There’s nothing quite like the taste of smoked cheese. It’s a delicious, savory ingredient that can be enjoyed in many ways. But what’s the best cheese to smoke if you’re looking to smoke it yourself? Let’s review your best bets, along with a few that you should avoid.
Table of Contents
- Why smoke cheese
- Top three kinds of cheese to smoke
- Cheeses to avoid smoking
- What wood chips work well to smoke cheese?
- Should you cold smoke or hot smoke cheese?
- Does liquid smoke work to add a smoky flavor to cheese?
- Must-read related posts
Why smoke cheese
Smoked cheese is a great way to add flavor to your favorite recipes. The cheese takes on smoky, earthy, and even sometimes nutty undertones that add unique depth. It can be used as a topping on pizzas, salads, and burgers – to name only a few use cases. The list is long.
Not to mention, smoking cheese also preserves its quality and extends its shelf life.
Top three kinds of cheese to smoke
Cheddar is one of the most popular types of cheese in the world. It’s a versatile cheese that can be used in various dishes. When smoked, cheddar takes on a delicious, nutty flavor that is sure to please your taste buds.
Gouda is a Dutch cheese known for its sweet and creamy taste. And it’s also one of the most popular smoked cheeses you’ll find in grocery stores. When smoked, gouda becomes even more flavorful, smoky and a touch nutty in taste.
Pepper jack is a type of Monterey Jack cheese that’s flavored with chili peppers. It’s a spicy cheese that can really pack a punch. And when smoked, the flavors become even more intense. If you love both spicy and smoky food, pepper jack may be the best smoked cheese for you.
Brie is a French cheese known for its rich and creamy flavor. When smoked, brie becomes even more decadent, with a smooth and smoky taste that works incredibly well with crackers and fruits. Brie has a high moisture content, so take care when smoking. It may not hold up as well as harder types of cheese.
Mozzarella is an Italian cheese known for its fresh and light flavor. When smoked, mozzarella takes on a delicious, smoky flavor. Note that mozzarella also has more moisture than many other kinds of cheese, so it may not hold up well in the smoking process.
Cheeses to avoid smoking
While there are many great kinds of cheese to smoke, there are also some that you should avoid. Cheeses that are among the highest in moisture content, such as ricotta, can become mushy (or even mushier) when smoked.
Additionally, cheeses made with mold-ripened cultures, such as Camembert and Roquefort, can develop an unpleasant bitter flavor when smoked.
What wood chips work well to smoke cheese?
There are a variety of wood chips that can be used to smoke cheese. Hickory, mesquite, and pecan all work well. Be sure to soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes before using them. This will help to prevent the wood from burning too quickly.
–> Learn More: The Smoker Wood Chips Guide
Should you cold smoke or hot smoke cheese?
There are pros and cons to both cold smoking and hot smoking cheese.
With cold smoking, the cheese is smoked at a lower temperature over a longer period of time. This results in a smoke flavor that is less intense, but also more delicate. The cheese will also have a firmer texture. Cold smoking is likely the better option for more delicate types of cheese, like brie, mozzarella, or other softer cheeses.
With hot smoking, the cheese is smoked at a higher temperature over a shorter period of time. This results in a smoke flavor that is more intense, but it can also be harsher in taste. The cheese will also have a softer texture. Firmer cheeses to start can handle hot smoking better. It also works well with sharp cheese that needs a bold smoke to taste the best.
–> Learn More: Hot Smoking Vs. Cold Smoking – How Do They Compare?
Does liquid smoke work to add a smoky flavor to cheese?
Yes, liquid smoke can add a smoky flavor to cheese, though it won’t have nearly the depth of smoking the cheese in a smoker. That said, it’s a viable solution to add a little depth to their flavor for cheeses with higher moisture content that wouldn’t hold up to smoking.
If you go this route, it is important to use liquid smoke sparingly, as too much can make the cheese taste bitter. Additionally, you’ll want to be sure to use a high-quality liquid smoke for the best flavor. Only use liquid smoke that is marked as all-natural. Some types use chemicals to get the smoky flavor, and those can lead to a sharp, artificial taste.
Must-read related posts
- What Are The Best Fruits To Grill? Any of these make excellent desserts post-barbecue.
- What Are The Best Fish To Smoke? Some fish hold up better to smoking than others.
- How To Use Liquid Smoke For The Best Flavor: Amazing things can be done with liquid smoke, but you’ll want to use it correctly.