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Vacuum packing smoked cheese for storage , will it age ?  RSS feed

 
thomas rubino
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Hi All;  Raining and cool today in the pacific northwet , so I hickory smoked 4 blocks of sharp white cheddar to use as Holiday presents. I have them cooling in the fridge now. My plan was to vacuum pack them and store them in the cheese cave.  I'm wondering if the  "aging" of the smoke flavor will happen under a vacuum ? Or should I age this 2 weeks in the cave first and then vacuum pack it I have been wrapping them in wax paper and a plastic bag to age 8-10 days before eating (sort of vac packed) and that has worked great ... SO, my guess is that I can vacuum this today and store it at 55 F for the next 2 months and it will have smoke aged wonderfully.  Anybody experienced at this ?
 
thomas rubino
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Hi All; Nobody here seemed to know so I went to a food smoking  website.  Yes, putting in in a vacuum seal is the same as sealing it up with wax. It will continue to age just fine. That is a good thing as I didn't wait  and cheese has been  put underground for the next 2 months.
 
Fredy Perlman
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thanks for posting this. i just bought a vacuum sealer last week and will be using it for meats and cheese. i suppose the same applies to meat?
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Fredy;  I didn't specifically look up meat for storage, any meats that I smoke we eat for dinner !  Are you smoking your meats & cheeses ?  Cheese can be stored in vacuum packs at 55 F for many months and it will smoke age while stored . Frozen cheese does not age and can become crumbly, but can be in the freezer a long time. As far as storing smoked meats ? I don't think that meat needs to smoke age like cheese does, so anything I wasn't planning to eat soon I would  freeze. Vacuum packing is the best way to store anything long term.  I think that to be safe , even after smoking any vacuum packed meat should only be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. 
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Thanks for posting about the cheeses Thomas, great information. I will be making use of that new knowledge.

Meats will not age when vacuum packed since aging of meats involves moisture loss. Vacuum packing stops this process. It will however infuse flavors of any marinade you might add.
I did a really nice rump roast by injecting it with a marinade then applying a rub prior to vacuum packing it and setting it in the fridge for 3 days.

When I put it on the side box BBQ, cooked it low and slow on a hickory fire it came out very tasty and tender. 

vacuum packing meats is perfect for long term freezer storage (when we butcher hogs that is how we put up the meat) they will be good for a year plus a few months.

Redhawk

 
r ranson
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One thing I'm curious about.  Wax 'breaths' over time whereas plastic doesn't. 

Would plastic allow build up of moisture which would affect how the cheese ages? 

Would you be willing to experiment for us?  Try some with wax and some with vacuum packing and tell us if there is any noticeable difference? 
 
thomas rubino
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Good point  R . I don't think you would  want to put a newly made cheese in a vacuum packer.  I'm sure that you are correct about the wax breathing being a necessary part of the aging process . I was referring to "finished" cheese that is being smoked for flavor.        
    EDIT] I went to david ashers book and I found this, "industrially produced cheddar's are sealed in plastic to age... 5 year 10 year even 15 year cheddar's spend there long lives confined in vacuum sealed plastic that prevents the cheeses from breathing.  Only plastic bound cheddar's can age for such preposterously long times. Traditional cheddar's bound in cheese cloth lose  moisture as they ripen and can not be aged much beyond 2 years because they become to dry. Plastic keeps mass produced cheddar's moist for years and allows ripening to continue unimpeded for decades !"   So yes, you can vacuum pack to age newly made cheese , although i'm sure its a slower aging than breathable aging.  As David says "But what becomes of a cheese that spends a miserable decade entombed in plastic ? " 
 
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