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Smoked Cheese

This step by step guide will walk you through the entire process of smoking cheese. Learn how to use the cold smoke method for awesome smoked cheese - no smoker required!

Food, flavour, adventure. It's the foodie trifecta.

We're constantly trying new cooking methods, tasting new flavour combinations, and being all-around kitchen badasses. This smoked cheese is no different.

I know what you're thinking right now; smoked cheese - gross.

WRONG!

Bacon is smoked. Bacon + cheese = divinity.

This recipe is dedicated to kitchen badassery!

A collection of cheeses and a smoke tube before smoking.

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Smoked cheese wrapped in butcher paper.

SMOKED CHEESE TIPS AND TRICKS

GET a smoke tube. You don't need any fancy equipment for this recipe, just a smoke tube, a torch to light it and a smoke chamber.

YOU don't need a smoker to make smoked cheese - this can be made in any BBQ, or smoker. All we're looking for is a chamber to smoke in.

LOOK at the weather. Smoking cheese should be done on a cool day - we do not want to heat the cheese in any way - just impart smoke flavour. If you must cold smoke cheese on a warm day, a pan will ice will help keep the temperature down.

Cheese on the smoker - a smoke tube is burning.

HOW TO COLD SMOKE CHEESE:

  1. Fill smoke tube will pellets, place in smoker.
  2. Light the smoke tube and allow the pellets to burn for a couple of minutes before blowing out.
  3. Place cheese in the smoker.
  4. Allow the smoke tube to smoulder and impart smoke flavour for 2 hours.
  5. Remove smoked cheese from the smoker, wrap in paper, place in the fridge to rest.
  6. Vacuum seal the cheese and set aside for 3-4 weeks.

How Long Does It Take To Smoke Cheese?

The short answer is 2 hours. The more complex but accurate answer is 4 weeks.

Actual smoke time is 2 hours, after that, the cheese must breathe for 24 hours and then be vacuum sealed for up to 4 weeks.

Cheese breathes?

Yes! Cheese is a living thing, it breathes. Wrapping the cheese in butchers' paper or parchment paper after smoking and placing it in the fridge allows the cheese to breathe a bit before vacuum sealing.

Smoked cheese wrapped in butchers' paper with some smoked cheese that has been vacuum sealed.

4-week vacuum?

I'm sure you could get away with 3 weeks if you're impatient 😉

Allowing the cheese to rest helps to mellow out the smoke flavour. I've seen several comments online that people have sampled their smoked cheese and it tasted like campfire sitting on cheese, or cheese with a cigarette butt. That is because the flavour hasn't mellowed, OR penetrated the cheese.

Vacuum sealing, or placing in a zipper style bag, and storing the cheese in the fridge will get that flavour to pull right through the cheese and you won't be left with that smoke on top effect.

A white block of smoked old cheddar cheese sitting on a piece of peach butchers paper.

What Temperature Do You Smoke Cheese?

The texture of cheese starts to change around 80f, so it's important that we set up the smoker to maintain a temperature well below that. If you have an in-oven ambient thermometer, you can place that in your smoker to keep an eye on the temperature.

We prefer to get out early in the morning when it's cool to smoke our cheese, that said, it can be done in warmer weather by placing baking sheets with ice above and below the cheese to keep the temperature immediately near the cheese to acceptable levels.

Because we are using a smoke tube to generate smoke, we won't be generating a lot of heat, which makes cold smoking cheese possible.

A hand holding a small propane torch lighting the pellets in a stainless steel smoke tube.

What's The Best Wood For Smoking Cheese?

Personally, I don't think it makes a huge difference when you're using a cold smoke tube. That said - I really like blends, something with a neutral, a sweet wood, and a bit of stronger wood. Currently, we're rocking Lumberjack Competition Blend pellets, which is a blend of maple, hickory, and cherry.

Block of smoked cheese arranged on a grid cooling rack.

What Is The Best Cheese To Smoke?

I prefer to smoke hard and semi-hard cheeses, as soft cheese can take on too much smoke too fast. We really love cheddar and a Monterey jack cheese.

Be adventurous, though! You wanna smoke something soft, get in there and try it! Just be conscious of 2Smoke2Fast. ha. I would smoke softer cheeses for around an hour, instead of 2.

Blocks of smoked cheese piled up after being vacuum sealed.

Looking for other great stuff to smoke?

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Smoked cheese on a wire mesh rack.
Yield: 3 lbs

Smoked Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Smoke Time: 2 hours
Rest Time: 28 days
Total Time: 28 days 2 hours 15 minutes

A step by step guide to cold smoking cheese at home. You'll love the mellow smoky flavour in your favourite cheese.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs assorted cheese

Instructions

Preparation:

  1. FIll your smoke tube with pellets, and place in smoker or BBQ.
  2. Use a small propane torch to light the pellets inside the smoke tube.
  3. Allow the pellets to burn for a bit before blowing out the flame. The pellet tube will continue to smoke throughout the whole session.
  4. Slice cheese into smaller portions, if desired.


Smoke:

  1. Place cheese onto a wire cooling rack and place the rack into your bbq or smoker.
  2. Close the lid and smoke with ONLY the smoke tube for 2 hours.


Wrap:

  1. After the cheese has cold smoked for 2 hours, remove from the smoker and wrap each piece individually in plain, untreated butchers' paper, or parchment paper.
  2. Place the wrapped cheese in the fridge for 24-48 hours to breathe.

Seal:

  1. After the cheese has rested in the fridge for 24-48 hours, unwrap from the butchers' paper, and vacuum seal in the desired portion size.
  2. Store the vacuum-sealed cheese in the fridge for 3-4 weeks before eating.


Notes

* This recipe is easily scalable. Smoke as much cheese as you like - the steps and processes do not change!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

48oz

Serving Size:

1oz

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g

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