Do you want to smoke cheese at home and are new to the subject? I can totally understand why you typed how to smoke cheese in an electric smoker. Also, I know that it does demand a certain level of knowledge to put cheese in the smoker.
However, I am very optimistic that you can convert yourself into a pro after you reach the conclusion of this article, as I’m bringing you everything in between regarding smoking cream cheese. Let’s get started without wasting more words.
Can You Put Cheese in a Smoker?
Yes, you can put cheese in a smoker, and the purpose of this article is to let you know how to smoke cheese in electric smoker, which we will cover in a bit. The most important part of smoking cheese is knowing its low melting point and manipulating the smoking process accordingly.
There are more mandatory steps associated before putting cheese in an electric smoker. Else, obtaining the best-smoked cheeses would be challenging. Don’t miss anything of this article if you are planning to try it for the first time.
What is The Best Cheese for Smoking in an Electric Smoker?
Experts and my experience confirm that it is possible to smoke all sorts of cheese. Anyway, mozzarella and Gouda are the most popular variants, particularly when it comes to store-bought types of smoked cheese.
In addition, I have tried cheddar, pepper jack, and Swiss cheese with great results, and it has to be the same for you as far as you know how to smoke cheese in an electric smoker.
The harder the cheese is, the easier it gets when smoking.
How to Choose the Right Cheese for Smoking?
Whatever the cheese you opt for the job, it has to be adequately hard in order to get the best results. If you happen to choose soft cheese types, it will absorb more smoke into cheese, which is something you don’t want to let happen as excessive smoke in cheese will change the overall taste of the finished product.
Moreover, the hardness of the cheese you choose has another advantage. That is, if the cheese is not hard enough, you will find it difficult to keep it on the grill. The softness will increase the chances of falling through the grates.
That is why you should try to pick the cheese varieties I have recommended, as most of them are hard enough to take the beating of a hot grill. Also, these cheeses are not skyscrapers in terms of price, and they are relatively cheaper than most, especially when bought in larger blocks.
If you are a rookie who is new to hot smoking cheese, it would be better if you keep everything on the safe side; price is definitely one valid consideration.
Of course, when you grow the confidence along the way and want more flavorful outputs, you can test with expensive cheese products.
How to Smoke Cheese In an Electric Smoker – Step By Step Process
How do I smoke cheese? Here is my step-by-step guide on how to smoke cheese in an electric smoker. Let’s get started.
Let’s start the process by cutting the cheese into smaller blocks. Now, there is a grey area when it comes to the size of the cheese blocks. One would think it is better to go with relatively larger pieces, but according to my perspective, the bigger the sizes are, the more time it will take to smoke and absorb the smoke.
The ideal thickness should be around an inch and around five inches wide.
The second step is to allow the cheese pieces at room temperature. When kept at room temperature, the cheese will start to form a tiny layer within a couple of hours. This is important to prevent the premature melting of the cheese.
That said, you shouldn’t be keeping cheese for more than a couple of hours at room temperature.
Now, place the cheese blocks on the top rack of your electric smoker. If you feel cheese is vulnerable to melting prematurely, you can use a cheese smoker box or a foil boat to place the cheese.
However, by doing so, you are kind of making a barrier between smoke and cheese. So, I would recommend you to stand up the cheese pieces to allow more smoke on them.
In addition, keep in mind to allow about a space of inch between cheese blocks for better smoke circulation on all cheese blocks.
Even though I mention this as the fourth step, it is always crucial to choose the best kind of wood to smoke cheese. I will explain the best wood types later in the article; until then, bear in mind that you need to have top-grade wood for the job.
The process of smoking cheese may vary depending on the type of electric smoker you own, and you have to be vigilant about the amount of heat in the smoker. So, depending on the smoker, you may have to use an ice tray to control the inner heat.
If you want to place an ice tray in your smoker, the best possible position would be on the lowest tray of the smoker.
Now you are good to go with smoking. Once you turn on the smoker, it would be ideal if you eye a temperature level of 225°F. However, the temperature you set really has not that much significance since you only want the smoke. That said, make sure not to leave the smoker on for more than 20 minutes as it will create unwanted problems.
After you turn the smoker down, let everything be at least one hour. During this time period, the cheese blocks will absorb the Smokey cheese flavor. The smoky flavor is personal, and you can play with it by using different types of wood, smoker, and more smoke cycles.
How Long To Smoke Cheese in Electric Smoker?
