It is extremely easy to Smoke Cheese on the Grill. This technique adds so much flavor and is a great way to turn your recipes into masterpieces!
We had a few large blocks of cheese left over from a trip to Amish Country in Pennsylvania. They sat in the freezer for quite a while, but I had an itching to try something new on the grill. We had a get-together with some friends and needed some finger food, so I whipped up some homemade soft pretzel bites to use with this delicious smoked cheese dip. We are going to smoke the cheese and then we’ll show you how to make the pretzel bites in the next two posts. DELISH!
📌 Alternate Techniques
I read several different techniques to smoke cheese in the grill:
- Use a second Kamado-style grill for the smoking, and use a dryer vent to force the smoke into the inlet of the second grill. While I would love to try that, I couldn’t convince Ginny to let me buy a second Big Green Egg just for this recipe. What the heck?!?
- Use a Smoker Box. I thought about adding some wood chips in to the smoker box and giving a light smoke to the cheese. I didn’t want to spend the money to buy one, and really didn’t want to wait. If you are using a gas grill, the smoker box is the best option.
- Use a low and slow smoking. I emptied out most of the charcoal and added two hickory wood chunks. The key here is to closely monitor the temperature inside the grill to make sure the cheese doesn’t melt. This is the route I chose.
🔥 Smoking Instructions
Step One: Set up the grill for indirect heat. I emptied all but a handful of charcoal lumps and lit them. After they caught, I added two large hickory chunks that my neighbor’s parents brought. It didn’t take long for the smoke to start billowing. For a gas grill, turn off the center burners, fill a smoker box insert it into the grill.
Step Two: Add the cheese blocks to a disposable pan.
Step Three: I kept the temperature below 200 degrees for about 20 – 30 minutes. Once I could see the cheese starting to get soft, I took it off the grill to cool. It doesn’t take long to smoke these!
Step Four: Let the cheese cool inside. When it has returned to room temperature, wrap it in butcher paper and let it rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Step Five: Remove the cheese from the butcher paper and vacuum seal it for the remainder of this process. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, use a large Ziploc Bag or wrap it tightly with Press-N-Seal. Put if back in the refrigerator for at least a week.
I read that soft cheeses would not work as well for direct, hot smoking. Fortunately, I had a block of cheddar, a block of pepper jack and a block of swiss. The swiss was a bit soft, but still did REALLY well.
The key is to choose a larger block and a hard cheese.
💡 Recipe Tips
- I used the cheddar for a fantastic smoked cheese and beer dip. Seriously – it was to-die-for! I couldn’t tell if I liked the pretzel bites or the cheese dip better! The cheese had that awesome smoky, earthy flavor and it added a special kick to the dip.
- Smoked Mac and Cheese! I will be using this on my grilled macaroni and cheese!
- Sliced for a great twist on a deli sandwich.
- Cubed, and served with toothpicks and other finger foods like the Cranberry Chili Beer Brats.
- On a grilled pizza!
- Good ‘ol cheese and crackers. Can’t go wrong with that!
- Smoked cheese quesadillas.
- Use this in other dips that have a southwestern flair.
- Substitute smoked cheese for any cheese in a breakfast casserole. Again, this is an earthy flavor that is really unexpected.
- Sprinkle on baked potatoes or use in a twice baked potato.
- Use the smoked cheese in a scalloped potato dish.
⏲️ Storage Time
If you keep it refrigerated, a nice smoked cheese will last around three to four weeks. If you freeze it, it will last another three to six months. Vacuum seal it to extend the life even longer.
Smoked Cheese on the Grill
- 1 lb hard cheese
- Set up the grill for a low and slow indirect heating. For gas grills, turn off the center burners. For Kamado-style grills, add the plate setter.
- Light the grill, but keep the temperature below 225 degrees
- Add the smoking chips of your choice. For gas grills, use a smoker box. For Kamado-style grills, add large chunks of wood to the coals.
- When the smoke is billowy, place the hard cheese in a disposable pan and add it to the grill.
- After 20 minutes, remove the cheese. If the temperature gets too warm, the cheese will start to melt, so watch it carefully.
- Let the cheese cool completely and wrap in butcher paper. Store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, vacuum seal the cheese or wrap it tightly with Press-N-Seal. Store back in the refrigerator for at least one week. This will give the smoke-flavor a chance to work its way through the whole block of cheese.