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Preferred wood for cheese?

Just picked up the A-maze-n smoker box and can't wait to do some cheese. What are your preferred choices for smoke? Would Oak be too strong?
LBGE + others I hope - Sudbury, Ontario

Comments

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,778
    I just did some cheddar with mesquite for about an hour.  Pretty strong to me.  My trainer likes it smoky, and he didn't taste too much smoke with the apple.  We'll see on Saturday how he likes it.  In general I use apple.
    The Naked Whiz
  • egretegret Posts: 3,997
    I've done a lot of smoked cheese and I find that the fruit woods are much better for this. I use apple most of the time, but, also use peach and pear......it's all good!
    image
  • Alder, apple, hickory, cherry are all viable options.  I have settled in mostly on a combo of about 2/3 apple and 1/3 hickory when cold smoking cheese.  Just did some cheddar and gouda 3 weeks ago, and it turned out great after a week to mellow.
    Love smoking chicken...but they are hard to keep lit ;-)
    http://daveyrayland.wordpress.com/
    Small Egg / Weber OTG 22" / CharGriller Trio / Masterbuilt 30" Electric
  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
    Do you leave it uncovered in the fridge to mellow or wrapped ?
    Lynnwood WA
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    I am doing my first batch this weekend, so nice timing on the post. I am doing a combo of hickory and maple. Not sure how long I will smoke for, then planning to Food saver and put in fridge, but again, not sure for how long. Look forward to some responses.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • It can be hard to do, but give your cheese 5-7 days minimum to mellow before serving and evaluating flavor.  I wrap in foil if I plan on eating the cheese the next weekend, otherwise I vac seal with a food saver.  7 days in fridge and then into the freezer for longer term storage.
    Love smoking chicken...but they are hard to keep lit ;-)
    http://daveyrayland.wordpress.com/
    Small Egg / Weber OTG 22" / CharGriller Trio / Masterbuilt 30" Electric
  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 347
    double said:
    Do you leave it uncovered in the fridge to mellow or wrapped ?

    Based on everything I've read, you definitely want to wrap it tight to mellow or your fridge will quickly smell like a fire pit.

    Based on what I've been reading here and elsewhere, using oak would be way too strong. Is this the general consensus?
    LBGE + others I hope - Sudbury, Ontario
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590

    It can be hard to do, but give your cheese 5-7 days minimum to mellow before serving and evaluating flavor.  I wrap in foil if I plan on eating the cheese the next weekend, otherwise I vac seal with a food saver.  7 days in fridge and then into the freezer for longer term storage.

    Good to know. Would it be okay to vac seal for 7 days in fridge and then serve?
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
  • Yes on vac seal for 7 days before serving.  MOST important is a mellowing period to allow the surface smoke to dissipate and penetrate into the cheese.  I have taken a bit of cheese fresh of the smoker and it tastes like crud...wait a week and you have awesome.

    Here is what I do:

    -Buy cheese in large blocks
    -Cut cheese into small 8oz blocks
    -put blocks upright into an aluminum pan
    -put cheese and smoke generator into my Chargriller for 1.5-2 hours
    -wrap or vac seal - label each pack with type and date
    -freak out for a week while waiting for great cheese
    -enjoy
    -if you vac seal, you can keep in fridge for a long time, but I would not leave longer than 30 days...freeze if you need to.

    For a smoke generator, I use a stainless water bottle that I drilled an air intake hole into.  I have used a soldering iron (new and cleaned) or a single charcoal briquet as heat sources.  Looking into the amazing smoker today.
    Love smoking chicken...but they are hard to keep lit ;-)
    http://daveyrayland.wordpress.com/
    Small Egg / Weber OTG 22" / CharGriller Trio / Masterbuilt 30" Electric
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,778
    Absolutely double bag the cheese when placing in the refrigerator.  My first experience with cold smoking cheese left my brand new refrigerator reeking of smoke.  I finally had to go to Home Depot and buy some activated charcoal impregnated filter material for an air cleaner, and lay that out in the refrigerator for 3 days.  However, there was a fun side to it.  We learned that one of the forum members was a professional "clean up the crime scene" kind of guy who knew how to get the smell of a body out of a car trunk.   Eggers are a talented bunch.......
    The Naked Whiz
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    Yes on vac seal for 7 days before serving.  MOST important is a mellowing period to allow the surface smoke to dissipate and penetrate into the cheese.  I have taken a bit of cheese fresh of the smoker and it tastes like crud...wait a week and you have awesome.

    Here is what I do:

    -Buy cheese in large blocks
    -Cut cheese into small 8oz blocks
    -put blocks upright into an aluminum pan
    -put cheese and smoke generator into my Chargriller for 1.5-2 hours
    -wrap or vac seal - label each pack with type and date
    -freak out for a week while waiting for great cheese
    -enjoy
    -if you vac seal, you can keep in fridge for a long time, but I would not leave longer than 30 days...freeze if you need to.

