At some point when a person is learning the cheese making process they wonder what their delicious cheeses would taste like it was smoked. Most people when they first try to smoke their cheese tend to use too high a temperature in the smoker and tend to melt their cheese more than getting it smoked. When you are smoking cheese you want it to be as cool as you can possibly make it. Some people use bowls of ice to bring down the temp in the smoking chamber. Others make elaborate chambers and hoses to create a cold smoker that works but is difficult to set up and take down every time you want to smoke some cheese. Everyone should experiment to find out what kind of smoker fits their needs in relation to quantity and quality. I will only be doing one or at the most two cheeses at a time so I am going to go for small, simple and cheep for my smoker.
First we will see about the cheap. The total cost for everything ended up being $20. I would love to have a nice large smoker that I could use for meat and for cheeses, but I am a cheap skate and don’t want to fork out the money right now. After searching the web for a couple of hours and watching some random YouTube videos I found a nice cheap way to hopefully make a nice tasty smoked Caerphilly.
To make my little smoker I had to get a new soldering iron (new because you don’t want toxic metal fumes on your cheese), a bag of hickory wood shavings, a thick ceramic pot, and a tote to use as my container. Even though I shouldn’t need to tell people this I am still putting it in. If you try to do this “DO NOT set your smoker up inside your house” . Now back to the creation of the smoker. Fill your ceramic pot about halfway full of your wood shavings and put it into the corner of your tote. In the opposite corner of the tote set up your rack with your cheese on it. I was just going to set it on a cookie rack but I didn’t want the wide wire marks on my cheese so I adapted it with a round wire one to make a grid pattern.
Now that you are set up plug-in the soldering iron and stick it point first into the pot with the wood chips. Depending on the size of your chips and the size of your pot they should last about an hour before you need to change them out. Which works perfect for a cheese. Smoke on one side for an hour then flip and restock your chips and smoke for another hour.
After the cheese if smoked you need to either bag the cheese or wax it. Other wise your aging fridge will smell like a smoke house. Some people may like this though. As always it is up to the individual who is doing the smoking. Leave the cheese age for another 10 days before you cut into it to taste. No matter what cheese you are smoking wait until it is close to being finished with its normal aging before smoking. Doing it to soon can throw off the aging process. You can always test out your smoker with store-bought cheese so you don’t have to worry about ruining a homemade cheese. I can’t wait to try this in another two weeks