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Smoking a wheel of cheese

Has anyone cold smoked a whole wheel of cheese in one piece?  My wife took some of my smoked cheddar to her workplace and everyone really liked it.  They are involved in international trade and travel often.  So anyway her boss comes back from a trip with a round of white cheddar that weighs about 8 lb. and asks her if I could smoke it for him.  I can cut it up if needed, but thought it might be kind of cool to keep it as a whole if the flavor would be OK.  So should I slice and dice and stay in my comfort range or do the whole wheel at once and hope it works?  I am only concerned with making sure the smoke will penetrate enough to get the good flavor that we have achieved in the past.  Thanks for any advice.
See der Rabbits, Iowa


  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,701

    I am no expert, but I would imagine the smoke would penetrate enough. I have done probably 10 blocks of cheese and always get uniform flavor. I know a block is not nearly as large as a wheel, but I would think it would be the same. Few questions:

    What is your smoking setup?


    What tpye of pellets and how long you smoking?

    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • bettysnephewbettysnephew Posts: 1,137
    Chubbs said:

    I am no expert, but I would imagine the smoke would penetrate enough. I have done probably 10 blocks of cheese and always get uniform flavor. I know a block is not nearly as large as a wheel, but I would think it would be the same. Few questions:

    What is your smoking setup?   I have recently been using my old W kettle but I have an XL BGE which I have used several times.  Both seem to get about the same intensity of flavor when  smoking blocks.

    AMS?    A perforated home built that is similar to the AMS tray. 

    What type of pellets and how long are you smoking?        I am using pellets made from only apple wood, not the Traeger which are a mix of oak and apple.  I usually smoke for about 3 hours on the blocks, then heat seal and age for a couple of weeks.

    See der Rabbits, Iowa
  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,091
    Smoke is able to permeate through a lot of materials, so a wheel of cheese will definitely get a smokey flavor...just keep the temp around 90 degrees or less for 2-3 hours and use apple wood if possible...yummy...
  • Do an experiment.  Take a block of cheese from the store.  Smoke it.  Then let it rest a while.  Then, wearing food handling gloves, cut it in half.  Then carefully cut a chunk out of the center.  Take off the food handling gloves to make sure no smoke flavor has come off onto your fingers.  Taste the sample from the center.  See how much smoke flavor you have.  Use that to judge how you think the wheel will turn out and then either cut it up or not accordingly.
    The Naked Whiz
  • I have cold smoked quite a bit.  I would say the wheel of cheese would not smoke evenly.  If you are OK with that then go for it.  The issue is that some of the cheese is not smoked at all, some is oversmoked.  Equilateral pieces smoke the best, to my opinion.  
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 1,545
    Your wives boss sounds like a dirtbag
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
  • bettysnephewbettysnephew Posts: 1,137
    thetrim said:
    Your wives boss sounds like a dirtbag
    First off, he is not a dirtbag, he asked nicely and I suspect he will share with the staff from past dealings.  I don't have a problem with doing it for him, so I feel you are a bit out of line here.  If you have nothing to contribute regarding smoking the cheese wheel, please leave this thread.
    See der Rabbits, Iowa
  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,793
    Cut it up that way he will have good incentive to leave you a wedge.
    Dunedin, FL
  • bettysnephewbettysnephew Posts: 1,137
    I have decided to play it safe and cut it into wedges for smoking.  I know from past experience that will work and not have to worry about the outcome.  If he chooses he can reassemble it for display after it's done.
    See der Rabbits, Iowa
  • bettysnephewbettysnephew Posts: 1,137
    It was 55° this morning which is unusual for Iowa in August so the Baby Swiss wedges went into the Egg.  Smoked with apple chips using the soldering pen method with an ice tray below the cheese as the outside temperature was rising.  It came out very well other than a couple of wedges that fell over and got bent a bit.  It won't change the flavor a bit.  I am very happy how it came out.  Thanks to everyone that contributed.
    See der Rabbits, Iowa
  • Was this the cheese for the boss. Your OP said white cheddar. In any event, glad it worked out for you!
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • bettysnephewbettysnephew Posts: 1,137
    edited August 2013

    My mistake.  Yes it is for him.  I didn't read the label when the wife brought it home and she mentioned it was cheddar and I saw it was very light colored.  I saw the label when cutting it.  She is a naturalized American and cheese is typically foreign to her Taiwanese culture.  When I met her family 21 years ago, I was surprized by the general lack of fresh dairy products in their supermarkets, they had mostly canned and condensed milk that I saw.  It had improved considerably when I last visited, but cheese is still an expensive delicacy to most of them and actually not often to their taste.

    See der Rabbits, Iowa
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