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Old 07-14-2013, 03:35 AM   #1
bbqgeekess
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Default OT: Cold Smoke Generator (A-Maze-N vs Soldering Iron)

I have the A-Maze-N and it has not been so amazing for me.

All I get is white smoke--no thin blue smoke at all. I ruined $12 of cheese using it one day--came out too bitter and smelling/tasting of a forest fire.

Does the "soldering iron in the can" cold smoke generator work better at generating thin blue smoke? (btw, my soldering iron has variable temperature adjustment if this helps).

What is the absolute best way I can generate thin blue smoke for cold smoking? Should I use wood chunks in my Smokey Joe and run some plumbing from it to the smoking vessel? I know how to get thin blue smoke out of my smokey joe.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqgeekess View Post
I have the A-Maze-N and it has not been so amazing for me.

All I get is white smoke--no thin blue smoke at all. I ruined $12 of cheese using it one day--came out too bitter and smelling/tasting of a forest fire.

Does the "soldering iron in the can" cold smoke generator work better at generating thin blue smoke? (btw, my soldering iron has variable temperature adjustment if this helps).

What is the absolute best way I can generate thin blue smoke for cold smoking? Should I use wood chunks in my Smokey Joe and run some plumbing from it to the smoking vessel? I know how to get thin blue smoke out of my smokey joe.

I use an A-Maze-N pellet smoker with no problems at all.

Yes you get white smoke from using it, because you are not creating heat to cook with, just cold smoke.


I use the A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker placed inside my smoker in the charcoal pan by itself. This allows for the production of smoke without any source of heat. In my opinion this is the easiest method for cold smoking cheese. You can light the maze of pellets and walk away, no tending to air pumps, soldering irons, or adding more sawdust or wood chips. A full maze of pellets can burn up to 11 hours without any attention, however your target is to smoke for only 2-6 hours.

When selecting your cheese you really don’t need to buy premium grade cheeses or anything fancy or special. Any grade of cheese will do, you don’t need to buy the best, but I wouldn't buy the cheapest either. As you smoke the cheese, the flavor will be altered, and the distinct flavors of the cheese will be slightly diminished with the compliments of the smoke flavoring. Just about any type of cheese can be smoked including Cheddar, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Colby, Provolone, Mozzarella, Havarti, Jarlsberg, Stilton, Muenster, Gouda and a host of others too many to name.

The cheese can be cut into pieces that are no more than 1.5" thick and lenghth is not an issue. This allows for more smoke penetration through the side of the cheese blocks. I often use 1.5" thick by 3" wide slabs when smoking cheese to give to friends and family.

Once the cheese has been cut, the trick is to let the cheese sit out in the open air for just a short time before smoking, this allows the outside of the cheese to slightly toughen.

Place the cheese on the grates with about 1" of space between the pieces to allow for an even flow of air for the application of smoke. Let the cheese smoke for 2-6 hours depending on how heavy the smoke is. The type of wood you are using will also effect how much smoke flavor is added to the cheese. Apple, cherry, oak, alder, pecan, or other mild flavored wood will create ample smoke. You want just a very small amount of smoke to wisp over the cheese not a thick billowing smoke.

The length of smoking time can vary on the smoker size, and the size of the cheese blocks. I prefer to smoke my cheese for about 2-4 hours when using my A-Maze-N Pellet Smoke Generator.

Keep a small block of cheese just for sampling in the smoker, and then in the resting period in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that tasting in the smoker, it will render a very strong smell and flavor that may seem like too much smoke. But when wrapped and rested in the refrigerator for a few days, it will yield a much milder taste.

Smoking and resting times required for a good flavor is a skill you will learn as you cold smoke cheese as well as many other foods.

I personally find that hickory and mesquite can be a little strong for smoking cheese, but I am sure that maybe a little less exposure to that type smoke might make a suitable finished product. Again this is my personal preference and opinion.

Once the cheese is finished smoking, wrap in saran wrap, vacuum pack, or place in a ziploc bag for 2 days to 2 weeks to allow the smoke to disperse all the way through the cheese. If you do not wrap the cheese your refrigerator will be over powered with the smokey smell. In my opinion, the longer you rest the cheese the better it will taste. I like to wait about 5 days before tasting the cheese, but after a week it is what I consider to be the best flavor. Some people even let the cheese rest for two weeks.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:42 AM   #3
bbqgeekess
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Yeah I've read all that before thanks. My cheese was horrible tasting even after days of resting. Tasted just like it came out.. all forest fire smelling and tasting. It just doesn't work for me.

I'm using Mini WSM for smoking vessel with a-maze-n pellet smoker on the charcoal grate.

Todd said that my Mini WS might be too small. But I wasn't generatign all that much smoke honestly.

I have no clue.. I am gonna give up on smoking cheese and send this AMNPS back for a refund.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:50 AM   #4
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I take it that you cleaned the maze as suggested before you used it?
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
I take it that you cleaned the maze as suggested before you used it?
Yeah for like twice as long as recommended.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:24 AM   #6
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I use the soldering iron with no problems. Fill the can 1/2 full of chips and let it go. Usually about two hours. I have sampled at various times and I think 30 days is minimum. Also let the cheese rest uncovered before wrapping.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:29 AM   #7
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I have a maze- Pro Q Cold Smoke Generator Works Grfeat get white smoke. Pending how thick the cheese was you may have smoked it too long. You also need to wrap it and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hrs
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:30 AM   #8
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I smoked the cheese for 45 minutes. But the AMNPS did go out after about 25 minutes and I restarted it.. Maybe that is why it was bitter.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqgeekess View Post
I smoked the cheese for 45 minutes. But the AMNPS did go out after about 25 minutes and I restarted it.. Maybe that is why it was bitter.
The cooker / smoker you used for smoking should have the top vent fully open, you are bathing the cheese in smoke, not suffocating it.... The bottom vent should also allow airflow.

I am assuming because you AMNPS went out, there was not an adequate airflow which would also account for bitterness..
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post
The cooker / smoker you used for smoking should have the top vent fully open, you are bathing the cheese in smoke, not suffocating it.... The bottom vent should also allow airflow.

I am assuming because you AMNPS went out, there was not an adequate airflow which would also account for bitterness..
All the vents were wide open.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:12 AM   #11
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Soldering Iron will will give you the same result I use this little contraption it gives TBS for about 3 hrs




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Old 07-14-2013, 10:48 AM   #12
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I have used both the amazin pellet and dust with no problems. Use it in a Brinkman gas smoker without any heat but do keep the water pan in to help disperse the smoke. We even smoked velveta this way
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:50 AM   #13
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Maybe I missed it, but what pellets did you use? Were they fresh and dry?
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:52 PM   #14
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I use the AMAZN tray with pellets for all my bacon and sausage smoking. Never had an issue with bitterness. Smoke is wispy and clean.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
Maybe I missed it, but what pellets did you use? Were they fresh and dry?
It was a bag of BBQ'rs Delight Apple I just recently bought from a local supplier -- I a m not sure how old it was. I microwaved it first for a minute to ensure it was dry.

Seems like so many have had success with this a-maze-n, that I should give it another go around.
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