Can you smoke Havarti cheese?

Do you consider yourself a cheese connoisseur, always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors to satisfy your palate? If so, have you ever considered smoking your cheese? Yes, you read that right – smoking cheese. This process adds a unique taste and aroma that takes your favorite cheese to another level. But what about Havarti cheese? Can it be smoked? The answer is a resounding YES.

Smoking Havarti cheese is a relatively novel idea that many people are unaware of. Havarti cheese is smooth, creamy, and delicately flavored – the perfect candidate for smoking. The smoking process infuses an irresistible flavor, aroma, and texture that pairs well with various foods.

In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of smoking Havarti cheese. We’ll explore the different methods of smoking, including using a smoker or home oven. We’ll also discuss the type of wood chips to use and how long to smoke the cheese for optimal results. Additionally, we’ll offer some tips on how to serve and pair your smoked Havarti cheese.

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Are you intrigued yet? Keep reading to discover how to create a smoked Havarti cheese that will leave you and your guests craving more.


What is Havarti Cheese?

Havarti cheese – the creamy, nutty delight originated in Denmark and is made from cow’s milk. This semi-soft to hard cheese has a pale yellow color with small irregular holes and a buttery texture. Its mild taste with a hint of sweetness makes it an ideal choice for many food enthusiasts.

This versatile cheese can be used in various dishes like sandwiches, salads, casseroles, or enjoyed as a snack or appetizer. It can be sliced, grated, or melted as per the recipe’s requirement. The cheese-making process involves curdling milk and separating whey from it. The curds are then pressed into molds and aged for several months to develop its distinct flavor and texture.

Havarti cheese is available worldwide in different forms like blocks, slices, or shredded. Some varieties of Havarti cheese are flavored with herbs or spices to add an extra kick to its taste.

Apart from using it in dishes, smoking Havarti cheese is becoming increasingly popular among food lovers. However, smoking soft cheese like Havarti requires some precautions. It is recommended to smoke it at a low temperature of around 90-100°F for a short duration between 30 minutes to an hour to avoid melting due to high temperature exposure. One should also consider the type of wood chips used to smoke the cheese as it determines the flavor.

Can You Smoke Havarti Cheese?

Smoking your Havarti cheese is a great way to add a smoky depth and complexity to its already buttery and slightly tangy taste. As an expert on this topic, let me guide you through the process of smoking Havarti cheese.

The first step is choosing the right wood chips. I recommend using mild wood like apple or hickory to avoid overpowering the delicate flavor of the cheese. Once you have your wood chips ready, preheat your smoker to around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place your Havarti cheese on a wire rack inside the smoker and close the lid. Remember that smoking Havarti cheese successfully requires low temperature and an extended period of smoking. Smoke the cheese for about two hours, checking it periodically to make sure it’s not melting or getting too hot.

After two hours of smoking, remove your Havarti cheese from the smoker and let it cool down to room temperature. Then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving. The resting period allows the flavors to meld together and intensify.

Now that your smoked Havarti cheese is ready, it’s time to explore its endless possibilities. Slice it thinly and serve with crackers or bread, melt it into a grilled cheese sandwich, or crumble it over a salad for added smoky flavor. The rich, smoky aroma will captivate all your senses.

Benefits of Smoking Havarti Cheese

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As an expert on this topic, I can tell you that smoking this mild and creamy cheese not only enhances its flavor but also has several other benefits that make it worth trying.

One of the primary benefits of smoking Havarti cheese is its unique flavor profile. The smoke from the wood chips used during the process infuses the cheese with a subtle yet distinct smokiness that perfectly complements its creamy texture and mild taste. This makes smoked Havarti cheese an ideal cheese for recipes that require a bold, smoky taste, such as grilled cheese sandwiches or mac and cheese.

But that’s not all; smoking Havarti cheese also helps preserve it for longer periods. The acidic environment created during the smoking process inhibits the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, preventing spoilage. This means that smoked Havarti cheese can last for weeks or even months when stored properly, allowing you to enjoy its delicious smoky taste for longer.

