How To Smoke Cheese 101? Tips and Recipes

How To Smoke Cheese 101? Tips and Recipes

How to smoke cheese? This is a question that many people have. Smoking cheese can add depth of flavor and a smoky taste that is delicious. It is also a way to preserve cheese. There are different ways to smoke cheese, each with its own set of instructions.

How To Smoke Cheese?

Smoking cheese is a relatively new trend that has taken off in recent years. The process of smoking cheese creates an intense flavor profile, and the smoke penetrates the surface of the cheese to give it a rich finish. Smoking also helps develop beautiful colors on some cheeses while preventing others from developing mold or bacteria. If you are looking for something different than your usual grated Parmesan or cheddar, this might be just what you need!

The post will go into detail about How to smoke cheese at home with step by step instructions and photos. We’ll include links to recipes online – both traditional methods like wine-cured Gouda and more modern techniques like bacon-wrapped Cheddar (yes, really!)

What is Smoked Cheese?

Smoking cheese changes its molecular structure and makes it denser than regular cheese with almost twice as much calcium! Once smoked, cheeses tend to have firmer texture that is easier to grate or slice. The smoke also gives them a smoky flavor and aromatic smell. There’s no better smell than freshly smoked cheddar ready for some homemade grilled cheese sandwiches!

You can purchase special equipment for smoking cheese at home but it’s actually very easy to create your own method with basic household items. We’ll go over how to do this in the post so you can try it out for yourself!

Smoked cheese is most often used in sandwiches, salads, and appetizers. Provolone sticks are a perfect example of smoked cheese done right – crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, smoky flavor throughout. Smoked cheeses are also delicious melted – think about putting some smoked Gouda or mozzarella over your favorite grilled veggies or pasta dish!

Best Cheese for Smoking

As a general rule, you want to choose a hard or semi-hard cheese for smoking. If the cheese is too soft, it will not hold up well to heat and may melt as it smokes. The best cheeses for smoking fall into three camps: aged, crumbly, and those that are firm but still have some give under the surface.

If you have been eating smoked cheese from the store, chances are it’s made from an aged cheddar – this is because of its subtle sweetness and classic smoked cheddar flavor. We’ll talk more about which types of cheeses work best throughout this post!

There are many types of cheese that can be smoked, but some work better than others. The best cheeses for smoking are those that have a hard rind or a natural casing. This is because the smoke needs something to cling to in order to penetrate the cheese. Some good examples of cheeses that work well for smoking are Gouda, cheddar, Swiss, and provolone.

If you are looking for a cheese to smoke, these are all great options. However, if you want to try something different, there are plenty of recipes online that will show you how to smoke other types of cheese as well.

What’s To Prepare To Smoking Cheese At Home?

Ready to get started? Here’s what you’ll need to begin smoking cheese at home:

  • A clear working space in which to place your equipment with good ventilation
  • Harder cheeses in blocks (aged cheddar, gouda, emmental)
  • Cheesecloth or muslin
  • A thermometer – to check the internal temperature of your cheese
  • Olive oil or another type of cooking oil
  • Salt

How To Smoke Cheese At Home?

How to smoke cheese at home

There are many ways to smoke cheese at home. The best way to smoke cheese depends on the type of cheese you are smoking and how much time you have. Below, we’ll go into detail about the different types of home cheese smokers and which recipes they work best with.

Smoking methods:

Smoking cheese at home is a great way to get that delicious, smoky flavor into your favorite types of cheese. There are two main methods for smoking cheese – hot smoking and cold smoking – each with their own benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we’ll walk you through each process step-by-step so you can start smoking like a pro!

There are two main ways to smoke cheese at home: hot and cold smoking. Both methods require a special kind of smoker that can be purchased or made at home (DIY smoker instructions included below).

Once you have your cheeses ready and your equipment set up, it’s time to start! Here is an easy-to-follow guide for how to smoke cheese in both the hot and cold smoker; read through all the steps before starting so you know what to expect. Let’s get smoking!

