January 4, 2012

Smoked Cheese

One may think this is rather crazy.  But, no, it's definitely possible to smoke your own cheese.  "Doesn't the cheese melt when you smoke it?"  The answer is NO.  Smoking cheese doesn't mean the smoker should be chugging-along at 225F.

In order to smoke cheese, you will need to get your smoker between 60 and 90 degrees.  Upwards of 100F, your cheese will begin to "sweat" and possibly melt.  The goal is to get some smoke onto the cheese and not to COOK the cheese.  We aren't doing any cooking here.

Light 4 charcoal (or lump charcoal) briquettes in a charcoal chimney.  Let them go until they begin to turn grey.  When they're ready, place them into the smoker and make a square out of the briquettes.  Place a piece of wood (I generally use a chunk of hickory or oak) on top of the briquettes and ensure the smoker temperature does not get very high.  Again, your goal is to get smoke to run by the cheese and flavor it.  I smoke cheese for roughly 2 hours.

Here is an example of what you should be doing.

If you like your cheese really smoky, I recommend cutting the cheese into as many chunks as possible.  More surface area on the cheese = more smokiness absorbed by cheese.  Good stuff.

Below is a picture of a variety of cheeses I smoked - White and Yellow Cheddars, Mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, and Gouda.

After the cheese is smoked, I like to save the cheese in vacuum-sealed bags.


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