Havarti cheese is one of those gloriously delicious treats.
Perfect for a cheese platter or charcuterie board.
And when it’s smoked, oh boy!
What Is Havarti Cheese?
Havarti is a semi-soft cheese originating from Denmark.
It’s a cow’s milk cheese that can be grilled, melted, or sliced.
The flavor has a slight tartness to it, with notes of hazelnut.
The perfect combination is made even better with a hint of nutty smokiness from a pellet grill.
How to Smoke Havarti Cheese on Your Back Yard Pellet Grill
Smoked cheese is glorious, but the cost tends to keep it as an occasional indulgent treat.
But smoking your own means you can enjoy it on every cheese board and even added to your cooking!
And while the thought of it can seem overwhelming, it actually couldn’t be easier.
All you’ll need is a block of cheese, some wood chunks, and your pellet grill. That’s it!
What Type of Cheese Is Best for Smoking?
Any cheese goes! Some may need a little more experience than others though.
As a beginner, it’s best to start with semi-hard cheese varieties.
Semi-hard cheese is much easier to smoke, with fewer complications.
The process for hard and soft cheese can be trickier.
Soft cheese melts quickly, and harder cheese is of higher density.
This means you could end up with a soft melted mess on your grill, or a block of hard cheese with little to no smoky flavor.
Start in the middle until you gain some experience.
The smooth, creaminess of Havarti is wonderful for smoking.
It’s a great all-rounder cheese that blends well with the subtle smoky taste.
Do I Need Any Special Equipment for Smoking Havarti Cheese at Home?
All you’ll need from home smoking is an outdoor grill, some wood chips, and the all-important cheese.
It doesn’t matter what type of grill you have – you can still smoke cheese.
If you don’t have a smoker setting on your grill, invest in a smoking tube to create the smoke.
The Cheese Cold Smoking Process on a Pellet Smoker
You don’t need heat in the grill, just the ability to create and contain smoke for several hours.
Cold smoking is the perfect process to prevent the cheese from melting.
The key to successfully cold smoke cheese is to keep the temperatures down.
A smoking tube is a great way to achieve this. It will produce smoke, without excess heat.
Light the smoker tube according to the instructions and place it on the grill.
Make sure the flame is out, and the smoke is rolling.
Once the wood smoke is rolling and clean, arrange the blocks of cheese on the grill grates.
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Give them enough space on the grates to allow the smoke to circulate around them.
Close the barbeque lid and leave the smoke to work its magic.
For Havarti cheese, allow around 2 hours. If you want a lighter smoke flavor, an hour will be enough.
If the outside or grill temperatures are hard to keep low, try using ice to keep them stable.
Fill an aluminum tray with ice cubes, and place a baking wire rack over the top.
Place the cheese on the rack.
The ice will act as insulation against the heat.
What Temperature Should I Smoke the Havarti Cheese At?
The most important thing to remember when smoking cheese is to keep the temperature down.
Temps should be kept below 80-90°F, or the cheese will start to melt.
Choose a cooler day, preferably when the outside temperature is 60°F and below.
If the outside temperature is too warm, you’ll have an ongoing battle keeping the grill temps down.
How Long Do I Smoke the Havarti Cheese for on the Pellet Grill?
Cold smoking cheese is a reasonably quick process.
Between 1 and 4 hours is all you’ll need, depending on the type of cheese and the depth of flavor you want to achieve.
Once the cheese is smoked, you’ll need to give it a week or two to rest.
This will give the smoke flavors time to settle and develop.
The immediate flavor will be quite bitter and acrid, so give it time to mellow.
Wrap it, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least a week before eating.
What Flavors of Wood Chips Should I Use for Smoking Havarti Cheese
You won’t need much wood for the smoker tube. A couple of chunks will produce enough smoke for the cheese.
Milder woods work perfectly for the mild cheese.
They’ll add enough flavor to the cheese, without being too overpowering.
Flavors like maple, pecan, or any of the fruit woods are perfect for semi-hard cheeses.
What You Need
Havarti Cheese, cut into smaller blocks
Smoked Havarti Cheese Recipe
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 in the bottom of your smoker and let it smolder. You want a light barely visible smoke.
Make sure you have plenty of air flow and leave the smoker off.
Place your cheese on clean smoker racks.
Keeping the cheese sanitary is a major component of its shelf life after smoking.
Place soft cheeses on separate racks from hard cheeses as they take smoke at different rates.
I.e Gouda, mozzarella and Monterey vs. Sharp cheddar, dubliner, and Asiago.
Smoke soft cheeses for 1-2 hours and hard cheeses for 2-4 hours.
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 at least 1 month before trying.
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.
Smoked and sealed cheese will last in the fridge for well over a year if you keep a clean workstation.
- Pellet smoker
- Block of Monterey Jack Cheese cut into smaller blocks
- Wood chips
- Fire up the pellet grill, or smoker tube, light it with a torch.
- Let the flame burn for 1-2 minutes before blowing out.
- Place in the bottom of your smoker and let it smolder.
- You want a light barely visible smoke.
- Make sure you have plenty of air flow and leave the smoker off.
- Once the smoke is rolling and clean, place the cheese, evenly spaced, on the grill grates.
- Make sure you place your cheese on clean smoker racks.
- Keeping the cheese sanitary is a major component of its shelf life after smoking.
- Close the lid and allow to smoke for 2-4 hour.
- Every hour, turn the cheese.
- Close the lid and allow to smoke for another hour.
- 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 at least 1 month before trying.
- Vacuum seal and store in the refrigerator for at least a month before consuming.
Next time you have guests over, why not impress them with your own home-smoked cheese?
The natural smoke flavor will add a delicious element to the nutty natural flavor of the cheese.
You’ll take any dish to the next level of goodness!
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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