There are few things more decadent and delicious than a grazing platter of smoked cheese.
Crisp crackers, succulent meats, and red wine – perfection.
Imagine how impressed your guests will be when you tell them you smoked the cheese yourself!
But how on earth do I smoke my cheese, you may ask?
Read on and you’ll soon be an expert.
What is a Gouda?
Gouda is a variety of cheese made from cow’s milk.
It’s smooth and semi-hard making it perfect for smoking on the grill.
As it ages, gouda develops from being mild and soft to stronger flavored and a harder cheese.
It’s quite smooth in texture and has a sweet, nutty taste.
Gouda is quite a popular cheese, no doubt because of its mild flavors and smooth texture.
Smoking gouda gives it a lovely smoky flavor element. The creamy texture blends well with the earthy smokiness of pellet grilling.
You can buy it already smoked, or smoke it yourself on your pit boss smoker.
How Do I Smoke Without Melting The Gouda?
While most associate smoking with heat and flame, it also has the option of cold smoking.
Cold smoking is the process of adding smokey flavors to food, without a heat source. A perfect process for foods like cheese that tend to melt under hot conditions.
Smoking with heat usually means only the outside areas absorb the smoky flavors.
Cold smoking allows the smoke flavors to completely penetrate the food. It also acts as a preservative, so your cheese will last a lot longer when stored.
To successfully cold smoke, the outside temperatures need to be under 40°F. So it’s a job best kept for the cool temperature months.
What is Cold Smoking Cheese?
The beauty of smoking your cheese is having control of the level of smoky flavor in the final product.
As gouda is one of the soft cheeses, it will absorb the smoke flavors faster.
Allow around 30-90 minutes of cold smoking time, depending on the level of smoke you want in your cheese. Aged gouda will take a little longer cook time.
The best way to cold smoke cheese is to use a smoker box or tube smoker.
These sit inside the grill, producing plenty of smoke without the use of any heat.
Start with a cold grill, fill the smoker tube with wood pellets, and light one end. Place the cheese in and close the grill lid.
What Type of Wood Chips Should I Use for Smoking Gouda?
The type of wood chips you use depends entirely on the flavor you want to achieve.
The soft nutty flavors of Gouda blend well with subtle flavors. Things like hickory, maple, and the various fruit-based woods.
Try out the cherry wood chunks, or the apple blend wood chunks, or mix them up for more complex flavors.
How Long Do I Smoke The Gouda?
For a softer cheese like Gouda, the smoke time will take anywhere between 30-90 minutes. The length of time depends on how intense you want your smoke flavor.
Once you’ve reached the flavor level you want, it’s time to rest the cheese.
As tempting as it may be to pull out the crackers and have a cheese binge, the cheese needs to rest for a couple of days.
Resting time allows the flavors to mellow and develop, creating a softer smokey taste. Freshly smoked cheese tends to have an acrid smoke flavor immediately after smoking.
Wrap the cheese block in butchers or parchment paper and let it sit in the fridge for 1 to 2 days up to a couple of weeks.
Love Cheese? See Some Other Cheesy Recipes
If you love cheese, you’re going to enjoy some of the recipes below
What Temperature Should I Smoke Gouda At?
Set your pellet grill to cold smoker mode.
Cheese starts to melt at temperatures over 80°F, so you must keep your smoker under this temperature.
Use a smoke thermometer to keep an eye out and prevent the cheese from melting.
How Do I Store The Smoked Gouda Cheese?
For best results, store the cheese in vacuum-sealed packaging in the refrigerator. Vacuum sealers draw the air from around the block of cheese and finish with a heat seal.
Drawing the air and moisture away from your food helps prevent bacteria and spoilage.
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can create your own by using a good-quality zip lock bag. Slowly submerging in water to the level of the seal will force the air from the bag. Seal tightly and remove from the water.
If you are really up for a challenge, you can dip the blocks of cheese in wax to preserve them. Waxed cheese can last years when done properly.
Don’t forget to label your cheese. Detail the date, type, and flavor profile before storing.
Can I Store Smoked Cheese in the Freezer?
If you’ve packaged and sealed your cheese correctly, you can store it in the freezer.
The most important thing is to keep any air permeating causing spoilage and freezer burn. Your cheese can last up to 9 months stored in the freezer.
To defrost, leave the cheese in its packaging and thaw in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
What do You Need for Smoked Gouda?
- 8 ounces gouda
Recipe – Smoked Gouda
Step 1 – Preparing the Grill
Set the grill to cold smoke mode.
Step 2 – Preparing the Cheese
Remove the cheese from the packaging. Remove the waxy covering. Place on the grill grates.
Step 3 – Preparing the Smoker Tube
Fill a pellet tube or maze with your choice of pellets and light it with a torch. Let the flame burn for 1-2 minutes before blowing out.
Place it in the bottom of your smoker and let it smolder. You want a light barely visible smoke. Make sure you have plenty of airflows and leave the smoker off.
Step 4 – How Long to Smoke the Gouda
Allow it to smoke for 2 -4 hours.
Step 5 – Resting the Gouda
Remove from the smoker. Wrap in parchment or butcher’s paper.
When the cheese comes out of the smoker it will taste very bitter and ashy. I recommend sealing and letting it rest in the fridge for at least 1 month before trying.
Step 6: Vaccum Sealing The Smoked Gouda
Once all of the cheese is out of the smoker begin packaging. Place the cheese in vacuum bags, vacuum seal, and label. Put it in the fridge and forget about it for one month.
- 8 ounces Gouda
- 1 bag woodchips
Preparing the Grill
- Set the grill to cold smoke mode.
Preparing the Cheese
- Remove the cheese from the packaging. Remove the waxy covering.
- Place on the grill grates.
Preparing the Smoker Tube
- Fill a pellet tube or maze with your choice of pellets and light it with a torch.
- Let the flame burn for 1-2 minutes before blowing out.
- Place it in the bottom of your smoker and let it smolder. You want a light barely visible smoke. Make sure you have plenty of airflows and leave the smoker off.
How Long to Smoke the Gouda
- Allow it to smoke for 2 -4 hours.
Resting the Gouda
- Remove from the smoker. Wrap in parchment or butcher’s paper.
Vaccum Sealing The Smoked Gouda
- Once all of the cheese is out of the smoker begin packaging.
- Place the cheese in vacuum bags, vacuum seal, and label.
- Put it in the fridge and forget about it for one month.
- Take it out and enjoy!
How Long Will The Smoked Gouda Last in The Fridge
Smoked and sealed cheese will last in the fridge for well over a year if you keep a clean workstation.
Smoking cheese is a simple process. A couple of hours on a cool day and the results are a unique taste sensation.
The biggest challenge will be the patience needed while the gorgeous smokey flavor develops!
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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