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Hello friends and welcome to the May 2010 edition of the smoking meat newsletter. With Memorial Day just around the corner, many of you are starting to think about what you will cook and hopefully I can give you a helping hand with that.

As usual on holiday editions, I am going to provide some resources for smoking things like ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder but I am also going to cover something in this newsletter that I have never talked about in the newsletter before..

Smoking cheese!

I have been asked time and time again how to produce smoke without any heat and over the years I have given suggestions like using a couple pieces of charcoal with some wood chips or the soldering iron in a can full of wood chips, or the double smoker method where you use one smoker to produce smoke and attach it to another smoker full of cheese with a dryer hose.

These are all options that work but I would not say it works well and it certainly is not as simple as I think it should be.

Over the last few months I have received two different smoke generators to try out and I am duly impressed with both of them so I have decided to show you these products in this newsletter.

I will tell you a little about the products, show you how to set them up and use them and give you some general information on smoking cheese.

Are you ready to get started? I know I am!

The A-Maze-N-Smoker by Amazen Products LLC


Todd Johnson over at AmazenProducts LLC contacted me a while back and asked if I would review his A-Maze-N-Smoker and Of course, I was only too happy to do that.

I received the package promptly a few days later and here are my perceptions from that experience.

Packaging: It was wrapped well and was not bent, warped or otherwise damaged in any way. after looking at the product and how well made it is, I feel it would survive quite an ordeal with no problems.

What was in the Box: (1) 6″x6″ smoker, (1) bag of hickory dust, (1) set of instructions

Initial Impressions: I was amazed at the simplicity of the product and I have to admit that at first, I was a bit skeptical considering it did not plug in and it did not look like a high-tech gadget in any way.

It was solid, built of 304 stainless steel and the construction was very good making me believe that it would easily last for quite a few years.

Setup: minimal setup is required. Pour about (2) cups of dust into the unit making sure the dust is not above the walls of the maze.

Operation: Light one or both ends with a butane torch or other lighter for 15-30 seconds and place in smoker for up to six hours of thin blue smoke.

Results: I was truly amazed at how simple it was to light and operate. I can see this being used even in hot smoking to keep from having to continually add wood chips or chunks to an electric, gas or even a charcoal smoker.

Smoking Time: Produced light smoke for 6 hours and 40 minutes unattended

Pros:

  • No installation required
  • 6-8 hours of smoke unattended
  • Heavy duty construction

Cons:

  • Can only use special smoking dust

How to order: http://www.smoking-meat.com/amnps (updated as it now uses pellets which work a lot better)

Amaze-N-Smoker Pictures & Walkthru


The A-Maze-N-Smoker Empty

Special smoking dust

About 2 cups of smoking dust will fit in the smoker

Make sure dust is not over the maze walls and slopes downward at the ends

Light with a torch or Lighter at one end

Place in smoker on bottom rack – close to air vents

Here it is at 2 hours of smoking..

Here it is at 4 hours of smoking..

And here it is finally at 6 hours and 40 minutes of smoking..

The Smoke Daddy by Smoke Daddy Inc.


Dennis Correa from Smoke Daddy Inc. asked me to look at his “Big Kahuna” Smoke Daddy smoke generator  and he was so generous in sending me not only the smoke daddy, but several bags of what he calls the “perfect mix” which smelled wonderful.

Packaging: The Smoke Daddy was packaged extremely well and was well wrapped with multiple layer of newspaper. There was no damage to the  product and everything was intact with the exception of the thumb screw which had fallen out but was easily found inside of the paper the cylinder was wrapped in. Perhaps a piece of tape would alleviate this in the future.

What was in the Box: (1) Big Kahuna Smoke Daddy, (1)top cover, (1) bottom cover, (1) bag of wood chips, (5) wood chunks, (2) bags of wood pellets, (1) fish tank pump

Initial Impressions: I was impressed with the quality of the parts. Precision made aluminum cylinder with top and bottom cover that fit perfectly. Pellets were high quality with a good wood smell. Overall a very solid unit that gives the impression that it will last a lifetime and then some.

Setup: For me, I was fortunate enough to have a 7/8″ hole in my grill and opted to use this instead of drilling out a 3/4″ hole in one of my smokers and therefore setup was very minimal. For most folks, there will be a few minutes of time involved with marking and drilling a 3/4″ hole your smoker or grill for installing the smoke daddy.

I installed the smoke daddy with no tools, the nut only needed to be finger tight to hold it securely to my grill.

Operation: Lit a small piece of charcoal on the side burner of my grill and placed it in the bottom of the cylinder. I then poured about 3 cups of wood pellets into the cylinder, installed the top and bottom covers, plugged in the fish tank pump and let her smoke.

Results: The smoke daddy produced beautiful smoke that was medium to heavy in  volume and looks like it would easily generate enough smoke for a fairly large smoker.

Could even be used to produce smoke during hot smoking especially for products that require long hours of low heat. The smoke daddy could easily have been refilled with a small piece of charcoal and more pellets in less than 5 minutes if I had opted to do that.

Smoking Time: Produced medium to heavy smoke for about 3 hours unattended

Pros:

Cons:

  • Must be installed to a smoker, grill, etc.

