Many types of wood can be used for smoking cheese, but some woods are better than others. Some of the most popular woods for smoking cheese include oak, maple, and hickory. Each type of wood has its unique flavor that will add to the taste of the cheese.
Smoked cheese is an excellent addition to any meal, and it is incredibly delicious when paired with a cold glass of beer or wine. If you want a new way to enjoy your favorite type of cheese, then smoked cheese is worth trying.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the best woods for smoking cheese and discuss the benefits of each. We’ll also provide other important tips on how to smoke cheese using these woods.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about smoking cheese, keep reading!
What Is Smoked Cheese?
Smoked cheese is a type of cheese that is smoked over wood chips or a smoldering fire. This gives the cheese a distinct flavor and aroma that is often reminiscent of bacon or ham.
Smoked cheese can be made from any milk, but it is most commonly made from cow’s milk. The smoking process can vary depending on the type of cheese and the desired flavor, but it typically takes a couple of hours to complete.
Smoked cheese pairs well with various foods, including crackers, bread, fruit, and meats. It can also be melted and used in recipes such as macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches.
Whether you’re enjoying it on its own or using it as an ingredient, it is a delicious way to add some flavor to your next meal. Before reading more, check out how you can smoke cheese on a pellet grill.
Best Wood For Smoking Cheese: 6 Picks
1. Apple Wood
Applewood smoke is often described as sweet and mellow, with a hint of fruitiness. Whether you’re using a pellet smoker or simply looking for a way to add new dimensions of flavor to your home-cooked meals, apple wood is an excellent choice for smoking cheese.
It also has a relatively mild smoke flavor so that it won’t overwhelm the cheese taste.
If you’re using a smoker, apple wood chunks are the best way. Add them to your smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then place your cheese on the racks. Smoke the cheese for 1-2 hours or until it reaches the desired level of smokiness.
Newbie? Not a Problem!!
You can still smoke cheese using apple wood if you aren’t an avid smoker. Place a few pieces of apple wood on top of your grill or campfire, and let them smolder until they produce thin wisps of smoke.
Then, place your cheese on a wire rack over the fire and cover it with foil or a lid. The cheese will absorb the smoke flavor as it cooks, so check it frequently and remove it from the heat when it reaches the desired level of smokiness.
2. Maple Wood
Regarding smoking cheese, maple wood is often considered one of the best wood types. This is because maple wood imparts a subtle sweetness to the cheese, which helps to balance out the smoky flavor.
In addition, maple wood produces a lot of smoke without creating too much heat. This is important because too much heat can cause the cheese to melt. Moreover, these wood chips can be found at most hardware stores or online.
If you are using fresh maple wood, it is essential to soak the wood in water for at least 30 minutes before using it.
3. Peach Wood
Peachwood has a light, fruity flavor that pairs well with many types of cheese. When selecting peach wood for smoking cheese, it is essential to choose hardwood chunks or chips that have been properly seasoned. Seasoned wood will have been cut and left to air dry for at least six months.
Once the peach wood is ready to use, it should be placed in a smoker or on a charcoal grill over low heat. The cheese should be placed in the smoker for about 60 minutes or until it reaches the desired smoke flavor level.
4. Hickory Wood
Hickory imparts a distinct flavor to the cheese prized by many cheese lovers. When used for smoking cheese, hickory wood chips or chunks are typically added to the smoker along with the cheese. The cheese is then smoked for several hours until it has absorbed the desired amount of flavor from the hickory smoke.
Choosing hickory wood that has been aged and seasoned is essential, as this will help prevent the wood from imparting a bitter flavor to the cheese. This wood is readily available from most hardware and home improvement stores.
5. Oak Wood
Oak wood is often used for smoking cheese because it imparts a lightly smoked flavor and helps to protect the cheese from mold growth. The oak wood is first burned to create smoke to smoke the cheese. The cheese is then placed in a smokehouse where it is exposed to the smoke for some time.
The length of time that the cheese is smoked will depend on the desired flavor profile. After being smoked, the cheese is then aged to allow the flavors to develop fully. This process results in a delicious, smoked cheese with a deep flavor and a lingering finish.
