Smoked cheese has richness and complexity that complements nearly everything! It’s perfect on burgers, nachos, pizza, or simply on an appetizer platter. Temperature control is absolutely critical when cold smoking cheese, and we have tips to get you fired up about making your own. You’ll never buy pre-smoked cheese again!
The Melting Point of Cheese:
Solid milk fat in cheese begins to liquefy at 90°F (32°C). Because of this threshold, the most important key when cold smoking cheese is to keep your grill or smoker’s internal temperature below 90°F (32°F) to keep the cheese from melting.
Top Tips for Cold-Smoking Cheese
- Smoke when it’s cool outside. It’s easier to maintain temperatures below 90°F (32°C) during the cooler months of winter and spring. During very warm weather:
- Smoke at night or early in the morning when temperatures are lowest.
- Place foil pans of ice above and below the cheese inside the smoker can reduce the temperature right around the cheese for the duration of smoking.
- Use tools that provide only smoke rather that firing up your grill or smoker—using your smoker only as a chamber for the smoke.
- Bring the cheese to room temperature before smoking. Cold cheese will collect condensation when placed in the smoker.
- Cut the cheese into small pieces. Smoke will only penetrate the very outermost area of the cheese. Cutting the cheese into smaller pieces exposes more surface area to absorb more smoke.
- Monitor the temperature constantly, and keep it low. The ambient temperature of your grill or smoker must be maintained below 90°F (32°C). Use a leave-in probe thermometer like a ChefAlarm®, DOT®, or Smoke™ with a Pro-Series® air probe to keep an eye on the heat. Smoke is a great choice because you can track the temperature remotely with the wireless receiver!
- Turn the cheese frequently. Turn the cheese every 30 minutes for even exposure to the smoke on all sides. Smoke your cheese for 2 to 4 hours.
- Maintain light, constant smoke. Use a smoking device, or add pellets or wood chips at regular intervals to maintain a steady stream of smoke.
- Wrap and refrigerate before using. After smoking, resist the urge to use it immediately. Wrap well and refrigerate for a least 24 hours to let the smoky flavors settle and soften. The flavor improves tremendously over time.
Follow these tips, mind your temps, and give cold smoking cheese a try!
Pro-Series High Temp Air Probe With Grate Clip