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1.) DParker - 01/04/2019
OK, it was me. After bluecat's advice I decided to conduct a little experiment in cold-smoking cheese. I put enough apple wood chunks in my Smoke Daddy to fill it about half-full, fired it up and set the air pump to full-blast to really get things going.

(Full size: [url]https://i.imgur.com/1MkP5C1.jpg[/url])


Then I took the 6 blocks of different cheeses I bought, cut each one in half and arranged them on a single rack...

(Full size: [url]https://i.imgur.com/KCwNd5q.jpg[/url])

...and into the smoker they went. At this point the wood chunks were smoldering well so I dialed the air pump down to it's lowest setting so that it eventually settled down to a nice thin blue smoke.

(Full size: [url]https://i.imgur.com/sRsGzZe.jpg[/url])

After 2 hours I pulled the 6 half-blocks on the left, vacuum-packed them, labeled them and tossed them in the fridge.

(Full size: [url]https://i.imgur.com/Dnv4322.jpg[/url])

(Yes, I know I wrote "2018" at the top of the package. That's a mistake I'll continue to make for at least the next couple of weeks.) The remaining 6 half-blocks were left in for another 2 hours, for 4 total hours of smoke. Then they were given the same treatment. After 2 days of mellowing I'll pull the 2 hour blocks out and give them a taste. If they're still harsh at all they'll go back in the fridge for a few more days at least. If not, I'll taste the 4 hour blocks and make the same judgement call. So...we'll see what happens Sunday after my son and I get back from our last attempt to bag a deer this season.
2.) bluecat - 01/06/2019
So what temperature are you smoking?
3.) DParker - 01/06/2019
[QUOTE=bluecat;57602]So what temperature are you smoking?[/QUOTE]

I used an external cold smoke generator and the smoker sits in the shade, so the temp inside the smoker never rose by more than 10F above the ambient air...which was between 54F and 58F for the duration.
4.) bluecat - 01/06/2019
I knew you were cold smoking just wasn't sure how much temp was increasing if at all. I have to do mine around freezing just to make sure cheese doesn't get too warm.
5.) DParker - 01/06/2019
I had that problem when I tried smoking some cheddar curds using my pellet tube without the smoker burner lit at all. The tube generates enough heat on its own to reduce cheese to gooey puddles. But having the smoke generated externally in conjunction with keeping all the smoker vents opened prevented any appreciable heating at all. The next cold weekend I think I'm going to try it out on some salmon.
6.) bluecat - 01/07/2019
7.) DParker - 01/07/2019
So you're telling me that I'm smoking it wrong?
8.) bluecat - 01/15/2019
Did you ever eat your cheese?
9.) Swamp Fox - 01/15/2019
"It's not for eatin' ... It's just for lookin' through ..."

10.) bluecat - 01/15/2019
Must still be deer hunting.
11.) DParker - 01/15/2019
[QUOTE=bluecat;57665]Did you ever eat your cheese?[/QUOTE]

Oh, yeah...I forgot. So I didn't go with the 2-days-after-smoking taste test, but waited 1 whole week instead. I opted for that because the smell from even the 2-hour smoked batch (which didn't seal properly, and was letting odor escape until I put it in a zip-loc baggie) was still pretty intense after 48 hours. So this past Saturday I opened both vac-packs and the wife and I tried a small sample from just the Swiss block from each (because Swiss was one of the mildest varieties, and I figured if it wasn't overpowered by smoke then they'd all be OK). We both agreed that the 4-hour version could still use some more time, but that the 2-hour one would be OK to eat now (and was quite good). But we're still giving both one more week just to see what happens.
12.) bluecat - 01/15/2019
Thanks, I just happened across a pamphlet I'd squirreled away some time ago regarding smoking times for various cuts of meat. They listed cheese as 30 minutes.

I'd also be interested in what cheeses you liked smoked. I like mild cheese but found the smoke sort of dominated the subtle flavors. So I've kind of settled with cheddar as it seems to take the smoke as a compliment whereas the Havarti, Swiss didn't.

