How to Smoke Cheese: Techniques for Infusing Cheese with Smoky Flavors

How to Smoke Cheese: Techniques for Infusing Cheese with Smoky Flavors

As a professional food writer and content creator, I have had the opportunity to experiment with various cooking techniques and ingredients. One of my favorite ways to add a unique flavor to cheese is by smoking it. Smoking cheese is a process that infuses the cheese with a smoky flavor, giving it a distinct taste that pairs well with crackers, bread, and wine.

Smoking cheese is not as difficult as it may seem, and with a few simple steps, you can create a delicious and flavorful cheese that will impress your guests. In this article, I will share my personal experience and techniques for smoking cheese, including the tools and equipment you need, the types of wood to use, and the steps to follow for a successful smoking process.

Whether you are a cheese lover or a food enthusiast looking to try something new, smoking cheese is a fun and exciting way to elevate your cheese game. So, let’s get started and learn how to smoke cheese like a pro!

Why Smoke Cheese?

Smoking cheese is a great way to add a depth of flavor to your favorite cheeses. The smoky flavor pairs well with the natural creaminess of cheese and can elevate any dish. Whether you’re a cheese lover or a foodie looking to experiment with new flavors, smoking cheese is a fun and easy way to add a unique twist to your favorite dishes.

Enhances Flavor

Smoking cheese enhances the natural flavors of the cheese, adding a subtle smoky taste that complements the creamy texture. The smoky flavor can also help to balance out the saltiness of certain cheeses, making them more enjoyable to eat.

Preserves Cheese

Smoking cheese can also help to preserve it. Smoke acts as a natural preservative, helping to extend the shelf life of your favorite cheeses. This can be especially helpful if you have a lot of cheese that you want to store for an extended period of time.

Great for Entertaining

Smoked cheese can be a great addition to any cheese board or charcuterie platter. The unique smoky flavor can add a new dimension to your favorite cheese pairings, making them more interesting and enjoyable for your guests.

Easy to Do at Home

Smoking cheese is a simple process that can be done at home with a few basic tools. All you need is a smoker, some wood chips, and your favorite cheese. With a little bit of patience and experimentation, you can create your own unique smoked cheese blends that will impress your friends and family.

Benefits of Smoking Cheese
Enhances flavor
Preserves cheese
Great for entertaining
Easy to do at home

cheese selection

Choosing the Right Cheese

When it comes to smoking cheese, choosing the right type of cheese is crucial. Not all cheeses are created equal, and some types of cheese are better suited for smoking than others.

Hard Cheese

Hard cheeses like cheddar, gouda, and parmesan are great options for smoking as they have a firm texture and can withstand the heat of the smoker without melting too quickly. These types of cheese also have a more pronounced flavor that can stand up to the smoky taste.

Semi-Soft Cheese

Semi-soft cheeses like havarti, fontina, and swiss are also good options for smoking. They have a slightly softer texture than hard cheese, but still hold up well in the smoker. These cheeses have a milder flavor than hard cheese, but can still benefit from the added smokiness.

Soft Cheese

Soft cheeses like brie, camembert, and ricotta are not recommended for smoking as they have a very delicate texture and can melt quickly in the smoker. These types of cheese also have a mild flavor that can easily be overwhelmed by the smokiness.

When choosing cheese to smoke, it’s important to consider the texture and flavor of the cheese. Hard and semi-soft cheeses are the best options, while soft cheeses should be avoided.

smoking equipment

Preparing for Smoking

Before smoking cheese, there are a few things you need to do to ensure your cheese comes out perfectly infused with smoky flavors. Here are the three main steps:

Gathering Equipment

The first step is to gather all necessary equipment for smoking cheese. You will need a smoker, cheese, wood chips, a thermometer, and a tray to hold the cheese.

  • Smoker: You can use any type of smoker, but a cold smoker is recommended for smoking cheese because it produces less heat.
  • Cheese: Choose a cheese that is firm and can withstand the smoking process. Some good options include cheddar, Gouda, and mozzarella.
  • Wood chips: Choose a wood that will complement the type of cheese you are smoking. For example, applewood is great for smoking cheddar cheese.
  • Thermometer: A thermometer will help you monitor the temperature inside the smoker.
  • Tray: Use a tray to hold the cheese and prevent it from sticking to the smoker rack.

Prepping the Cheese

Before smoking the cheese, you need to prepare it by cutting it into smaller pieces or blocks. This will allow the smoke to penetrate the cheese more easily. You can also rub the cheese with spices or herbs to add additional flavor.

