If you’ve ever tried smoked cheese, you know what a wonderful depth of flavor the smokiness can provide. While it may seem overwhelming to consider smoking your own cheese, it’s actually quite simple. Just be sure to keep the temperature of the grill very low so the cheese doesn’t melt during the process.
Now that we’ve revealed the secrets…let’s get to smoking some cheese!
- Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- Cowboy Smoking Wood Chips (wood species of your choice)
- Cheese of your choice, cut into blocks about 4″ x 4″ x 1″ (we’d suggest a hard cheese like Gouda, Cheddar, Colby or Muenster for your first time smoking)
- Wire baking rack
- Roasting pan
The night before, fill the roasting pan with water and place it in the freezer overnight. This will be used during the smoking process to keep the cheese cool.
- Start by soaking your bag of wood chips in water for about 30 minutes. Then drain them on a paper towel.
- While your chips are soaking, place 3-4 pieces of Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal on one side of your grill and light it (just enough to create smoke without raising the temperature of the smoker or grill too drastically).
- Once charcoal pieces have begun to ash over, add a handful or 2 of the soaked wood chips to the top of the ready charcoal (ensure the bottom grill vents are closed and the top vents are open).
- Replace the cooking grate on the grill and put the pan of frozen water on the side opposite the hot coals.
- Place the wire rack on top of the frozen water and place the cheese on the rack.
- Once the cheese is in place, put the lid on the grill. Position the lid vents directly above the cheese so that the smoke will flow around the cheese. You may have to add more charcoal or wood chips during the smoking process.
- 1-2 pounds of cheese should smoke for approximately 2 hours depending on the level of smokiness you’re trying to achieve. The finished cheese will have a slightly darker color. If your cheese hasn’t darkened, keep smoking.
- Resist the urge to eat the cheese as soon as it comes off the grill. The flavor will be very harsh. Instead, vacuum seal it (or put it in an zip top plastic bag) and let the cheese rest in the refrigerator for at least a week or two which will allow the smokiness to mellow.
If the wood chips stop producing smoke, you either need to…
a) open one of the bottom grill air vents to increase the airflow to the charcoal
b) add more charcoal to the fire
c) add more wood chips to the hot
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