How to Smoke Cheddar Cheese On a Pellet Grill (3 Simple Steps)

Ahhh, cheese.  Is there any better comfort food?

Well, yes actually – there is!  Smoked cheese!

Take a humble block of cheddar cheese throw in a pellet grill and turn it into something amazing.

Read on, and we’ll show you how.

What Is Smoked Cheese?

Smoked cheese is just that.

A block of cheese that’s been through a smoking process on a pellet grill.

It may sound complicated, but it couldn’t be easier.

Smoking cheese gives it a real flavor boost.

Think a lovely rich nutty flavor with a hint of smoky earthiness.

Smoked cheese makes a perfect accompaniment to any grazing plater. Or as a topping to pizzas and baked potatoes. Anything that requires cheese!

It can be either hot smoked or cold smoked. 

We’ll be looking at cold smoking.

What Are the Best Cheeses to Smoke?

If you can think of it, you can smoke it. 

Just about any type of cheese can be cold smoked.

The most popular are the semi-hard or hard cheeses. 

Varieties like gouda, cheddar, mozzarella, gruyere, brie, and Monterey jack are the most popular.  

In saying that, soft cheese works well too.

The smoke flavor absorbs quickly in soft cheese though, so they don’t need anywhere near as much time.

It can be easy to overdo the smoke flavors too, so use care.

They also melt, so use a tray or prepare for the mess!

Hard and semi-hard varieties can smoke longer, without fear of overwhelming with smokiness.

If you are starting out, stick to something with a bit firm and mild.

Cheddar is perfect for beginners.

It’s reasonably priced for experimenting. And robust enough to handle the smoking temps without too much drama.

What Does It Mean to Cold Smoke Cheddar Cheese?

Cold smoking is a method of smoking that involves very low temperatures.

Blocks of cheese are placed on the grill for several hours with the lid closed.

Smoke generates and fills the chamber. This then absorbs into the cheese.

All without the temperature getting high or hot enough to melt the cheese.

Always smoke on a grill that is the furthermost away from direct heat to stop it from overheating.

To keep the temperature down, you can also place it on an aluminum tray filled with ice.

Place a wire rack over the ice, and put the cheese on the rack.

Don’t let the cheese directly touch the ice, or you’ll have a soggy bottom!

Using a rack also gives allows the smoke to circulate.

It’s important for the smoke to have access to all sides of the block of cheese.

This allows full absorption of the smoky flavors.

How Long Does It Take to Smoke Cheddar Cheese?

It will take between 2 and 4 hours to smoke cheddar cheese.

Softer cheeses absorb smoke quicker, so will only need about 2 hours.  

Harder cheeses take longer to absorb smoke, so need around 4 hours

Semi-hard cheeses fall somewhere in the middle.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep the temperatures low.

Smoke in indirect heat to prevent the cheese from melting.

After an hour, turn the cheese, check the wood chip levels and top up the ice if needed.

What Temperature Should I Smoke Cheddar Cheese?

You want to smoke cheddar cheese at 70°F – 75°F

The cheese will start to sweat and melt above the 80-90°F mark, so keep the smoker temps below this.  

Use a smoker thermometer to keep an eye on your grill temperatures. 

Keep them set around 70-75°F.

It’s helpful to try and smoke on a cooler day.  The temperatures will be easier to maintain if there’s no outside heat to battle as well.

What Do I Do With the Cheddar Cheese Once It’s Smoked?

This is the challenging part!

Smoking the cheese is a short process. 

The hard part is that the cheese needs to be wrapped, sealed, and left to rest for at least two weeks before eating.  

Cruel, I know! All that lovely smoked cheese just waiting to be eaten! 

But if you don’t allow it to rest the flavors won’t have time to develop and mellow. 

Fresh from the grill, the flavor is strong, harsh, and acrid. 

Not very pleasant at all.

So, wrap in butcher’s paper and vacuum seal.

Leave it to rest for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

The reward for your patience is a deliciously mellow, nutty flavored cheese.

What Pellets or Wood Chips Are Best for Smoking Cheddar Cheese?

We recommend sticking to something sweet and subtle like cherrywood or applewood.

Sure, if know that you want a strong smoky flavor use mesquite or hickory. But for starting out stick to mellow flavors.

Wood pellets like pecan, apple, oak, or cherry are perfect for cheddar. 

Experiment with less expensive cheeses and come up with your own combinations.

What’s the Best Way to Store Smoked Cheddar?

Smoked cheese is best vacuum sealed and stored in the refrigerator, or a cool dry spot.  

Stored in the refrigerator, it will last for up to a year.

Smoked Cheddar Cheese Recipe

Ingredients:

7 to 8 oz blocks of cheddar cheese

Step 1 – Prepare the Cheese

Cut the cheese into the desired size (4″ x 4″ x 2″ is recommended).

Let the cheese come to room temperature, for about an hour.  It will cut the chances of condensation ruining your cheese.

Step 2 – Prepare the Pellet Grill

While the cheese is coming to room temp, prepare your smoker.

Set the smoker temperature to 60-65°F.

Fill a pellet tube or maze with your choice of pellets and light it with a torch.

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. 

Once the smoke has begun producing, you are ready to place the cheese in.

Step 3 – Smoke the Cheese

Place the cheese blocks on a wire rack on the grill grates, away from the direct heat source.

Close the lid.

If your outside temperatures are warm, place a wire rack over an aluminum tray filled with ice cubes.

Leave to smoke for an hour, then turn the block of cheese.  

Smoke for another hour.

Step 4 – Remove the Cheese

Once the smoking process is done, remove the cheese from the grill.

Allow to cool, then wrap in butcher’s paper and vacuum seal.

Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before consuming.

Smoked Cheddar Cheese Recipe

Want to know how to smoke cheddar cheese? Follow this super simple recipe
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time4 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 256kcal
Cost: 6

Equipment

  • 1 pellet grill

Ingredients

  • 7 to 8 oz blocks of cheddar cheese

Instructions

Step 1 – Prepare the Cheese

  • Cut the cheese into the desired size (4″ x 4″ x 2″ is recommended).
  • Let the cheese come to room temperature, for about an hour.  It will cut the chances of condensation ruining your cheese.

Step 2 – Prepare the Smoker

  • While the cheese is coming to room temp, prepare your smoker.
  • Set the smoker temperature to 60-65°F.
  • Fill a pellet tube or maze with your choice of pellets and light it with a torch.
  • 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.
  • Once the smoke has begun producing, you are ready to place the cheese in.

Step 3 – Smoke the Cheese

  • Place the cheese blocks on a wire rack on the grill grates, away from the direct heat source.
  • Close the lid.
  • If your outside temperatures are warm, place a wire rack over an aluminum tray filled with ice cubes.
  • Leave to smoke for an hour, then turn the block of cheese.
  • Smoke for another hour.

Step 4 – Remove the Cheese

  • Once the smoking process is done, remove the cheese from the grill.
  • Allow to cool, then wrap in butcher’s paper and vacuum seal.
  • Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before consuming.

Serve, eat and enjoy!

christmas-ham-on-bbq

Smoke On!

Charlie

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.

Hungry For More?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating