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First time, smoking some cheese!


I've made chicken, pork, brisket, burgers, pizza. I've cured and smoked my own bacon and pork shoulder. Now it's time to move to cheese! 

Set up the amaz-n-smoker:


I only have apple wood pellets, no idea if that will pair well with cheese, but what the heck??? Sometimes you just gotta get goin'!

It's 32 degrees here today, but the last time I cold smoked some bacon (which was also the first time I cold smoked anything!), the temp inside the egg did start to rise into the 60 degrees range, even though it was much colder outside. So today I put the plate setter in and then a pan with ice, to keep the temp down:


Then the cheese goes on top, in a pan with holes punched in the bottom:


I used a mix of different cheeses, all giant logs of dairy goodness bought at Costco for less than $10 each. Never had the butterkase before, but was quite tasty when I tried a little piece:


Going to leave them on for a few hours (any rec's for how long appreciated!), then vacuum seal and let them mellow in the fridge a while (seems that's what others do)...

Thanks for lookin...


Large BGE -- New Jersey

Comments

  • Awesome. Am just about to pick up that Amazen tray and was also about to smoke cheese. If I'm not mistaken, most folks forego the ice. Given the -22F temperatures in my area as of late, I definitely won't be needing the ice. 
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458
    Awesome. Am just about to pick up that Amazen tray and was also about to smoke cheese. If I'm not mistaken, most folks forego the ice. Given the -22F temperatures in my area as of late, I definitely won't be needing the ice. 
    Yeah... Not sure if the ice is necessary, but when I tried cold smoking bacon with the amaz-n-smoker, it did raise the egg temp significantly, to about 60 degrees, which is danger zone area. Since I'm a total noob at this, I cut it short, and figured the ice this time certainly can't hurt anything. 

    Just decided to really fire up the egg when the cheese is done, and do my first full packer overnight tonight. We are in the path of the noreaster coming Monday night, and I have a random day off from work, so I'll aim for it to be done around lunchtime, and have plenty leftover for brisket chili later in the week! 


    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • Wouldn't ha be expected the smoker to raise the temp to that level. Sounds like you were right to play it safe with the ice.

    Good selection of cheeses. I love that Pepper Jack!
  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,220
    Mmmmmm... love that Cabot cheddar.  
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • blastingblasting Posts: 5,523
    Hey @JacksDad  looks good, love me some smoked cheese.

    You said it was your first cheese smoke, so I'll hit you with some tips / tricks - or at least the way I do it. 

    If you use baking racks on your grid you can get a more uniform smoke on your cheese.  Your cheese will stay clean as well.

    Gouda is probably my favorite smoked cheese.

    I've noticed cold smoking, the wood species isn't as critical as for hot smoking.

    Your smoking tray can just sit in the KAB, or suspend it somehow, but I'd not put it in a tray.  It needs max air flow, as it has a tendency to go out.  If it still goes out, dry out the rabbit poop in the micro.  Also, one column in the tray is more than enough to cheese smoke.  I use a tinfoil ball to block the other end so about 80% of one column is used on a cheese smoke.

    Using ice not needed if cool outside, but I use it every time.  Freeze the smoked water back into into cubes for use in the best bloody marys you've ever had.

    When smoke is done, I let sit on the counter for an hour on a baking rack.  Then throw it in a big zip lock for 3-4 days.  Then vacuum seal individually and let sit for 5 or more weeks.  The wait is hard, but worth it.

    Sorry for the rambling post - hope some it helps.

    Phoenix 
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458

    @blasting thanks! 
    I put the amaz-n-smoker in a pan because my egg is half full of lump from a prior cook, and I don't have a good/easy way to store it out of the egg at the moment.

    I lit both ends, and they have stayed lit so far, so I guess airflow is adequate. Next time will go with only one end. 

    I will take your advice on resting in the fridge a couple days before vac sealing, thank you! 


    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • JacksDad said:

    @blasting thanks! 
    I put the amaz-n-smoker in a pan because my egg is half full of lump from a prior cook, and I don't have a good/easy way to store it out of the egg at the moment.

