How to Cold Smoke Cheese

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Is it possible to reject the rich, nuanced taste of cold-smoked cheese? I don’t think so!

It goes well with pizza, spaghetti, burgers, nachos, and charcuterie boards.

While cold smoking cheese seems to be a difficult procedure, it is really rather simple.

Temperature regulation is essential. Fortunately, we have some cold-smoking suggestions to help you through the process.

What’s the Ideal Cheese for Smoking?

To be honest, any cheese that will not melt and slide between the grates of your smoker is ideal for cold smoking.

However, it is recommended to use mild, firm cheeses.

Soft cheeses may rapidly smoke, which can easily damage the original taste of the cheese. Soft cheese melts readily as well.

When it comes to melting, it is also important to consider the melting point of cheese. Cheese includes solid milk lipids that melt at 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).

To prevent the cheese from melting all over the cooker’s grates, maintain your smoker or grill’s ambient temperature below 90F.

If you’re new to cold smoking cheese, start with mild cheddar or gouda.

These cheeses can endure the smoker’s heat and absorb just enough smoke to keep the taste of the cheese from being overpowered.

Cold smoking normal cheddar, pepper jack, or mozzarella cheese is also an option.

Tips for Cold Smoking Cheese

The temperature of the surroundings is critical while cold smoking cheese.

When it’s chilly outdoors, always cold smoke your cheese.

It is simpler to keep a consistent smoking temperature below 90 degrees Fahrenheit during milder months like winter and spring.

If you must smoke cheese during the summer, do it at night or first thing in the morning.

Temperatures will be at their lowest at this time of day.

Additionally, even on a mild day, make sure your smoker is placed in the shade since it might get too hot.

Above and under the cheese, place single-use foil trays filled with ice.

Throughout the smoking process, the ice lowers the temperature of the air moving around the cheese.

Use smoke-producing equipment instead of fire-producing equipment.

Additionally, before smoking your cheese, allow it to come to room temperature.

Once the smoking process starts, condensation may form on the surface of cold cheese.

If the cheese is left entire, smoke will only penetrate the exterior layers.

To enable the smoke to enter the cheese’s deepest sections, slice it into smaller pieces.

Wear latex gloves because oils and germs from your hands might be transmitted to the cheese.

This acts as a barrier, preventing mold growth and extending the shelf life.

As previously stated, the temperature must be maintained below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, a probe smoker thermometer is required.

Probe smoker thermometers enable you to monitor the temperature with a receiver, eliminating the need to open the smoker’s door often to check on your cheese.

Despite the fact that the purpose is to smoke the cheese, it is ideal to produce a constant smoke while smoking cheese.

To do this, you may utilize a smoking machine or add pellets or wood chips at certain intervals to maintain steady smoke.

It’s normal to want to cut into your cold smoked cheese, but resist the urge.

Wrap or wrap your cold smoked cheese correctly and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to enable the smoky taste to meld with the cheese.

Although it may seem that refrigerating the cold-smoked cheese is superfluous, it is crucial since it improves the taste of the cheese.

How Long to Cold Smoke Cheese?

Smoking cheese, unlike smoking brisket or turkey, is a rather short operation. Cold smoking cheese takes roughly 2-4 hours.

However, flipping your cheese every 30 minutes allows the smoke to infiltrate the cheese equally on both sides.

The most difficult aspect of cold smoking cheese is the resting phase.

How To Store Smoked Cheese

Although zip lock bags may be used to keep cold smoked cheese, vacuum sealers are preferable for preserving cold smoked cheese.

Fortunately, vacuum sealers are widely available, and you now have the 5 finest vacuum sealers at your disposal.

If you vacuum seal cold smoked cheese, keep it in the fridge for at least a month, preferably two, before breaking it open. Cold smoked cheese should not be frozen.

Freezing the cheese transforms its texture from smooth and creamy to crumbly and unpleasant.

What’s the Best Wood for Smoking Cheese

It doesn’t matter what you’re smoking; the appropriate quality of wood is essential. It is preferable to choose a wood that will compliment rather than overshadow the cheese.

Subtle woods like apple, cherry, and pecan pair well with soft, mild cheeses.

