Cold-Smoked Cheese (226/366)

“You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”
Anthony Bourdain


Nick has been wanting to try cold smoking and was thinking of building a semi-huge (ha ha) contraption that we’d use as our cold smoker.  The problem was that this huge thing would only be useful for that, and the rest of the time it would just be taking up space.  I found another method of cold smoking that you just did using your grill, which was great – we could smoke something and not worry about buying stuff to make the smoker, and also not worry about where to put it or what to do with it afterwards.

This method is pretty cool – all you need is a soldering iron, an aluminum can, and some wood chips … and of course, something to smoke.  Along with the necessary hardware, we picked up some nice looking goat’s milk cheddar and gouda.

All you need to do is open a can, leaving it connected so you can open and close the lid a bit, and punch a hole in the lid as well.  Then you fill the can about 3/4 of the way with your wood chips.

Then all you have to do is put the soldering iron in the can amongst the wood chips.  When the iron heats up, it will get the chips smoking.  We had to use an extension cord (oops – I guess if you try this, you’ll probably need one of those, too) since soldering irons usually have short cords.  I plugged the soldering iron into the extension cord and into the wall, and put it on the grill, as far away as I could from the cheese (don’t want to heat the cheese up too much, or it could just end up a messy smush of goo).

After a little while, the can got going.  We were in business!  Now we just needed to close the lid and let the smoke do its thing.  It was actually a great coincidence that we decided to do this at night – it helped keep the temperature inside the grill down, while the smoke flavored the cheese, which kept nice and cool.

After a little while, the smoke died down.  I added more wood chips to the can (don’t forget to use potholders!), and it went on smoking.  We smoked the cheese for about an hour total.  You can do more or less to taste, but I’d suggest about an hour.  Too little, and you won’t even taste the smoke.  Too much, and you could ruin your delicious cheese (too much smoke makes things bitter).  After the hour, we weren’t sure if the cheese had been in there long enough or not – it looked the same – until we sliced into it.  It might be hard to tell from the picture, but the outside does get more colored than the inside.  We could see the smoking had worked!

And the result?  The cheese was absolutely fabulous.  We LOVE smoked cheeses, and we never realized how easy it could be to make our own.  If you have a grill (it doesn’t even have to be as large as ours!  Just use a smaller can and less chips), and you like smoked cheeses, you NEED to try this.  You can definitely do other things too, but start with cheese – it’s a definite recipe (ha ha) for success.  Happy smoking (and eating)!


Related Links:
J&L 60 Watts Soldering Iron, UL listed
Charbroil Hickory Wood Chips, 2 Pound Bag 

One Response to “Cold-Smoked Cheese (226/366)”
  1. Ying says:

    “Cold smoking”…? “This method is pretty cool”…? Is this a trend?

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