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Hi Folks. One of my favorite things is to smoke cheese. I got the urge to smoke some Feta and it worked out well.
I did my usual thing. Insulated shelf, tin full of ice. I had some Alder pellets so I tried them for grins instead of my usual cherry chips.
I got a big container of President Feta from Costco. I put about a half inch deep layer in the bottom of one of those rotisserie chicken plastic containers that you can put in the oven (Ate chicken first) I imagine that shallow aluminum pan like you use to catch drippings would also work fine.
Set the oven to 140 degrees and let er smoke. I got preoccupied and turned the oven off at 97 degrees instead of my planned 90 degrees like I normally do. The white feta looked uncomfortably like yellow snow BUT it tasted fine and I will be using it.
While I will snack at my other smoked cheeses just because they are there, the Feta is strictly for putting on salads, in eggs, mac and cheese etc.


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I am a big feta fan and like the fact that it has less calories than many cheeses. Smoking with alder is fine but I'd like to try cherry next. alder does not seem as mellow or sweet (Bad description) as Cherry. Alder has a little bite to it. Sometimes I just do things as I feel like it. Sometimes it even works out.
I don't like opening the smoker during smoking so I just stirred it when it was out and done after it set for an hour in the fridge. The smoke was heaviest on the top cheese but it all got smoked. Just keep the cheese down to about a half to 3/4 inch deep. Spread it out.
I set the oven for 140 degrees, allowed it to go to 97 (Mistake, should have turned off at 90) and let it sit in the smoker for an hour after turning the smoker off before removing from the smoker, putting in the fridge to cool and then stirring.
The extra seven degrees up to 97 would melt some creamy cheeses but it didn't do much to the feta, just caused it to settle a bit, stick to 90 degrees and all will be well. I would guess it takes about twenty minutes to get to 90 degrees but that depends on ambient temps. This time it was a little warmer than I like to smoke cheese as the ambient temp was 73. I prefer in the fifties or sixties. Simple reason is it takes longer to get to 90 and therefore more smoke on the cheese.
I made an omelet this AM with the feta and it was fine. A little sharp from the smoke but not an issue if you are not eating the cheese alone. Cooking with it was just fine. I think this is the alder flavor vs Cherry.
That unit on the bottom is a Cookshack storage cabinet. Got wheels on the bottom and room for the different shelves, grills and I keep the wood in containers on the bottom. I also like the fact that it elevates the smoker up to where I can work easily without bending over a lot. Good luck.
My wife bought me the whole thing for a big present. Little did I know it was a plot to get me to do all the cooking. Heh. It worked. This week, I smoked five cheese, two turkey breasts, a big slab of salmon, three slabs of baby backs and the feta. We're good in the freezer for now.
I get cheeses from Trader Joe's markets or Costco. So far my favorite is Gruyere. Also up there is a white light Irish cheddar sold by TJ and a combo GOuda Parmesan cheese. My wife loves the standard yellow sharp cheddar.
Cheeses that are only okay to me are Iberco, a Spanish cheese, Dubliner - An Irish cheese. Parmesan is just too dry and hard but fine graded. Toscano is good.
Pepper Jack is always fun but watch out, It's the softest and most quickly melted of those mentioned. If you let it go much above 90 degrees for too long, you will be cleaning forty dollars of cheese out of the smoker with a spatula.
Great fun.
Vicki: I do smoked cheese all the time. My favorite is Pepper Jack, but I also do the Tillamook sharp and extra sharp aged chedder, and Jarlesberg Swiss. I have done Gouda, Dubliner, and Irish Coastal in the past. I found some Chedder with Chipoltle Chili, and really liked it, but the company that made it closed. I saw something about smoking Mozzarela awhile back. They wrapped it in fine cheese cloth before smoking it.
JC: The Dubliner and Irish Coastal cheese that I got were one of those "aquired taste" things. I noticed that they had a "grit" to them, and the "grit" had sort of a maple sugar taste to it. The "grit" sort of went away if you left the cheese out long enough to get to room temperature. I actually liked it, but had some comment that they didn't like it because of the gritty texture. I really like the smoked Swiss with slices of a really crisp fresh apple.
I agree. A great lunch is some cheese, a sliced apple or pear and maybe some nice multigrain crackers.
I also just started smoking salmon. My wife and sister in law went nuts for it. Put it on a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a slice of tomato. Company came over so we mixed up a smoked salmon dip with Pa. cream cheese and some herbs. It disappeared quickly along with the smoked other cheeses.
A friend with a machine shop did a favor job for me and then asked if I would smoke some cheese for Christmas presents for his friends. I agreed and he showed up with at least twenty pounds of cheese in a thermos bag! Took three trips through the smoker to do it all. He vacuumed sealed it and gave most away.

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