    For a smoke generator, I use a stainless water bottle that I drilled an air intake hole into.  I have used a soldering iron (new and cleaned) or a single charcoal briquet as heat sources.  Looking into the amazing smoker today.

    I have a AMS already. Good to go on timed now thanks. What I'd your favorites cheeses to smoke. Gouda is def going to make the cut. Other suggestions?
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • MO_EgginMO_Eggin Posts: 118
    @chubbs, I've found cheddar, mozzarella, and a firmer brie to all be good options for smoking.  I was underwhelmed by smoked colby jack, smoke flavor didn't mix well.  
    LBGE, St. Louis, MO
  • Fruit and nut woods work best. Hazelnut is my favorite all around pellet.
    Double bagging or vacuum sealing is a good idea.

    While you are at it, don't forget to smoke a bunch of salted almonds. Stronger smokes such as hickory can be good with nuts.
  • The best I've done was Kerrygold Dublinner smoked with apple wood.  Took a large brick to neighbor's St. Paddy Party and it disappeared faster than a Leprechaun hiding his Pot o' Gold.  A nice firm fairly dry cheese with a wonderful earthy flavor.  Sharp cheddar is always good as is pepperjack.
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • I like a variety. I did a Kerrygold Blarney Castle and a 24month old cheddar last smoke.  One that I love is just a plain white brick or farm cheese.  Very plain tasting with a bit of saltiness...really highlights your smoke.

    A-Maze-N has to be happy with this thread...ordered a kit earlier today.  Now have a cheese smoke set for next weekend along with a sausage grind and stuff day with a buddy.  

    If you REALLY want to kick it up...use smoked cheddar in some homemade snack sticks.
    Love smoking chicken...but they are hard to keep lit ;-)
    http://daveyrayland.wordpress.com/
    Small Egg / Weber OTG 22" / CharGriller Trio / Masterbuilt 30" Electric
  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    Pretty tough to beat peach for cheese IMO.
  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 347
    Thanks for all the information!! Decided to go with apple and maple. Local guy only deals with Traeger pellets, so having to buy 20lb bags, I decided to only go with 2. Looking at some havarti, aged cheddar, mild cheddar, mozzarella and Gouda. Tell me, how painful is the waiting period after its smoked?
    image.jpg
    1536 x 2048 - 940K
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    1536 x 2048 - 607K
    LBGE + others I hope - Sudbury, Ontario
  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 347
    Now to wait!!! :(

    Some smoked for 90 minutes, some for 2 hours.
    image.jpg
    2048 x 1536 - 854K
    LBGE + others I hope - Sudbury, Ontario
  • Looks nice...can't wait to hear how they turn out.
    Love smoking chicken...but they are hard to keep lit ;-)
    http://daveyrayland.wordpress.com/
    Small Egg / Weber OTG 22" / CharGriller Trio / Masterbuilt 30" Electric
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    Greeno, why the platesetter? Just curious. Was planning to doing this weekend but got sick. Again. Probably do it this week. How long you letting it mellow in fridge?
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 347
    edited March 2013
    Everything I read had a plate setter. Even though temps were just to say above freezing here, after two hours, just the smouldering of the pellets were enough to warm the plate setter all the way through. I guess it's to prevent any melting of the cheese. I've also noticed people saying they put drip pans filled with ice water to keep the egg temps down. You want to make sure it stays below 90-100°

    I've read different things about mellowing. I'm going to try some after a week, then again after 2 weeks. Just playing with different set ups to see which works for me.
    LBGE + others I hope - Sudbury, Ontario
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    I got you. Interesting. The few times I used my AMS, the temp only got in the High 60's to low 70's.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,158
    Greeno55 said:
    Just picked up the A-maze-n smoker box and can't wait to do some cheese. What are your preferred choices for smoke? Would Oak be too strong?
    If you get to Ontario Gas Barbeque grabsome Stephen Raichlens olive wood. It's the bomb for hard cheeses

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 347
    Greeno55 said:
    Just picked up the A-maze-n smoker box and can't wait to do some cheese. What are your preferred choices for smoke? Would Oak be too strong?
    If you get to Ontario Gas Barbeque grabsome Stephen Raichlens olive wood. It's the bomb for hard cheeses

    NOTED!!! Always looking for something to spend the requisite $200 when I pass through the area. They just started selling the Dizzy Pig sampler pack (after I sent Duff an email begging him to), so after trying them, I've already got $100 allocated to some rubs.
    LBGE + others I hope - Sudbury, Ontario
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