Smoked cheese is quite a delicacy, and if you’ve spent a reasonable amount of time and effort getting your cheese smoked, then you want to preserve it for future use.
Storing smoked cheese increases its shelf life, and if you intend to store this food item for longer, you will need to up your game regarding the technique you will use.
This guide is an overview of how to store smoked cheese with 3 easy methods and steps. We have also provided information on what you can use smoked cheese for as well as how to smoke your cheese.
How to Store Smoked Cheese
There are three basic ways of storing smoked cheese, and before you dive right in, you need to give your cheese some time to rest after passing through the intense process.
You will need to wrap the smoked cheese in a parchment paper or a cheesecloth and then place it in the fridge for about 2 days.
This helps the smoked flavor to fully penetrate the cheese, but you can allow resting for as long as 2 weeks. Below are the methods of storing smoked cheese.
1. Vacuum seal
If your goal is to store your smoked cheese long-term, then this is one method you can consider. A vacuum seal works by preserving the cheese in an air-tight environment.
This method reduces the risk of bacteria and other rudiments that could cause degradation from coming in contact with the cheese.
2. Plastic Bag Method
If you do not have a vacuum seal, no worries because you can use a plastic bag as a substitute as it is also an air-free technique, all you need to do is follow the steps below.
- Get yourself a plastic bag and put your smoked cheese inside.
- Submerge the plastic bag in water to force all the air out of it, and make sure that the seal is above the water.
- When 99% of the plastic bag is submerged in water with just the seal peeking out, seal the bag without letting water into the bag.
- Label the plastic bag and store it in the freezer.
3. Waxing the Cheese Blocks
Waxing may not seem like the ideal storage option, but it’s a genuine way to store your smoked cheese. This method is ideal for solid and air-free cheese blocks and is a long-term option if you are considering it. The steps below should guide you on how to wax your cheese.
- Inspect your block of cheese and ensure that it is free from impurities
- Cut your cheese into preferred shapes and sizes, coat it with vinegar, and dry it with a paper towel.
- Allow your cheese to dry and be free of moisture, as moisture will only prevent the wax from gluing to the cheese.
- Melt some wax in a pot or boiler and then cover half of the cheese with it
- Allow the first portion to dry before dipping the other side in the wax.
- Repeat this process three times to create a strong seal for the cheese.
It is known that waxed cheese can last for years under a cool temperature, so if you want something that defines long-term, then this is the best option for you.
How to Smoke Cheese
It is known that cheese melt under heat, so you will want to carry out this process under very low heat; an ideal temperature should not be above 90 degrees.
Place the cheese on your smoker and set in some charcoal in your smoker’s firebox or charcoal pot. Place the wood on top to allow sufficient air to move through the setup.
Since you are cooking at low heat, replacing the wood or charcoal is necessary to keep the heat going, and then after some time, you can place the cheese directly on the grate to allow some smoke to get into it. This should be done for about four hours. After this, you should allow your cheese to rest.
Eating your cheese immediately after smoking is not recommended as it will taste strongly of smoke. Still, after some rest (about two weeks), you should be able to eat the cheese as the harshness of the smoke is out, and it is only left in a mild quantity. To get a variety of cheese flavors, carry out this process with different wood flavors.
Can Smoked Cheese Be Stored in the Freezer?
Once you have sealed your cheese in an air-tight bag, you can store it in a freezer, but it is recommended to use it after 6 to 9 months. The seal is important to preserve the cheese’s smoky flavor and overall quality.
After storing in the freezer for the desired amount of time, leave it in the plastic wrap to help it maintain its flavor and moisture even as it thaws.
Defrosting should be done in the fridge between 24 to 48 hours, then you can gradually introduce the cheese to room temperature. After some extra hours, you can enjoy your smoked cheese.
What Can You Use Smoked Cheese for?
You can use smoked cheese as a substitute for regular cheese; the only difference is that the meal will be upgraded with smoked cheese. You can savor it on its own, or other food items can accompany it.
You can make venison with mole and smoked cheese quesadillas, leek and smoked cheese pancakes, and smoked cheese and onion pasties. There are so many other smoked cheese recipes you can try, but these are some of the common ones.
Smoked cheese is a delight to be savored, and if you have been wondering how to store it, whether short-term or long-term, this guide should have covered all you need to know.
We have explained 3 easy steps and methods to store smoked cheese: using a vacuum seal, a plastic bag, or axing the cheese.
We have also explained how to smoke cheese properly and what you can use smoke cheese to do. Depending on your chosen method, these storage methods can be used to preserve the cheese for months and even years.