Need an idea for a snack platter at your next party? Try smoked cheese!
Breathe some life into the typical party tray of cheese, crackers, and perhaps some summer sausage by adding some smoked cheddar or Swiss cheese! Smoked cheese also ratchets up the WOW power of other recipes, like mac ‘n’ cheese, home-made party dips, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.
We’ve tried cold smoking different ways, and with different products, and the easiest and most effective way we’ve found is by using the ingenious (and very inexpensive) 5″x8″ Maze made by Amaze’n Products. This thing is as close to fool-proof as it gets, and the only thing you really need to worry about is restraining yourself from eating all the cheese before the party!
- Set up your grill or smoker for cold smoking. For harder cheeses like cheddars, use pecan or those great Jack Daniel’s pellets. For softer cheeses like Muenster, try apple or herb pellets.
- Smoke the cheese for 90 minutes, then turn upside-down. This prevents unsightly lighter streaks from the grill grate.
- Smoke for another 90 minutes, then remove from the smoker.
- If the cheese has softened noticeably, chill for 20-30 minutes before vacuum sealing or wrapping in plastic wrap. Age in your refrigerator at least a week, preferably a month or more. Aging softens the initial harshness of the smoke, and as the cheese ages, the flavors really start to complement each other.
Cold smoking generates little or no heat, but if cold smoking on a warm day, the temperature inside your smoker will very likely be high enough to melt the cheese. Move your smoker into the shade and add a tray of ice below the cheese to prevent this.