Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Appetizers / Smoked Cheese

Real Smoked Cheese is a great treat to have around the house during the holidays. It is very easy to prepare and is wonderful with crackers and any smoked meat.

For this smoke, I used the following cheeses.

3.99 lb of Alpenhaus Switzerland Swiss Cheese (one of our favorites)

2.10 lb of Members Mark Sharp Cheddar

1.82 lbs of Dutch Gouda Cheese

1.23 lb Black Diamond 6 yr aged Cheddar Cheese

1.66 lb of Great Midwest 3 Alarm Colby Jack with Chipotle, Habenero, & Jalapeno

I cut the blocks of cheese into the smaller chunks like you see in the picture. The smoke doesn't penetrate the cheese but only builds up on the outside of the blocks and to keep the smoke equal in the pieces, it is better to keep the blocks no more than about 1 to 1-1/2" in diameter for the best results. This is also cracker size and will be perfect for this treat.

I got the Backwoods Chubby out for this smoke. I will run no water in the pan for this very low temp smoke. Placed about 10 Rancher Brickettes in the chimney and lit it off.

As soon as I had the coals all ashed over and grey, I place 6 brickettes in my pie pan and then laid a couple of chunks of fruitwood on top of the brickettes and placed it into the firebox of the cooker.

I loaded the cooker with the grids of cheese and closed it up. I must keep the temp inside the cooker to under 80 degrees for this smoke and with the cold morning of about 18 degrees, this won't be a problem with this cook. No heat is needed for smoking cheese but only the smoke for great results. In the Summer, I would have filled the waterpan with ice for the cook.

I let it smoke for 60 minutes and then pulled one log off to sample for the smoke. I cut the first piece off of the log and SET IT ASIDE!! I then cut the second slice off of the log and tasted it for smoke and found that it needed some more smoking. I then placed the log back into the smoker. I didn't taste the first slice off the log as it has way to much surface area (end piece) and would have given me a false reading.

I checked another piece at 90 minutes into the cook and it was perfect. Had a nice light smoke flavor and was good.

I pulled the cheese off of the cooker and shut it down.

I then vacuumed sealed the blocks in their bags. They will need to age about a week in the fridge as this brings out more flavor in the smoked cheese.

This will go over great with my Jerky and all I need now is the Pig Candy and it is up next.

1 comment:

  1. Great job on the cheese. You passed along a great tip about the end piece of cheese.

    I've already used most of ours that we made for ourselves just a few weeks ago.