If you’re smoking hard, powerful cheeses, though, strong woods like oak or hickory will work just as well as pecan, apple, and cherry.

Tools for Cold Smoking Cheese

A smoker or grill with a cover is the first thing you’ll need to cold-smoke cheese. It makes no difference whether it’s a Kamado grill, an offset smoker, or a pellet smoker.

It can smoke cheese as long as the machine can generate heat and hold smoke.

A smoke tube is also required. Smoker tubes are meant to hold pellets that are burnt to produce smoke.

You will also want parchment paper or butcher paper, a heat gun, and a thermometer.

Having a thermometer handy is essential when smoking cheese, just as it is when searing steak or frying poultry.

It is the only technique to maintain the ideal temperature for smoking cheese.

Fuel for Cold Smoking Cheese

You’ll also need a fuel source, such as wood pellets or a blend of charcoal and wood chips.

Use a couple of pieces of charcoal if you’re using charcoal and wood chips to create the least amount of heat. This job would be best accomplished using lump charcoal.

When the charcoal is completely coated in ash, add a handful of wood chips.

Make careful to soak and rinse any wood chips you use to smoke the cheese for 30 minutes before adding them to the charcoal.

Arrange your cheese as far away from the heat source as possible on the smoker’s grates. Allow enough room between the cheese for air to flow around it.

If you’re using a kettle grill to smoke your cheese, make sure the vent is at the rear of the cheese.

Cold smoking cheese may also be done using sawdust. A sawdust-filled metal pie dish may smoke long enough to smoke cheese. However, don’t let the sawdust burn.

Pellets are another typical fuel source for cold-smoking cheese. Once loaded, your smoker tube will create cold smoke for hours.

However, it is advisable to place your cheese away from the heat source.

Finally, straw or hay may be used to cold smoke cheese.

Although it may seem unusual, the Italians are credited with developing cheeses such as scamorza affumicata, which acquires a distinct taste after being smoked with straw or hay.

How Prep to Your Smoker for Cold Smoking Cheese

Again, as long as the grill or smoker is adequately ventilated, you may cold-smoke cheese.

Instead of a hot, roaring fire, you want to keep the temperature low enough to store the cheese while it is cold-smoking.

Fill your smoker tube all the way to the top with gasoline. Place your smoker tube on the grill or smoker and lean your heat gun towards the pellets.

Turn on your heat gun and wait for the pellets to light up. When your tube smoker is ignited, be sure there are no flames, simply smoke.

Keep an eye on your smoker to ensure that the temperature does not get over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Cold Smoke Cheese

To smoke your cheese, place it on the smoker’s grates, providing enough room for adequate air circulation.

Close the cover of your smoker and smoke the cheese for 2-4 hours, rotating it every 30 minutes.

Take the cold-smoked cheese out of the smoker and cover it in parchment or butcher paper.

Wrap the cheese loosely; it needs to breathe. Refrigerate the smoked cheese for at least 24 hours.

After that, take the cheese from the parchment paper and vacuum seal it before storing it in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks for the best results.

How to Cold Smoke Cheese Using a Charcoal Grill

Contrary to common opinion, smoking cheese on a charcoal barbecue is really simple. Light up 3-6 pieces of charcoal on one side of your grill.

Allow the majority of the charcoal to ash over before adding a tiny handful of moistened wood chips.

Add a single-use tray of ice to the grill, followed by the cheese. Make sure the ice and cheese are as far away from the heat source as possible.

Also, leave enough room around the cheese for air to circulate. Allow the cheese to smoke for 2-4 hours on the grill, rotating it every 30 minutes.

If the smoke has subsided, add another handful of wood chips and 1-2 pieces of unlit charcoal. This will give you another 20-30 minutes of smoking time.

Remove the cheese from the charcoal grill, cover it in parchment paper, and set it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Before slicing, vacuum seal the cold-smoked cheese and put it in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

How to Cold Smoke Cheese Using a Gas Grill

If you don’t have a smoker or charcoal grill, you can cold smoke cheese on a gas grill.

Surprisingly, you will not be smoking the cheese on the grill.

