Smoking Cheese: How long is too long?

Started by Nibs50, March 30, 2024, 03:42:08 PM

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Hi folks!

We smoke a lot of cheeses here on our digital Bradley smoker and have been doing it for many years, with good results.  We usually smoke our cheeses for 2 hours using either apple, maple or hickory - depending on the cheese - and vacuum seal and rest for a couple of months.

I read a few online smoking forums in addition to this one, and have found something that intrigues me.  One user in another forum smokes his cheeses for a minimum of 12 hours - he also utilizes a cold attachment/Bradley smoker setup and uses the Bradley apple bisquettes.  This user submitted photos of his smoked cheese and I must admit - the coloring on his smoked cheeses is wonderful, but I am skeptical about the smoking time, which, to me, seems excessive.

Does anyone smoke their cheeses for more than 2 hours?  Has anyone tried smoking for 12 hours?  What were your results like?

Habanero Smoker

I've never gone over 4 hours, and felt that did not improve the smoke flavor, and made it worse. I will smoker for 2 - 3 hours. Twelve hours seem excessive.

I have tried a couple of ways to get a darker color on my smoked cheese. I've read a few articles that state the higher the humidity in the smoke chamber the more color you will get. I thought misting the cheese with water would help, but I didn't see much improvement. The only thing that helped improve color; somewhat, was letting the cheese bloom at room temperature for several hours, prior to packaging it.



Thanks for your reply, Habanero Smoker - it's much appreciated - and for confirming my suspicions that a 12 hour smoke would be excessive.  The photos looked impressive, but looks can be deceiving - and personal tastes are highly subjective - so who knows for sure?

I was tempted to try the 12 hour smoke just to see for myself, but I don't think I will.  The price of everything here has gone up through the roof, so I will just stick to what works for us - smoking our cheeses for 2 hours - and not wasting resources on something that may or may not turn out to our liking.

Thanks again!