Cold-smoked cheese

60 minutes


  • hard cheese, such as cheddar, Cantal, double Gloucester, or crumbly cheese such as Wensleydale, Cheshire or Lancashire
  • herbes de Provence, or any other aromatics such as rosemary, dried chillies, garlic or lavender


Pierce some holes in the lid of the tin
Line the base of the tin with sawdust and your chosen flavourings
Cover the sawdust with a wire rack or chicken wire to fit, making sure there is enough space between the sawdust and the wire, about 5cm (2”) at least – the cheese should not come into direct contact with the hot sawdust or be too close
Light the sawdust, you may have to add a few small twigs to get it going, and allow it to smoulder with no flames before placing the cheese on the rack. The cheese must not be any thicker than 7.5cm (1 ½”) at its widest point, and smaller pieces are better to smoke than larger chunks
You can either put the lid on the box now, or sit the box in a barbecue and close the barbecue lid. Either way, the smoker (box) needs to be in a garage, shed or outdoors as the smoke will fill the house
Smoke the cheese for between 30 minutes and 1 hour, checking regularly to make sure the fuel is not burning too hot and that the cheese is not melting. If the fuel is too hot, take the cheese off the rack and allow the fuel to reduce in heat before replacing it back on the rack in the tin
When the cheese is smoked to your taste, carefully remove the tin with oven gloves, and then ease the cheese off the rack with a spatula – it may be rubbery and bend, so be careful. Allow it to come to room temperature and firm up before wrapping in tinfoil and storing in the fridge
To serve, take the cheese out at least one hour before serving and unwrap it