In addition to these benefits, smoking Havarti cheese can also have potential health benefits. Studies show that the smoke contains compounds with anti-cancer properties that can help protect against free radicals in the body. So not only will your taste buds thank you for trying this delicious cheese, but your body might too.

To smoke Havarti cheese, simply use mild wood chips like apple or hickory at low temperature for an extended period of time. Let it rest in the fridge for 24 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld together and intensify. Then slice it thinly with crackers or bread, melt it into a grilled cheese sandwich, or crumble it over a salad for added smoky flavor that will tantalize all your senses.

Considerations When Smoking Havarti Cheese

As an experienced cheese smoker, I have compiled some essential considerations that will guarantee a mouth-watering and satisfying result.

Firstly, let’s talk about the foundation of any good smoked cheese – the wood chips. Choosing the right type of wood chips can make or break your smoking process. I highly recommend using apple, cherry, or hickory wood chips to add a delicious smoky flavor to your Havarti cheese without overwhelming its delicate taste.

Temperature is also a crucial consideration when smoking Havarti cheese. Smoking at low temperatures, ideally around 80-90°F, is recommended to prevent the cheese from melting or becoming too soft while allowing it to absorb the smoky flavors effectively.

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Next up is the challenge of Havarti cheese’s high moisture content. This factor requires extra care and attention during the smoking process. To overcome this challenge, cut the cheese into smaller pieces or even grate it before smoking. This way, the cheese can absorb the smoky flavors while still maintaining its texture.

Lastly, monitoring the smoking process closely is vital to avoid over-smoking or burning the cheese. Adjusting the temperature or smoke levels throughout the smoking process may be necessary to achieve a perfectly smoked Havarti cheese.

Different Types of Wood Chips to Use for Smoking Havarti Cheese

Smoking Havarti cheese is an adventure in flavor that can be enhanced or altered by the type of wood chips used. The right wood can produce a delicate smoky taste that complements the cheese’s natural flavor, while the wrong one can overpower it. Here are some different types of wood chips to consider when smoking Havarti cheese:

Alder Wood Chips: A Mild and Nutty Smoke Flavor

Alder wood chips are a popular choice for smoking cheese because they have a mild smoke flavor that won’t overpower the delicate taste of Havarti cheese. They also burn at a lower temperature, which is ideal for smoking soft cheeses like Havarti. Alder wood has a slightly sweet and nutty aroma that pairs well with the creamy texture and tangy flavor of Havarti.

Apple Wood Chips: A Touch of Sweetness

Apple wood chips are another mild option that can add a fruity and sweet flavor to Havarti cheese. This is an excellent choice if you want to add a touch of sweetness to your smoked cheese. Applewood also burns at a lower temperature, making it perfect for smoking cheese.

Cherry Wood Chips: A Complex and Fruity Flavor Profile

Cherry wood chips will give Havarti cheese a slightly sweet and fruity flavor with a hint of tartness. It’s perfect if you want to add some complexity to the cheese’s flavor profile. The smoke produced by cherry wood chips is also quite mild, making it a great option for those who prefer a subtle smoky taste.

Hickory Wood Chips: A Strong and Bold Smoke Flavor

Hickory wood chips are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a stronger smoke flavor in your Havarti cheese. However, be careful not to overdo it as the delicate flavor of Havarti can easily be overwhelmed by strong flavors. Hickory wood has a bold and rich flavor that pairs well with the creamy and buttery taste of Havarti.

Mesquite Wood Chips: An Earthy and Distinct Flavor

Mesquite wood chips have a distinct and strong flavor that may not be ideal for smoking Havarti cheese. However, if you want to experiment with different flavors, mesquite could be an interesting option. This wood chip has an earthy flavor that can add depth to the cheese’s flavor profile.

To make sure your smoked Havarti cheese comes out perfect, it’s important to use wood chips specifically designed for smoking food. Soaking the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes before use is also crucial to prevent them from burning too quickly and producing bitter smoke that can ruin the flavor of the cheese.