    I lit both ends, and they have stayed lit so far, so I guess airflow is adequate. Next time will go with only one end. 

    I will take your advice on resting in the fridge a couple days before vac sealing, thank you! 


    Paging @paqman, as the smoked ice idea could have legs for his Caesars. Sounds delicious. 
  • blastingblasting Posts: 5,523
    JacksDad said:

    @blasting thanks! 
    I put the amaz-n-smoker in a pan because my egg is half full of lump from a prior cook, and I don't have a good/easy way to store it out of the egg at the moment.

    I lit both ends, and they have stayed lit so far, so I guess airflow is adequate. Next time will go with only one end. 

    I will take your advice on resting in the fridge a couple days before vac sealing, thank you! 


    Paging @paqman, as the smoked ice idea could have legs for his Caesars. Sounds delicious. 

    Actually I make Caesars to,  I just said Bloody Marys so people would know what I was talking about.   Caesars over Bloody Marys - hands down.
    Phoenix 
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458
    blasting said:
    JacksDad said:

    @blasting thanks! 
    I put the amaz-n-smoker in a pan because my egg is half full of lump from a prior cook, and I don't have a good/easy way to store it out of the egg at the moment.

    I lit both ends, and they have stayed lit so far, so I guess airflow is adequate. Next time will go with only one end. 

    I will take your advice on resting in the fridge a couple days before vac sealing, thank you! 


    Paging @paqman, as the smoked ice idea could have legs for his Caesars. Sounds delicious. 

    Actually I make Caesars to,  I just said Bloody Marys so people would know what I was talking about.   Caesars over Bloody Marys - hands down.
    Mmm... Oyster juice!; )

    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 2,776
    @blasting Does the smell of the smoke transfer to the freezer when you make the ice?

    @GrateEggspectations That sounds like a good idea.  Someone here (can't remember who it is) also mentioned that he smokes salt.

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • GrateEggspectationsGrateEggspectations Posts: 1,965
    edited March 2017
    @paqman: Not sure whether I saw it here or elsewhere, but I am familiar with the concept of smoked salt and always thought it would make for a great steak. 

    Also, there are many possibilities when it comes to cold smoking. Just this week, I saw a segment on tv in which someone smoked chocolate to make a s'mores flavoured dessert. 

    As mentioned above, I will be buying an Amaz-n smoker tray later this week to start exploring the possibilities. 
  • GrateEggspectationsGrateEggspectations Posts: 1,965
    edited March 2017
    (Duplicate bug post)
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 2,776
    @GrateEggspectations I purchased a 20 lbs bag of apple wood pellets for mine a few years ago.  It was super cheap and it works well.  Not sure if they still have them but Canadian Tire had the small bags of BBQ delights pellets.

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • Now CT seems to carry the Louisiana Grills pellets. I picked up a 20lb bag a few weeks ago.
  • SmokingPineySmokingPiney Posts: 2,282
    edited March 2017
    @JacksDad

    Nice, but some advice:

    You need max exposure to the smoke. The pan hinders that. I use Ocscarware trays that give me that. 

    I empty my Egg's fire box and put my AMNPS in the bottom. No need for ice in 32 degree ambient temp. 

    Once you get the smoke level you need (2 to 3 hours depending on how much smoke you want) , let the cheese rest about an hour before you vac seal it.

    Rock on! Smoked cheese rocks!  =)


    South Jersey Pine Barrens. XL BGE , Assassin 24, Weber Kettle, CharBroil gasser, AMNPS 
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458

    Thanks everyone. Safely out of the egg and into the fridge in Ziploc bags. I'll vac seal in a couple days.


    Got so excited playing with egg, I decided to cook the packer I picked up at RD a couple weeks ago. It's really cold here, but I'll let my FB200 do the work, and monitor overnight on my phone in bed! 

    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 4,945
    Smoking cheese with a temp inside the Egg of 60°F is just fine. You don't need ice to chill it any further.

