In this how-to guide, we’ll walk you step by step through how to smoke mozzarella cheese.
If you’ve ever grilled a pizza – or have been to a pizzeria that grills their pies – then you know how good fresh mozzarella can taste when it’s caramelized and crispy on the outside yet still soft and gooey on the inside.
But what if you want to make your own smokehouse version of this classic Italian appetizer at home?
Luckily there are several easy recipes out there for you.
- How long does a 20lb bag of pellets last?
- Which is better a bone-in or boneless ham?
- What’s the best way to clean a masterbuilt smoker?
- How to avoid rubbery skin on smoked turkey
1. What is mozzarella cheese?
Mozzarella is an Italian cheese traditionally made from the milk of a water buffalo. The same term can also refer to fresh Italian cheeses that are made with cow’s milk, or a combination of both, often called fior di latte in Italian.
Thi is traditionally produced by the stretching and pulling of the dough in some way, as opposed to the pressing and cutting used for other pasta filata cheeses. In this process, the water from inside the dough is first driven off while the gluten strands develop. The size of these stretched curds varies according to how long they have been kneaded.
At room temperature, it can easily be shredded or sliced with a fork
2. How To Smoke Mozzarella Cheese
- Heat up your grill to 200-250F (120C) degrees Fahrenheit. Use either woodchips (hickory, mesquite, etc), a smoker box or an electric smoker.
- Once your grill is hot enough, place the cheese on the upper rack and cook for about 5-8 minutes. Ensure that your cheese pieces aren’t touching each other and rotate them halfway through the grilling process to ensure even cooking.
- Remove mozzarella from grill once they’re golden brown and crispy on the outside but still soft in the middle.
- Serve immediately with fresh bread or marinara sauce for dipping. Enjoy!
Before you can smoke your cheese, you will need a smoker and wood chips specifically for smoking. These can be purchased at your local grocery store or even your local hardware store.
Preheat your smoker to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and place your wood chips in one end of the smoker. After you have done this, place the mozzarella in a tray or on a grate that can fit in your smoker.
Once the cheese has been added, shut the lid to your smoker and let it smoke for about two hours. Once your cheese has a golden brown color, it’s ready to eat!
3. How long to smoke mozzarella cheese?
In general, you will want to keep the temperature around 200 degrees Fahrenheit and let the cheese smoke for about two hours.
If you prefer a darker look, let it smoke a bit longer.
It’s important that you do not raise the temperature higher than 250 degrees or drop it below 160 degrees Fahrenheit, or you risk ruining the flavor.
4. How to make smoked mozzarella?
You can also make your own smoked mozzarella by heating up a pot of water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and dropping the fresh cheese in.
Keep the temperature around 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, giving small stirs every now and then.
Once it’s golden brown on both sides, place your mozzarella onto paper towels to drain away excess oil that has accumulated during smoking.
Smoking cheese is a simple process that only requires two ingredients, in most cases: wood chips and cheese! Be sure to use any types of wood chips for smoking that your particular smoker calls for, as they may vary depending on your unit.
Some types of wood chips that are used for smoking include apple, hickory, mesquite, maple and pecan
5. What are other ways how to smoke mozzarella?
There are several alternative methods how to smoke mozzarella cheese if you do not have access to or funds for a smoker or wood chips.
The easiest method is placing the cheese directly over an electric burner until it starts to melt slightly, The cheese should start bubbling slightly as it starts to melt.
Once the cheese is slightly melted, remove it from the burner and allow it to cool until it hardens enough where you can stretch it. Once this happens, pull the cheese as if you were pulling taffy or a caramel candy until it becomes stringy and slightly transparent.
Alternatively, if you want smoke mozzarella in the oven instead of on an electric stovetop, position your oven rack halfway under your broiler and turn the heat up all the way for maximum heat output. Place your fresh cheese (or store-bought) onto a wire cooling rack that will fit into an aluminum pan and place onto a baking sheet. Broil for about four minutes or until golden brown on top.
This is how to smoke mozzarella cheese in under five minutes, with four main steps!
6. How to smoke mozzarella cheese in a smoker?
When you’re ready to start smoking your cheese, simply add the correct amount of wood chips into your smoker according to the directions that come with the unit. Once you have done this, place your mozzarella on a tray or grate in the smoker and shut the lid.
It’s important to understand how long it will take for your mozzarella to be done smoking, as this may vary depending on how hot your smoker is running and how much smoke you add into it.
For the best results, be sure to check on your cheese after about two hours to see how it looks. It should have a golden brown color by this point.
7. How long does smoked mozzarella last?
If stored properly in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, fresh smoked mozzarella will last for about five days to one week refrigerated and up to three months frozen.
Smoked cheeses generally do not freeze well, so you should only freeze the cheese if you intend to use it within that timeframe.
8. How long can you keep smoked mozzarella cheese?
The best way to store fresh smoked cheeses is to place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate them.
However, if you plan to eat the smoked cheese within a week or two, storing it on the counter is acceptable as well. If there’s any mold on your mozzarella, simply cut off one-eighth of an inch from each side and discard it.
9. How long does smoked mozzarella last in fridge?
To maximize how long fresh mozzarella will last in the refrigerator, you should place it on the lower shelf of your fridge if possible.
