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Cold Smoking Made Easy: Delicious Smoked Food at Home

Are you a fan of smoked cheese or smoked salmon? Did you know that it’s easy and inexpensive to cold smoke your favorites at home with a cold smoke tube? You don’t need a lot of expensive tools. I’ll show you how to save money and store your smoked foods, and I’ll even give you some gift ideas. You’ll learn what cold smoking is and how it works for different types of food.

Y’all know that Brad is the cook, grill master, smoke master, etc.; however, you don’t have to invest in expensive smokers to learn to cold smoke. So, let’s get started.

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What is cold smoking cheese.  Cheese sliced into smaller pieces with cold smoke tube in grill.

What is Cold Smoking

So you may be asking what is cold smoking? To cold smoke, you need a smoker tube that you fill with wood pellets. The pellets are ignited to create smoke. Then, the tube and food items are placed inside a confined area to allow the smoke to penetrate the food without actually cooking it. Cold smoke gives the food a nice smoky flavor that lasts for months.

What Foods Can You Cold Smoke?

You can cold smoke fish, meat, nuts, vegetables, and hard cheeses.

There are two ways to use cold smoke for fish and meats. First, you can cure your fish. This is our preferred method for Smoked Salmon. I’ll share the full recipe link below. For most meats, we recommend first cold smoking the meat, and then cooking. The meat is infused with a smokey flavor and then vacuum-sealed before cooking. One delicious way to cook smoked meats is to use the SousVide method. You can also smoke steaks, brisket, and roasts before grilling or roasting.

However, you can cold-smoke hard cheese and store it immediately. Here are some of our favorites to smoke.

  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Gouda
  • Gruyere
  • Blue Cheese

Supplies Needed To Cold Smoke

Here are the supplies you need for any type of cold smoking.

After the cheese or meats are smoked, you will want to vacuum seal it to lock in flavor.

How To Cold Smoke Cheese

To cold smoke cheese, begin by choosing quality hard cheeses. If you purchase a large block of cheese, you may want to cut it into smaller serving sizes. This will allow you to open only the amount you need each time. You want to keep the cheese sealed until you are ready to serve.

It is best to cold smoke cheese on a cool day so that the cheese doesn’t melt. Don’t attempt if the temperature is over 70 degrees. Although this is a cold smoke technique, there is some heat in the grill. Some cheese will tolerate the heat better than others.

Fill The Smoker Tube

Next, fill the smoker tube with wood pellets. A full tube should smoke for four to five hours.

Fill the cold smoke tube with wood pellets

Position the Cheese and Smoker Tube

Place the cheese on the top rack of your grill and the cold smoke tube on the bottom rack. Brad places his in a metal pan and positions it in front of the cheese, not directly under it.

Be sure that the pellets are visible at the end of the tube.

Make sure Cold smoke tube is full and there is good air flow.

Then, he uses a torch to ignite the pellets. Hold the torch on the pellets until you have a good flame.

Light tube with torch to start the pellets smoking.

Once the flame is gone, the pellets should continue to smoke until they burn up.

How To Cold Smoke Cheese with smoker tube

Close the grill lid, but leave a gap for air circulation. He also lets the cold smoke tube rest on the rim of the metal pan to increase circulation. Check the smoker tube often to ensure it is still smoking.

close grill lid but leave a gap for air flow.

The cheese should stay on the grill for approximately 8 hours. Therefore, you will need to refill your tube at least once.

Vacuum Seal Cold Smoked Cheese

After 8 hours, remove the cheese from the grill. Place each individual piece in a separate bag and vacuum seal to remove all air from the bag.

Place the sealed bag in the refrigerator for 8-10 days to allow the smoke flavor to settle into the cheese. You don’t want to eat immediately as it will have an ashy taste. Afterward, the cheese will last in the refrigerator for months.

After 8-10 days enjoy! YUM!

Smoke Sharp Cheddar cheese on crackers .
Yield: 16 oz.

How To Cold Smoke Cheese

How To Cold Smoke Cheese

How To Save Money by Cold Smoking Foods At Home

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Additional Time 8 days
Total Time 8 days 8 hours 2 minutes


  • 16 oz. hard cheese


  1. Slice Cheese into serving-size pieces
  2. Fill a cold smoke tube with wood pellets
  3. Place Sliced Cheese on the top rack of the grill
  4. Place filled cold smoke tube in pan on lower rack
  5. With a torch, light the pellets until you have good smoke.
  6. Close the grill lid, but leave it propped open slightly for air circulation.
  7. Leave in the smoker until pellets are burned out. Then, refill the pellet cold smoke tube and light it again to create smoke.
  8. Leave is grill with smoke for 8 hours.
  9. Remove from the grill and place each individual piece of cheese in a separate bag.
  10. Vacuum seal each piece.
  11. Place in refrigerator for 8-10 days.
  12. Now, Cheese is ready to serve.


Do not attempt to cold smoke cheese on a hot day, as it will melt. I also don't recommend cold smoking cheese if the temperature is over 70 degrees.

Did you make this recipe?

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How To Serve Cold Smoked Cheese?

The smokey flavor of the cheese will make it a favorite appetizer. Just add to a cracker and enjoy. It’s also great on salads or as a topping for grilled meats. We don’t add to recipes with several ingredients because the recipe may overpower the smokey flavor, which is meant to be savored. Here are some favorite ideas.

  • Sliced on a cracker
  • Crumbled in a Salad
  • Topping for Pizza
  • Add to a simple sandwich
  • Egg and Cheese omelet

Cold smoked cheese also makes a great hostess gift or gift for any occasion. To gift, just wrap it in a pretty bow.

Cold Smoked Salmon

Another favorite is cold smoked salmon. You must cure your salmon before using the cold smoke tube, and you should only smoke it for 3-4 hours.

You can see the full instructions on How To Make Cured Cold Smoked Salmon.

How To Serve Cured Smoked Salmon

We love smoked salmon, but purchasing isn’t budget-friendly. Once we realized how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own, we were hooked. Here are some favorite ways to serve smoked salmon

  • Add to bagel and cream cheese for breakfast
  • Mix with eggs for a delicious omelet
  • Add to a leafy salad
  • Toss with pasta
  • The best appetizers are cream cheese, capers, and smoked salmon on a cracker.
Smoked salmon on cream cheese, capers and crackers.

Please let me know if you have any questions about using a cold smoke tube.

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Cold Smoking Made Easy for Delicious and budget-friendly Smoked Foods at Home.

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