How is Cheese Smoked?

How is Cheese Smoked?

If are a cheese lover, like we are, you probably find yourself gravitating to smoked cheese. We can’t create the perfect charcuterie board without at least one smoked cheese option, and somehow it always seems to be the first cheese that disappears. If you love cheese, especially smoked cheese, as much as we do, you likely have found yourself wondering how it is made. We are going to help you answer the question, “How is cheese smoked?”

What is Smoked Cheese?

Smoked cheese is any cheese that has been cured with smoke from a fire. Smoking techniques work well with both soft and hard cheeses, imparting a dark, smoky flavor that can enhance the quality of the cheese as well as any dish to which it's added. Basically any flavor of cheese can be smoked to change its taste profile.

Smoked cheese provides a unique flavor. Rather than overwhelming the flavor of the cheese so that it only tastes "smoky," smoking a cheese can add subtle nuances of meaty, earthy, toasty flavor. Smoking also helps preserve the cheese.

How is Cheese Smoked?

Smoked cheese is usually made with a hot or cold smoking process. In the cold smoking method, cheese is placed on top of chunks of ice to prevent the cheese from cooking while it absorbs smoke from a fire set with wood chips. Apple, oak, chestnut, hickory, or alder wood chips are typically used for smoking. The type of wood used affects the flavor of the cheese.

In the hot smoking method, the cheese may be subjected to temperatures up to 194°F (90°C). Obviously, if the cheese gets too hot, it can melt, so this method takes a lot of attention to ensure the cheese stays in tact while still absorbing the smoky flavor.

Instead of actually smoking cheese, liquid smoke can also be used to give the cheese a smoked flavor. Liquid smoke often adds an overwhelming smokiness with few nuances of flavor, which is why most artisanal cheesemakers favor using the real smoke process.

What are Some Common Smoked Cheeses?

While almost any type of cheese can be smoked, due to their flavor profile, there are some cheeses that are more commonly smoked than others.

Some smoked cheeses commonly produced include, gruyere, gouda, provolone, cheddar, swiss, and pepper jack. Cheese makers can get creative and add other flavors to the smoked cheese options and produce something like smoked bacon cheddar or honey smoked gouda. Like we said, the possibilities are really endless.

My Mouth is Watering… Where Can I Buy Smoked Cheese Today?

At Fire Star Pickles & Sausages we have artisan cheese choices to make your taste buds dance. Be prepared to savor every single bite. Five Star Sausage is proud to provide our customers with a premium sausage, meat, pickle, and cheese experience. Be warned! Our premium products might just spoil all other experiences for you. That’s how amazing our products are.

Click here to begin your Five Star experience!