Author Topic: Cheap Cheese  (Read 5845 times)

Offline Smudge

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Cheap Cheese
« on: July 28, 2006, 05:48:49 PM »
I bought some cheap cheese at my local grocery store; it was at least 20 cents per pound cheaper than the nearest brand name. My thought was to smoke the cheese and have a great end product.

You know what I got when finished?  Cheap smoked cheese.
   

Offline JJC

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Re: Cheap Cheese
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2006, 06:44:35 PM »
Bummer!  I have smoked the sharp/extra sharp store-brand cheddars side-by-side with the name brands that cost $1/# more, and I can't tell the difference in the end product.  I wonder if it has to do with the type/sharpness of the cheese?  What type did you try?
John
Newton MA

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cheap Cheese
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2006, 07:27:45 PM »
Did you let it age for a few days before tasting it. No matter what type of cheese you smoke, if you don't wrap it in plastic wrap and let it age at least a couple of days in the refrigerator it will taste like you licked a dirty ashtray.


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Offline Smudge

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Re: Cheap Cheese
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2006, 05:14:45 AM »
Yes, I let it (extra sharp cheddar and pepper jack) sit five days before trying. My point was that you get what you pay for. Garbage in, garbage out.

This has got me thinking about trying some expensive gourmet cheddars. If I'm going through all the hoops, with the best smoker, it would be well worth the cost.   

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cheap Cheese
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2006, 08:18:02 AM »
Hmmm! Strange. I have have very good success with inexpensive cheese. What type of smoke was used, and how much did you apply?


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                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline winemakers

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Re: Cheap Cheese
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2006, 05:11:35 PM »
Personally,

I have excellent luck with inexpensive chedder from the warehouse store.  Cut the two pound blocks down the middle to be more cracker friendly and smoke with a variety of woods/times depending on the party/operators mood.  Age several days following smoke and in an alchemist moment, an excellent product has resulted.

Don't know what to offer.


mld

Offline The LoxSmith

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Re: Cheap Cheese
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2006, 05:36:56 PM »
Hi:

   I use "No Name" Extra old cheddar from the local Loblaw's Superstore (in Canada).  It's about $6.50 for a 600 gram block (about 1 1/3 pounds).

  I wrap it in double or triple layer of cheesecloth, and it will stay in that cheesecloth until eaten.

  Last batch was in my cold smoker (home made), using Maple chips for about (don't hit me) 5 hours.

  When done, I put it in ziploc bags in the refrigerator.  The blocks are still wrapped in the cheesecloth.

   They stay in there several days to weeks until they are eaten (not eaten before about 4 or 5 days).

   It always comes out great  ;D

All the best to you great folks,
The LoxSmith

Offline manxman

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Re: Cheap Cheese
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2006, 01:22:32 AM »
Quote
I bought some cheap cheese at my local grocery store; it was at least 20 cents per pound cheaper than the nearest brand name. My thought was to smoke the cheese and have a great end product.

You know what I got when finished?  Cheap smoked cheese.

I like my cheddar strong and tend to buy mature strong cheddar but if it is one I have never bought before I always buy a small quantity and taste it before attempting to smoke it.

As a rule of thumb if it doesn't tickle my taste buds before smoking it certainly ain't going to tickle them after smoking!! This is irrespective of brand, supermarket own brand, unbranded, cheap or expensive. Some cheese just has that "wow" factor and some doesn't, probably partly down to individual taste.

I now have a selection of cheddars I know smoke well and tend to look for them on "special offer" then buy in bulk, maybe 15lb+ a time. Post smoke handling does make a big difference to taste but we all seem agreed on that score in any case. Vacuum packed it keeps such a long time in the fridge and when I am getting down to my last few pounds I keep an eye on the supermarket specials again!!

The point I would make is try and taste the cheese before smoking, if it tastes good before hand it will probably taste good after, if it doesn't take your fancy beforehand don't waste pucks and time smoking it!! ;)

I have tried smoking cheese for between 2 and 5 hours and tend to now smoke for 5 hours, really frustrating in terms of time and £/$'s if the end product is mediocre!
Manxman

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cheap Cheese
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2006, 03:16:38 AM »
I have tried smoking cheese for between 2 and 5 hours and tend to now smoke for 5 hours, really frustrating in terms of time and £/$'s if the end product is mediocre!
Prior to a month ago I always pulled my cheese out of the smoker at around 1 1/2 -2 hours. The last time I smoked cheese I followed your suggestion. I pulled out the majority of cheese at 2 hours, pulled another batch out of the smoker at 3 hours, pulled out a few at 4 hours, and the last two at 5 hours. I've learned that 3 hours of smoke is just right for my taste.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline manxman

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Re: Cheap Cheese
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2006, 05:40:54 AM »
Quote
Prior to a month ago I always pulled my cheese out of the smoker at around 1 1/2 -2 hours. The last time I smoked cheese I followed your suggestion. I pulled out the majority of cheese at 2 hours, pulled another batch out of the smoker at 3 hours, pulled out a few at 4 hours, and the last two at 5 hours. I've learned that 3 hours of smoke is just right for my taste.

You are right HS, it is well worth experimenting in this area, I started at 5 hours based on something I read in an old book but did the reverse of you and tried 2,3 and 4 hours but 5 hours still proved best for me, perhaps even based on the particular cheeses I use?

Most references seem to recommend around 2 hours though.
Manxman

Offline asa

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Re: Cheap Cheese
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2006, 06:58:04 PM »
re: cheap cheese
After buying my BS a few months ago, I also joined our local Costco warehouse store. We like fairly sharp cheddars, so I picked up a 2# block of their el cheapo cheddar. The Ms. likes it better than anything else we've purchased in the local supermarkets. We call it "rat cheese" and really like it. Haven't smoked it yet, but I'd recommend it to any that have access.
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