    The only time you need to start being concerned is when the temp inside the Egg gets above 90°F-ish as many types of cheese will start softening/melting.
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458

    Off the egg and into the FTC:


    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • SirSquatchSirSquatch Posts: 109
    paqman said:
    @blasting Does the smell of the smoke transfer to the freezer when you make the ice?

    @GrateEggspectations That sounds like a good idea.  Someone here (can't remember who it is) also mentioned that he smokes salt.
    I smoke salt, use it probably as much as I use regular Kosher salt. My set up is similar, AMNPS in the bottom, plate setter, then I have an old splatter guard I put the salt on. I smoke ~10 hours usually, probably go longer if you want a really intense smoke flavor. Mix the salt ever few hours just to get it a bit more even.
    Northern VA - LBGE
  • blastingblasting Posts: 5,523
    edited March 2017
    paqman said:
    @blasting Does the smell of the smoke transfer to the freezer when you make the ice?

    @paqman   yes, you may want to put the ice cube tray in a ziplock.  I like things to smell like smokey goodness, but if I had a SO, she may not feel the same way.

    Phoenix 
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458

    I hijacked my own cheese thread with a brisket cook, but this was my first full packer, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! Been playing with my egg for about 30 hours straight between the cheese and then overnight brisket. Time to sit back and watch Snowmageddon roll in tonight! 

    Btw, the sauce in the pic below is awesome. 


    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • bhedges1987bhedges1987 Posts: 3,201
    Only tried smoking cheese once but why do you have to have the temp so low? I ran mine as low as my FB would go for about 2 hours and the cheese didn't melt. I think it was 140.  Put an ice tray below the cheese. 

    The cheese sucked though. 

    Kansas City, Missouri
    Large Egg
    Mini Egg

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" - Gandalf


  • Only tried smoking cheese once but why do you have to have the temp so low? I ran mine as low as my FB would go for about 2 hours and the cheese didn't melt. I think it was 140.  Put an ice tray below the cheese. 

    The cheese sucked though. 
    @bhedges1987: What was wrong with the cheese?
  • bhedges1987bhedges1987 Posts: 3,201
    Only tried smoking cheese once but why do you have to have the temp so low? I ran mine as low as my FB would go for about 2 hours and the cheese didn't melt. I think it was 140.  Put an ice tray below the cheese. 

    The cheese sucked though. 
    @bhedges1987: What was wrong with the cheese?
    Really smoky. I could basically taste the cancer. Aaron franklins video said to get it at smoky as possible so that's what I did. 

    Kansas City, Missouri
    Large Egg
    Mini Egg

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" - Gandalf


  • blastingblasting Posts: 5,523

    @bhedges1987  How long did you wait to eat the cheese?  It does taste like licking an ashtray until it has mellowed.  See my post from above regarding letting it mellow.

    Phoenix 
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 4,945
    blasting said:

    @bhedges1987  How long did you wait to eat the cheese?  It does taste like licking an ashtray until it has mellowed.  See my post from above regarding letting it mellow.

    Agreed. You don't want to taste it "fresh".

    I generally let mine sit for a month before unwrapping for use.
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • bhedges1987bhedges1987 Posts: 3,201
    blasting said:

    @bhedges1987  How long did you wait to eat the cheese?  It does taste like licking an ashtray until it has mellowed.  See my post from above regarding letting it mellow.

    3.5 weeks vac sealed

    Kansas City, Missouri
    Large Egg
    Mini Egg

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" - Gandalf


  • blastingblasting Posts: 5,523
    edited March 2017
    blasting said:

    @bhedges1987  How long did you wait to eat the cheese?  It does taste like licking an ashtray until it has mellowed.  See my post from above regarding letting it mellow.

    3.5 weeks vac sealed

    @bhedges1987

    I'd hate to see you give up on it, a good smoked cheese is hard to beat for a snack.

    Maybe try cold smoking it,  say 3 hours.  Let it breath and then foodsaver it for 5+ weeks.

    Phoenix 
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