This is a really simple process and the results will make you wonder why you've never tried homemade smoked cheese before. Forget about smoked cheeses bought from your local supermarket - this is the real deal, no painted on chemicals here.
This recipe was given to us by our friends at ProQ.
- 500g Mature Cheddar Cheese
- Other types of cheese work just as well. We recommend cold smoking soft cheeses (like camembert, brie etc.) whole.
- Slice the cheddar into 1 inch pieces and place the cheese on the racks in your smoker. Make sure there are spaces between each piece, to allow the smoke to move freely between your cheese. Remember that ambient temperatures are relevant, so if it's a scorcher of a day (above 86°F/30°C) don't attempt cold smoking cheese as it will melt.
- Fire up your ProQ Cold Smoke Generator (see instruction manual) and place it at least 30cm below the cheese. Close the lid of your smoker. If your unit has adjustable air vents, the main principles to remember are as follows: the amount of smoke required to flavour food is minimal. Basically you need as much smoke going out as the amount going in, so you may have to close your top vent a bit. Billowing smoke, or smoke that is trapped in the smoker, will leave a 'creosote like' residue and taste.
- Sit back and relax. After 2-3 hours, remove the cheese from the smoker and pat it dry with kitchen towel.
- Wrap the cheese in clingfilm or kitchen foil and place in the fridge to rest overnight, or for a better flavour, leave for a week or more. The resting time helps the smoke flavour to mellow.