If you want something unique to cook at home, you should learn how to smoke cheese in an electric smoker. This is a recipe that will turn your ordinary cheese into a gourmet one.
There are many ways to do this, and although I would recommend using the usual manual smokers, there is nothing wrong with using an electric smoker as long as you know how to.
Electric smokers are very convenient as they are pretty much automatic. You do not need to spend a lot of time building up the fire or keeping it going while smoking inside it.
Cheese alone is also great as you can either put it on your food while cooking as a garnish or eat it as it is. However, there is a better way to preserve and add more flavors to the cheese.
You might think that this process is hard or tricky since cheese melts under high temperatures. However, it is relatively easy to do, and after your first try, you can perfect smoking cheese.
With the proper appliance, you will make the best snack or side on your favorite food. This smoked cheese recipe is very easy to make, so prepare your electric smoker and let’s go!
Setting Up The Electric Smoker
Once you get the cheese-ready blocks, you need to concentrate on the smoker and how the setup will be. There are no special setups, but there are some modifications you can make.
First off, select the type of wood that you want to use in smoking the cheese. I suggest going with apple or cherry wood. They put out a slightly sweet flavor which is great with cheese.
It depends on how strong you want the smoke to be. So if you are used to using a certain type of wood, and you think that will do with cheese, then go ahead and use that type of wood.
There are also some unique ways and techniques that you can use to prevent the cheese from melting. We will be using one unique method in this process and see if it works.
For the most part, all you need to do is wait for the cheese to smoke properly. The secret behind this is to prevent yourself from opening or to check the cheese too frequently.
Electric smokers are pretty sensitive when it comes to heat. I mean that they lose a lot of heat when you open them, so let the cheese smoke and do not check frequently.
Smoked Cheese In An Electric Smoker
Step 1: Prepare The Cheese
This is pretty simple as you usually only need to arrange the cheeses on the rack. There are not many processes that go into preparing the cheese, but there are some things that can improve it.
For example, letting the cheese rest at room temperature for at least an hour will allow it to develop a thin layer of safe skin that prevents the cheese from melting too easily later on.
However, do not leave the cheeses resting at room temperature for more than two hours as bacteria might develop in them. You can smoke them right away as well if you do not have time.
The other technique is by cutting the blocks of cheese into thinner pieces. This will make the process faster, and the cheese will get the flavor from the smoke more easily when done.
The problem with this is that the slices of cheese will take up so much space. So if you have a small smoker, it will be best to smoke the cheeses as blocks; it depends on your choice.
Step 2: Preheat The Electric Smoker
This is where we will be using the unique technique that prevents the cheese from melting. Preheat your electric smoker with the wood that you want inside it.
Set the temperature to 225 degrees Fahrenheit or any temperature you want. Let it preheat for 15 minutes, and then turn it off while leaving the lid of the electric smoker closed afterward.
It does not matter what temperature you set since this is only preheating. The secret here is to let the smoker rest before putting the cheese inside it to smoke, allowing it to rest.
Leave the smoker for 45 minutes or up to 1 hour until the temperature goes below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. From there, you can set up the racks of cheese and ice (optional) for smoking.
Step 3: Smoking Process
Place the rack of cheese at the middle rack and then close the lid right away. Make sure that the cheeses are separated from each other by an inch to allow smoke to pass through freely.
Leave the cheeses in the smoker at 90 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two hours before checking. At the 1-hour mark, there might be a dip in the temperature, so you can check.
Ensure that there is enough smoke as the heat will not be the most important part of smoking the cheeses. Check if the cheeses had enough color on the surface after two hours.
If the cheese is not yet colored the way you like, you can repeat the process of preheating the smoker, turning it off to allow the temperature to cool down, and then smoking the cheeses.
Step 4: Let The Cheese Rest
Once you get the color you want on the cheese, allow it to rest. Wrap the cheeses with plastic wrap or parchment paper and let them cool down a little bit.
Once they are at room temperature, place the cheese in the fridge, where you can allow it to rest for up to three days. You can then eat it as it is or serve it with other types of food you have.
Vacuum Seal Smoked Cheese
This is the best way to let the cheese rest, but it is not the easiest. It is best to keep air out of the cheese and the packaging you put it in to make sure it does not spoil too easily.
You need to let it rest a little bit and release some of the heat. Once done, you can put the cheese in a zip lock bag and then vacuum out all the air inside it.
If you do not have a vacuum sealer, try to remove as much air as possible from the bag. From there, you can place it in the fridge and let it rest until you need to eat it.
Is It Healthy?
Smoked cheese is very healthy as it has less fat content than fresh cheese. Aside from keeping the nutrients already, the cheese becomes healthier for your salads and pizzas.
However, there are some threats to it from the smoke. Some nitrites and nitrates come from the smoke; make sure that you do some portion control while consuming smoke cheese.
Since I own an electric smoker, I always try to find a new recipe to cook. So if you are like me, you should get this recipe and make the best-smoked cheese.
Just remember to always keep the temperature low. No matter how high you put the preheating temperature at, remember to let the smoker cool down before putting the cheese inside it.
Also, do not frequently check the temperature inside the smoker by opening the lid as it can quickly lose heat. Follow the instructions above, and you will have the best cheese ready in a few hours.
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