Cold Smoking Cheese

Pregame Plan: You need cheese, 2 aluminum baking pans and ice. For this method I'm going to use we will be using a little bit of heat to effect the smoking process. Preheat smoker to 90-100 degrees F.

Step 1: Put your blocks of cheese in the freezer for 20-30 minutes while you're getting everything else ready. This will get them nice and cold to start the smoking process.

Step 2: Lay your cheese out on a baking rack after chilling in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Wood Selection: For stronger, bolder flavored cheeses you want to use a stronger smoke such as hickory or mesquite wood. For milder cheeses, I recommend pecan, apple, oak or cherry. This video I am using a 50/50 mix of pecan and apple wood.

Step 2: The smoker set up - I am using a slight amount of heat to bring out the fats in the cheese to marry the smoke flavor into the cheese. 90-100 degrees F will make the cheese "sweat" a little, but not to the point of melting. Take your baking rack with the cheese on it and put it on the top rack, furthest from the heat source . You can either set the rack on top of a 9x16in baking pan full of ice, or put the pan with the ice on the next rack down depending on the size of your smoker and how many racks you have. The next rack down closer to the heat source, take an empty 9x16in baking pan and place it open side down - this will help to deflect the heat from direct contact with the cheese.

Step 3: Let the cheese smoke for about 1 hour then check on it. If the cheese is melting down through the baking rack, it is getting too much heat. At the one hour mark you will refill the ice tray. You will notice at this point that the cheese is getting a slight tan colored tint to it and the edges are beginning to round. You will also see the cheese sweating a little bit.

Step 4: Let the cheese smoke for another hour or so. The easiest way to tell when the cheese is done is that the edges and corners have rounded and you will notice a distinct tan/brown smoked edge formed.

Step 5: Place the cheese in individual zip lock bags and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. Then it will be ready to slice and enjoy!

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