Hot Smoking:

Hot smoking is a relatively easy process that requires little preparation. In fact, all you need to get started is a smoker and some wood chips. You can use any type of wood for this process, but mesquite and hickory are the most popular options for cheese.

The smoking process takes anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours depending on what kind of smoker you have and how much smoke flavor you want in your cheese.

During hot smoking, the internal temperature of the smoker should be kept at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit (about 93 degrees Celsius). This causes the protein content in the cheese to break down, which makes it melt-able when heated later on or helps develop colors when smoked long enough with lower heat levels.

Cold Smoking:

Cold smoking is a more time intensive process that requires extra equipment. Cold smoking can take anywhere from a few hours to several days depending on the type of smoker you have and how much smoke flavor you want in your cheese.

During cold smoking, the internal temperature of the smoker should be kept around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (about 27 degrees Celsius).

This does not break down proteins like hot smoking but instead infuses smoke into the cheese slowly over time. This creates an intense flavor profile with only slight melt-ability when heated later on or nice colors if smoked long enough at lower heat levels.

How to Smoke Cheese in a Smoker?

If you have a smoker, the process is relatively easy. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your smoker to 160 degrees F.
  2. Trim off any rind from your cheese blocks and cut into 1-inch thick slices. If the cheese is crumbly, you can leave it in larger chunks.
  3. Place the cheese on a wire rack that has been coated with cooking oil or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Place the cheese in the smoker and smoke for 1-2 hours, checking the internal temperature every 15 minutes or so after 90 minutes. Once it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F, remove from heat immediately.
  5. Allow to cool then refrigerate until ready to use – enjoy!

How to Smoke Cheese on a Grill?

If you do not have access to a smoker, you can still create awesome smoked cheese using your grill! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A gas grill with two burners (if using charcoal, make sure your coals are white hot before placing your block of cheese over them)
  • Cooking thermometer
  • A place to set cheese as it smokes – a small shelf or cooling rack will work

Instruction:

Preheat your grill to around 200 degrees F then turn the burners off on one side.

If using charcoal, wait until coals are white hot. You can also create an indirect heat by turning off half of your gas burner and placing a brick between the two sides so the rolling smoke does not escape. Make sure you have a cooking thermometer so you can keep track of how hot your grill is getting!

Place a block of cheese onto a wire rack that has been coated with cooking oil or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Once smoke starts rising from the grill, reduce heat to between 130-140 degrees F. Close the lid and keep an eye on your thermometer.

Smoke for 2 hours, checking the internal temperature every 30 minutes or so once it reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. Once it’s done, turn off heat immediately and allow to cool before refrigerating until ready to use!

Smoked cheese will last for over a week in the refrigerator but must be consumed within several months if you want to maintain optimum flavor. If you’d like to try smoking another type of cheese at home, check out this popular smoked mozzarella recipe !

Tips on How to Smoke Cheese?

Smoked cheese is some of the most delicious you can find! With a few hours preparation and an hour or two on the smoker, any type of cheese can be transformed into something special. Whether you’re looking for Gouda, cheddar, or even Swiss – smoking your favorite types of cheese at home is easy with these simple tips.

Tips to smoke cheese in a smoker:

The most popular way to smoke cheese is on a smoker. You will need wood chips or pellets for this method. The type of wood you choose will affect the flavor of the cheese. Hickory, apple, and cherry are all good choices. Soak the wood chips or pellets in water for 30 minutes before using them.

If you are using a smoker, place the cheese on the grate and cover it with the lid. If you are using an offset smoker, light one chimney full of charcoal and let it burn until the coals are evenly lit with a light gray ash. Spread the coals out on one side of the firebox and place a drip pan filled with water on the other side.

