At what temp do you smoke cheese?

Attention all cheese enthusiasts. Prepare to expand your knowledge and taste buds with a new culinary adventure: smoked cheese. Not only is it a delicious treat, but smoking cheese can also be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. However, you may be wondering, “at what temperature do you smoke cheese?”

The answer varies depending on the type of cheese and smoker used, but generally, most cheeses are smoked at temperatures between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. This low temperature ensures that the cheese maintains its shape and doesn’t melt.

But why bother smoking cheese? Well, the smoky flavor adds a whole new dimension to your favorite types of cheese like cheddar, gouda, mozzarella, or brie. It’s the perfect complement to crackers, bread, and even wine—making it a must-have for any cheese board.

Join us as we explore the world of smoked cheese in this blog post. We’ll delve into everything from the perfect temperature to tips for selecting the best cheeses to smoke. So grab some crackers and your favorite wine because it’s time to elevate your cheese game.

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Why Smoke Cheese?

Elevate your meals with the bold and distinctive taste of smoked cheese. Not only does smoking cheese add a unique flavor to your favorite dishes, it also has many benefits that make it a popular technique among food enthusiasts. Here are some reasons why smoking cheese is worth trying:

  • Flavor Explosion: Smoking cheese gives it a smoky flavor that can take your dishes to the next level. From sandwiches to mac and cheese, smoked cheese can add depth and complexity to your meals. Plus, the different types of wood chips used in smoking provide a variety of tastes and aromas that can complement different types of cheese.
  • Preservation: Smoking cheese is a great way to preserve it for longer periods of time. The smoking process removes moisture from the cheese, which extends its shelf life. Additionally, smoking can kill bacteria and other microorganisms that cause spoilage.
  • Creative Experimentation: Smoking cheese is an exciting way to experiment with different flavors and types of cheese. With so many wood chip options available, such as hickory, applewood, and cherrywood, you can try endless combinations until you find the perfect match.

When smoking cheese, it’s important to keep in mind the temperature as the cheese can easily melt or become too smoky. Using a cold smoke generator or smoker with an external smoke source will help maintain a cool temperature throughout the smoking process.

It’s also important to choose cheeses with high-fat content, such as cheddar, gouda, or brie, as they hold up better during the smoking process compared to softer cheeses like mozzarella or feta.

What Temperature Should You Smoke Cheese At?

If so, it’s important to know the ideal temperature for smoking cheese. Get ready to take your culinary creations to the next level with these expert tips.

First and foremost, the temperature at which you smoke your cheese can make or break the final product. If the temperature is too high, you risk melting or burning the cheese. On the other hand, if the temperature is too low, the cheese may lack flavor and texture. So, what’s the sweet spot? The ideal temperature range for smoking cheese is between 68-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

But there’s more. Did you know that outside temperature can also impact the smoking process? That’s right – it’s best to smoke cheese on a cooler day to maintain a consistent temperature and overall quality of your cheese.

Now that you know the ideal temperature range, it’s time to talk equipment. If you have a smoker with a temperature control feature, you’re in luck – this is a great option for smoking cheese. However, if you don’t have a smoker with this feature, fear not. You can use a cold smoke generator instead. This will allow you to smoke your cheese without heating up the smoker and maintain a lower temperature.

What Types of Cheese are Best for Smoking?

Smoking cheese is a fantastic way to add a unique flavor to this beloved dairy product. However, using the right type of cheese can make all the difference when it comes to smoking. Here are five types of cheese that are perfect for smoking:

Hard and Semi-Hard Cheeses

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Hard and semi-hard cheeses, such as cheddar, gouda, and provolone, are ideal for smoking because of their dense texture. These cheeses are also high in fat, which helps protect them from becoming too brittle or drying out during smoking.

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is perhaps the most popular choice for smoking. Its firm texture and bold flavor make it an excellent option for smoking. Smoked cheddar cheese takes on a rich, smoky flavor that is both savory and delicious.

Gouda Cheese

Smoked gouda has a rich, complex smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with meats and crackers, making it a favorite choice for cheese boards.

Provolone Cheese

Provolone is another cheese that works well during smoking and has a milder flavor that can complement a variety of dishes.

Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella is a softer cheese that can be challenging to smoke since it tends to melt quickly. However, when smoked at a low temperature, mozzarella can add a unique smoky flavor to dishes like pizza or grilled cheese sandwiches.

It’s essential to note that some softer cheeses like cream cheese or goat cheese may not hold up as well during the smoking process. These cheeses can become too soft or even melt when exposed to heat for an extended period. However, if you’re looking to add a smoky flavor to these types of cheeses, you can try using a smoke-infused oil or seasoning instead.

Ultimately, the best types of cheese for smoking depend on personal preference and experimentation. Never be afraid to try different types of cheese and see which ones work best for your taste buds. With a little bit of trial and error, you’re sure to find a favorite smoked cheese that you can enjoy for years to come.

Cold Smoking vs Hot Smoking

Then you might be pondering over the tantalizing question – Cold Smoking vs Hot Smoking. As an expert in the field, let me take you on a journey through the nuances of each method when it comes to smoking cheese.

First up, let’s delve into cold smoking. This method involves smoking cheese at a temperature below 90°F (32°C) for several hours, making it perfect for delicate cheeses that are sensitive to heat. Think Brie or Camembert, which can lose their shape or melt if exposed to high temperatures. Cold smoking allows the cheese to absorb the smoky flavor without compromising its texture or appearance. However, achieving a successful cold smoke can be challenging without specialized equipment, and the process can take up to 12 hours.

On the flip side, hot smoking involves smoking cheese at a higher temperature, typically between 90°F (32°C) and 150°F (65°C), for a shorter duration. This method is quicker and easier to achieve than cold smoking and works well for harder cheeses such as cheddar or gouda. However, hot smoking can cause the cheese to melt or lose its shape if not monitored carefully.

So, how do you decide which method to choose? It all boils down to the type of cheese you’re working with and the equipment at your disposal. If you have a smoker that can maintain a low temperature for an extended period, then cold smoking may be your best bet. But if you’re using a grill or smoker that can only reach higher temperatures, then hot smoking might be your only option.

Preparing the Cheese for Smoking

As a cheese-smoking expert, I am here to guide you through the essential steps of preparing cheese for smoking.

First and foremost, selecting the right type of cheese is crucial. Delicate cheeses like Brie or Camembert may not withstand the heat of smoking, so opt for hard cheeses such as cheddar, gouda, or provolone that can develop a rich and smoky flavor.

Once you have your cheese, let it sit at room temperature for an hour to soften slightly and ensure equal absorption of the smoke flavor. Then, cut it into small blocks or wedges to enhance smoke penetration while smoking.

Temperature control is key when smoking cheese. Keep the temperature between 68°F (20°C) and 86°F (30°C) to prevent melting and shape loss. Trust me; you don’t want to end up with a pile of gooey cheese.

Choosing high-quality smoking wood is also essential for achieving delicious and flavorful smoked cheese. Apple, hickory, and cherry woods are popular options that add a mild and sweet flavor that complements the cheese without overpowering it.

When you’re ready to smoke your cheese, ensure maximum smoke exposure and minimal sticking by placing it on a wire rack or in a smoker basket.

Setting Up Your Smoker for Cold Smoking

Calling all cheese aficionados. If you want to take your cheese game to the next level, then cold smoking is the way to go. Cold smoking involves keeping your smoker at low temperatures ranging between 60-80°F to prevent the cheese from melting or becoming too soft. In this post, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of how to set up your smoker for cold smoking and enjoy delicious smoked cheese.

Firstly, you need to ensure that you have the right equipment. While a dedicated cold smoker is ideal, you can still use a regular smoker with some modifications. A cold smoke generator attachment can be added to your existing smoker or create a DIY cold smoker using a cardboard box and ducting.

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Next up, choosing the right wood is crucial for smoking cheese. Harsh woods like hickory and mesquite are not recommended as they can overpower the delicate flavor of cheese. Instead, opt for milder woods like apple, cherry, or alder.

Before placing your cheese in the smoker, allow it to reach room temperature to avoid condensation formation in the cooler smoker. Once it’s at room temperature, place it on a wire rack or perforated pan and put it in the smoker.

