Smoked cheese gone bad?

  • Hey guys, I did a cheese smoke on 12/16 with one of those smoke tubes with some pellets that I regularly use and the cheese turned out horrible. It has a very bitter flavor and the outside of the the cheese and the foil in my smoker took a bright highlighter yellow tint to it. It smoked around 3.5 hrs and I probably didn’t get much higher than 70 degrees inside the smoker. The pellets seemed to burn good and produced a good bit of smoke but I can’t shake the creosote taste it seems to have. Anyone else experience anything like this while smoking cheese?

  • Did you let it rest in the fridge for about two weeks before eating. My understanding i that if you eat it right away you will get a very bitter taste…

  • I’m at two weeks right now but I’ve seen people who eat theirs after just a few days after smoking.

  • Seems like a real long time to smoke. I usually do 1hr or less and let it sit for at least a week to mellow.

  • Walton's Employee

    @brandekm What @ggillis said about letting it mellow is a good idea but I am going to guess that you have something else going on here. What kind of pellets did you use and what brand were they? Hickory is (in my opinion) too strong for cheese, it gives it a bitter aftertaste like you are describing. However, the highlighter yellow on the foil seems very odd. What did you use to light the pellets, was it a starter of some sort?

  • I use one of those smoke tubes with pellets for cold smoking cheese. I use apple pellets which gives the cheese a nice mild snore taste.

    I’d have to lean towards Jonathon’s thought that there was something caused by the pellets.

  • I can also tell you how NOT to smoke cheese – don’t let you smoker get too warm. I apparently used too many chunks of lump charcoal with a couple chunks of apple wood. After about an hour, I went to check on the cheese and this is what I found. It may have looked strange, but it will still some great tasting snack food.

    0_1546617481075_smoked cheese.jpg

  • Walton's Employee

    @sstory Yikes, that must have been a pain to clean! I’m not even trying to sell something here but for anyone who has a tough time cleaning their smoker get a bottle of Smokehouse Cleaner, this will help immensely!

  • Power User

    I recently tried a batch of cheese using pellets and had the same experience although my smoke time was only for an hour! The brand was lil’ Chief. It’s been over 3 weeks and it is still overwhelming with smoke. The dog won’t even touch it.

  • Walton's Employee

    @Joe-Hell That’s interesting when I smoke cheese I think I have mostly used small chunks of woods. I’ll have to do a comparison and see if pellets are somehow stronger than wood chunks in cheese? Doesn’t seem to make sense but it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing ever.

  • Power User

    @jonathon I should clarify that I did not experience the highlighter yellow effect. The pellets in question were ‘apple wood’. In fact, there was little to no difference in color. I tried another batch this weekend that was much lighter on overall smoke so hopefully that helps. On either batch the smoker did not get over 60 degrees.

  • @brandekm You never mentioned what flavor of pellets you were using. I use apple and I’ve not had the yellow highlighter experience. I wonder if you used a harsher wood like mesquite, hickory or oak.

    @Jonathon Actually not difficult to clean – I use a weed burner connected to a propane tank. Blast the shelves with flame and a brush, will knock/burn the shelves clean. The grease deflector on the bottom of the pit is actually double-layered with an inch between layers (so the top one doesn’t get hot enough to allow the drippings to burn on it – normally just a putty knife scrapes all of that stuff off).

  • Walton's Employee

    @sstory That’s the manliest way to clean anything I have EVER heard of. “Got a mess here, Gotta grab my flamethrower!”

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  • @chippewa
    Nice. Glad it worked out for you. I know I’ll be doing this method going forward. Sure beats those 10-12 hour smoker times.

    I like the @chippewa name. Pretty common in my area. Neighboring town is Chippewa Falls. Also home to a brewery with some very tasty beverages.

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