Smoked Cheese Balls
Originally Posted April 17, 2020. Updated 1/8/2021
Today is National Cheeseball Day, so I figure it's about time to share our recipe for smoked cheese balls!
Cheeseballs are great... but SMOKED cheese balls are a whole other level of fantastic, after all.
My Smoked Cheese Balls Recipes
My recipe is very basic, for a couple reasons:
1. I'm not a fan of chunky textures in a cheese ball, so I don't include dried fruits, meats, etc.
2. For this specific type of cheese ball... even if I did like chunky textures, I don't think the fruits, etc would work as well with the smoking.
I think it would just be too much going on. Also, the "wet" texture of the cheese filling soaks up the smoke nicely!
So, it's a nice, simple, but flavourful base that works well with smoke, without competing with it.
Cheeses for Smoked Cheese Balls
In terms of the cheeses used, you'll want cheeses that grate well, not wet or crumbly ones.
Also, I wouldn't bother using smoked cheeses, as this provides plenty of smoked flavour on its own.
Personally, I like using cheeses that you don't normally see smoked - Mozzarella, Asiago, Parm, Edam, Swiss ... either alone or in combination.
Cheese balls - much like Fromage Fort - are a great way to use up odds and ends of cheese in your fridge!
Please note: This recipe requires a smoker that's set up to do cold smoking. This can easily be accomplished by an attachment kit - many are available that can affix to any grill or smoker.
The cold smoking aspect is important, as your cheese balls will just melt if you don't have a cold smoker attachment.
I suppose this could work in a traditional smoker if you leave out the final smoking... though it will have a different texture after solidifying.
Be sure to set up your cold smoker and get it going - with a real light smoke coming out - before adding your cheese.
Too much smoke increases the risk of soot, which is not appetizing at all.
What To Roll Cheese Balls In
As with many of my recipes, part of this one is pretty open ended: "Stuff to roll them in".
Here are a bunch of ideas::
* Stuff to roll them in:
- Nuts: Finely chopped pecans, thinly sliced almonds, etc
- Crushed corn/potato chips, or pretzels
- Crushed cornflakes or other cereal
- Sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, and/or flax seeds
- Crispy bacon, drained well and finely chopped
- Fresh herbs - we love basil with this, as pictured.
... Whatever you end up choosing to use, just be sure to have it very finely chopped.
Note: Many of these work well in combination with others! Try nuts AND seeds, chips and bacon, etc.
In addition to the base toppings, you can add extra flavouring or texture if you'd like - a bit of citrus zest, some coarse ground black pepper, poppy seeds, and/or a small amount of dried pepper flakes.
Basically, just have fun with it!
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