Gas grills are powered by propane gas, which means that even on the lowest setting, the temperature will never go below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you attempt to cold smoke cheese using propane as a fuel source, it will melt all over your grill’s grate, making a huge mess that no one wants to clean up.

As a result, a gas barbecue will serve as an outside smoke enclosure.

To cold smoke cheese on a gas grill, you’ll need a 750-watt low-heat electric hot plate.

Place the hot plate on top of the grill’s cooking surface on the left side.

On top of the grill’s cooking grates, place an aluminum pie dish filled with wood chips.

Cover the wood chips with aluminum foil, then poke 5-10 holes in the foil to form holes.

The foil prevents the wood chips from igniting and scorching you or melting your cheese.

Place an ice-filled foil pan on the right side of the grill.

On top of the ice and wood chips, place the grill’s warming rack or an extra rack. Place the cheese on the warming rack.

Reduce the heat to low. Remember, the idea is to produce smoke rather than flames. Using the dome thermometer, keep an eye on the temperature of the grill.

If the temperature increases over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, switch off the hot plate.

Smoke the cheese for 2-4 hours, rotating it every 30 minutes.

If the smoke level begins to fall, you may add extra wood chips to the pie plate throughout the smoking procedure.

Wrap the cold-smoked cheese in parchment paper after removing it from the gas grill.

Refrigerate the cold-smoked cheese for 24 hours before vacuum sealing and storing it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks before slicing.

Final Thoughts

Cold smoking cheese, like smoking brisket, is a simple operation if you get the hang of it.

You no longer need to buy pricey store-bought cold smoked cheese now that you know how to produce it correctly.


How do you cold smoke cheese?

There are two methods for cold smoking cheese:

Use an offset or pellet grill to smoke the cheese indirectly, keeping the heat source but not the smoke away from the cheese. To keep the temperature down, use a standard grill and smoke the cheese as indirectly as possible over an aluminum pan of ice.

How long do you cold smoke cheese?

Smoke your cheese for around 2 hours.

For a light smokey taste, we suggest smoking cheese for 45 minutes to 2 hours. If you want a strong smokey taste, smoke the cheese for at least 2 hours. Also, flip the cheese every 15 to 30 minutes to ensure that each side is equally smoked.

How do you smoke cheese without melting it?

The cheese will melt or even burn if your smoker or charcoal grill is too hot. To keep your cheese from melting or burning, put a very little quantity of charcoal — ideally briquette charcoal rather than lump charcoal — to the fuel section of your smoker or grill.

What is the best method for smoking cheese?

Set your smoker to keep the temperature below 90°F (32°C).
Place the cheese on the grate of your smoker to generate cold smoke.
Place the cheese blocks directly on the grate and smoke for approximately 4 hours.
Place the cheese in a resealable plastic bag after removing it from the grate.

What cheeses are good to cold smoke?

Mozzarella and cheddar are two of the most popular cheeses to smoke. I’ve had good luck with American, Monterey Jack, Gouda, Brie, Swiss, and even Gruyere. Big slabs of cheese are inexpensive in bulk warehouse retailers.

How do you cold smoke at home?

or placed between ice cube trays.
In a refrigerated smoke chamber, smoke the meal.How to Smoke Cold at Home
Keep the flames away from the smoke chamber.
Use a portable smoker.
Make use of a commercial cold smoker.
Make use of a smoke generator.
Make use of a smoking tube or maze.
Smoke the meal and serve.

What temperature do you cold smoke cheese at?

At 90°F (32°C), solid milk fat in cheese starts to liquefy. Because of this threshold, the most essential thing to remember while cold smoking cheese is to maintain the interior temperature of your grill or smoker below 90°F (32°F) to prevent the cheese from melting.

Can you cold smoke on a pellet grill?

As pellet smoking has grown in popularity over the past 50 years, a variety of cold smoking procedures have been developed. From igniting pellets and wood chips under a tin foil tent to smoke tubes, there is something for everyone.

What do you wrap cheese in after smoking?

Remove the cheese from the grill and wrap it in parchment paper or uncoated butcher paper after it has finished smoking. Refrigerate it for 24 to 48 hours. Close firmly. Remove the cheese from the paper and seal it with a vacuum sealer.

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