 90, I would quickly open the door and either pull the cheese to let it cool down or at a minimum let the smoke box cool down to an acceptable temp before closing it up again.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 02:19:46 PM by NDKoze »
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

Elliottbte

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2015, 12:17:34 PM »
Thanks Gregg, I like the idea about the frozen bottles. Not sure if 2 liter would fit in my #1, but I could always use smaller bottles or sealed Tupperware. As for the cold plate, all the videos I saw had it as low as possible.  Yes, this was below the thermostat for the heater, but the important thing is completely turning the heater off in the cycles.  Now I think I need to head to the SI website to buy a cold plate and rib rack.  I already have the fish/cheese shelf.
Brad from Chattanooga
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NDKoze

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2015, 02:18:15 PM »
Yeah, it looks like I was wrong about placing the cold smoke plate above the smoker probe.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

SuperDave

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2015, 03:22:21 PM »
Does anyone know if the element goes on with more or less watts or just on/off to control desired temps?  I've noticed in my few smokes that the first signs of smoke occur at or very close to a box temp of 120 and that is with large blocks.  I'm wondering if a  thermostat set of 100 or above, I'd get smoke with pellets or shavings. Since we are trying to keep the space above the plate under 90, I think that formula would produce a lower risk to over heating? 

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NDKoze

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 03:58:37 PM »
I am pretty sure that it is either on or off. I don't think the controller or even the Auber uses more or less power to the element.

I usually get smoke around 70 or so with chips and 90 with Chunks. This is just a guess. I haven't really paid attention. But it is definitely lower than 100.

I have also found that I have hotter spots in my smoke box. In my smoke box it is hotter toward the back of the smoker/box. So, if I am doing a low temp smoke, I position my wood toward the back of my box.

You could run a test with chips spread out between the back to the front of the box and then periodically check to see where you hot spot is at.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

DivotMaker

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Re: Cheese Chart
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 09:38:54 PM »
DM, I have a couple questions for you.  What temperature setting do you use to heat the wood?  Do you use the cold plate and ice in drip pan above?  Do you monitor the temp of the SI, and if so, what would be the maximum temp?  The idea of covering the top vent sounds good, even if a bit escapes where the maverick lead has to exit under the glass.

Brad, Gregg pretty much covered it.  Full-up to 250 on the heat blast.  The idea is to get the wood hot enough to smolder, then turn it off.  Dave - I usually see it takes about 70 rise in box temp to get chunks smoking, regardless of ambient temperature.  Chips would smoke at much less.  I don't use chips, but cut my chunks into slivers for cold smoking.  Also, the analog controller (rheostat) turns the element on or off, and does that based on the current it receives.  When you isolate the thermocouple from the element (with the cold smoke plate), the element is full-on as long as it has power - it thinks the box is still cold.

Brad, definitely monitor box temp.  With the cold smoke plate and ice, I don't see temps climb past about 70, which works great.

Good points about the melting ice making moisture.  A simple solution to that is to cover the drip pan of ice with foil.  Honestly, I don't see a lot of melting in the pan, so I've never been really worried about moisture.  The cold plate insulates really well.
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!