Cheese From Cold Smoke The How-To And Photos Of A Addon "Cold Box."
The Bradley smoker's versatility makes it a perfect tool to smoke cheese. As you know, cheese is typically cold smoked- that means smoked at temperatures ranging from 70°-100° F. tops. Your goal is to infuse the cheese with your choice of smoke flavors- not cook it and turn into cheese soup. The ambient temperature, sun and wind can play a role in keeping the Bradley temperature in that target range.
Many simply use the smoke generator as the only source of heat (of course it's also necessary to create smoke) and unplug the Bradley cabinet, therefore reducing the amount of heat generated.
You can also keep the vent open so the heat can escape. If you live in a warmer climate where the ambient temperature remains quite warm, it has been found that filling an aluminum pan with ice and placing it on a lower rack or by filling the drip bowl with ice rather than water helps reduce the internal temperature. If the sun is your enemy, try placing your smoker in a shaded area.
Some have resorted to smoking cheese in the evenings or at night when the ambient temperature is at its lowest.
Below are two pictures that show another brilliant idea on how to cold smoke cheese. A second box is added between the smoke generator and the Bradley unit. It has been reported by member that by using this second box the temperature of the Bradley unit is only raise by 7-8 degrees F over ambient air temperature
Now there are many types of cheese that take smoke well and some that don't seem to accept it quite as naturally. Everyone has different tastes and we always encourage you to experiment- so this is simply a guideline for those wishing to try this delicacy. Cheddar, mozarella, swiss, gouda, pepper jack, fontina, provolone and even parmesan seem to be your typical favorites. The most common types of wood are apple, cherry, maple, pecan and for a heavier flavor, hickory.
It doesn't take long to smoke cheese and the typical smoke period will run from 1-2 hrs. Again, experimentation is key. It's recommended to smoke for a shorter period of time the first time and increase slightly until you've reached your desired level of smokiness. It's wise to keep precise records of types of wood used, types of cheese, amount of time smoked for future reference.
Another tip is to smoke smaller pieces of cheese - try one or two pound pieces . Some like to cut the cheese into 1-2 inch thicknesses so that when they cut off a piece its perfect cracker size.
Many strongly recommend wrapping the cheese in foil or plastic wrap after removing from the smoker and refrigerate it for a couple of hours or even overnight- this is said to let the smoke settle into the cheese and give a better overall flavor. If you notice that your cheese "perspires" you can wipe it down with a paper towel or a clean cloth. Some will even smoke the cheese wrapped in a cheesecloth or an old T-shirt (clean, of course).
Try it on a simple cracker, your own pizza creations or with nachos.