I got a coupon that gave me a discount on cheese. With that coupon, it only cost me a portion of the national debt to buy some.
I picked up:
• Old Cheddar
• Monterrey Jack
I decided to smoke the lot.
You need to know that cheese has to be smoked in cool temperatures. You need the temperature to stay below 90 F and I prefer to keep it below 70 F.
Normally when I smoke cheese, I use my A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker with sawdust in it because it generates little heat. However, it doesn’t burn cherry well and I wanted to try cheese smoked
over cherry smoke. So, I used the puck system in my Bradley Smoker. The problem is that it produces a certain amount of heat even if the heating element isn’t turned on. It was minus 9 C (16 F) when I started and that would help. Just to make sure, I froze a juice
bottle full of water to help keep the temperature down.
First I cut the cheese into smaller blocks so I only have to unwrap smaller amounts to serve it later. I put the cheese and the frozen container in the smoker and let the smoke roll.
However, around an hour in, it was starting to get close to 70 F so I added a tray of ice cubes under the cheese. That did the trick and the temperature stayed between 60 and 65 F.
I let it smoke for 3 hours in total.
Then I wrapped the cheese in cellophane and put that in Ziploc bags. It goes into the fridge to age. I let it age for 4 weeks.
Smoked cheese adds a whole new complexity to cheese. I really like it. However, it is critical you age it at least a couple of weeks to let the smoke flavour mellow.
The Old Fat Guy