6. Pecan Wood
Pecan wood is another popular choice for smoking cheese. The nutty flavor of the smoke compliments the natural flavors of the cheese, and the pecan smoke also helps to create a beautiful bark on the surface of the cheese.
Pecans are hardwood, so they burn hot and produce a lot of smoke. This makes them ideal for use by a smoker, but it also means that you need to be careful not to over-smoke the cheese.
It can be used to smoke a variety of cheeses, including cheddar, gouda, and Swiss. The smoking process imparts a unique flavor to the cheese that is perfect for enjoying on its own or using in recipes.
This wood can be obtained from various sources, including online retailers, specialty food stores, and even some hardware stores. When selecting pecan wood for smoking cheese, make sure to choose logs that are free of any chemicals or pesticides.
You should also pay attention to the size of the logs, as larger pieces will produce more smoke than smaller ones.
Important Factors To Consider
- Choose your cheese wisely – not all cheese is created equal when it comes to smoking! A firmer cheese like cheddar or Swiss will hold up better to the smoking process than a softer cheese like Brie or camembert.
- Cut your cheese into even, bite-sized pieces for easy smoking and even results.
- If you’re using a smoker, it’s important to soak your wood chips for at least 30 minutes before using them. This will help to prevent the chips from burning too quickly and imparting an unpleasant flavor to the cheese.
- It’s also important to preheat your smoker before adding any cheese. This will help to ensure that the cheese doesn’t stick to the smoker walls and that the smoke has a chance to evenly distribute throughout the chamber.
- In general, it’s best to smoke cheese at lower temperatures. This will help to prevent the cheese from melting and also allow the smoke to better penetrate the cheese.
- It’s important to keep an eye on the cheese while it’s smoking, as the exact time will vary depending on the type of cheese and the temperature of the smoker. A good rule of thumb is to smoke the cheese for 1-2 hours.
- Once the cheese is smoked, it’s important to allow it to cool slightly before cutting into it. This will help to prevent the cheese from crumbling or falling apart.
- Finally, smoked cheese can be enjoyed on its own or used in various recipes. Some great ideas include using it in grilled cheese sandwiches, on pizzas, or even in macaroni and cheese.
What Woods Not To Use For Smoking Cheese
When smoking cheese, it’s important to avoid using any conifer wood. Conifers like pine, fir, redwood, spruce, and cypress contain high levels of sap, which can impart an unpleasant flavor to the cheese.
In addition, the smoke from conifers can be overly intense, making it difficult to taste the subtle flavors of the cheese. Also, avoid using eucalyptus, elm, sycamore, and liquid amber when smoking cheese. These woods can also impart an unpleasant flavor to the cheese.
When selecting wood for smoking cheese, choose fruitwoods like apple or cherry. These woods will impart a milder flavor that won’t overwhelm the cheese taste.
Read Also: 5 Best wood for smoking ribs
How long is smoked cheese good for?
Correctly sealed and packed smoked cheese can last 6-9 months. When smoked cheese is first opened, it is best to consume it within 2-3 weeks. It’s important to note that smoked cheese can vary in quality and freshness, so it’s always best to check the expiration date before eating.
How long does it take to smoke cheese?
It takes 2-4 hours to smoke cheese, with constant smoke. The key to successful cheese smoking is maintaining a constant temperature and ensuring the cheese doesn’t dry out.
What do you wrap cheese in after smoking?
After smoking cheese, it must be wrapped in butcher or parchment paper to allow it to breathe. Remove the cheese from the paper and place it in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours before vacuum-sealing it. This will help preserve the flavor and freshness of your cheese. Enjoy!
So, what is the best wood for smoking cheese? The answer to that question may depend on your taste preferences, but we recommend using a hardwood like oak or maple. These woods will impart a delicate smoky flavor that won’t overpower the subtle flavors of your cheese.
Experiment with different types of woods to see which you prefer, and remember to keep an eye on the temperature, so your cheese doesn’t get too smoky or burnt.
Now that you know all about smoking cheese go out and try it for yourself! What type of cheese will you smoke first?