Cheese adds flavor and richness to many delicacies. Smoked cheese gives this excellent accompaniment more value and increases its shelf-life. Also, you can save a couple of bucks if you know how to smoke cheese on a pit boss pellet grill.
Well-smoked cheese is a valuable commodity. Besides easing your budget, the process is eye-opening. Once you experience the results, you’ll want to try and express different flavors as the possibilities are endless.
How To Prep Cheese You Intend To Smoke
Dehydrate your cheese overnight before smoking it the next day. Drying is a means of preservation since bacteria readily thrive on moist surfaces.
Cheese with higher moisture content melts faster, so you’ll have to be precise while managing the grill temperature. Therefore, leave your cheese block uncovered inside the refrigerator.
The Best Way To Smoke Cheese Without Melting It On A Pellet Grill
You’ll get smoke from burning wood. These fumes are usually sufficiently heated to melt the cheese. However, cold smoking works at a significantly lower temperature.
The cooled fumes coat your cheese without altering its form and structure, so you’re going to need ice blocks inside the pellet grill to bring the temperature down a notch.
How To Smoke Cheese On A Pit Boss Pellet Grill – 5 Steps
1. Setup The Grill
Grab everything you need for smoking. When considering an eclectic smoker vs a pellet smoker, a pellet grill is the best type to use for this process because it is enclosed and allows your cheese to get a nice wrap of smoky goodness.
Regular food smoking takes place at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. However, soft cheese will quickly turn into liquid, so you must keep the temperature below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Besides using ice, you should also consider cooler conditions. For example, place your grill under a shade if you live in a hot place and cannot escape the heat. When possible, choose a cold day for smoking, as the winter months offer the best conditions.
Moreover, make sure you have a thermometer on hand to monitor temperature fluctuations.
2. Ice Is Essential
When cold smoking, you need ice. Smoke is a product of heated wood chips and can get hot enough to melt the cheese. Incorporating ice, however, drops the temperature of the smoke. Instead of liquefying your cheese blocks, the smoke wraps around them and infuses them with an exquisite flavor.
So have a pan of ice cubes ready inside the pellet grill. Ideally, the smoke should go through this level while rising to your cheese.
Fortunately, a pellet grill is quite sizable, so you can place the cheese platter as far away from the heat source as possible. Then, position the ice blocks in between.
Remember to check up on the pellet grill routinely. The ice melts while the smoke heats the grill’s internal temperature. Therefore, you might need to replenish both ice and wood pellets to maintain an ideal quantity of cold smoke.
3. Use The Right Hardwood To Produce Smoke
Wood pellets are a crucial element in the smoking process. Different kinds of woods result in varying flavors. Firstly, you’ll have to confirm that the best hardwood is safe for human consumption and devoid of additives.
Ideally, it would be best if you started smoking cheese using mild flavors. Apple, cherry, and maple are standout options for beginners. Once you’ve got a bit of experience smoking cheese, you may select stronger pellets such as pecan. These wood chips deliver a nuttier flavor to your cheese.
Push the cylindrical pellets into your grill’s hopper, which directs them into the burning section. Here, the wood chips heat up and produce smoke.
4. Duration Of Smoking Cheese
If you want a stronger flavor from the hardwood, give the cheese plenty of time to absorb as much smoke as possible.
Smoking for extended periods means that the wood chips produce more smoke. Under the right conditions, the cheese sits and takes in as much of the fumes as it can.
On the other hand, different types of cheese determine the time you need to smoke. For example, soft cheese has an easy-to-penetrate exterior. You’ll need a much shorter duration to infuse these types with a smoky essence.
Moreover, if you’ve got smaller cheese pieces, it’ll take a shorter time to smoke them. A larger block of cheese demands more time for the smoke to wrap around fully.
For most people, flavorful cheese works best. And you’ll need only two hours to arouse that smoky essence!
5. Allow The Cheese To Rest Before Using It
You might be eager to try out your new creation, but the newly smoked cheese won’t be as good. Immediately after pulling the block from the pellet grill, the smoky flavor is prominent on the surface. Giving the cheese plenty of time to sit distributes this zest throughout the cheese.
So gently take out the block, wrap it under the parchment paper, store it for two days, after which you should place it in a vacuum-sealed environment.
If you don’t have a vacuum seal, you may use a zip-lock bag instead. Then dunk them in water to get rid of air bubbles. When storing cheese, make sure you date the container. Then keep it away for two weeks before you enjoy it.
Smoking cheese naturally increases its shelf-life. So if you’ve got some to spare, smoke the blocks to store them for up to a year.
Types Of Cheese To Smoke
There are different types of cheese, and what you choose will affect the smoking process. On the one hand, hard cheese will take longer to absorb a smoky flavor. It is also less prone to disintegrating under higher temperatures.
Soft cheese has more moisture and naturally melts faster. However, you’ll spend less time infusing a smoky essence. The wax coating inhibits the fumes from getting into the cheese. You can avoid varieties with a rind, but you can also cut away this wax coating.
The best type of cheese is not soft but semi-hard. Cheddar cheese is a popular option because it won’t melt until 150 degrees Fahrenheit. However, for beginners, you should have a bit of wiggle room, especially during temperature control.
Smoked cheese is routinely more expensive than regular cheese. So if you own a pellet grill, go ahead and get some store-bought cheese. If you know how to smoke cheese on a pit boss pellet grill, you’re going to save a lot of cash.
Before purchasing your preferred hardwood pellets, understand that there are different flavors from the varying wood chips. And if you’re only starting, go with a mild flavor to familiarize yourself with the procedure.