Friday, April 27, 2012

Smoked Cheddar & Provolone

I have wanted to smoke cheese every since I got my pellet smoker over 2 years ago. I almost bought a small charcoal smoker I could hook a dryer hose too and use my Traeger for the smoke source. Then on pelletheads I started to read about the Smoke Daddy. I just about ordered one until I seen a video demo & there were sparks falling from it. That was out since my smoker is on a wood deck.

I recently got a Smok’n Spice RSI, Reusable Smoke Infuser, for adding smoked spices. It worked good with the spice pellets so I experimented with wood pellets & was able to get over an hour smoke from it. I also tried some apple wood chips, they didn’t do as well as the pellets.

After reading up on smoking cheese on the net and all I could find posted from my fellow pelletheads; I felt I was ready to do some cheese. I had bought a brick of Cabot aged Vermont sharp cheddar and a brick of Auricchio aged sharp provolone, two lbs each.

I would only smoke half the cheese, in case I ruined it! I cut each brick in half & some samplers from each one. My plan was to do the provolone for one hour & the cheddar for two hours; based upon what I read. Some said theirs was too acrid & strong tasting right out of the smoker but most said it mellowed out after aging.

I loaded the RSI unit with half 100% Hickory pellets and the rest with apple wood chips. I got it smoking good & put my cheese on. Ambient temp. was 56 deg. I monitored the smoker temp. it never got over 70 deg. I tasted both cheeses at 1 hour, 1 ½ hours, 2 hours, and 2 ½ hours. The RSI was about out at 1 ½ hours, with tongs & a fork I was able to get the lid off, filled with hickory pellets, and relit.

During the tasting it never did taste too strong to me so I ended up doing both cheeses for 3 hours. I didn’t have a brown color I was expecting but had a nice gold hue to them. The samplers tasted great. I think the provolone was better than the cheddar, had a sweet smoky nut taste to it. My daughter-in-law tasted it & thought it was good. I vacuum packed the cheese & in the fridge to age for one month.

I guess you will have to tune in next month for the real results! Thanks to many pelletheads for your posts on smoking cheese!

The Cheese

Ready to Smoke

The Smoke

The Smoke at 1/2 Hour

After 3 hours on Smoke

Ready to Vacuum Pack

Ready to Age

Smokin Don

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