Cheese alone is already great and you can eat it right away or put it in your food as garnish. However, here we will teach you how to smoke cheese on a pellet grill for better cheese.
Smoked cheese is a specialty amongst the usual regular cheeses. You might be wondering whether you can do it at home and the answer is yes, you can surely make one at home.
If you have a pellet grill ready, then your smoked cheese recipe will be on its way. There is no need for special equipment when you want to smoke cheese as you can use any grill for this.
The secret is to highlight the smoke that the pellet grill releases instead of the heat. This also means that you need a pellet grill with great insulation to keep the temperature in check.
For most, smoked cheese is hard because their pellet grills reach temperatures that can melt the cheese before the smoke-induced into the cheese. That is why we also have some tricks.
Whether you are an expert or just a beginner trying to learn how to properly smoke cheese in your pellet grill, this guide will help you improve your smoking skills with very low temperatures.
Setting Up The Pellet Grill
For the most part, there is no need to deal with any special setups with pellet grills. You can leave the grill where it is and then smoke the cheese you want.
However, some factors might affect the temperature control of the grill. That is why you need to make sure that you always keep the grill ready for any cooking style.
One simple trick that you can do is to place the pellet grill under the shade, especially if you live in an area with hot weather. You can also use the other technique that we will discuss later on.
First, you need to make sure that the pellet grill is clean. Ensure to scrub off any soot gathered on the grates and food residuals so they do not contaminate the cheese.
You can also time the smoking period if you have colder months in your area. It is best to use the cold smoke method during winter or cold outside to keep the temperature low.
Most pellet grills also have their thermometers to read the temperature without opening the grill’s lid. So it is a good habit to check the temperature now and then.
Smoked Cheese In A Pellet Grill
Step 1: Preheat The Pellet Grill
Fill up the pellet hopper with the wood pellets of your choice and then fire it up. I prefer using mild to soft kinds of wood pellets and fruity ones such as apple and cherry for cheese.
Set the temperature to around 225 degrees Fahrenheit or any temperature at all. Close the lid of the pellet grill and let it preheat for at least 15 minutes to get the temperature even inside.
You do not need too much heat for this process as cheese fats will melt at 90 degrees. However, you will be allowing the grill to rest before using it for the cheese later.
By setting the temperature to a higher one, you get to preheat the grill faster. After 15 minutes, extinguish the flames but leave some ember so the pellets continue producing some smoke.
Step 2: Prepare The Cheese
While the pellet grill is resting and you wait for it to cool down to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, prepare the cheese and all the tools you will need to smoke the cheese in the grill.
Cleaning the grill grates should have been done before preheating the grill. Prepare a gallon of ice or put some ice on a tray and then get a mesh wire grate so the cheese will not fall through the grates.
If you have a large block of cheese, I suggest cutting or slicing it into smaller pieces or blocks. The smaller the cheese, the better its absorption capabilities will be so do that beforehand.
Reminder: soft types of cheese melt pretty easily, and they melt before they are smoked, especially if there is too much heat. So make sure to palace them higher or on a cooler level.
If you have a rack available that fits inside the pellet grill, clean it and then use the higher sets of racks to palate the softer types of cheese to prevent them from melting in the grill.
Step 3: Smoke The Cheese
Place the rack of cheese inside the pellet grill once the grill reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it smoke for at least an hour before checking the color of the cheese inside the pellet grill.
Do not frequently open the grill lid as it will create imbalances in the grill’s temperature. After an hour, flip the cheese over and let it smoke for another hour before checking again.
If, after two hours, the cheese has not attained the desired color and texture, you can extend the smoking process by an hour or another 2 hours. The color you are aiming for is golden brown.
It will also depend on your preference how much smoke flavor you want to put into the cheese. Some like a more subtle flavor so they smoke the cheese for an hour in the grill.
Step 4: Let It Rest
After the cheese has attained the color and the flavor you want, remove them from the grill and then let it rest. Allow it to completely cool down on a clean working surface.
After they have cooled down, remove the excess moisture from the cheese and then wrap them in parchment paper. Place them in the fridge and allow them to stay there for at least 2 weeks.
You can consume the cheese after three days, but the results will be much better if you let the cheese stay longer in the fridge. This will also help give the cheese more texture.
Tips And Tricks
First, the most common way of cold smoking is by placing a tray of ice inside the pellet grill beside the cheeses. This helps keep the temperature inside the grill low to avoid melting the cheese.
You should also use a reliable thermometer to keep the temperature in check. Every after 30 minutes, check the temperature on the built-in thermometer of the pellet grill.
You can easily adjust the temperature inside the grill by adding ice or wood pellets accordingly. Remember, the important thing is that you get smoke and not too much heat inside the grill.
What Cheese To Smoke
There are many types of cheese to choose from when you want to smoke cheese. The most recommended one is mozzarella cheese since it is pretty common and is hard.
Hard cheeses such as gouda, brie, and Colby cheese are something I recommend for smoking.
The main thing that you should remember is that it is best to smoke cheese if the cheese is relatively hard.
Aside from the process itself, make sure to remember the tips and tricks above. Once you remember the process of smoking cheese, the tips will help you improve the results.
Keep in mind that you do not need too much heat to properly smoke cheese. Just make sure that you have enough smoke to induce it in the cheese and add beautiful color.
Pellet grills produce smoke that can add authentic flavors to your cheese. So I suggest you get one and select the best wood pellets for smoking and start making your cheese better by smoking!
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