New Techniques: Cold Smoked Cheese

Cold Smoked Cheddar

During my recent attendance at BBQ School we learnt a number of new techniques.  I figured it was time to give some a shot and decided to try cold smoking.

Cold smoking is a technique where you apply smoke to food without heating it so that it gets that delicious smoke flavour but is not actually cooked.  In the class we used it to make smoked salmon but it is also often used for bacon, salami and cheese.

I thought I would start with cheese as it’s the cheapest and least complicated, plus cheese rules everything around me.


Marge: Have you been up all night eating cheese?
Homer: I think I’m blind.

There are a number of ways you can cold smoke foods and lots of different gadgets available.  I want to keep it simple to begin with and used the same method learnt in BBQ School.

IMG_0025To begin with you will need smoking chips or pellets to provide the smoke flavour.  I ordered a number of pellets from Aussie BBQ Smoke, a Victoria based manufacturer of all things smoking – and I have to say they made it across the Nullabor bloody quick!

There’s a whole variety of vehicles for smoking pellets available on the internet but again, I wanted to keep it simple.  I decided I would finally get hip and ‘on-trend’ and buy a mini deep fryer basket to hold the pellets for my cook.   They only cost about $10 if you can find somewhere stocking them that hasn’t been visited by every single restaurant in Perth.

Load up your basket with pellets – I went with the ‘Big Red’ from Aussie BBQ Smoke which is 1/3 red gum 1/3 red box (Julia Gillard?) and 1/3 tea tree.

IMG_0027

Light up the top of the basket with a blow torch, you don’t want a raging fire, you just want it to smoulder away slowly to create lasting smoke.

As it was a warm day I also put some trays of ice in the BBQ to keep the temperature down.

IMG_0028

 

The smell of the big red pellets was amazing, it was like a delicious bush fire in my backyard.

I put the cheese in and smoked it for around 3 hours.  I do need to work on vent control or perhaps light the pellets less next time as the temperature did start to run up a bit at one point but overall it worked fairly well.

Cold smoke flavours develop over time – I’m now eating the cheese two days later and it’s delicious, but I’ve got a couple of blocks vacuum sealed for a week or two and I think that’s going to take it to the next level.

Cold Smoked Cheddar

There will be more cold smoking experiments to come – next on the agenda is double smoked bacon which went in to a brine yesterday!

Let me know if you’ve done any cold smoking and if you have any tips or recipes!

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10 Responses to New Techniques: Cold Smoked Cheese

  1. I have seen other posts about smoking cheese. I want my husband to do this! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Bill says:

    Gus, I run my cold smoking during the winter as it is easier for me to keep my pit around 90-110 F. I just put my wood in the chute with my charcoal and I use chips instead. Your cheese is looking good. Did you let it sit wrapped up for a few days? The longer you let it sit, the better it gets.

    • haha yeah starting to learn cold smoking at the start of Australian summer may not have been the best tactic

      I’ve been eating some over the last few days but i vacuum sealed a few blocks as i’ve heard it gets better – looking forward to trying it this weekend!

      thanks for stopping by

  3. johneffcee says:

    Hi Gus, I have a cold smoker hanging of the back of my Hark hot smoker. I am hot smoking a ham right now! The cold smoker is a treat – easy as to use. I hot smoked tome salmon yesterday using the cold smoker to supply the smoke (beech) and the hot smoke to provide the heat. I did this for two reasons. 1. I have a bit more control over the smoke from the cold smoker and 2. Because I can!

    Please cold smoke a piece of salmon soon and post your method and results Gus. And I will NEVER buy bacon again. Never.

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