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A-Maz-N Smoker cheese questions

Just got my A-Maz-N Smoker.  I'm going to try it out this weekend on some cheese.  Probably various types of cheeses.  For my first attempt I'm thinking about using maple pellets and leaving it on for about 5 hours.  Too much time, too little?  Any input would be appreciated.  If it matters, the high temps around here will be around 36 to 38F.  I may end up using the light bulb trick mentioned in a previous post.

I will post pictures when done.

In other news, I'm getting ready to take 16 pounds of pork belly out of the freezer and put in the fridge.  Hoping to start curing for some bacon next week.

Comments

  • 5 hours for cheese is waaay to much. I did oak at an 2 hours and it was plenty. They usually recommend 1 - 2 hours on cheese.

    Good choice on the A-Maz product, I am a newb at this stuff and it is super easy to use, just follow the directions.

    I did bacon as well, turned out really good, I will do some tweaks next time though. Definitely better than store bought though.
  • I used the a-max-n smoker with maple dust.  I lit it on both ends.  I smoked for 2 hrs.  I actually thought it could use a little more smoke.......but the experts here say 2 hrs max.  It worked great.  That is a cool little smoker.  I think maple is a litlle less smokey than oak or hickory.  But I don't have that much experience.  Maybe someone else will chime in on the difference.
  • KempyKempy Posts: 186
    Thanks for the input.  Anymore input would be appreciated.  My limited research confirms rusty's analysis.  Maybe I should think about around 2-3 hours with maple.  I would love to hear from some more experienced users of the a-amaze-n smokers as well.  I intend on giving some of the cheese to the friend who is loaning me space in his beer fridge to cure the pork bellies in.
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    I am giving smoked cheese a run after I finish my batches of bacon going right now. I am going to try a variety including Gouda. Anyone put a block of cheese on with bellies when cold smoking? As long as it doesn't touch the bellies I can't see where it would be an issue then again I got a D in biology in college.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • I picked up the amaze-n-smoker a few weeks ago and tried it out the following weekend.  I smoked some cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack and okra.  I used maple pellets and went two and half hours.  I vacu sealed each chunk and left it in the fridge for three days before I sampled the first one.  The following Friday, I brought a few chunks into work.  The majority thought that the cheddar was a bit too smokey while the jack was less so.  One suggestion that I would make is to progressively remove pieces over a period of time and mark the elapsed time as you package each piece.  This should let you determine what time is optimal for you.  The next time I try smoking some cheese, I am going to use apple and see what happens.

    Tom

    Tom

    Charles is a mischevious feline who always has something cooking

    Twin lbge's .. grew up in the sun parlor of Canada but now egging in the nation's capital

  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590

    I picked up the amaze-n-smoker a few weeks ago and tried it out the following weekend.  I smoked some cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack and okra.  I used maple pellets and went two and half hours.  I vacu sealed each chunk and left it in the fridge for three days before I sampled the first one.  The following Friday, I brought a few chunks into work.  The majority thought that the cheddar was a bit too smokey while the jack was less so.  One suggestion that I would make is to progressively remove pieces over a period of time and mark the elapsed time as you package each piece.  This should let you determine what time is optimal for you.  The next time I try smoking some cheese, I am going to use apple and see what happens.

    Tom

    Great feedback Tom. That was my biggest concern with cheese. I would assume it absorbs smoke easily.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Although I have never tried smoking cheeses, I have been debating on whether to get an A-Maz smoker or not.  I have watched several videos and read posts about the topic and have decided to get one.  My first smoke, I am going to take part of the cheese off after 1 hr, another after 2 hrs and another after 3 hrs just to try to get a sense of what works for me.  Let us know how it goes!
    Hunter - Oxford, MS

    LBGE December 2012
  • KempyKempy Posts: 186
    Thanks Tom. I think that is exactly what I am going to do.
    As a follow up, do you package it as soon as you pull it off the egg or let it sit for a little bit?
  • RaymontRaymont Posts: 204
    I also recent bought the AMAZN pellet smoker and used for 1st time this weekend. I used Maple Pellets and smoked for 2 hours. I've got the cheese vacuum sealed and will wait 10-14 days to see results. I did notice that even with it being 40 degrees ambient, my internal BGE temp did climb up close to 90 degrees. (I understand over 90 is bad for cheese smokin); so keep an eye on your temps with a Maverick or BBQ Guru. I think the pellets started generating quite a bit of heat as it spread. I'm a little worried about trying on a warmer day.

