Author Topic: Not sure what to think  (Read 543 times)

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Offline Smokerjunky

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Not sure what to think
« Reply #-1 on: October 16, 2017, 03:50:18 PM »
Hi everyone,  i have seen some great posts recently about cold smoking cheese. I gave it a shot yesterday and the jury is out - for about six weeks from what I have read here.

I did some Tillamook cheddar and pepperjack as well as a couple wedges of gouda.

Pellet grill was off and placed 6" amaz'n tube with apple pellets in the bottom of the grill under the drip pan.

The temp in the grill held at 68 - 70 degrees. Left for two hours.

The cheese sure did not pick up much color but smelled like smoke (not a good smell either) when I took them off.

They are currently resting in the fridge in cheesecloth. Tonight I will vacuum seal them for 6 weeks.

Is it normal that the smoke smell is somewhat reminiscent of an ashtray right out of the smoker??





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« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 12:19:38 PM by Smokerjunky »
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Offline Pam Gould

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Re: Not sure what to think
« on: October 16, 2017, 04:54:34 PM »
Yes..just remember the smell is on the outside of the cheese, it does not penetrate, it perfumes the outside, so you will learn how to cut it..trial and error. I let mine set for at least a month, and have kept it for over a year.,no problem....you'll have some for Thanksgiving..enjoy.   .☆´¯`•.¸¸. ི♥ྀ.
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Offline Roget

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Re: Not sure what to think
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 07:11:39 PM »
Yes..just remember the smell is on the outside of the cheese, it does not penetrate, it perfumes the outside, so you will learn how to cut it..trial and error. I let mine set for at least a month, and have kept it for over a year.,no problem....you'll have some for Thanksgiving..enjoy.   .☆´¯`•.¸¸. ི♥ྀ.

What she said. :)

It just gets better with age.

BTW, It looks great.
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Offline Hub

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Re: Not sure what to think
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 07:30:07 AM »
Whoever invented cheese had to be courageous to take the first taste.  Almost all of it smells bad.  Just like a good landing in an airplane is just a controlled crash, a good cheese is just a controlled rot.  Lots of trust is involved  ::)

Good advice here on patience.  Some cheese will absorb smokiness quickly and some takes a lot of time.  Suggestion:  Try small packages and write the smoking date on them.  As you taste them you'll know what you like and don't like so far as the smoke progression/penetration goes.

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Offline Smokerjunky

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Re: Not sure what to think
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 10:26:24 AM »
Thanks all for the info.  Based on the STRONG smoke smell I think I will let it mellow a bit by sealing.  Good suggestion on opening at different stages to try.  I did cut down the blocks to make smaller chunks before I smoked them (kind of cracker size dimensions - except the Gouda wedges).  I did not get them vacuum sealed last night so will do that tonight.
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Offline TentHunteR

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Re: Not sure what to think
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 10:27:04 AM »
Quote from: Smokerjunky
The cheese sure did not pick up much color... Is it normal that the smoke smell is somewhat reminiscent of an ashtray right out of the smoker??

Yes, these are both NORMAL!!!

As far as color, you are simply used to seeing commercially smoked cheeses which are typically sprayed/dipped in liquid smoke to give them that darker color.  Unless a packaged cheese says "Naturally Smoked" it's liquid smoked.

Depending on what type of smoke you use, the smell when cheese first comes off a smoker is stronger and reminiscent of a campfire, or some say, an ash tray.  Do NOT let this dissuade you!



Just remember a couple of key points when smoking cheese:

1)  An important step to smoking cheese that many people tend to skip is to allow the cheese to dry on some racks for an hour or two BEFORE you smoke it. This forms a thin rind on the cheese that helps to control smoke absorption and sweating.

2) how long to smoke:  The ambient temperature of your pit, and the size of your blocks of cheese GREATLY affects how long you leave the cheese in the smoke.  The warmer your pit temp, and smaller your cheese = the shorter time you need to leave it in. And even then it's a matter of preference; i.e. how smokey you like it.  The only way to know is by trial and error.

Try your best to NOT let your pit temp get above 90° or you risk the cheese sweating oil, which can give it a creosote taste as the really strong phenols in the smoke are oil soluble.

I save cheese smoking for cooler weather.


3)
Quote from: Hub
Suggestion:  Try small packages and write the smoking date on them.  As you taste them you'll know what you like and don't like so far as the smoke progression/penetration goes.

THAT is great advice, because the "four to six week rule" (after smoking) is more of a general guideline for what most people tend to do.   You can cut into your cheese whenever you dang well please,  just remember; at first the smoke will be stronger and concentrated on the outside (especially with applewood). As it rests the smoke particulates (mainly phenol and syringol) penetrate into the cheese and will take on a more mellow tone.

The type of cheese, the type of smoke, the size of your cheese blocks, your fridge temperature, and personal preference all affect the rest period. The softer the cheese, and smaller the blocks, and warmer your fridge temp, the quicker the smoke particulates will penetrate.

If you plan to use the cheese in a recipe such as a cheese sauce, cheese spread, etc. then there is little need for a rest period at all. Every year, for example, I smoke some cheddar for my smoky beer-cheese spread.  Because it gets shredded, then whirred up in a food processor, I don't even worry about letting it rest at all!

If your pit temp gets above 90°F and sweats, then it is BETTER to eat the cheese sooner rather than later as sweating can cause your cheese to turn grainy as it rests.


Can't wait to see how it turns out when you taste it!  :thumbup:
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Offline mrbbq

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Re: Not sure what to think
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 01:01:58 PM »
Your cheese looks like it should And yes, refrigerating it for 24 hours will "tame" the smoke taste and aroma. I have a MAK 2 Star with the cold smoker box, and have found that 35 minutes on the SMOKE setting is more than enough for us to impart a nice smoky flavor to the cheese. We dont seal it, but tend to eat it within a couple of hours after smoking it. We put it in the fridge for at least an hour or two before eating it. This sets the smoke in the cheese.

I've found that if you cut 2 inch thick planks, you'll expose more of the cheese to the smoke and get a better end result. The cost is sure cheaper than buying the "gourmet smoked" stuff in the stores. And its so easy to do as well.
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Offline Smokerjunky

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Re: Not sure what to think
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 12:00:56 PM »
Well, the results are finally in.  We broke out the smoked cheese after aging for around 45 days.  I was amazed that the "wet campfire" smell was completely gone and it smelled wonderful.  We tried all three varieties and they were all delicious.  In fact, my Son and his wife ended up taking a bunch home with them.  Next time I won't let it sit for two days in cheesecloth in the fridge - will only let it set for one day or overnight.  Overall very happy with the results of the first effort - I learned some things - and will definitely make it again.  Happy New Year Everyone!
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Offline smokeasaurus

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Re: Not sure what to think
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 04:32:25 PM »
Good things are worth waiting for...............and smoked cheese is one of them :)
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Offline IR2dum

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Re: Not sure what to think
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 05:04:48 PM »
Good things are worth waiting for...............and smoked cheese is one of them :)

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