Since the dawn of time, humans have loved combining cheese with everything: bread, wine, chocolate, and anything barbecued. While most of us have turned off our grills for the winter, there’s still one way to bring together our love of both BBQ and cheese during the cold winter months. Enter savory, comforting cold-smoked cheese.
What is Cold-Smoking?
Generally, a barbecue grill must be heated between 225-250°F, which guarantees a gooey pool of melted cheese. However, there are times when you want all that smoky flavor in a firm, snackable wedge—and this is where cold-smoking comes to the rescue. Essentially, cold-smoking involves producing smoke that emits very little or no heat. You can cold-smoke a cheese on either a charcoal grill or a gas grill.
How to Cold-Smoke Cheese
Method 1: Charcoal Grill
If you’re going with a charcoal grill, you can use either charcoal or a specific flavor of smoking wood. The cheese should be smoked for 1-3 hours, with the temperature never rising above 90°F. To keep the temperatures down, place the slab of cheese on a grilling grate or another type of rack over an aluminum tin full of ice.
Method 2: Gas Grill
The second method involves a gas grill. Rather than using propane or heat, use a hot plate. In one area of the grill, place the hot plate directly on the grill grate. Fill an aluminum pie plate with wood chips and cover it before putting on top of the hot plate. Make sure to poke holes in it to allow the smoke to escape.
In another area of the grill, place an aluminum tin of ice directly on the grill grate, and place the cheese in a baking cooling pan on an extra grate. As with the charcoal method, the cheese should be smoked at 90°F for 1-3 hours.
Your cheese is not ready quite yet! After the cheese has been cold-smoked for 1-3 hours, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for three days to allow the cheese to absorb the flavor.
Smoking Hot Pro Tip: Using smoking wood is a great way to enhance the flavors of your BBQ. The most popular woods include hickory and mesquite.
Find a list of top smokers here!