    Small & Large BGE

    Nashville, TN

  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590

    @Raymont, thanks for the feedback as well. Wonder if setting a bowl of ice on top of firegrate then AMS on top of grate on spider, then cheese on top of raised grate will help keep temps down.

    Living in SC, I too am worried about only being able to cold smoke in the winter. Luckily we have a cold spell in right now, but it was 80 a week or two ago.

    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • I packaged the cheese right after pulling.  I have no insight as to whether it would be preferable to wait a bit.  It is still very much an experiment on my part.  I had no problems with a temperature change during the smoking process -- it was 10c (50f) at the time.  I also had my pizza stone situated between the AMAZN smoker and the cheees up above.  In doing some research, someone mentioned that if ambient temperature was to be a problem, one could freeze the cheese ahead of time.

    Tom

    Tom

    Charles is a mischevious feline who always has something cooking

    Twin lbge's .. grew up in the sun parlor of Canada but now egging in the nation's capital

  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    I don't use the a-maze-n smoker, but have cold smoked cheese...I do two hours and then let it sit sealed for three weeks to mellow. It tastes like an ashtray if you try to eat it right away.
  • KempyKempy Posts: 186

    Ok, since I've decided to do a max of a 3 hour smoke, do any of our Amazen Smoker experts recommend that I only fill the smoker about half way up with pellets.  For example, packing my pellets into 1 1/2 rows of the smoker?  Or do you think this will effect the functionality of the smoker?

    Thanks for any advice.

  • Kempy

    When I did my cold smoke a few weeks back, I only filled up the first row and it worked fine.

    Tom

    Charles is a mischevious feline who always has something cooking

    Twin lbge's .. grew up in the sun parlor of Canada but now egging in the nation's capital

  • KempyKempy Posts: 186

    Thanks Chef Charles.  I ended up using a full load because I wanted to light it from both ends to create a little extra heat in the egg.  The air temp was only 19F when I started this morning.  I did the light bulb trick and couldn't get the egg above 28F.  With both ends of the smoker lit, I got the egg into the 40s.  The cheese is currently smoking away.  Only 20 minutes to go before pulling my first batch

    I will post more pictures later.

    IMG_0344[1].JPG
    2592 x 1936 - 1M
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    Kempy said:

    Thanks Chef Charles.  I ended up using a full load because I wanted to light it from both ends to create a little extra heat in the egg.  The air temp was only 19F when I started this morning.  I did the light bulb trick and couldn't get the egg above 28F.  With both ends of the smoker lit, I got the egg into the 40s.  The cheese is currently smoking away.  Only 20 minutes to go before pulling my first batch

    I will post more pictures later.

    Looking good Kempy! You going to hold in fridge for a week or two free you pull? Vacuum seal it?
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • KempyKempy Posts: 186
    Chubbs said:

    Thanks Chef Charles.  I ended up using a full load because I wanted to light it from both ends to create a little extra heat in the egg.  The air temp was only 19F when I started this morning.  I did the light bulb trick and couldn't get the egg above 28F.  With both ends of the smoker lit, I got the egg into the 40s.  The cheese is currently smoking away.  Only 20 minutes to go before pulling my first batch

    I will post more pictures later.

    Looking good Kempy! You going to hold in fridge for a week or two free you pull? Vacuum seal it?

    Yeap, I will wait at least 2 weeks.  First batch  is already vacuum sealed.  Unfortunately, when I pulled the first batch out, the smoker went out.  Its re-fired up now and smoking the rest of the cheese.

    For the first batch, I was hoping to get a little more color than I did.  But atleast the smell was good.  In fact, the whole neighborhood smells good.

    IMG_0346[1].JPG
    2592 x 1936 - 2M
  • KempyKempy Posts: 186
    Finally finished and boy am I smokey!  Now time to put some ribs on.
    IMG_0347[1].JPG
    2592 x 1936 - 2M
    IMG_0349[1].JPG
    2592 x 1936 - 2M
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