I used to think you could only smoke cheese if you had one of those fancy smoking tubes or pellet grills. Well, today I’m going to show you how to make this on your own grill without going out and buying some fancy smoker.

Choose Your Cheese

You can smoke just about any kind of cheese you want. I like to do mine in a standard “brick” size slab of about 2 inch by 4 by maybe 10 inches long. Today I am doing a Cheddar, Pepper Jack and a Mozzarella. Now before you get started with, if your outdoor temperature is anything above 75 degrees F.   set the cheese in the freezer for about 20 min before smoking.

Smoking Chips

As far as wood for smoking, you can choose any flavors you’d like.

To start, I’m going to get some hickory chips. Be sure they are small chips because we don’t want to be creating a lot of heat- more smoke. Go ahead and soak those chips in water for about 45 minutes before smoking.

 

 

While those are soaking, I like to get a small pan or tin plate and get my hardwood or hardwood lump charcoal heating. Remember- you want this stuff good and white before you start. Today I’m using some hardwood oak charcoal. Again, you don’t want very much.

 

Pro Tip: You want this lump coal contained in a metal pan or a plate so that it stays in one central location and doesn’t fall down into the smoker.

Once those are white, go ahead and set the plate at the farthest point away from the grill grates as you can on your smoker and place it on the opposite side of where you’ll be placing your cheese on the grill- because we want that cheese on the indirect side of the heat.

PURR ME 8 – That’s “Okie” for permeate! 

As I said folks, you just need enough heat to create smoke to permeate that cheese (and that is a big word for me) but it means to infuse that cheese with some smoked flavoring.

At this point I like to go ahead and add a couple chunks of apple wood onto the hardwood lump and then a good handful of the soaked wood chips. Close the door and make sure all your vents are wide open to create good smoke!

 

Cold Smoked

Now remember I said you don’t need a fancy cheese smoker well here I will talk about other ways you can do this. Smoke cheese is for everyone and we’re here to prove it. You can do this on whatever kind of grill you have.

You want to create a buffer to where you can move the cheese from the farthest point up from the coals. If you don’t have a grill where you can alter the level of your grill grates and/or coal pan, one of the easiest ways to do this is with  disposable aluminum pans.

Fill one pan with ice and place a wire rack over it and place the cheese on top. Then stack that pan onto another aluminum pan which will create more height- moving it away from the coals but also creating some good circulation.

 

Indirect Heat

One of the most important parts of this process is to get as much indirect heat as you can so that the smoke has time to infuse this cheese without much “meltage”. Softer cheeses will smoke about 2 hours (like Mozarella) harder cheeses will smoke about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

At the 1 hour mark folks, you will want to go ahead and flip the cheeses over. Also this is a good time to add more soaked wood chips to increase the smoking and check to see if you need to add more ice to the tray.

Pro Tip: Softer Cheeses smoke about 2 hours – Harder cheeses 2.5 -3 hours.

After that 1 hour mark, I like to check on the cheese about every 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to make sure the ice is still good and we’re still getting some good smoke. Add in more chips or chunks as needed just be sure you’re getting smoke but not too much heat.

 

 

Don’t Cut the Cheese Just Yet!

So, once you take the cheese off the smoker, you will want it to cool off a little before placing it into a baggie and letting it chill in the icebox, so that it doesn’t sweat. I recommend you leaving it in the fridge for 6 hours or over night. The longer it sets the more smoke flavor absorbs.

 

There ya have it folks we have proven that anyone can have a good smoked cheese at home with minimal equipment.

Be sure you check out our video where we walk you through all these steps to make this an easy deal!

 

Smoked Cheese on the Grill - Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Block cheese(s)
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Soak a few handfuls of hardwood chips in water for about 45 minutes before smoking. You can use any flavor you like: hickory, oak, mesquite, etc.
  2. Meanwhile, a heaping handful of hardwood chunks or hardwood lump charcoal in a small pan or tin plate. Light on fire until they are white before you start. For this recipe I used oak hardwood lump charcoal.
  3. Once those are white, go ahead and set the plate at the farthest point away from the grill grates as you can on your smoker/grill and place it on the opposite side of where you'll be placing your cheese on the grill for indirect heat.
  4. Add a couple chunks of apple wood (you can use any fruit wood here or your wood preference), onto the hardwood lump and then a good handful of the soaked wood chips Close the door and make sure all your vents are wide open to create good smoke!
  5. Fill an aluminum pan with ice and place a wire rack over it. Place the cheese on top. Place the pan on the indirect heat side of the grill. Close the lid and make sure the vents are open for more circulation.
  6. Note: If you don't have a grill where you can alter the level of your grill grates and/or coal pan, one of the easiest ways to do this is with disposable aluminum pans. Flip 1 pan upside down and place the cheese pan on top, which creates more height (see video for details.
  7. At the 1 hour mark flip the cheeses over. Also, this is a good time to add more soaked wood chips to increase the smoking and check to see if you need to add more ice to the tray. Check on the cheese about every 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to make sure the ice is still good and we're still getting some good smoke. Add in more chips or chunks as needed just be sure you're getting smoke but not too much heat.
  8. Smoke softer cheese for about 2 hours and harder cheeses for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  9. Remove the cheese from the smoker and let cool before placing in a bag and placing in the refrigerator. I recommend you leaving it in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. The longer it sets the more smoke flavor absorbs.