It’s all about the Cheese

As winter approaches I always look forward to cold smoking cheese. I have completed two batches this year about 3 weeks apart. For the cold smoking process I have found that the cheese can take as much smoke as you want to apply, but it will need at least 3 weeks to cure. I smoke the cheese, rest for about an hour, and then seal, label and store.

For the cold smoking process I use wood pellets (available in different wood types). I place the pellets in a pellet tube, and light it. You want the pellets to light and smolder and not send out heat or flame. I have found over the years the easiest way for me to light them is using my gas grill. In this case, I am using an old decommissioned Weber, that I keep around for this purpose and to light the chimney starter for normal smoking. In this example, I remove the grates and set the tube right on the burner and light and it take about 5 minutes. The pellet tube site on the bottom of the smoker and as long as this is completed during cool temps, the cheese does not heat up or melt.

I have for years purchased a Cracker Barrel sampler pack at Sams available from the fall through the holiday season. This year it is no longer available. The first batch that I smoked using a aged white cheddar from Aldi. I have found that I can smoke 12 sticks at a time. My normal smoke is about 4 hours, or 1 full pellet tube.

Although this cheese was a white cheddar pre-smoked it takes on a nice color when smoke is applied. I then let it rest for an hour and vacuum seal and label. The cheese is then refrigerated and stored. The smoke aroma is very intense when removed from the smoker. If you tried to eat it, it would taste like you licked and ash tray.

My second batch for the season I purchased 4 more sticks of white cheddar and 8 sticks of Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar. This was completed early in the morning the day of daylight saving time change. It was cold, only 27 degrees when I put it on the smoker at 5:30 in the morning. (still dark 30 )

I added the tube, assembled the smoker and added the cheese. I checked on the progress a few time about an hour apart.

about 2 hours in on a cold smoke

Finished product after 4 hours. It was then rested, sealed and labeled.

finished as the sun and temps were rising