How to Order: http://www.smokedaddyinc.com

Smoke Daddy Pictures


What’s included in the box?

E-clip can be adjusted for a thick wall application

Air inlet creates a draw from the bottom of the smoker and pushes smoke out of the pipe

Air flow is provided via a fish tank pump

Air flow is adjustable via a small plastic valve

Bottom cover with wooden handle and vent holes

Thumb screw for holding bottom cover in place

Top cover with wooden handle

Drill 3/4″ hole in desired location – I found a 7/8″ hole in my grill and used that instead

Install Smoke Daddy with a washer and nut

Light small piece of charcoal – I used the side burner on my grill and it worked great

Once charcoal is lit, place in bottom of cylinder and fill cylinder with smoking pellets

Place top cover on cylinder and attach fish tank pump

Watch the smoke start coming out of the Smoke Daddy

How to Smoke Cheese


In general smoking cheese is quite simple especially if you are able to use one of the products I have reviewed above. The temperature needs to be no more than 90*F to prevent melting.

The cheese should be cut into pieces that are no more than 1″ thick and 3-4″ wide at any point. This allows for more smoke penetration.

Place the cheese on the top grate with about 1″ of space between them to allow for better smoke application.

Let the cheese smoke for 2-6 hours depending on how heavy the smoke is, what type of wood you are using and how much smoke flavor you want in the cheese.

This is the hard part..

Once the cheese is finished smoking, wrap in saran wrap, vacuum pack or place in a ziploc bag for 2 days to 2 weeks to allow the smoke to disperse all the way through the cheese.

In my opinion, the longer you wait the better the cheese tastes. I like to wait about 8 days before tasting the cheese.

Some of my favorite smoked cheeses are Sharp Cheddar, Parmesan, Mozzarella, Gouda, Muenster, and Edam

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. John adomitis June 30, 2015 at 9:25 am - Reply

    do you get heavy creosote taste when using a cold smoker

    • Pugetsoundmike June 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      I don’t have creosote taste or smell. The only problem I have is keeping the smoker temperature down. I smoke most of my cheese in the late fall or winter. My favorite is Tillamook pepperjack purchased at Costco.

      • John Adomitis July 3, 2015 at 8:54 am - Reply

        What type of smoke genitor do you use

        • Pugetsoundmike July 6, 2015 at 12:56 pm - Reply

          Amaz-n-tube..18 in. with Traeget pellets, because they are from Costco and inexpensive.

  2. Adam January 29, 2015 at 12:13 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff,
    I run a website all about cheese making at home and linked to your post in one I did about
    smoking cheese at home.
    I wanted to drop a note to let you know and say thanks.
    Adam.

  3. James February 12, 2014 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Thanks Mike, I think my idea will work fine…I’m in Ontario Canada and its -24 here today…your beer will freeze in your hand outside today…I’ll give it a try when it warms up a bit !!!

  4. James February 12, 2014 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff, thank you for all the great information on your site…I have purchased your recipes and it is now my go to rub and sauce…I’ve never smoked cheese and after making a recipe that called for it and seeing the price of it I thought why not do it myself..my question is I have a Bradley digital smoker and as you know will not go down to 90 deg will it work if I were to just leave the oven heat off and use the wood burner only?? Or will I then have too low of a temperature in the oven??

    • mike welch February 12, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

      I use the amaz-n-tube swmoker in a Weber, without heat from the bbq. I place the cheese on the indirect side, with the tube on the other side, with a Maverick ET-732 system and monitor the temp. to keep way below 90 degrees. Usually smoke 4-5 hours.(On a cloudy day) USE the best cheese. I live in he northwest and like Tillamook..pepper-jack is my favorite.

  5. Lon Ockler December 22, 2013 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Just finished cold smoking variety of cheeses with the Amaze-N-Smoker 12" tube, worked great.  Thank you for the great idea. 

    great site, keep up the good work.

  6. mike welch August 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    ALWAYS buy the best quality cheese.  Stay away from the inexpensive Albertsons cheese.  I usually go with Tillamook or Brandon (from Costco).  And I use the a-maz-ing- tube smoker with hickory pellets.  Bought the 18 inch tube and it is a little long.  You don't need 6 or 7 hours to smoke cheese.  Wish I had a 12 inch and a 6 inch to use in my 30 year old weber kettle. 

  7. Vinny March 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Thank you Jeff. I absolutely will purchase one of these nice little rigs.Thank you so much for this great site!

  8. Vinny February 16, 2013 at 11:29 am - Reply

    So glad to have found your site! I sure would love a suggestion on how I can use my smoker for my homemade mozzarella. It is a difficult challenge for obvious reasons, however, somehow people do it. Thank you.

    • Jeff Phillips February 18, 2013 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Sounds like you are wanting to cold smoke the cheese that you make.. there are many ways that you can do this however, I have not found a better way to do this than to use the AMNPS which is a maze looking device that holds wood pellets. You light the pellets at one end and it creates cool smoke for hours on end. 

      I use any of my smokers to do this by setting blocks of cheese on the grate and the AMNPS on the grate as well. The smoker will stay cool and the cheese will get amazing smoked flavor.

      I wrote a newsleter about smoking cheese and I did a review on this very product at http://www.smoking-meat.com/may-2010-smoking-cheese

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