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.
I have been consumed lately with the desire to smoke some cheese on my classic. It just seems that everywhere I have been reading the last little while, someone has been talking about grilling cheese. I do not have a smoker tube or maze yet (that will probably be my next grilling purchase, but need to wait and see what Santa has in the presents first), but I got to wondering if it is possible to cold smoke without one. So here is my setup: just a small amount of charcoal, in a string, with a few apple chunks on top. The plan was to light the one end, and the chunks would slowly burn around my half circle. I had the vents almost closed, just a sliver open. Didn't start out too bad, I was holding grate temp right at 90, but after about half hour the fire was almost dead. I was forced to open the grates a little more, and the grate temp went to 120. That was about as low as I could hold it, so I just put a big pan of ice under the cheese. The smoke wasn't as clean as I would have liked, probably due to very little air circulation. After about three hours I pulled the cheese off and left it sit, then wiped it gently and bagged it. I just sliced a piece after a week and half of fridge time. The swiss is really good, the cheddar is o.k., but I probably should have gotten sharp instead of mild. Would I do this again? Probably not, I think the smoke tube is worth waiting on, but this did turn out better than I expected.
On a Restaurant Depot run to pick up a packer brisket and other supplies, a 5 lb bag of beautiful large fresh poblano peppers and a 5 lb chub of 'mild' Mexican Chorizo somehow managed along with some cheeses to jump into the cart – well assisted by my son and I in making that leap.
This is what we (well my son anyway, as he was lead chef on the meal) prepared from those fixings:
I blistered the poblano peppers on Big Joe over direct heat and then steamed them in a covered bowl. Next was peeling and seeding. Since we were going for a casserole rather than stuffed, the peppers were slit open to seed – much easier that way.
2.5 pounds of the chorizo was browned in a pan with the largest poblano chopped up for extra flavor, plus diced bell pepper, chopped onions and some garlic. We had not used this chorizo before ( La Paloma brand ) and we really liked the flavors of the sausage.
The peppers, meat mixture, Chihuahua and Queso Fresco cheeses along with some sharp cheddar were layered in the greased Lodge 7.5 qt dutch oven. A topping of cheddar and queso was the final addition – with the cheddar acting as the melting cheese to bind the queso as the topping browned.
The dish was baked, uncovered and indirect, on Joe at 375 degrees with application of mesquite wood smoke for about 35 minutes – until it looked and smelled just right.
Served with a simple side salad. Delicious for dinner and quite filling. These particular poblanos has just the right "heat" level to pair with the mild but flavorful chorizo.
The casserole reheated was great for breakfast the next morning, too!