Follow this cold smoking technique and smoke any cheese at home, to win the hearts of even your most picky guests… Swiss cheese, cheddar, pepper jack, this is how to smoke any cheese at home!
How To Smoke Any Cheese At Home
Basics of Cold Smoking
Let’s start with the basics because cold smoking is the process of cooking on a smoker at lower temperatures (usually below 100ºF). This way, the food will absorb all the smoky flavor, without actually cooking.
In order to achieve this, very little fuel (pellets or charcoal) is used, combined with a large distance between the heat source and food. Additionally, cold smoking is usually done outside on a cold day to keep ambient temperature down. If it’s snowing, even better!
Be sure to use a high quality and reliable smoking thermometer so that you can accurately monitor the temperature inside your smoker. You’ll especially want one of these when you’re smoking cheese at this low of a temperature because without it, your heat can quickly get out of control and melt your entire batch of cheese.
Cold Smoke Any Cheese Setup
Next, you’re going to move on to your cold smoking set up. We’re covering this because you’ll find there are many smoker and grill accessories out there to help you achieve these low temperatures. But, this guide will focus on using a simple cold smoke tray you can buy almost everywhere, or even build yourself.
To set this up, place the smoke tray on the bottom of your pit. You’ll only need to load about 1/3rd of it with pellets, since the cook won’t be that long.
Next, you can use any wood but I like to use cherry or some other variety of fruit wood for a mild sweet kiss of smoke. Finally, use a fire starter at one end to get the pellets burning, then blow out the flame.
Once the pellets have started smoking, it’s time to bring on the cheese. Position the cheese blocks as far away from the heat source as possible. If you are using a kettle smoker, consider using an extra rack to lift the cheese closer to the top vent.
Cold Smoking Ventilation And Airflow
Next, open up the bottom vent all the way. Start with the top vent open all the way too, then start closing while simultaneously monitoring temperature to ensure it does not rise above 90ºF.
Ideally, you want to stay in the 70ºF range throughout the cook because any higher and you’ll melt your cheese. You’ll want to smoke your cheese for 3 hours.
Then, when the cheese is ready, let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Finally, wrap tightly with saran wrap or you can use a vacuum sealer to make it air tight, then place it in the fridge for anywhere from 48 hours to 2 weeks. This will strengthen the smoky flavor in the cheese.