Place wood chips or pellets in a smoker box or make a pouch from aluminum foil, fill it with soaked chips or pellets, and poke holes in the top so that smoke can escape. Place this directly over the heat source between the hot coals. Close the lid to allow smoke to circulate for 10 minutes before opening it again to check if your cheese is done yet.

Try not to open more than necessary since too much air will give you an undesirable taste. Make sure you don’t overcook your cheese or it will be dry. Cheese should never be heated above 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius).

Smoked cheese should only be smoked one time if you want it to remain edible. Too many times will make the cheese inedible due to all of its moisture being sucked out. However, you can always tear off pieces of your cured cheese and smoke them for a smokier flavor.

Tips to smoke cheese using an oil smoker or an oven:

Another answer for How to smoke cheese? is using an oil smoker or an oven. To use an oil smoker, place 1/2 cup of soaked wood chips in the main chamber along with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil on low heat until hot, then turn up the heat until you get smoke coming out of the top vent hole.

Place your cheese on grate inside the smoker and close the door, cooking for about 10 minutes.

To use an oven, preheat your oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit (107 Celsius) and place the cheese on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is slightly bubbly and has a light smoky flavor.

No matter which way you choose to smoke your cheese, you will need to start by curing it. Cheese can be cured in different ways, but the most popular is using a salt brine.

Mix 2 tablespoons of salt with 1/2 cup of water and stir until the salt is dissolved. Place your cheese in a container or ziplock bag and pour the brine over it, making sure to submerge the cheese. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours, but 24 hours is better.

After the cheese has been cured, it’s time to add your smoke. You can use a smoker or an oven for this step. If you are using a smoker, soak your wood chips or pellets in water for 30 minutes before using them and place them in a smoker box or make a pouch from aluminum foil.

Poke holes in the top of the pouch so that smoke can escape. Place directly over the heat source between the hot coals and close the lid to allow smoke to circulate for 10 minutes before opening it again to check if your cheese is done yet.

If you are using an oven, preheat your oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit (107 Celsius). Place your cheese on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is slightly bubbled and has a light smoky flavor.

Smoked cheese should be eaten almost immediately because it doesn’t keep well.

How to Store Smoked Cheese?

Smoked cheese should be eaten almost immediately because it doesn’t keep well. If you have any leftover cheese, place it in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze smoked cheese for up to 2 months. If you do decide to freeze the cheese, thaw it before eating.

That’s all there is to it! Now you can enjoy your own smoked cheese at home. Experiment with different types of wood chips and cheeses to find your perfect combination. Get creative and add some smoked cheese to your favorite recipes or just eat it plain as a snack.

How to Freeze Smoked Cheese?

Smoked cheese can be frozen for up to 2 months, but if you plan on keeping it longer than that, it’s better to freeze the cheese without smoking it at all. To freeze your smoked cheese:

Place the whole, uncut block of cheese in a zip-top freezer bag and get as much air out as possible. Seal the bag and place in the freezer immediately, or label with date purchased and “smoked” so that you know not to eat it until after its been defrosted.

Freeze smoked cheeses within 3 days of purchase for best flavor. Once frozen, smoked cheeses will keep for up to 2 months.

Thaw frozen smoked cheese in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Recipes for Smoked Cheese:

Hot-Smoked Gouda recipe:

This recipe comes from The Cheese Lady, one of our favorite resources for cheese. This recipe is great if you want to experiment with how different woods affect the end flavor of your final product.

Cheese Lady recommends using a mixture of mesquite and hickory chips if you’re using a smoker as it brings out a sweet, nutty taste in the finished product.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound gouda cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions:

Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit (107 Celsius).

Soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes before using. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.

Place the cheese cubes in a large resealable bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and massage it to make sure all of the cheese is coated.

Thread the cheese cubes onto skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before using).

Place the skewers on the smoker grate and smoke for 10 minutes. Remove from the smoker and enjoy immediately.

