Introduction: Simply Sinful Smoked Cheddar

Picture of Simply Sinful Smoked Cheddar

Whether you are entertaining, need something unique and easy to bring to a party or you just like cheese, this is the Instructable for you! Every time I make this I get repeated requests for more and you will too.

Step 1: Gather the Items You Will Need:

Picture of Gather the Items You Will Need:
  1. A grill or container
    • Gas or Charcoal - it doesn't matter as long as the cheese can be placed away from the smoke source and the smoke can vent out of the grill.
  2. Cheese
    • In this example I am using Vermont Cabot Cheddar.
    • Standard sharp or extra sharp cheeses tend to turn out better than the more expensive cheeses.
    • Try experimenting with fresh mozzarella and or Gouda
  3. A-Maz-N Pellet Tube Smoker
    • This beauty is the key to greatness. The 12" tube fits most types of grills and provides about 4 hours of continuous smoke when full.
  4. Wood Cooking Pellets
    • For this example I am using the Traeger Gourmet Mix that I picked up this spring from a wholesale club warehouse store. Apple, Cherry and Maple are also excellent choices I have used in the past for smoking.
  5. A propane torch or lighter
    • Any torch or lighter will do although I am partial to the Bernzomatic.
  6. Tin foil or Formaticum Cheese Paper
    • I didn't have any of the special cheese paper for this demonstration so I just used tin foil. Wax or parchment paper would probably work too.
  7. Zip lock bags
    • Any size will do as long as your cheese block fits in it.

Step 2: CAUTION - CUIDADO - CAUTION

Picture of CAUTION - CUIDADO - CAUTION

You have been warned.

Step 3: Fill the Smoking Tube With Pellets

Picture of Fill the Smoking Tube With Pellets

Fill the smoking tube with wood pellets to the position indicated in the picture.

Step 4: Prepare the Cheese

Picture of Prepare the Cheese

I purchased two - 2lbs pound blocks of Vermont Cabot cheese for this Instructable. I then quartered the cheese so the smoke can permeate the cheese better. You can also just use a standard block of cheese from the grocery store without having to cut it.

Note: I would stay away from specialty flavored cheeses as they tend to taste poorly with the smoke flavor. I have also used fresh mozzarella and Gouda with positive results.

Step 5: Light 'em Up

Picture of Light 'em Up

IMPORTANT: Grill temperature must remain below 90°F throughout the entire smoking process in order to avoid melting the cheese.

(melted cheese == bad)

  • Start by lighting the wood pellets with the torch as indicated. (Please seek adult supervision for this step)
  • Let the pellets burn for about 2 - 4 minutes or so.
  • Blow out the fire and the pellets will now start to smoke.
  • Place the tube near the rear of the grill under the main cooking grates. If you are using a gas grill I would place it on one end of the grill (right or left side)

Pro Tips:

  1. Start this process when the ambient temperature outside is below 60

    °F

  2. Place the grill in the shade or start smoking after dark to keep the temperature in the grill lower
  3. Place a bowl or tray of ice on the lower rack below the cheese to help keep the temperature in the grill below

    90°F when smoking in warmer weather.


Step 6: Smok'n Time

Picture of Smok'n Time

Place the cheese near the front of the charcoal grill. Note the spacing between the cheese so the smoke can swirl around the cheese. Close the grill cover and ensure the smoke is venting properly.

  • For charcoal grills ensure that the lower vent and upper vent are wide open in order for the smoke to vent out.
  • For a gas grill place the cheese on the opposite side where you placed the smoking tube. You will have to prop open the grill cover slightly, about an inch or two, to allow the smoke to escape if you do not have a vent on top.

IMPORTANT: Ensure that the smoke is venting properly. If the smoke does not vent properly then the smoke becomes stale and can give your cheese a creosote taste.

Now we wait. It takes about 4 hours to burn through the entire tube.

Pro Tips:

  1. When using a fruity or lighter wood like cherry, apple or maple 4 hours is a good amount of time. If you are using mesquite or hickory then you may want to decrease this time by half by putting in half as many pellets in the tube.

Step 7: Individually Wrap Cheese and Place in Ziplock Bag

Picture of Individually Wrap Cheese and Place in Ziplock Bag

When the smoking tube has exhausted the pellets and no more smoke is coming out of the grill the cheese is done. The cheese will have a slightly yellow / deep orange color around the entire block of cheese.

Next tear off enough tin foil to completely wrap your cheese. If you have Formaticum Cheese Paper then you can use this. In my case I used about 14" of tin foil per block.

Once wrapped you can place wrapped blocks individually or together in Ziplock bag(s). The cheese will have a strong smokey smell so this is a must.

Lastly place the cheese in a refrigerator and wait at least a week before consumption. The smoke will continue to penetrate the cheese giving it a deeper, richer and smokier taste.


Pro Tips:

  • I would suggest that you place the cheese in a separate refrigerator if you have one. (aka - beer fridge)

Comments

Boss sauce (author)2016-11-24

would a regular smoker also work?

rustybender (author)Boss sauce2017-01-12

I smoke cheese with my Traeger smoker regularly. If you use a smoker, I would recommend cutting back the smoke time as a smoker puts out a lot more smoke than a smoke tube. If you go too long, the smoke flavor can overpower the cheese flavor. Also, soft cheese ten to absorb faster. When I do Cheddar, I leave it in for an hour to an hour and a half. For mozzarella I only leave it in for about 40 minutes.

Buck_802 (author)Boss sauce2016-11-24

Yes a regular smoker would work as well. Just ensure oxygen gets to the pellets and the smoke has a way to vent.

JadieT (author)2016-11-28

If you don't have a pellet tube, a cheap soldering iron inserted into a tin can full of soaked wood chips (or pellets) will provide smoke although you'll likely have to reload the can a time or two.

rbeech1 (author)2016-11-24

Can't wait to try this...Unfortunately I live in FLORIDA!!

Buck_802 (author)rbeech12016-11-24

I would try the ice cube trick as stated in the Instructable and if you do here's an added benefit.... In the past I used a couple glass bowls full if ice in the grill to keep the temp down as well as placed it in the shade. While the ice is melting it is also absorbing the smoke. When you are done take the water and pour it into ice cube trays and refreeze. The smokey ice cubes give your mixed drinks, cocktails, whiskey or scotch a new twist. Try it! You won't be disappointed.

Oh and be sure to use a different refrigerator as the smoke smell may be overwhelming :)

sl0j0n (author)rbeech12016-11-24

OK, here's an idea; Look into an electric smoker, like the Luhr Jensen "Little Chief" electric smoker; When dad & I smoked salmon, we found that it didn't get that hot, at least at the top. Should work for you in the shade.

friger (author)2016-11-24

I've done this many times and you absolutely nailed it! And you are right about the beer fridge. Like you I wrap and store the blocks for about a week (I use parchment paper) then vacuum seal each block for longer term storage. I just opened a package that is over a year old and it was fantastic.

Well done on your ible!

scott f (author)2016-11-24

Our favorite smoked cheeses are Swiss and Pepper Jack, although Cheddars and American are also quite good. I would recommend you move the cheese around every hour or so to get and even coating. We also vacuum seal each block individually, it keeps for years in the freezer.

wold630 (author)2016-11-23

I had no idea! I love this and have to try it!!

tomatoskins (author)2016-11-22

Oh my! This looks amazing! Congratulations on a great first instructalbe! You should enter it into the first time authors contest.

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