When asked how to smoke cheese my mind flies thru all of the complexities of cold smoking cheese.. something that is alien to most people. You have to cold smoke the cheese so it does not melt.

By cold smoking we mean smoking at temperatures of 90 degrees or less something that can be quite difficult for the backyard smoker.

Armed with some knowledge and a little tenacity it can be done proficiently in the WSM smoker as well as in the larger wood fired smoker as long as you realize that heat must be kept to a minimum while the smoke must roll on.

Just about any type of cheese can be smoked including Swiss, Colby, Provolone, Mozzarella, Havarti, Jarlsburg, Stilton, Gouda and a host of others that I will refrain from mentioning at this time.

The trick is to let the cheese sit out in the open air for a bit before smoking to allow the outside to toughen.

You will want to light 3 or 4 pieces of charcoal and place it on top of oak, apple, pecan or other mild flavored wood chips to create ample smoke without too much heat.

You can also modify a wsm in such a way that makes the cool smoke low heat atmosphere a lot easier to achieve.

Here is a newsletter that I wrote on smoking cheese. This article is very informative on smoking cheese and shows you a couple of devices that easily create smoke without heat to enable the low temperature required.

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About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

13 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Roger Bruckart March 30, 2016 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    I use a hot plate in my ugly drum smoker at a tempture of 85-90 degrees to smoke cheese. Works great and a I’m able to easily control the tempture this way.

  2. ROBERT January 16, 2016 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    How long should the cheese be aged before eating and how should the cheese be prepared for aging?

  3. Lee Montoya August 19, 2015 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    How long do you smoke the cheese for?

    • Pugetsoundmike August 19, 2015 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      About 4 hours…or sometimes a little less. The secret is to vacuum pack it and wait. We had cheese yesterday that was smoked and packed just before last Christmas.

    • Pugetsoundmike August 20, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

      3 to 4 hours. The cheese gets its best flavor after you vacuum pack it and wait.

  4. gary January 15, 2015 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    I’m going to smoke 10 lbs tomorrow. Mesquite and Oak, 8), i use a Brinkman indirect heat smoker, and i hope i can keep the temps down… P.S. the Clouds are Always here in our lovely Puget Sound… lol 8)

  5. Clay December 9, 2014 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    You can smoke about any cheese. I use a Masterbuilt electric smoker. Make sure you use an ice tray in the smoker. It keeps the temp down. You do NOT need a “COLD” smoker to smoke cheese. If you can keep your temp down under 90 and flip the cheeses every 15 min. You won’t go wrong.

  6. Patrick September 2, 2014 at 9:02 am - Reply

    One thing worth mentioning is that with a separate cold-smoke generator, you don’t have to light a fire in your smoker at all. Smokedaddy dot com has quality products for a reasonable price (no, I’m not affiliated with them in any way) that produce loads of cold smoke with little if any heat and can be attached to any smoker. Using one of them you don’t have to carefully tend a fire, you don’t have to wait until cooler weather, etc. Check out their stuff–it’s the best way to cold smoke; I wouldn’t even try any other method.

  7. Mike Welch June 3, 2014 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    When I smoke cheese I use the Treager pellets from COSTCO. I follow the directions from SmokingPit.com, use the amazn-n-smoking tube, keep the interior temp below 60 degrees, and smoke from 4-5 hours. I use the Maverick ET-732 to keep track of the temp. I do all of my smoking in a Weber Genesis with the smoking tube on the left and the cheese on racks on the right. I also place water pans under the cheese to help regulate the temp. My bbq temp probe is next to the cheese and if the sun comes out I place an umbrella over the bbq.

  8. mike welch August 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    When you smoke cheese, then DO NOT SKIMP ON QUALITY OF CHEESE.  Albetsons had their house brand cheddar on sale last week and I smoked  4 lbs.  I tried a little, and it did have the smoke flavor, but it is still not like the chunky texture. Will grate it and use it on pizza.  My Tillamook cheddar and pepper jack are outstanding.and will smoke some colby jack as soon as the clouds roll into Puget Sound. 

    • mike June 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      how long where they on for? did you us one type of wood for all of them

    • Annie October 8, 2015 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      Here is a trick I use. I wax my cheese/wrap it in parchment or freezer paper and store it in clean/non-smelly refrigerator, it will age and change texture. I keep mine up to a year. Once I use it, it beats the BEST cheese out there. I do the seal-a-meal vacuum pack as well, and it is awesome, although it is moister than wax’d cheese, works well too. The waxing sort of drys out the cheese and makes a harder cheese. A thing I do is powder the smoked cheeses with thyme or sage powder, wax it then vacuum pack. Keep it a while (2 months or more). Then try it out. I honestly think you can by-pass the waxing. I just like waxing, and how it looks when I eat it.

      • Pugetsoundmike October 13, 2015 at 4:01 pm - Reply

        I like your idea of coating the smoked cheese with herbs before you vacuum pack it. My cheese of choice, to smoke, is Tillamook pepperjack, and am not sure if herbs would detract from the flavor. Some of my vacuum packed cheese is almost a year old, and we still love it. I can’t smoke cheese while down here in Arizona, because it’s to hot.

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