Tips for Smoking Havarti Cheese

Smoking Havarti cheese is a culinary adventure that can take your cheese-loving experience to the next level. However, this process can be a bit tricky, and it’s important to know some tips and tricks to ensure a successful outcome. Here are some tips for smoking Havarti cheese that will help you achieve a deliciously smoky flavor.

Tip #1: Opt for a Cold Smoking Method

Havarti cheese is a soft and creamy cheese that can easily melt when exposed to high temperatures. To avoid this, it’s best to use a cold smoking method. This means smoking the cheese at a low temperature between 68-86°F (20-30°C) for several hours, allowing the smoke to infuse into the cheese without melting it. This way, you’ll get the perfect smoky flavor without compromising the cheese’s texture.

Tip #2: Choose the Right Type of Wood

The type of wood you use for smoking can significantly impact the flavor of the cheese. For Havarti cheese, it’s best to use mild woods like alder, apple, cherry, or hickory. These woods add a subtle smoky flavor without overpowering the delicate taste of the cheese. Make sure to choose the right type of wood that complements the flavor of your Havarti cheese.

Tip #3: Give Your Cheese Enough Resting Time

After smoking your Havarti cheese, let it rest for at least 24 hours before consuming it. This will allow the smoke flavor to fully develop and permeate the cheese, resulting in a more robust and enhanced flavor profile. It’s worth being patient here as rest time is crucial to achieving the best results.

Tip #4: Store Your Smoked Cheese Properly

To preserve its flavor and prevent it from drying out, store smoked Havarti cheese in an airtight container in your fridge. This will help maintain its freshness and keep it ready for when you’re ready to eat it. You can also try vacuum-sealing the cheese for longer storage periods.

Tip #5: Experiment with Different Recipes

Smoked Havarti cheese is a versatile ingredient that can add a unique twist to your favorite recipes. Try pairing it with crackers, bread, and fruit, or use it as a topping on mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, or pizza. Be creative and experiment with different dishes to find your favorite smoked Havarti recipe.

Alternatives to Smoking Havarti Cheese

Let’s start with exploring other types of cheese that can be smoked. Cheddar, Gouda, mozzarella, and Swiss cheese are fantastic options to explore as they have a higher fat content that makes them perfect for smoking. These cheeses won’t melt easily, and when smoked, they develop a unique smoky flavor that is irresistible.

If you’re not up for traditional smoking methods, there are still other options available. Liquid smoke and smoke powder are two alternatives that can be used to create a smoky flavor without actually smoking the cheese. These products can be added to melted cheese and then chilled to create a delicious smoky flavor that will leave your taste buds singing.

But what about those who are vegan or lactose intolerant? There’s no need for you to miss out on the smoky goodness. Vegan cheeses made from nuts such as cashews, almonds, or macadamia nuts can also be smoked using the same techniques as traditional cheese. These vegan cheeses have a creamy texture and a rich flavor that pairs well with any smoky dish.


In summary, smoking Havarti cheese is an exceptional method to elevate its taste with a smoky depth and complexity. Havarti cheese’s creamy texture and mild flavor make it the ideal candidate for smoking. The process infuses an irresistible flavor, aroma, and texture that harmonizes well with various foods. To achieve the perfect smoked Havarti cheese, selecting the right wood chips, smoking at low temperatures for an extended period of time while monitoring the process closely is crucial.

Smoking Havarti cheese offers several benefits besides enhancing its flavor profile. The smoke from the wood chips utilized during the process contains anti-cancer compounds that can help protect against free radicals in the body. Additionally, smoking preserves Havarti cheese for longer periods.

If you’re eager to experiment with different types of wood chips when smoking Havarti cheese, alder wood chips are a mild and nutty option while apple wood chips add a touch of sweetness. Cherry wood chips provide a complex and fruity flavor profile while hickory wood chips offer a strong and bold smoke flavor. Mesquite wood chips have an earthy and distinct flavor that can add depth to the cheese’s taste profile.

For those who prefer alternatives to traditional smoking methods or are vegan or lactose intolerant, there are still options available such as liquid smoke or smoke powder for creating a smoky flavor without actually smoking the cheese or vegan cheeses made from nuts that can be smoked using similar techniques as traditional cheese.

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