Author Topic: I took advantage of a nice cold day to smoke some cheese  (Read 2537 times)

NDKoze

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I took advantage of a nice cold day to smoke some cheese
« on: March 21, 2015, 10:56:41 PM »
After 76 degrees last Sunday, it was only about 26 degrees today, so I thought I would take advantage of the cooler day to smoke some more cheese as my current supply is running low.

I had a block of Tillamook Medium Cheddar, Cabot Classic Vermont Seriously Sharp Cheddar, Gouda, and some String Cheese.

I fired up the ANMPS with one row of Apple wood pellets and smoked the block cheeses for 3 hours, rested for an hour, and then vacuum-packed.

The water bottles really did the trick. I had tested the ANMPS with the pellets before with similar ambient temps without the bottles and the temps rose and stayed in the 120-130 range. It was 26-30 degrees ambient temp, but my smoker was on the sunny side of the deck and the sun had heated it up pretty good. So the smoker temp when I added the cheese was 54 degrees. Surprisingly the smoker temp stayed around 55 degrees for most of the smoke. It briefly rose to as high as 57, but a range of 54-57 is pretty dang tight. You would think I had an Auber hooked up.

There was plenty of pellets left after 3 hours of smoking when I took the block cheese out and replaced with the string cheese. My Intention was to run the string cheese for 2 hours. But about an hour into the smoke the ANMPS went out, so I had to relight. Because of this, I added 30 minutes to the smoke.

I got some nice color on the cheese, but you can see from some of the pictures that the tops got more color than the bottoms. I think I may have had the water bottles a little too close to the bottom of the cheese and they got sheltered from some of the smoke. So, next time, I am going to lower the bottles a bit.

All in all, I think it was a pretty successful smoke. Now to mellow in the fridge for a couple of weeks. If the weather stays cool, I may have to do one more smoke yet to last through the hot summer months.
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.

Barrel99

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Re: I took advantage of a nice cold day to smoke some cheese
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2015, 11:05:21 PM »
Hey Gregg, looking good. I have the Amazen as well but haven't even tried to use it since everyone who uses it says it just doesn't stay lit. Also here in Florida my ambient temperature today was 89 degrees to start. Tougher to do cheese at that temp I guess. But I am going to try.
Arnie near Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Smokin-It #3, Landmann GSM Propane smoker, WEBER kettle, CharGrill Gas BBQ, Brinkman Gas/charcoal combo grill

1-is fun, 2-gets you through, 3-will set you free, 4-and you don't need no more...WAHOOOOOO!!!

NDKoze

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Re: I took advantage of a nice cold day to smoke some cheese
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 11:14:19 PM »
I have had much better luck with pellets than dust especially if there is a good wind. Today the wind was pretty much non-existent, thus the reason I had to relight. When smoking cheese it is OK to open the door once in awhile, so I do so and add some fresh air into the box every 45-60 minutes. I tried using my Jerky dryer and that definitely keeps the AMNPS lit, but I worry that it pulls too much of the smoke out of the box.

It is possible that my dust was too moist. But pellets are relatively cheap and I now have a good stockpile of some different woods. So, I think I will stick with the pellets.

I just keep a pretty close eye on the Maverick and if I see the temp drop, I know that it went out and needs to be relit which is no biggy.

Try with some frozen water bottles some cool evening. As long as you can keep the temps under 90 (preferably 80), you should be good to go.
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.

Barrel99

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Re: I took advantage of a nice cold day to smoke some cheese
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 11:43:37 PM »
Here's a thought. How about a very small fan that blows into the vent hole. Maybe even a small aquarium pump. All the Amazen needs is a bit more air to keep it going. It shouldn't affect the smoke very much at all. I use pellets also in the Amazen.
Arnie near Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Smokin-It #3, Landmann GSM Propane smoker, WEBER kettle, CharGrill Gas BBQ, Brinkman Gas/charcoal combo grill

1-is fun, 2-gets you through, 3-will set you free, 4-and you don't need no more...WAHOOOOOO!!!

NDKoze

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Re: I took advantage of a nice cold day to smoke some cheese
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 11:45:52 PM »
I think it is a great idea that I may have to try the next time. I wish I would have saved my pump several years ago when I dumped the aquarium. ;)

It wouldn't take that much more airflow to solve the problem. Like I said, on a windy day I usually do not have any problems.
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.

Barrel99

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Re: I took advantage of a nice cold day to smoke some cheese
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 11:49:57 PM »
I'm going to see if I can find a cheap one online. Even if it's too strong, a clamp can be used on the tube to control the amount of air. May be a simple solution.
Arnie near Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Smokin-It #3, Landmann GSM Propane smoker, WEBER kettle, CharGrill Gas BBQ, Brinkman Gas/charcoal combo grill

1-is fun, 2-gets you through, 3-will set you free, 4-and you don't need no more...WAHOOOOOO!!!

Limey

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Re: I took advantage of a nice cold day to smoke some cheese
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2015, 10:29:04 AM »
I installed an external cold smoke generator to my #3, using a Smoke Daddy rig with an adjustable speed aquarium pump. This solves all these problems and you can even run the smoke through an ice bath before pumping it into the box if you want to. No problems smoking cheeses at ambient temperatures over 80 degrees. An aquarium pump and a ANMPS should work also. Pics of my setup under "Cold Smoking in a Hot Climate" (Sorry, I have not figured out links)
Roger from the Florida Keys.
Two SI#3s, both with switched bypass and Aubers(different locations), Viking, Jenn Aire & five TEC infra red grills. Recently acquired UDS.

SuperDave

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Re: I took advantage of a nice cold day to smoke some cheese
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2015, 11:46:46 AM »
That's a lot of smoke Gregg.  I'm "Amazed" that 3 hours of smoke with those units isn't smoke overload.  An hour and a half of smoke in my unit is borderline max.  I wonder if it is the difference of using pellets versus wood chips?  Your color does look very good and you should be very happy with the results. 

Model 4, Harrisville, Utah

NDKoze

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Re: I took advantage of a nice cold day to smoke some cheese
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 11:16:56 AM »
It was a lot of smoke. But I did my first batch for 5 hours and it turned out pretty well. But I did have to let it mellow for a good 3-4 weeks before it really hit its peak.

So, I tried going down to three hours to see what difference this makes.

I may go down to 1-2 for the next batch.

I am still testing. Yeah, in retrospect I probably should have started with a shorter time and worked my way up. But this is the path that I ended up doing for better or worse.

For anyone who oversmokes your cheese. Don't give up hope on it. Just let it keep mellowing in the fridge and it will get better.

I also used apple instead of hickory that I used for my five hour smoke. I am thinking the apple smoke should be a little more mild than the hickory.

I'll update after I test in two weeks.
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.