It’s time for Fire Day Friday when we take Our Krazy Kitchen outdoors and experiment with live fire (grilling, smoking, roasting, baking using flame).
You can turn this…..
Into this….. (I think this is the first officially licensed OKK product)
But first, the Legal Department here at OKK “asked” (okay….they locked me in a dungeon and force fed me Brussels sprouts until I agreed) to post the following Safety Notice:
- A medium sized box slightly narrower than the racks you will use
- 1 unused soldering iron without the tip ($14)
- 1 tin can (burn out the inside with a torch or grill if it has a bpa lining)
- a rack or two of some sort. I used two resting racks that were slightly larger than the box. You could use the rack out of your toaster oven.
- Several blocks of various cheeses
- 1 cup of hardwood or fruit wood chips (you can buy these at many grocery stores and hardware stores these days by their grilling/coal section)
- Bacteria spoils cheese. Make sure your hands, cutting boards, and knives are all sanitized during every step of this process.
- Cold smoke. The inside of the container has to remain below the melting point of your cheeses (roughly 70-80f). The smoke generator will raise the temp of your box by 10-15 degrees (the smaller the box, the greater the temp increase). So do this in the shade on a day when the air temps are 45f or less. Don’t you just love the high tech digital control panel of the OKK Smokerator 3000?
- Packaging – If packing the cheese for gift packs, pick cheeses that alternate in color and can be cut into roughly the same size pieces.
- Experiment with a variety of cheeses – my favorites have been gouda, cheddars, pepper jack, and monterey jack. It occurs to me that I’ve never smoked a blue cheese….and can’t imagine doing so but whatever floats your boat.
- Experiment with a variety of woods – my favorites have been hickory, cherry, and a mix of the two.
- Soft cheeses take on smoke more readily, hard cheeses take longer.
- Use as natural of a cheese that you can. Cheeses with a lot of flavorings and preservatives don’t seem to fare as well.
- Use the best quality cheese that you can.
- Smoked cheeses are great simply with crackers. But when used as an ingredient with sauces, sandwiches, soups and casseroles, it adds a nice subtle layer of flavor.
- Once you have smoked your own cheese, you probably won’t enjoy “smoked” cheese bought at a store because a lot of them just use “smoke flavorings”.
- Once you have tried smoking cheese, try smoking nuts, salts, and peppers.