While it's cooler outside it's the best time to smoke a bunch of cheese.
Did mine a week ago, tested it today. My best batch ever and I think my new favorite wood for cheddar is hickory.
This is extra sharp cheddar. I crusted it with black pepper before vacuum sealing it. Going to be fantastic after it rests a few months. Last year I did extra sharp cheddar with pecan and crusted in chipotle. Still have one of those sealed floating around.
I have a new found love for chuck roasts. Growing up always had them cooked in a crock pot and never thought about smoking them. My first try at low and slow was so-so and had me chasing temps for 2 or 3 hours. After a little research of all the great info on this site, my second attempt went much smoother.
Started with about 3.5 lb chuck all rubbed up with some coffee infused SPOG:
Went out to light up little red using ckreef's paper towel roll method and following all the advice here to make very small adjustments and wait 15 minutes between adjustments. About 40 minutes later I overshot my temp a little at 280 but time to throw on the meat:
Brought temps down to about 220 but then settled in about 230 at the grate with these vent settings:
The akorn's vents are really twitchy. A pencil lead width adjustment really swings the temp, but once you're dialed in, it stays put for hours. In my case about 6 hours and temp raised 30 degrees total. Never touched a vent or raised the lid once until the meat reached 195:
All done and ready to rest:
Rested about 30 minutes, sliced er up and chowed down.
Last pic doesn't do justice. It was tender, juicy and tasted fantastic. I think the coffee rub is now my wife's favorite. Only short coming was the bark could have been more set. It was okay but I like it a little crustier. Any ideas? I heard spritzing actually helps set the bark during the initial 2 or 3 hours. Otherwise I was thrilled with the akorn jr. and its ability to hold a fairly low temp.
I been wanting to do this for a long time but didn’t have a proper equipment or the correct weather conditions. I recently bought an A-MAZE-N smoking tube.
It was expected to get down to 41 degrees (fairly cool nights for Southern California) and it was only 67 during the day so I decided to give this a try. Around 4:00 PM I started by cooling the kamado down by placing 5 pieces of Blue Ice in it.
Around 8:30 it reached 50 degrees outside, so I started up the A-MAZE-N smoking tube in my gasser so as not to heat up the kamado.
Once it ignited, I let it burn for a few minutes
before blowing out the flame.
I let it smoke while I went in and prepared the cheese. I had purchased 2 lbs. of Gouda, Colby Jack and Sharp Cheddar at Costco.
I took them out of their wrappers.
I cut them up into smaller sizes so they could absorb more smoke and placed them on a wire rack.
I then placed the A-MAZE-N smoking tube in the bottom of my kamado. I next put in both of my ceramic heat deflectors, then the grill grates and then the rack of cheese. (You can see some of the smoke coming up around the deflectors)
I closed the lid and observed a small amount of smoke coming out the top vent.
An hour later it looked like this.
After two hours in the smoke I opened the lid. WOW!
I brought the rack in the house where I could see a subtle change in the cheese color.
I vacuum packed them all and placed them in the fridge to age and mellow for 3 weeks.
This morning I when out to see how much of the pellets were left in the A-MAZE-N smoking tube. It looks like approximately 1/3 was left unburnt. I’m thinking it could’ve gone at least another hour.
I can’t wait to try them but will wait to let time do its thing on them first.
Thanks for looking.
Life is very hectic for us these days and I don't get the chance to cook much these days and much more so to document those cooks when I do. It is the season we're living in for now with taking care of my 93 year old M.I.L. with Alzheimer's. Anyone who's gone though this knows how difficult it is.
Anyway, last weekend I decided to remake the Blackened Chicken Torta I made a few years ago. First thing I made was some Pickled Red Onion.
Pickled Red Onion recipe link:
I then made up some Blackened Chicken rub and proceeded to make up the Blackened Chicken and Torta.
Blackened Chicken Torta recipe link:
I pounded some chicken breasts out to around 1/2” thick.
I placed my CI skillet on the on side burner of my gasser and let it get smoking hot and blackened the chicken.
I then toasted the torta roll and spread on some Frank’s Red Hot Mayo, a chicken breast and some pickled red onion.
Then some avocado,
some lettuce and the lid.
Here are the Plated shots with a Stone Xococeza Mocha Stout and some Sun Chips.
Thanks for looking.