Smoked cheese is extra flavorful compared to store-bought cheese.
Smoke cheeses are typically available in specialty or high-end storesMaking your own smoked cheese lets you enjoy this favorite pasta booster and snack without spending too much.
TIP: select your favorite cheese variety or varieties. If possible, select hard cheeses for smoking as soft variety tend to absorb more smoke. It is also additional work to keep soft cheeses from falling through the grill grates.
What you need:
- Outdoor grill or smoker
- Tube smoker
- Wood varieties
- Bricks of your favorite cheese varieties
- Vacuum sealer
- Untreated butcher paper or parchment paper
- Freezer bag
- Heat gun
** It is best to smoke cheese during cool days or if not, then make sure the temperature in your griller is and will stay below 90 degrees F.
- First, fill your tube smoker with wood pellets according to your liking. Pecan, apple, cherry, or maple, whatever you fancy.
- Set up the tube smoker inside your smoker and fire it up using the heat gun until wood pellets flame.
- Carefully arrange your cheese blocks on a wire rack or the grates of your grill. Make sure to put the cheese bricks not too close to each other to allow air to flow around each cheese.
- Close the lid and allow the wood pellets to do the magic for 2 hours.
- Re-open the lid and flip the cheese over. Close the lid and continue smoking for an hour. But if you prefer a lightly smoked cheese, you can do the process for 1 hour; 30 minutes on each side.
- Once done, remove your smoked cheese from the grill. Wrap it in butcher paper or parchment paper. Let it sit in your fridge for at least 24-48 hours.
- After 24-48 hours, remove the parchment paper and vacuum seal your smoked cheese. But if a vacuum sealer is not available, you can simply use a freezer bag. Submerge the freezer bag in the water leaving the seal above the water. Be careful not to let any water get into the bag. Put the smoked cheeses in the bag and seal it.
- Put your sealed smoked cheeses in the fridge for 14 days or 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, you can start using your smoky, flavorful cheese for your pasta dishes, sandwiches, cheeseburgers, and more.
How to smoke cheese without melting it
What you need:
- Charcoal grill or smoker
- Your choice of cheese (s)
- Smoking chips
- Choose the type of cheese you want to smoke. Cut it into rectangular or small square blocks. Small blocks of cheese will absorb a great amount of smoke compared to bigger or larger blocks.
- Add your smoking chunks to your grill and keep an eye on the temperature not to exceed more than 90 degrees
- Once the recommended temperature is attained, carefully line the cheese blocks on the grill grate.
- Keep the charcoal damper about 3 quarters close to control the airflow and help control the temperature.
- Leave the cheese blocks in the grill for one to two hours. The longer cheese to smoke, the more flavorful it will be.
- Once done, you can consume your smoked cheese blocks immediately or you can keep it in the fridge for 2 weeks. Put the smoked cheese(s) in an airtight bag or container.
How to smoke cheese without smoking tubes or pellet grills
- Cheese blocks
- Aluminum pan
- Smoking chips
- Choose your cheese(s) and put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before smoking
- Select your smoking chips of any flavor you like and then soak it in water for 45 minutes.
- Get a tin plate or a small pan with lump charcoal.
- Place the pan on the opposite side of the grill.
- Heat the charcoal and add some smoking chunks or the soaked smoking chips on the lump charcoal.
- Using a disposable aluminum pan, fill it with ice and place a wire rack over it. Carefully line the cheese chunks on top. Then, stack the aluminum pan with ice over another aluminum pan for added height, circulation, and making sure the cheese blocks are away from the heat.
- Close the smoker and let the cheese smoke for an hour. Re-open the smoker after 60 minutes to flip the cheese(s) over, and to check if there is a need to add ice on the tray and more smoking chips or chunks. Generally, a soft variety of cheese takes about 2 hours to smoke while hard cheeses will smoke around 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Close the smoker and check on the cheese every 30 to 45 minutes. Add more ice or smoking chips when needed.
- Let it cool on the grill grate; place smoked cheese(s) in a freezer bag and put it a chiller. Then, let it sit on the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight before eating or adding it to your favorite dishes.
- But if you want your cheese to be more flavorful and smoky, you can leave it on the fridge longer for more smoked taste.
Making your own smoked mozzarella, Pepper Jack, or cheddar can now be done at home without the fancy equipment. Enjoy!