Cracker Barrel Cold Smoked Cheddar – for the Holidays

Cold smoking cheese is a pretty easy process, but some planning is needed depending on when you plan to eat it. I have found that it requires at least 3 weeks of rest time after the smoke. So, since we are a little over 1 month away from the holidays, I decided to smoke some today. I have purchased cheese from numerous places in the past and smoked it, but decided to try the Cracker Barrel brand, mainly since it was on sale at Sams. It came in a variety pack, (Extra Sharp, Sharp and Vermont White ) which is nice, since each has a unique taste. I ended up doing the same process 1 week later so I had two batches of cheese.

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For the cold smoke, the idea is smoke only and no flame in the process. This morning it was cold for TN below freezing when I started. I use the Amazen Smoking tube and filled it with pellets. The pellets can be purchased in different flavors. I used cherry wood pellets today after thinking about using oak pellets (why mess with success). On round two of the cheese I did use oak pellets, so I will be able to see if there is a noticeable difference in flavor.

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I have had difficulty in the past getting the pellets started, again the goals is to get them smoldering and they will continue to burn without flame. To accomplish this, I use my old decommissioned Weber and place the tube direct next to the burner to get it going.

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I placed the cheese on and let it roll, planning on about 4 hours smoke time today, or when the pellets stopped smoking.

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This was about 2 hours in

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This is when it was removed after the full 4 hours. It was then transferred to a cooking sheet and set in the cold oven to rest.

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I let it rest about an hours and then removed some of the oil that was on top of the cheese before sealing it.

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It was then labeled and sealed and will be refrigerated for 3 weeks before it will be sampled, and then devoured.

 

 

 

 

Here is the final result after a three week rest, I sliced one stick of each

 

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