If you do not have a lower shelf or are unable to store your cheese there, placing it towards the back of the fridge is also acceptable. To minimize how long smoked cheese will be good for, make sure that you eat any portion that has an unusual smell or color as soon as possible.
10. How can I keep mozzarella from getting discolored?
The best way how to keep mozzarella from turning grayish-brown is by wrapping tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil after opening and/or cutting off portions of the cheese before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Mozzarella lasts about five days to one week in the refrigerator when stored properly in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
11. How do I smoke my own mozzarella cheese at home?
The best way to smoke your own cheese at home is by using a smoker designed for this purpose. You can find wood chips for the smoker at most local grocery stores or home improvement stores.
Preheat your smoker to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and place a handful of wood chips in one end. Once you have done this, place the mozzarella on a tray or grate that will fit into your smoker and put it in the smoker. Shut the lid and let your cheese smoke for two hours.
12. How long does smoked mozzarella last?
Mozzarella is best eaten within five days to one week when stored properly in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil after it has been smoked.
If there’s any mold on your cheese, simply cut off one-eighth of an inch from each side and discard it.
13. How to smoke mozzarella cheese in a water smoker?
Smoking your own mozzarella at home is not recommended because most people do not have access to the type of smoker required for smoking this type of cheese. You can find wood chips for the smoker at most local grocery stores or home improvement stores.
Preheat the smoker to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and place a handful of wood chips in one end, ensuring they are ignited before continuing. Place the tray with the cheese on top of it onto another grate in the water pan in your smoker.
Once you have done this, place more wood chips in either side of the fire box that leads into your water pan holder, ensuring that both sides are lit before placing the cover on top of your smoker. Close the lid and smoke your mozzarella for two hours.
Substitute for smoked mozzarella cheese
Substituting smoked mozzarella cheese in a recipe is possible, but it may not have the same taste or texture as your original dish.
You can choose between several alternative slices of cheese that may allow you to access the same ingredients and flavor profile as mozzarella without using smoked cheese.
1. How much cheese you would like to substitute?
Choosing how much cheese you would like to substitute in your recipe is the first step to finding a proper alternative.
If necessary, add salt and pepper to taste and how much you need will depend on how many dishes mozzarella cheese is used in.
For example, if your recipe calls for a single type of mozzarella, you can simply replace how much cheese your recipe requires with an equal amount from a different block of cheese.
2. What is the best substitute for mozzarella cheese?
Choosing how you want your alternative cheese to taste is the next step. You can substitute smoked mozzarella with provolone or Monterrey Jack cheese to give your dish a lighter flavor profile.
Alternatively, you can choose how strong of a cheese to substitute with depending on how much cheese is used in your recipe.
A good starting point for how strong of cheese to substitute with would be one that is at least 50 percent as strong as mozzarella.
Can cheddar cheese replace mozzarella?
Cheddar cheese makes for good substitution, but you will need to melt the Cheddar before adding it to your dish.
This can be done by subdividing how much Cheddar you want into cubes and microwaving it until there are no more visible solid pieces of cheese.
Once you have done this, mix the melted Cheddar into your dish and let it simmer until the mixture reaches how thick or creamy you would like it to be.
Alternatively, if your dish includes something like cream, you may want to substitute how much Cheddar cheese for how much mozzarella in your dish instead because cream has a higher fat content that allows it to stand in better for how moist mozzarella makes your dish when melted.
Can I use Parmesan instead of mozzarella on pizza?
Using a blend of cheeses works well if your recipe uses smoked mozzarella other types of mozzarella cheese as well.
To do this, you can mix how much Cheddar cheese with how much Monterey Jack cheese and how much Parmesan cheese to replace how much mozzarella would have been used in your dish.
If using a blend of cheeses, it is important to remember that different cheeses melt at different temperatures, so this may affect how long you need to simmer your dish after adding the alternative cheese.
Can I substitute Monterey Jack for mozzarella?
Smoked mozzarella can be substituted with Colby or Monterey Jack cheese because both have a mild flavor profile that will allow them to mimic how smoked mozzarella tastes without being too noticeable as an alternative.
As with Cheddar cheese, Colby and Monterey Jack work best as replacements if they are melted first because they have a lower melting point than mozzarella cheese.
If your recipe uses smoked mozzarella as part of how much liquid it adds, you will need to use how much Monterey Jack or Colby cheese to replace how much mozzarella would have been used in the recipe.
You can eliminate how much liquid would normally be added by draining how much excess liquid there is after melting these cheeses in your dish.
Smoking mozzarella cheese at home is actually quite simple and fun.
With just a little bit of time and patience, you can create your own smoked mozzarella that’s perfect for sandwiches or salads. Or you can choose your own substitute for smoked mozzarella cheese listed above.
If you want to make your own cheese, the process is surprisingly easy.
All it takes are some basic kitchen supplies like cheesecloth, a colander, and an instant-read thermometer.
Smoking mozzarella allows for unique flavors that cannot be achieved by other methods of cooking because it adds an extra step in the production process.
It only takes a few hours to make your own smoked cheese, but you can also buy it from stores if you don’t have the time or desire to do so.
To learn how to smoke mozzarella at home, take a look at our blog post on how to make homemade smoked mozzarella while using this recipe as your guide!
We hope this article has been helpful, feel free to leave any questions below-we’re happy to help!