You could always buy your own smoked gouda, but where’s the fun in that?
Making your own is easy and if you’re about to fire up the Traeger for dinner and have an hour to spare, you might as well throw some cheese on too.
And when you make it yourself you’re not limited to only one type of cheese either.
You can try this same recipe with all sorts of cheese and even experiment with different wood flavours.
One thing is for sure, smoke and cheese are two very good friends!
Disclaimer: Cold smoking at home requires extra care and sanitation because fewer pathogens are killed compared to hot smoking. This recipe is not recommended for anyone with a weak immune system. Always use an ultra-clean wire rack when cold smoking, be sure to wear gloves when handling the cheese and never cold smoke for more than 2 hours before placing food back in the fridge. For more info on cold smoking safety, see this guide.
Using a Smoking Tube to Smoke Gouda
Alright, so the process is quite simple as long as you have one of these smoking tubes.
And I already know what you’re thinking…
“Really?! I just dropped a boatload of cash on my Traeger and you’re telling me I have to buy another add-on?”
Well, I thought the same at first but actually, these smoking tubes rock!
The smoking tube allows you to cold smoke in just about any BBQ or smoker and is also useful for adding extra smoke to smaller cuts of meat which won’t spend too much time on the pit.
And if you’re like me and don’t have the “super smoke” setting on your pellet smoker, this handy little smoking tube is the next best thing.
Luckily they’re pretty cheap too. Most smoking tubes are under $20.
How to Make Smoked Gouda
As mentioned above, smoked gouda will require a cold smoke.
This means smoking without any heat to avoid melting the cheese.
Here’s how to do that:
- Clean and sanitize a metal resting rack. Spray or brush the racks with a little vegetable oil to prevent the cheese from sticking.
- Load up your smoke tube with your favourite wood pellets to smoke for about 1 hour. It will depend on what size pellet tube you have, but if you’re not sure then just fill it up about halfway.
- Light the smaller end with a blowtorch, until it catches fire. Blow it out and it should start smouldering. If not, light it again until it does.
- Put the smoking tube in your BBQ or smoker. Choose a place where it will be as far away from the cheese as possible.
- If your smoker has the option, turn the fan on low to allow the smoke to distribute more evenly.
- Place the large cheese blocks on the clean wire rack and use gloves or clean hands when handling the cheese.
- Place the cheese in the smoker, as far away from the smoking tube as possible. Close the lid and set a timer for 30 minutes.
- Keep an eye on it while it smokes, sometimes the smoke tube may go out and you’ll need to re-light it.
- After 30 minutes, give the cheese a flip and smoke for another 30 minutes but no more than 2 hours total.
- After it’s sufficiently smoked, remove the cheese from the smoker and brush off any smokey dust that may have accumulated on the outside of the cheese.
- Seal the cheese blocks individually with a vacuum sealer or wrap really well with plastic wrap.
- Store in the fridge for 2 weeks to allow the smoke flavour to mellow and dissipate evenly.
Tips For Smoking Cheese
- Cold smoking is better done on a cold day. This prevents the cheese from melting while it smokes. If the outside temperature is closer to your fridge temperature (or lower) then the process is also much more sanitary.
- Use cheese with a high melting point to prevent it from melting.
- Semi-firm cheeses like gouda, cheddar, and gruyere are optimal cheeses for soaking up the smoke flavour without melting.
- If it’s really hot outside, you can try putting the cheese on a grate over a large tray of ice to keep it cool. Alternatively, putting the cheese in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before smoking will keep it cooler as it smokes. The cold temperature will also help the cheese to soak up more smoke flavour. See this article from Meathead of Amazingribs.com on thermophoresis.
- I know it’s hard, but you must wait at least two weeks before eating the cheese! This will greatly improve the taste and will tone down the harshness of the initial smoking. Give it a taste immediately after smoking, and then try it again two weeks later. It’s worth it!
What to Use Smoked Gouda With?
This cheese is pretty versatile and it will add a little extra magic smokey flavour to anything that goes well with cheese.
Here are some ideas:
- Sliced thinly on these burgers.
- Blended into this easy mac and cheese sauce.
- Mixed into this EPIC quiche florentine.
- Used on your favourite chicken tacos.
- Garnished over these meatballs.
- Mixed into an omelette.
- Used in sandwiches.
More Smoker + BBQ Recipes
- This Epic Reverse Seared Smoked Ribeye with Umami Butter
- These Legendary Smoked Chicken Thighs
- My Ultimate Smoked Mac and Cheese
- This No-Fail Grilled Spatchcock Chicken
- These Delicious Grilled White Sweet Potatoes with Sesame and Maple
- This Awesome Smoked and Grilled Corn on the Cob
- These Epic Braised and Grilled Ribs (Not smoked)
- These Easy Charcoal Grilled Chicken Satays
- These Deliciously Sweet and Smokey Leeks with Raz el Hanout
- This Awesome BBQ Bloody Mary Cocktail
Smoked Gouda FAQ
Yes, you can. For those of you who have a Weber kettle or even a gas grill, wood chips will also work. Although pellets are better because they’ll burn longer and slower and probably won’t need to be re-lit. Woodchips on the other hand will burn faster, and stronger and may go out after 15 minutes due to their shape.
No, it’s usually pretty waxy and not very tasty.
You can use smoked gouda for all sorts of things including pizza, sandwiches, omelettes, quiches, pasta (like mac and cheese), tacos, or even garnished over meatballs.
Smoked Gouda – How to Make Your Own Traeger Smoked Cheese
- 1 block gouda cheese
- cooking spray
- Clean and sanitize the resting rack. Spray or brush the rack with a light coating of vegetable oil.
- Fill your smoking tube about halfway (it may be less depending on the smoking tube size) with applewood pellets. Light it with the blow torch until it catches fire and then blow it out.
- Place the smoking tube as far away from the cheese as possible in your BBQ or smoker. Place the cheese on the oiled resting rack in the smoker.
- If your smoker has the option, turn on the fan to allow the smoke to distribute more evenly.
- Smoke the cheese for 30 minutes, then flip it over and smoke for 30 minutes more. Smoke a little longer if you wish, but don't smoke for more than 2 hours.
- Once the cheese is ready, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or vacuum seal it. Store it in the fridge for 2 weeks before eating to allow the flavours to mellow out.