As I mentioned previously, usually, it would be enough to smoke for around one hour. Still, the time can fluctuate depending on various factors. The type of smoker you use, the flavor you want, and the preferred choice of cheese are some of the prominent factors that decide the smoking time.
However, it is imperative to keep a close eye on the process; otherwise, you would be searching for terms like “smoked cheese too strong” on the internet.
In addition, I strongly advise you not to run behind an amazing smoker for cold smoking cheese; instead, concentrate on the process.
How Long To Let Smoked Cheese Rest?
Rest time is as important as smoking the cheese. I would recommend a rest time of at least two hours before you think about storing smoked cheese. Once you complete the wait, you can put the cheese pieces in a vacuum sealer and transfer them to the fridge.
Having said that, I have received the best results with smoked cheese when given more rest time. Actually, I have waited three days previously before placing it in the fridge. So, yes, the more rest time, the smokier flavor you get, as it allows the cheese to absorb every bit of smoke flavor more efficiently.
What Temperature To Smoke Cheese in an Electric Smoker?
I hope you can remember me saying the internal temperature is not a huge factor when it comes to smoking cheese. But, there is nothing left for me to preach that cheese is a food that has a low melting point. If you are opting to maintain the heat throughout the process (not the method that I explained), it is crucial not to exceed 90°F.
If you happen to go beyond 90°F, all of your efforts will go in vain as the butterfat of cheese will start to melt if you don’t be delicate with temperature.
How Long Can You Keep Smoked Cheese?
Now, the best part about smoked cheese is that you can expect a shelf life of around six months without the need for a freezer. It should retain its quality in the fridge, and all you have to do is keep them in vacuum-sealed bags.
If you are unable to find vacuum sealers, the plastic bags also will do more or less the same job for you. But, the shelf life won’t be as long compared to vacuum sealers as the tiniest of air on the cheese can play the spoil game and cut down the lifespan of smoked cheese.
What is the Best Wood for Smoking Cheese?
The type of wood really matters when it comes to smoky flavor, and not all types of wood can provide you with the results you anticipate. Yes, the choice of wood is one of the major factors in terms of deliciousness, and it will help you import additional flavor and aroma to the cheese.
My preferred wood choice is oak, and it is the same with most experts for obvious reasons. The strong flavor profile of oak goes magnificently with cheese, and if you are planning to smoke cheddar, I bet you cannot find a better alternative to oak.
Other than oak, you can opt for hickory, pecan, peach, or cherry, depending on your situation. Also, I would like my readers to try these wood types at least one time with different cheese sorts to identify what compliments the best. Each wood type has unique flavors and aromas, and at the end of the day, the choice is always yours.
Let’s find answers to some of the frequently asked questions related to smoking cheese. As always, the comment section is available if you have more questions.
What Is The Melting Temperature Of Cheese?
The melting temperature of cheese varies depending on the type of cheese, but on average, at around 90°F, the milk fat of cheese starts to melt, making cheese softer. That is why I advised you not to go beyond the 90°F mark. However, the complete melting of cheese happens at around 130°F, and for the harder kind of cheese, it is around 150°F.
Those two numbers are irrelevant to smoking cheese as once you go past 90°F, the cheese no longer be workable for you to get intended results.
Can You Smoke Cheese at 100 Degrees?
As I said numerous times previously, you cannot go beyond 90°F and expect things to go in your way. Simply put, can you smoke cheese at 100 degrees? It would be a demanding job to keep the cheese blocks in good shape at 100 degrees.
In order to keep everything in control, it would be best if you check the smoker’s internal temperature before you transfer cheese into it. Moreover, keep in mind that it is smoke you want to aim at, not high-temperature levels.
Does Smoke Make Cheese Spicy?
Well, the choice of wood can blend various flavors and aromas to the cheese blocks. However, if you are smoking cheese at home, you would not notice much of a spicy note in the cheese. The story of store-bought smoked cheese is completely different from homemade ones.
The manufacturers may use various other methods to combine additional flavors to the smoked cheese. So, yes, there are spicy smoked cheese products in the stores, and the orthodox home-smoked cheese might not provide you with similar spiciness.
So, I think now you have the confidence to search for “smoked cheese recipe electric smoker” in Google. Right now, you should have substantial knowledge on the best cheese to smoke at home, the right type of wood, and the complete process of smoking cheese.
The process of cheese smoking is more of a delicate job, and the results you receive get better with experience. So, give your first shot at it today itself. If there are more questions, please let me know in the comment section. Have a great day!