How to Smoke Pepper Jack Cheese (4 Easy Steps)

Smoked cheese is a specialty item that tends to come with quite a hefty price tag.

Making it a rare treat.

But the good news is making your own at home is a super simple process!

Choose Your Cheese For Smoking

Semi-hard cheeses like Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, and Gouda are perfect for beginners.

For this recipe, we are going to try a Pepper Jack. It’s a great economical cheese to start with.  

Once you’ve gained some confidence in the process, you can test out some more expensive cheeses for smoking.

Set Up Your Smoker to Smoke Pepper Jack Cheese

No matter what type of outdoor grill you have, if you have a smoker tube you can smoke cheese. 

You don’t need any heat from the grill, just the ability to contain the smoke.

Light the smoker tube as per the instructions and get the smoke rolling in a continuous stream.

Make sure you have only smoke, with no flame.  

Pick a Cool Day to Smoke The Pepper Jack Cheese

Smoking cheese is best done on a cool day.

Pick a day where the ambient temperature is no warmer than 60°F.

Any higher and you run the risk of the cheese sweating and melting on the smoker.

How to Smoke Pepper Jack Cheese

Cut the cheese into smaller blocks, around 4 inches is a good size.

Once the smoke is rolling and clean, you’re ready to place the cheese blocks on the grill.

You can place them directly on the grill grates, but you’ll have less mess if you use a wire baking rack.

Space the blocks of cheese out so the smoke can circulate well.

Close the lid, and let the smoke work its magic.

How Long to Smoke Pepper Jack Cheese

The cheese smoking process takes 1 to 4 hours – depending on the flavor you want and the type of cheese you are using.

For a semi-hard cheese, 2 hours will be more than enough.

Keep the Temperature Low When Smoking Pepper Jack Cheese

The most important thing to remember is to keep the temperatures low, under 90°F.

Anything above that will cause a piece of cheese to melt or sweat. A tube smoker will be your best friend!

Choose the Right Smoking Wood

Pick a wood chip that will blend well with the type of cheese you are smoking.

Mild wood chips like apple, pecan, and cherry are perfect for the creamy texture of semi-hard cheeses.

The natural nutty flavor of the cheese works well with the subtle smoky flavor of the fruit woods.

For a sharper-tasting cheese, you can try something a little stronger, like an oak or hickory. 

Don’t Eat the Cheese Just Yet!

Once the cheese is smoked, take it off the grill and let it cool down completely.

Give it a wipe-over to remove any residue and moisture, then vacuum seal the cheese and store it in the refrigerator for at least a week.

This gives the smoke flavor time to settle and mellow.

If you try to eat it straight away the taste will be quite harsh and acrid.  

Smoked Pepper Jack Cheese Recipe

Step 1 – Prep the Grill

Set the smoker temperature to 60-65°F.

Place wood chips in a smoker tube and light. 

Make sure the flame is out, and the smoke is rolling and clean.

Place on the grill grates.

Step 2 – Prep the Cheese

Cut the pepper jack cheese block into smaller portions. (4″ x 4″ x 2″ is recommended).

Step 3 – Smoke the Cheese

Lay the cheese blocks on a wire baking rack on the grill. Leave room for the smoke to circulate each block.

Close the grill lid and smoke for 1 hour. Open, turn the cheese, and smoke for another hour.

Step 4 – Remove the Cheese

Remove and let rest for an hour.

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

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

Now you can enjoy the delicious, nutty flavors of smoked cheese anytime!

How to Use The Cheese?

There are plenty of delicious ways to use this cheese. See some of our favorites below

Smoked cream cheese jalapeno poppers

Smoked meatloaf with cheese

Smoked cheese dip

Simple smoked mac and cheese

Smoked Pepper Jack Cheese Recipe

Want to know how to smoke pepper jack cheese? It super simple and you'll see you can do it in 4 simple steps
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 224kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 6

Equipment

  • Smoker

Ingredients

  • Block of Pepper Jack Cheese 

Instructions

Step 1 – Prep the Grill

  • Set the smoker temperature to 60-65°F.
  • Place wood chips in a smoker tube and light.
  • Make sure the flame is out, and the smoke is rolling and clean. Place on the grill grates.

Step 2 – Prep the Cheese

  • Cut the pepper jack cheese block into smaller portions. (4″ x 4″ x 2″ is recommended).

Step 3 – Smoke the Cheese

  • Lay the cheese blocks on a wire baking rack on the grill. Leave room for the smoke to circulate each block.
  • Close the grill lid and smoke for 1 hour. Open, turn the cheese, and smoke for another hour.

Step 4 – Remove the Cheese

  • Remove and let rest for an hour.
  • Allow to cool, then wrap in butcher’s paper and vacuum seal.
  • Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before consuming.
  • Now you can enjoy the delicious, nutty flavors of smoked cheese anytime!

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.

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