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Another happy newbie here, with questions for you experienced ones. We bought a 025 and have been having a ball with it so far, it's fun to experiment and most everything has turned out great. Along the lines of any of you toss in with your wood chips, a sprig of rosemary or other herbs? I'm thinking it should add flavor but maybe not.
Also, I am getting my cold smoke baffle today and will be smoking some cheese right directly. One cheese that I have had in the past and enjoyed is sage cheese. I would love to be able to get that flavor in my smoked cheese. Any idea how I could do this? I wonder if, after smoking the cheese, I could wrap fresh sage leaves around the cheese while it is "marinating" in the refrigerator for a couple of days? Or would I be better off trying to add the sage during the smoking process? Hummm.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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It sounds like you had the sage cheese before- did you buy it that way? If so, then just smoke the sage cheese. Check out the "find" button-lots of information on cold smoking cheeses.

I like cheddar, swiss,pepper jack (excellent)

Be careful with your heat- cheese melts fast.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
Welcome to the Cookshack family and forum. As an experimenter myself, I use a single cup metal tea strainer to put spices such as whole peppercorns or cloves in then place it in the wood box. It allows for longer smoldering while retarding flame ups. The resulting smoke won’t last as long as the wood, but does add a layer of extra flavor during the early stages of the smoke.

Although I have not aged cheese with herbs, it might be advantageous to wrap the cheese in one layer of cheese cloth before applying the herbs. It should help in removing the herbs cleanly when the time comes.

Maybe the following will help.
Good Luck,
When smoking Prime Rib for Christmas in an Amerique a few years back, I added several good sized spears of Rosemary to the wood box. It made for a nice aroma but I can't say it added flavor to the meat.

Last year I rubbed the PR with a Kosher salt-course ground black pepper-chopped garlic-EVOO-minced (fresh) Rosemary paste prior to smoking.
It gave the meat a nuance of Rosemary.

Welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the replies to my herb question. The original sage cheese I am trying to duplicate was bought a few years ago while traveling and I can't find it anymore. It was so good. I think it was made back east somewhere.
I have some cheese in the smoker right now, my first attempt with the cold baffle. When I first fired it up it got too hot so I opened the door and let it cool down, then added more ice and started over again with fresh wood. This times it held right around 100 degrees. A little too hot but not bad. I am trying to figure out how to get enough ice in there for next time. There is only so much room in the 025 . Fingers are crossed for a successful smoke on my cheese!

The sage cheese you're referring to probably is what's known as Sage Derby (Pron. Darby). It's an cheese that was originally produced and sold in England in the 1700s around the Christmas holidays. The sage was/is incorporated in the production stage, not afterwards.

There are several US producers that have it available online. Most use fresh sage, or sage extract, plus chlorophyll which creates additional overall color plus darker green veins. Just Google "Sage Derby".

I doubt that you're going to come up with the same taste by smoking cheese with fresh sage on it, but it might be interesting anyway. If you decide to try it, I second Mr. T's recommendation about using cheese cloth.

Good luck.
Ok,?i finally remembered the name of the sage cheese manufacturer:
Wow, their cheese is really good, it would be fun to try to smoke their sage cheese just to see.
The cheese I smoked earlier today was a Colby jack and it turned out pretty good but did have a bit of a harsh smoke taste. I used cherry and apple for the wood. I think next time I will let the yellow smoke burn off a bit before putting the cheese in the smoker. I wrapped it up and it is aging in the ref. I think it will taste even better tomorrow or the next day.
Product Description
Our cheddar is evenly seasoned with hand-rubbed Dalmation sage and natural sage oil, resulting in a fresh, herbal note that pairs naturally with aged cheddar.

Why wouldn't this work?
Infuse some neutral oil with sage.
Rub it on the block of sharp cheddar cheese and sprinkle with rubbed or ground sage. Smoke and Vac pack sage and all.
Or maybe vac pack and rest in the fridge for a few weeks then smoke.
What do ya think?
Well, you guys did it to me again. I ordered both the Grafton Village 4 yr old and the Sage Cheddars. They sounded too good to pass up.

We're going to do Party Night Saturday and watch of our favorite family dinner/event things. Sliced cheeses, sausages, salami, various gourmet crackers, Triskets, rye cocktail bread, etc. with a good wine (or two Big Grin ). Think I'll smoke up garlic sausage, Bratwurst, and Andoulle. I'm going to try to work in TN Q's smoked salmon spread (have to do this around golf). Cool

For cold smoking cheese, be aware that the 025 fires up for 20 minutes full blast to get the smoke going. So you might want to wait those 20 minutes before putting the baffle, ice, and cheese in the smoker.

I have an older 055 without a programmable controller and I will only run it for 25 mins with the baffle in place. Then I turn the smoker off and let it sit for 1 1/2 hours.. That usually is enough, but I could do that process again if I needed more smoke on the cheese.
Hey, this is such a great forum! Lots of interaction and nice people sharing and helping with each other.
I hope the sage cheese tastes as good as I remembered. I found some sage cheese one other time from a different company but it wasn't nearly as good as the grafton.

I like the sounds of trying to put sage and sage oil on some cheddar. Just might work.

Also, thanks for the hint about letting the 025 burn for 20 minutes and then load it up. Do I turn it off at that point? Hopefully I can load it up quickly before loosing too much smoke.

Thanks to you all! Such fun!
Originally posted by Phaeton:
Also, thanks for the hint about letting the 025 burn for 20 minutes and then load it up. Do I turn it off at that point? Hopefully I can load it up quickly before loosing too much smoke

Naw!, let it go 20 minutes after putting the baffle,ice, and cheese in and then shut it off. Wait a hour, check out the cheese and see if you need to redo the process.

The cheese will gain more smoke flavor with a night of rest in the frig.

Good luck and keep good notes for future reference.

Some readin on cheese from Smokin'....remember this was done before the new smokers with the warmup cycle!
Last edited by cal 2
Well. I tried the Grafton Village 4 yr old and the Sage Cheddars. Good suggestion Max. The Grafton Village Cheddar was excellent. The Sage was a decent cheese, but I couldn't taste the sage much. My daughter and Mrs. Pags said it tasted like Thanksgiving...and liked it quite well.

I didn't do the salmon spread, but smoked salmon and put it on crackers with cream cheese. That was quite tasty.

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