How To Smoke Colby Jack Cheese (3 Simple Steps)

Smoked cheese is delicious to eat, and makes a fabulous addition to any cheese platter.

And while it may seem daunting, it’s a very simple process!

Follow the simple steps below for smoking Colby jack cheese like a pro!

What Type Of Cheese Is Best For Smoking?

You can smoke just about any type of cheese on your pellet grill.

If you’re starting though, start with semi-hard cheeses. They’ll be easier to handle while you are practicing.  

Soft cheese can be smoked, but the process can be a bit finicky.

Soft cheese has a much lower melting point and in no time you can find your smoker grill in a big mess.

Start simple and progress.

Hard cheeses have a high melting point but are high density. So it can be difficult to get to absorb the smoke flavor.

Cheese varieties like Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Gruyere, Mozzarella, and Colby Jack are popular cheeses for starting.

They are much easier to work with and will take on the smokey flavors beautifully.

For this recipe, we are going to use Colby Jack.

A great mild cheese, with a lovely flavor profile that works well with the nutty smokiness.

Do I Need Any Special Equipment For Smoking Cheese At Home?

All you’ll need is some type of smoker grill, wood chips, and your cheese.

If you have a traditional grill, you can still smoke cheese.

Just use a tray of ice on the grill while it smokes to keep the temps down.

You can invest in a smoking tube to help build the smoke if you want, but it’s not necessary.

The Cheese Smoking Process

For the best results, start with an outdoor smoker or pellet grill.

You don’t need heat in the grill, just the ability to produce and contain the smoke.

Cheese has a very low melting point, so keeping temperatures low is vital. Because of this, using a smoking tube is a great way to go.

While it’s not completely necessary, it’s a great way to generate smoke without heat.

Light the outdoor grill, pellet smoker, or smoking tube as per the instructions.

Make sure the smoke is clean and rolling consistently before placing the cheese in.  

Arrange the cheese on the grill grates. Give enough space between each block of cheese to allow the smoke to circulate.

Close the lid, and let the smoke do its thing. For semi-hard types of cheese, allow 2 hours. If you prefer a lighter smoke taste, leave it for only an hour.

If you are finding the temperatures are hard to control, you can use a tray of ice to keep it down.

Place a wire cooling rack over a tray of ice, and place the cheese on the rack. The ice will act as an insulator, preventing overheating and melting.

What Temperature Should I Smoke the Cheese At?

The smoker should be set below 80-90°F. Cold smoking cheese is the only way to go.

The cheese block will start to melt at temperatures over the 80-90°F mark, so keep the smoker below this range.

Pick a cool day to smoke too, preferably when the outside temperature is 60°F and below.

Any warmer than that and you’ll have an ongoing battle to keep the temps down.

How Long Do I Smoke The Cheese For On The Pellet Grill?

The actual smoking process is quite fast. The whole process takes between 1 and 4 hours.

The time will depend on the type of cheese you are using.

For Colby Jack, you’ll need about two hours to smoke the cheese.

The bad news is, once smoked the blocks of cheese need to rest and develop their flavors for a couple of weeks.

The smoke flavors are far too harsh and acrid to eat the cheese straight away. It will need to mellow first.

What Wood Chips Should I Use to Smoke the Colby Jack Cheese?

You won’t need a lot of chips for smoking cheese.

The flavor you choose depends on the type and level of flavor you’d like to achieve. Different chips will produce different flavors.

For a sweet, hint of smoky flavor try milder woods like cherry, apple, maple, or pecan.

For a harder cheese, you can push it a little and use stronger flavors like hickory or mesquite. These can overpower the cheese though, so best to try them when you’ve built up some experience.

It’s a bit of a learning curve, balancing the cheese flavors with the wood chip flavors.

How Should I Store Smoked Cheese?

Once the cheese has smoked remove it from the grill.

Leave it to rest for an hour or so to firm up again. Wipe off any excess moisture or oil that’s formed on the outside.

Wrap the cheese in cling wrap, or vacuum seal and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. This gives the flavors time to mellow and settle.

Once sealed, your cheese will last up to a year in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:

  • Block of Colby Jack Cheese

Method:

  1. Place the pellets in the smoker and light the smoke tube
  2. Once smoke is rolling, place cheese on the pellet grill grates, evenly spaced.
  3. Close the lid and let smoke for 1 hour.
  4. After an hour, open the lid and turn the cheese.
  5. Close the lid, and smoke for another hour.
  6. Once smoked, remove and let sit for 30-60 minutes.
  7. Wipe off any excess moisture or oil, and wrap in butcher paper and then in plastic wrap.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for 7-14 days before eating.

Smoked Colby Jack Cheese

Follow the simple steps below for smoking Colby jack cheese like a pro!
Cook Time2 hrs
Resting Time14 d
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 5

Equipment

  • pellet grill
  • Smoker tube

Ingredients

  • Block of Colby Jack Cheese

Instructions

  • Place the pellets in the smoker and light.
  • Once smoke is rolling, place cheese on the pellet grill grates, evenly spaced.
  • Close the lid and let smoke for 1 hour.
  • After an hour, open the lid and turn the cheese.
  • Close the lid, and smoke for another hour.
  • Once smoked, remove and let sit for 30-60 minutes.
  • Wipe off any excess moisture or oil, and wrap in butcher paper and then in plastic wrap.
  • Store in the refrigerator for 7-14 days before eating.

Smoked cheese has a deliciously nutty flavor. Perfect for enhancing any dish or cheese plate.

Next time the weather is a little chilly, why not give your favorite cheese the smoke treatment? You won’t regret it!

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