Cold-Smoked Gouda recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound gouda cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions:

If you have access to an upright cold smoker, this recipe can be used to make Gouda or any other hard cheese that has a natural rind – like cheddar or Swiss.

The first step is to smoke at 60 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours with a mixture of applewood and hickory chips.

Next, increase the temperature inside the smoker slowly over time until it reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Continue smoking for another 14 hours at this temperature with the same mixture of chips until your cheese is covered in a nice smokey mold.

Smoked Cheddar recipe:

Cheddar is one of the cheeses that can be successfully smoked with an upright cold smoker, making it great to experiment with. This recipe uses cold-smoking methods and recommends using maple or chestnut wood, both solid choices for cheddar cheese.

Cheese Lady suggests cold-smoking cheddar at 55 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 hours before letting it rest in the fridge overnight to develop its smokey flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Place the cheese cubes in a large resealable bag and pour in the apple juice.

Seal the bag and massage it to make sure all of the cheese is coated.

Place the bagged cheese on a wire rack on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight.

This step can also be accomplished by placing your bagged cheese back in your smoker at 60 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours with a mixture of Applewood and hickory chips.

Then increase the temperature inside the smoker slowly over time until it reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Continue smoking for another 14 hours at this temperature with the same mixture of chips until your cheese is covered in a nice smokey mold.

Remove the cheese cubes from the smoker and enjoy immediately.

Adding Flavor:

If you’re getting tired of just plain old smoked cheese, there are plenty of ways to add extra flavors while you smoke! One option is to add herbs or spices to your smoker box – this will infuse the smoke with the flavors of your chosen herbs.

Alternatively, you can brine your cheese in a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices before smoking it. This adds an extra layer of flavor that can be really tasty – just make sure you rinse off all the excess salt before eating!

FAQ on How to smoke cheese?

FAQ on How to smoke cheese

How Long does Smoking Cheese take?

Again, how long you smoke your cheese depends on what type of smoker you are using. If you are smoking cheese in a smoker, the process will take approximately 2-3 hours. If you are using a grill or an oven, the process will likely only take about an hour and a half.

Can you smoke regular cheese??

While it is possible to smoke regular cheese, the process is a bit more difficult and the results are not always as good. If you’re looking to smoke some cheddar or Swiss, we recommend following one of the recipes listed above.

However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try smoking regular cheese by using a smoker box or an oven at a very low temperature (around 175 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s important to keep a close eye on your cheese while it’s smoking this way, as it can easily go from smoked to burnt!

How to smoke cheese with a smoke gun?

Smoking cheese with a smoke gun is very similar to smoking it in your oven or barbecue grill, but the results are even better! This technique allows you to adjust both the temperature and amount of smoke in order to get the perfect flavor.

Additionally, the setup for this method is fairly simple – all you need is an oven-safe tray, aluminum foil, and a smoke cartridge.

Smoke Gun Method:

First, preheat your oven to its lowest setting (around 175 degrees Fahrenheit). On an oven-safe tray covered with aluminum foil, place your cheese on top.

Cover the cheese completely with another piece of aluminum foil. Now place that tray into your oven and close the door!

Finally, insert one dose of smoke into your smoke gun and wait 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes have passed, turn on your smoke gun and start smoking your cheese!

What pellets for smoking cheese?

Wood pellets are an excellent choice for smoking cheese, as they give the cheese a unique flavor and don’t overpower it. Wood pellets made from oak or hickory are both solid choices – and can be purchased at most hardware stores. You can also experiment with different types of wood chips to see what flavors your cheese takes on best!

How long do you smoke gouda?

Smoking Gouda is very similar to cold-smoking other hard cheeses, but there’s one extra step that sets this recipe apart: after cold-smoking the cheese for 10 hours, pop it into your oven preheated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes before putting it back in your fridge overnight. This extra step will really deepen the flavor of your Gouda in our How to smoke cheese guide!

Does smoked cheese need to be refrigerated?

Yes, all types of smoked cheese need to be kept refrigerated. Smoked cheese is safe to eat until it has been opened, but once you open the package you should try and finish it within a week or two.

What kind of wood do I use for smoking?

There are many different types of wood chips that would make great substitutes for smoke – it’s up to you which one you want to try! You can purchase small bags of chips from most hardware stores, or you can even buy your favorite type online. Some good choices would be:

  • Applewood
  • Maple
  • Mesquite
  • Cherry
  • Alder
  • Hickory
  • Oak
  • Pecan
  • Walnut
  • Grapefruit

Can I mix flavors in my smoker?

Absolutely! When smoking soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert, feel free to mix and match different types of wood chips to create your perfect flavor profile. Experiment with different combinations until you find the right one for you!

Can you smoke cheese at 100 degrees??

Since all types of cheese are made with live cultures, it is not safe to smoke them at temperatures over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

This means that you can cold-smoke your cheese anywhere between 90 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit – but it’s important to note that the hotter the room, the faster your cheese will age.

Ideally, you want to smoke your cheese in a space where the temperature is right around 70 degrees Fahrenheit .

How do I keep my smoker clean?

Keeping your smoker clean depends on which type of smoker you’re using – whether it be an oven or grill, or a dedicated smoking device like a stovetop smoker or electric smoker. When following recipes for grilled or barbecued cheeses, make sure to let your grill or smoker cool completely before cleaning.

If you’re using a dedicated smoking device, make sure to cover the interior with aluminum foil before your first use – this will make cleanup much easier!

How long will smoked cheese last vacuum sealed?

If vacuum sealed, smoked cheese will last for up to 6 months in the fridge. Once you’ve opened the package, however, it should be consumed within a week or two.

How long does it take to smoke cheese in electric smoker?

The time it takes to smoke cheese in an electric smoker varies depending on the temperature you set your smoker to. Generally, the higher the temperature, the shorter the smoking time will be. For this recipe, we recommend smoking your cheese at a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

What are some good sides to serve with smoked cheese?

When serving smoked cheese, think outside the box and try pairing it with some unique sides! Some ideas include: fresh fruit, cured meats, jams and preserves, or crusty breads. Be creative and have fun with it – smoked cheese is a versatile appetizer that can pair well with almost anything!

Can you smoke blue cheese?

Of course! In fact, smoking blue cheese is even easier than other types of smoked cheese because it doesn’t need to be cold-smoked. Simply preheat your smoker to a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit and smoke your blue cheese for 20 minutes, or until you’ve reached the desired level of smokiness.

Does smoking cheese preserve it?

Smoking cheese does not preserve it, but it will help to keep it from going bad. The smoke will create a barrier that will help to prevent bacteria from growing on the surface of the cheese. This means that smoked cheese will last for a longer period of time than regular cheese – but it’s still important to eat it within a week or two of opening the package.

What is the shelf life of high temp cheese?

If smoked at a temperature of over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, cheese will only last for a few days. This is because the high temperatures will kill off any of the beneficial bacteria that help to make the cheese taste great. For this reason, we do not recommend smoking cheese at temperatures over 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Final Thoughts on How to smoke cheese:

Smoked cheese is one of my favorite kinds of cheese, and it’s easy to see why. It’s definitely worth trying if you’ve never had smoked gouda or brie before! Give it a try for yourself to see what kind of flavor your cheese takes on when creating this unique treat.

As a cheese connoisseur, you must have known the answer to “How to smoke cheese?” by now. Not only can smoking cheese save your boring bread, biscuits and cakes from being obsolete, it also gives them an appetizing look that they deserve. As a professional smoker or a home-based one, be sure to follow these steps so you can fully enjoy this awesome cheese-smoking activity!

Let us know what other kinds of cheeses you like to smoke in the comments below! Don’t forget that while smoked cheese can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks, all types of smoked cheese should only be eaten within 7 days after opening.

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