This past Saturday I had plans to smoke a bunch of cheese to send out as part of Christmas gift baskets. Smoking cheese, as you can probably imagine, is kind of tricky. You have to get the smoker warm enough to get the woodchips smoldering, but not so warm that the cheese melts.
It's a process that requires constant monitoring of the smoker, opening and closing the door to maintain temps, turning the heating unit on and off and generally just paying close attention…..Anyone who knows me can already see where this is going right?
I had gone to the local costco, picked up several large bricks of various types of cheese, sliced them, lined them up in the smoker and prepared to begin. I soaked the wood chips to generate smoke without burning and was all set. I turned on the smoker, set to 100 degrees, figuring as soon as it hit that, I'd shut it down.
Not long after I turned it on, I called Dell support to help me with what I thought was going to be a quick video driver issue I was having with my external monitor. I figured I could knock this little project out while waiting for the smoker to come up to temp…(in case you weren't paying attention, this is in direct conflict to the statement above about needing to pay close attention)
Well….Dell, being Dell, wasn't quite as quick at solving my issue as I hoped, and an hour and ten minutes later, having completely forgotten about the smoker (ok, so multi-tasking may not be one of my skills) the laptop was still not fixed and Dell told me to call Acer, the external monitor maker.
Hanging up frustrated I looked out back and noticed my smoker was going strong and producing a nice head of smoke……oh crap!
I wish I had taken pictures…..4 lbs of cheddar, pepper jack and monterey jack had turned into a 4lb blob of hot, gooey, yellow and white stuff oozing out the bottom of the smoker…..The upside is that cheese, being mostly fat and oil, cleans up relatively easily….and at least now my smoker s nice and clean which is something else I had hoped to do at the end of the day.
The other good news is that last night's round went off without a hitch and everything is bagged up and in the fridge to age for a week before serving….