2021 - Volume #45, Issue #4, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Makes His Own Smoked Cheese
“Smoke enhances the flavor of cheese and preserves it longer,” says Mull, who notes he loves the flavor of smoked cheese but not the high prices at stores. Instead he buys plain cheese to smoke.
The trick is to keep the smoke temperature low enough - between 60 to 70 F - so it doesn’t melt the cheese. Mull’s smoke source is the firepit on his Colfax, La., property. Smoke rises through a 10-ft. long 4-in. diameter steel pipe that goes into the bottom drum of two drums welded together.
The pipe angles up to create more smoke swirl that adds flavor, Mull says. As many as 30 blocks of cheese fit on the barbecue grill racks inside the top drum. Cheese also can be wrapped in cheesecloth and hung on hooks on bars near the top of the smoker.
“Generally it takes between 12 and 18 hrs. to smoke cheese,” Mull says, noting the exterior is a crusty rind and the center is soft.
He adds flavor through the smoke by burning different woods and plants from his family’s garden.
“Sassafras adds a good flavor. So does thyme, rosemary, garlic and onion tops,” Mull says. To create smoke, the oak, pecan or sassafras wood is soaked in water and thrown into the fire wet.
He’s experimented with all types of cheese, from cheddar, pepper jack and mozzarella to other cheeses and a variety of seasonings. Even soft cheeses such as gouda can be smoked in cheesecloth bags as long as the smoke is kept cool enough.
The process isn’t that difficult, though the fire needs to be watched and fed and the cheese needs to be turned. The results are worth it, Mull says.
He has a video of the smoker on his YouTube channel: Off Grid Gary - Smoking Cheese.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gary Mull, 1465 Hwy. 471, Colfax, La. 71417 (ph 318 290-1661; email@example.com).
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