Monitoring your smoker’s temperature throughout the process is critical to ensure that it stays within the recommended range. You may need to adjust the airflow and add more ice to keep the temperature down.

How Long Does it Take to Smoke Cheese?

Smoking cheese is an art that requires patience, precision, and a little bit of experimentation. But, the question on everyone’s mind is, how long does it take to smoke cheese? Well, the answer isn’t as simple as one might think.

Firstly, the type of cheese being smoked plays a crucial role in determining the smoking time. Harder cheeses like cheddar or gouda may take longer to absorb the smoky flavor, while softer cheeses like brie or camembert may take less time. So, it’s essential to know your cheese before you start smoking it.

Secondly, the temperature at which the cheese is smoked affects the smoking time significantly. It’s crucial to smoke cheese at a low temperature between 68-86°F (20-30°C) for the best results. This slow and low cooking method allows the cheese to absorb the smoky flavor without losing its shape or melting into oblivion.

Lastly, personal preference is an essential factor that determines smoking time. Do you want a mild smoky flavor or an intense one? Some people prefer a more robust and complex taste and will smoke their cheese for longer periods of time, while others prefer a milder flavor and will smoke for shorter periods.

So, how long does it take to smoke cheese? Generally speaking, most cheeses will take between 2-4 hours to smoke. However, there are some cheeses that may take longer or shorter amounts of time. But don’t worry. With some experimentation and practice, you’ll be able to find the perfect smoking time for your favorite types of cheese.

Tips and Tricks for Smoking Cheese

Smoking cheese is a culinary art that requires patience, precision, and a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are five tips that will help you achieve perfectly smoked cheese with a delicious smoky flavor and creamy texture.

Choose the right type of cheese

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When it comes to smoking cheese, not all types are created equal. Hard cheeses like cheddar, gouda, and parmesan are ideal for smoking as they can withstand the heat without losing their shape. Soft cheeses like brie or camembert, on the other hand, will quickly melt and become mushy. When selecting your cheese, make sure it has a high-fat content as this will help it hold its shape during smoking.

Let your cheese come to room temperature

Before smoking your cheese, let it come to room temperature. This will help the cheese absorb more smoke flavor and prevent it from cracking or splitting during the smoking process. Drying the cheese with a paper towel before smoking can also help remove any excess moisture.

Monitor the temperature

The ideal range for smoking cheese is between 65-80°F (18-27°C). Any temperature above this range can cause the cheese to melt or become too soft. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature throughout the smoking process and ensure that it stays within this range.

Use a mild wood flavor

When smoking cheese, it’s important to choose a mild wood flavor like apple or cherry. Stronger woods like hickory or mesquite can overpower the delicate flavor of the cheese and make it taste bitter or acrid. Experiment with different types of wood to find your perfect combination.

Let your smoked cheese rest

Patience is key when smoking cheese; letting your smoked cheese rest for at least 24 hours after smoking is crucial for developing its full flavor potential. This resting time gives the smoke flavor time to fully penetrate the cheese and allows the cheese to firm up again after smoking. Once it’s ready, wrap your smoked cheese tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.

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In conclusion, smoking cheese is a culinary journey that every cheese lover must embark on. It’s a fantastic way to infuse your favorite cheeses with a unique smoky flavor and take your meals to the next level. However, temperature control plays a crucial role in smoking cheese. The ideal temperature range for smoking cheese is between 65-85°F, and high-fat content cheeses like cheddar, gouda, or brie work best.

Smoking cheese has numerous benefits that make it a popular technique among food enthusiasts. It not only adds depth and complexity to your dishes but also extends the shelf life of your cheese. Additionally, smoking cheese allows you to experiment with different wood chips’ flavors until you find the perfect match.

When smoking cheese, it’s vital to select the right type of cheese, let it come to room temperature before smoking, monitor the temperature throughout the process, use mild wood flavors like apple or cherry and let your smoked cheese rest for at least 24 hours after smoking.

The choice between cold or hot smoking depends on the type of cheese you’re working with and the equipment available at your disposal. With some experimentation and practice, you’ll be able to find the perfect smoking time for your favorite types of cheese.

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