Last week was school half-term and an opportunity to get stuck into some really fun projects with the children, like making this smoke-box for our cheese! I’ve always loved the taste of a good smoked cheese, so it was exciting to see how this turned out.
We got some beautiful cheeses from our local organic farm shop – a mild cheddar, a vintage cheddar and an amazing halloumi cheese, all made with raw milk from the farms own herd. They’re already delicious, but we were interested to see what the smoke-box would do!
We used an old box to create the smokery and simply taped a cooling rack into the top of it. The spiral was given to us by a friend, along with a few bags of wood-smoke options – beech, maple and oak. Decisions, decisions… we went for the oak.
We laid a short trail of oak ‘dust’ in the smoking spiral (with some rosemary from the garden) and placed this in the bottom of the box. Cheese only needs 1-2 hours, so a short ‘fuse’ was just right. Then we cut a small vent in the front of the box, checked the oak was smouldering nicely, closed it up and waited!
We got on with the rest of our day while the smoke-box quietly did its own thing (no peeking!) and 2 hours later, hey presto, beautifully smoked, naturally oak-flavoured cheese. It tasted absolutely amazing… perfect on crackers or grated on chilli con carne!
So what can we smoke next? I’m thinking salmon.