Tag Archives: cheese

Smoked Cheese

I really liked smoke cheese but there are two problems with it. First, it is expensive to buy. Second, if you are going to make it yourself, it helps if it is cold outside.

I made several batches last winter but not enough. By the time it got cold here in the Canadian Rockies, I was totally out!

So, when the temperatures dropped last week, I bought some old cheddar, havarti and extra old marble cheddar. Home smoking works better with cheese that is at least somewhat firm.

You want to expose the cheese to smoke but the temperature has to be cool enough to not melt the cheese. Generally, you have to keep the temperature in the smoking chamber below 70 F. This means you want the temperature to be well below 70 F because most methods of generating smoke create some heat. I have smoked with warm outside temperatures but I have put blocks of ice in the smoking chamber to keep the temperature down.

The next thing you want to do is choose a smoking chamber. Some electric smokers like the Bradley Smoker allow you to burn wood pucks without turning the heating element on. Alternatively, you can use your gas barbecue or any closed container that allows a decent airflow. You want the smoke moving around the cheese.

If your smoking chamber does not have a method of generating smoke, you will need a smoke generator like the A-Maze-N Tube Smoker or Pellet Smoker. These allow hardwood pellets to slowly smolder and generate smoke with minimal heat production.

I used my Louisiana Grills smoker as my smoking chamber. I didn’t turn it on, I just used is as a chamber. I filled my A-Maze-N Tube Smoker with Oak Whiskey Barrel pellets. You can use any pellet you like but most people prefer milder smokes like apple or cherry.

I lit the tube smoker and put it in the chamber with the cheese. I let it smoke for 3 hours. I brought the cheese in and sealed it in vaccum bags.

You need to know that the cheese will taste like an ashtray immediately after smoking. All the smoke is on the surface and it takes time to spread through the cheese and that helps the smoke flavour mellow. You need to let it sit in the fridge for at least two weeks, eight is better.

After a couple of weeks I opened one of the packages and had a nice cracker and cheese snack.

The Verdict

This is one of my favourite snacks. Cheese has that nice sharp flavour that seems to blend with smoke. I will make sure to make more this year!

The Old Fat Guy

Beef Rotini Casserole

Beef Rotini Casserole at oldfatguy.ca

I’d just got home from curling. She Who Must Be Obeyed had hamburger out and told me I was making dinner. I decided on a nice hearty casserole to warm us up on a cold winter day. However, I didn’t feel like making a roux based cheese sauce and decided to use Campbell’s Condensed Mushroom Soup as a base. I also used the low sodium version. I like mushroom soup based casseroles but they just aren’t as rich as ones made with a sauce from scratch. I thought I could overcome that and made Beef Rotini Casserole. Continue reading Beef Rotini Casserole

Monday Mac & Cheese

Monday Mac & Cheese at oldfatguy.ca

I love Mac & Cheese. However, it often isn’t very cheesy and it can be a bit bland. So I added extra cheese, made a ham topping and added a few more adult seasonings and made a great updated Mac & Cheese.  As for the name Monday Mac & Cheese, I didn’t know what to call this. She Who Must Be Obeyed heaved a long suffering sigh and said, “Call it Monday.” She must be obeyed. Continue reading Monday Mac & Cheese

Beef Mushroom Casserole

Beef Mushroom Casserole at oldfatguy.ca

She Who Must Be Obeyed likes those casseroles that our mothers used to make. You know the ones, a can of mushroom soup, noodles, cheese and some kind of protein. Mostly they were pretty bland. Who would want those. Ok, they’re not that bad. Don’t look at me like that.  Ok, I like them too. However, they can be adjusted to make them more flavourful and made from less processed food. That is what I have done with Beef Mushroom Casserole. Continue reading Beef Mushroom Casserole

Hickory Smoked Cheese

Hickory Smoked Cheese at oldfatguy.ca

I bought 2 kinds of cheddar, some Monterey Jack and some jalapeno jack.

When I made Bacon in an earlier post, I needed to cold smoke it. I took the opportunity to cold smoke some cheese at the same time. I have smoked cheese before but I always tended toward lighter smoke flavours, oak, cherry or apple for example. I decided I wanted to try hickory this time for a stronger smoke flavour. Continue reading Hickory Smoked Cheese