It would be a good experiment to try those cheeses again but this time just smoke an hour or less.
13.) DParker - 01/15/2019
[QUOTE=bluecat;57669]I'd also be interested in what cheeses you liked smoked.[/QUOTE]

Well, I like the 2-hour Swiss so far. And smoked Gouda has always been popular in my house, so I'm sure we'll like that. I'm least sure about the Mozzarella, for the same reason you mentioned (I'm concerned the smoke will obliterate the flavor). But, we'll see.
14.) DParker - 01/15/2019
So long as we're talking food, I need to vent.


Even ignoring the beans...bell pepper, cabbage, orange juice and BBQ sauce?! But he put 1 tsp of chili powder in his pot of random-ingredient soup, so that magically makes it "chili", right? My star-spangled ass! Here, look at this spaghetti I made. Yeah, it's instant ramen noodles covered in V8 Juice, but that's [I]my[/I] spaghetti recipe!

And I've been wanting to experiment with using the pressure cooker for chili, so sat up last night scouring YouTube to see if anyone had pressure cooked anything even remotely resembling actual chili, just to get an idea about how much time it took.

The results? Nothing but weapons-grade failure. Vegan "chili". Quinoa "chili". Pretty-much-nothing-but-bean-soup "chili". Frank Tolbert and Wick Fowler are both spinning in their graves like the props on a P-38 over Berlin.
15.) Swamp Fox - 01/15/2019
"Beans belong in chili."

----Change my mind.

16.) bluecat - 01/15/2019
That's a collection of craziness. Orange Juice, brown sugar, brats?
17.) Swamp Fox - 01/15/2019
Let me guess: He's from Cincinnati.
18.) DParker - 01/15/2019
[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;57674]Let me guess: He's from Cincinnati.[/QUOTE]

No cinnamon and he didn't boil any hamburger, so I'm going with no. And the beans were the least of his transgressions.
19.) Swamp Fox - 01/15/2019
Close to Philadelphia, but on the Ohio side of things?
20.) DParker - 01/15/2019
[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;57672]"Beans belong in chili."[/QUOTE]

21.) DParker - 01/17/2019
I tried all of the 2-hour cheeses tonight. I had 1 small piece of each by itself and found that all were just slightly overwhelmed by the smoke. But then I had more of each on some good old-fashioned Ritz crackers and found that, surprisingly, that seemed to make the cheese stand out a little more. I'm guessing that had something to do with the salt. Either that or it was just my imagination. But either way, I like it.
22.) bluecat - 01/17/2019
Grilled cheese sandwiches using smoked cheese is out of this world.
23.) bluecat - 01/17/2019
Next time I may just do an hour.
24.) DParker - 01/17/2019
[QUOTE=bluecat;57684]Next time I may just do an hour.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I think I'm going to try that as well. Even on the lowest air pump setting that cold smoker puts out a really good amount of smoke.
25.) Swamp Fox - 01/20/2019
We may have reached a new low.

When you don't have the sense God gave you to cut your own cheese:

26.) bluecat - 01/21/2019
It's better than sliced bread...
27.) bluecat - 01/21/2019
Cheese shouldn't be pre-sliced, it should come out of an aerosol can.
28.) DParker - 01/21/2019
[QUOTE=bluecat;57694]Cheese shouldn't be pre-sliced, it should come out of an aerosol can.[/QUOTE]

29.) Swamp Fox - 04/14/2020
Bumping this up as a classic.

We should have a special forum where we archive classic threads.

Oh, wait ... That's BowCountry I, II and III, plus HC One and Two... LOL
30.) bluecat - 04/14/2020
Blessed are the cheesemakers.
31.) bluecat - 04/14/2020
When the Kung Flu runs it's coarse, I want to get back to the way things used to be - constant hijacking, arguments about beans in chili and haikus. Those were the good ol' days.
32.) Swamp Fox - 04/14/2020
:-) ....