Cheese Smoking Questions

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Cheese Smoking Questions

Post  nomadicshock on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:24 am

I have now got my Excel 20 and my cold smoker so I am planning to smoke some cheese as soon as I get a chance, for some reason my work won't let me set-up in the office (just no pleasing some people!). Anyway a couple of questions I have in regards to using the Excel and the cold smoker.

Reading the forums I get the impression it is best to keep the cheese as cold as possible. So a couple of questions: -

1. Is it best to leave or remove the water bowl in the smoker?

2. If it is not essential to take the water bowl out is there any point to filling this with ice to keep the temperature even further down, or is this just a pointless exercise?

3. I am assume it is best to smoke smaller piece's of cheese so the smoke penetrates the cheese fully?

4. Does any actually do cheese making? wondering if anyone has tried smoking the milk prior to actually making the cheese and whether this worked? Although that is certainly one to try at a later date for me.

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Re: Cheese Smoking Questions

Post  Mack on Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:49 am

1. Is it best to leave or remove the water bowl in the smoker? I usually only leave it in (empty) if I'm smoking stuff that may drip... if you get drips onto the dust it goes out.

2. If it is not essential to take the water bowl out is there any point to filling this with ice to keep the temperature even further down, or is this just a pointless exercise? Smoke the cheese at night, in the UK the temp won't be above 28 deg C (as if... we're lucky if we get above 20 in the daytime). Cold Smoking is usually done at temps between 6 - 28 Deg C

3. I am assume it is best to smoke smaller piece's of cheese so the smoke penetrates the cheese fully? Yes, I usually cut it into blocks that are 2cm square and however long the cheese is.

4. Does any actually do cheese making? wondering if anyone has tried smoking the milk prior to actually making the cheese and whether this worked? Although that is certainly one to try at a later date for me. Nope, heard that's how they do it in the Netherlands, but that's mainly for commercial production. The main thing to remember is to let the cheese rest for at least a day after smoking, this lets it mellow a bit.
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Re: Cheese Smoking Questions

Post  nomadicshock on Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:19 am

Mack wrote: 4. Does any actually do cheese making? wondering if anyone has tried smoking the milk prior to actually making the cheese and whether this worked? Although that is certainly one to try at a later date for me. Nope, heard that's how they do it in the Netherlands, but that's mainly for commercial production. The main thing to remember is to let the cheese rest for at least a day after smoking, this lets it mellow a bit.

Thanks for the response Mack, I will try smoking the milk and making some cheese after I have got around my initial fascination with the Excel . . will start with some shop brought cheese to begin with, oh and will have to do some meats to go with that.

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Re: Cheese Smoking Questions

Post  Mack on Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:39 pm

Sounds good! Remember to post some pics.
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Re: Cheese Smoking Questions

Post  nomadicshock on Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:34 pm

Mack wrote:Sounds good! Remember to post some pics.

Well the first cheese smoke is off. Decided to try a number of different cheeses . . well might as make use of all that lovely smoke is the way I figured it. So we have . . .

Mature Cheddar


Mature Cheddar by Justin Bloom, on Flickr

Edam


Edam by Justin Bloom, on Flickr

Mild Cheddar


Mild Cheddar by Justin Bloom, on Flickr

Wensleydale


Wensleydale with Cranberries by Justin Bloom, on Flickr

White Stilton with Apricots


White Stilton with Apricots by Justin Bloom, on Flickr

So got the CSG started by putting the supplied tealight underneath . . perhaps the pack of 50 I brought earlier today was a bit overkill but I guess I will have to do a lot of cold smokes to use them all lol


Getting the Cold Smoke Generator started by Justin Bloom, on Flickr

Got a nice little smoulder going


The ProQ Cold Smoke Generator by Justin Bloom, on Flickr

When loaded up the cheese on to the ProQ spread across two racks to see whether it made much difference to the taste of the cheese depending on the level the cheese was smoked.


Various cheeses ready for smoking by Justin Bloom, on Flickr


Various cheeses ready for smoking by Justin Bloom, on Flickr

and finally the lid is placed on and the smoking begins in full . . .


ProQ Excel 20 set-up and working by Justin Bloom, on Flickr

This time I will try to remember and take some pictures when it has finished. Planning on leaving the cheese for two hours for this initial attempt.

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