Author Topic: Cold smoking cheese.  (Read 1073 times)

wehill

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Cold smoking cheese.
« on: February 13, 2017, 10:25:33 AM »
I was going to reply on another thread, but got a message to create a new one, instead of posting on one that hasn't been active for over 120 days.

Anyway, I read some of the posts about smoking cheese.  Some suggested using some heat at the start to smoke cheese.  Over the decades, I have smoked lots of cheese, especially in the cold months, at least from November to February in Oklahoma. 

My method has always to smoke cheese immediately after I smoked ribs or a brisket etc.  As soon as the temperature of my off-set smoker cooled down to below 75 degrees I would just place my blocks of cheese I wanted to smoke in the center of the cooling down smoker, close the lid and just let it set for 24 hours or so.  How long you keep the cheese in the cold smoker depends on how how much smoked flavor you wanted in your cheese.

I'm curious if anyone here has used a Smokin-It smoker using the above technique and if it works the same.  The only difference I see is that I don't ever scrape or clean the inside of my off-set smoker.  Plus, I sure use more wood than the three or four ounces of wood chips that is suggested in the Smoke-It smokers.

It may be that there simply isn't sufficient source of smoke left in the Smoke-It smokers etc.

Just curious.
Walt
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LarryD

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Re: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 12:30:50 PM »
I'm hoping to do my first cheese smoke here in the very near future, so I'm totally not speaking from direct experience of smoking cheese here.

Generally speaking, you're not going to have a bed of coals in the SI.  You either have wood (chips, sawdust, chunks) that are producing smoke or you spent product that is really just charcoal.  Once you open the door most of the smoke escapes, so unless you have some wood remaining you're not going to get any more smoke.

The temp boost at the front-end is to get the wood smoking in the first place.

I'll have to let others provide more details on the cheese side.  I'm looking forward to what they say so that I can get started correctly, too.  :)
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NDKoze

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Re: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 02:14:27 PM »
By the time your ribs are done, you are not generating smoke any longer. So, you would be relying on the smoke layer from the walls of the smoker to smoke your cheese, which I am not sure would work.

If I smoke in really cold conditions, I'll give the smoker a little kick to get the temp up to 20-30 degrees or so. The heat from my A-MAZE-N cold smoking tube will easily take the temp to the 60-70 degrees that I prefer for cold smoking cheese.

I usually smoke cheese in the spring and fall, so this pre-warming of the smoker is not necessary. I get plenty of heat from my tube smoker, where sometimes I actually have to add frozen 2-liter water bottles to keep the temps down in the 60-70 degree range. My AMNPS filled with sawdust doesn't generate quite as much heat or smoke, so this sometimes works better depending on the ambient temps.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
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SuperDave

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Re: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 04:38:56 PM »
This is my second year of smoking cheese in the Smokin-It smoker.  Last year, I loaded up a shelf with ice and turn the smoker on and off in intervals for about an hour and a half with 1 to 1.5 oz. of wood.  That worked great but was a bit of a PITA.  Now, I use an Amazn maze and smoke in the smoker without turning it on.  The cheese this year has been great and I don't have to stand there turning the smoker on and off to control box temp. 

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EFGM

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Re: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 07:12:29 PM »
I use the tube smoker for my cheese. Works great, usually do 20 # at a time

Doug
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A “Briskitarian” is one of two types of people. Either one who smokes his or her “Hunk of Goodness” until it probes like Butter or one who enjoys his or her “Goodness” smoked until it probes like Butter.

lukeface

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Re: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 12:03:45 PM »
So, not to hijack, but those who have used the AMAZEN tube smoker, how long did you let it smoke your cheese?  I did a batch about 6 weeks ago that I'm about to taste this weekend, but my other increments of tasting have not gone too well, so I'm not sure how it's all going to turn out (I'm not optimistic).  It was REALLY acrid coming off the smoker, and my string cheese was still quite acrid at 3 weeks.  Thoughts?  Did I mess up my batch?  For reference, I smoked it for nearly 4 hours or something (which, I'm guessing is that way too long?  blah)
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NDKoze

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Re: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 05:42:49 PM »
You definitely get a lot more smoke from the tube. So, it is easy to over do it. I usually go about 5 hours with my tray and saw dust, and then 3-4 with my tube. Most will say that you should smoke until you get the color that you want, not so much the time. But, I have found when it is really cold out, I don't get as much color, but still get plenty of flavor. So, when I smoke my cheese I tend to look for a combination of color and time.

I have a batch that I went 6 hours on and it was very strong and took on a ton of color, but has been taking a lot longer of a rest to get to the sweet spot. Admittedly, I was pushing the envelope to see how far I could go. I haven't tried any in awhile, but I should probably give some a shot again to see how it tastes. I don't plan on giving up on it. It will get there.

I wouldn't worry too much about your batch. Time will really mellow the cheese out. I am pretty sure you are going to see a much difference between 3-6 months than you did from 1-3 months. And even if it isn't quite there at 6 months, don't throw it out. Let it go longer and it usually will come back.

In a perfect world, if you don't like having to wait for for a month to eat your cheese and still have the depth of flavor that you don't get with a 1-2 hour smoke, the way around this is too cool your smoke by having a smoke box with your cold smoker in it and then route a good 6' or more of tubing into your smoker. This cools the smoke prior to entering the smoker and prevents the acrid smoke from hitting the cheese which results in cheese that is pretty much ready to go out of the smoker. There are several threads about this on one of the other smoking sites. PM me if you want some interesting reading. But, I haven't bothered with this yet. I just have multiple cheese smokes where I always have some 4-8+ month cheese ready to eat. I have some aged cheddar in my fridge that is over a year old and continues to get better and better the longer I let it age.

Patience will get you there on your 5-hour smoked cheese. I am reasonably confident.
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: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 06:11:55 PM »
I use the Maze and light 2 ends.  I get all the smoke that I want in an hour and a half.  In fact, today was a cheese day.



« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 06:20:57 PM by SuperDave »

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NDKoze

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Re: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2017, 08:18:22 PM »
Everyone has a process for sure.

I find that I get a smoked cheese with more depth of flavor if I smoke with light smoke for a longer time, than heavy smoke for a shorter time. I have tried both ways and I prefer the light/long smoke. :)
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.

gunman9

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Re: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2017, 06:52:16 PM »
Just bought the A-MAZE-N. The tray model that snakes. I want to smoke some cheese and possibly some bacon in my 3D. I keep my smoker in the garage and was wondering if I will have any airflow problems with this? Also, will I need the plate or a pan of ice to do this? I live in central Ohio so its really cold right now. I plan on smoking cheese this weekend, and how long should I smoke it for with the amazen.

NDKoze

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Re: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2017, 03:26:31 PM »
You might now have enough wind/air-flow if you try to smoke in the garage.

I would remove the smoke box and drip pan and then place the A-MAZE-N on the floor of the smoker right up against the smoke box bracket.

Unlike Dave, I have had the best luck with Pellets versus Sawdust. But, the pellets do generate a lot more heat and I have on occasion had to use Frozen 2-Liter Bottles to keep the inside of my smoker in the 50-80 range which is my ideal range for cheese. If you have to use a tray of ice, make sure that you cover it tightly with foil, because you do not want the melting ice to add any moisture to the smoke box as the moisture can condense and drop condensed smoke droplets on your cheese which are not good.
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: Cold smoking cheese.
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2017, 03:50:01 PM »
An expensive plate hasn't been necessary regardless. I use 2 layers $.99/ea ceramic tile from the big box store to make my heat shield.

Model 4, Harrisville, Utah