Choosing the Wood

Choosing the right wood is important for infusing your cheese with the right amount of smoky flavor. Different woods will produce different flavors, so choose one that complements the type of cheese you are smoking. Here are some common woods and the flavors they produce:

Wood Flavor
Applewood Sweet and fruity
Hickory Strong and smoky
Alder Mild and sweet

Now that you have gathered your equipment, prepped your cheese, and chosen your wood, you are ready to start smoking your cheese. Follow the next steps to smoke your cheese to perfection.

smoking methods

Cold Smoking vs Hot Smoking

When it comes to smoking cheese, there are two main techniques to choose from: cold smoking and hot smoking. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the differences between them before deciding which one to use.

Cold Smoking

Cold smoking is a technique that involves smoking cheese at a low temperature for an extended period of time. The temperature is usually kept below 90°F to prevent the cheese from melting or becoming too soft. This method is ideal for cheeses that have a delicate flavor and texture, such as brie or camembert.

One of the advantages of cold smoking is that it allows the cheese to absorb the smoky flavor without altering its texture. However, the downside is that it can take several hours or even days to achieve the desired level of smokiness. Additionally, cold smoking requires a specialized smoker that is designed to maintain a low temperature over a long period of time.

Hot Smoking

Hot smoking, on the other hand, involves smoking cheese at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. The temperature is typically between 150°F and 200°F, which is hot enough to melt the cheese slightly. This method is best for harder cheeses, such as cheddar or gouda.

The advantage of hot smoking is that it produces a smokier flavor in a shorter amount of time. However, the downside is that the cheese may become too soft or even melt if it’s not monitored closely. Hot smoking also requires a smoker that can maintain a higher temperature.


Both cold smoking and hot smoking can be effective techniques for smoking cheese. The choice between them will depend on the type of cheese you’re using and the level of smokiness you want to achieve. Regardless of which method you choose, smoking cheese is a delicious way to add a unique flavor to your favorite dishes.

smoking techniques

Smoking Techniques

There are two main smoking techniques that you can use to infuse your cheese with a smoky flavor: the basic technique and the advanced technique.

Basic Technique

The basic smoking technique involves using wood chips and a smoking box to generate smoke. Here are the steps:

  1. Soak your wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Place the wood chips in a smoking box and place the box on the grill grates.
  3. Preheat your grill to 90-100°F (32-38°C).
  4. Place your cheese on the grill grates, away from the smoking box.
  5. Close the lid and smoke the cheese for 1-3 hours, depending on how smoky you want it to be.
  6. Remove the cheese from the grill and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Advanced Technique

The advanced smoking technique involves using a cold smoking generator to generate smoke and a smoking chamber to contain the smoke. Here are the steps:

  1. Fill the cold smoking generator with wood pellets and light it with a torch.
  2. Attach the cold smoking generator to the smoking chamber.
  3. Preheat your smoking chamber to 90-100°F (32-38°C).
  4. Place your cheese in the smoking chamber.
  5. Close the door and smoke the cheese for 1-3 hours, depending on how smoky you want it to be.
  6. Remove the cheese from the smoking chamber and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Pros and Cons of Basic and Advanced Smoking Techniques
Technique Pros Cons
Basic Easy to set up and use May not infuse the cheese with as much smoke flavor
Advanced Can infuse the cheese with more smoke flavor More complicated and expensive

smoked cheese serving

Storing and Serving Smoked Cheese

Proper storage of smoked cheese is crucial to maintain its flavor and texture. Here are some tips for storing your smoked cheese:

  • Store smoked cheese in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
  • Keep smoked cheese in the refrigerator at a temperature between 34°F to 40°F (1°C to 4°C).
  • Avoid storing smoked cheese in the freezer as it can affect its texture and flavor.
  • If you have a large piece of smoked cheese, cut it into smaller portions and wrap each portion separately to prevent exposure to air.

Now that you know how to store your smoked cheese properly, here are some serving suggestions:

  • Serve smoked cheese on a cheese board with crackers, nuts, and fruits.
  • Use smoked cheese as a topping for salads, pizzas, or pasta dishes.
  • Melt smoked cheese on top of burgers or sandwiches for an added smoky flavor.
  • Pair smoked cheese with a glass of red wine or a cold beer for a perfect match.
Smoked Cheese Storage Chart
Storage Method Storage Temperature Storage Duration
Airtight container or plastic wrap 34°F to 40°F (1°C to 4°C) Up to 2 weeks
Cheese paper 34°F to 40°F (1°C to 4°C) Up to 4 weeks
Cheese cave 50°F to 55°F (10°C to 13°C) Up to 2 months

By following these storage and serving tips, you can enjoy the delicious smoky flavor of your smoked cheese for weeks or even months!

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