Silly Grins

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Smokin' It

Smoking anything occurred to me a year ago when reading confessionals. Since then, I've been wanting to try it, but not willing to put any money down for hardware.  When I showed her Chris' blog, she said she doesn't need any special equipment and huffed at the idea of a big bird. Wifey has actually smoked bacon in the kitchen a few times. Instead of arguing with her, I started planning. And waiting... been waiting a long time for this.  

Tonight (melodramatic pause) is Phase I.

 Supply list:
  • 2 cardboard boxes (free)
  • 2 bbq grates (lying around)
  • flexible aluminum duct (980 yen)
  • 1 Captain Stag walnut smoke block (250 yen)
  • handful of apple smoke chips (maybe 50 yen)
  • 2 one kilo blocks of cheese (980 yen each)
  • sticks to hold up the recycled grates
  • trimmed concrete wire mesh (another 50 yen?)
  • aluminum foil (sacrificed my good hat)
  • metal bowl (recycled) 
  • newspapers

Think that's about it for what it takes to smoke 2 kilos of cheese. Could probably do more, but since this is the first run, we do what we can.  Oh yeah:

  • thermometer (780 yen)

Almost forgot about that. Probably could have found one cheaper, but went ahead and grabbed what was on the shelf in the camping section. Kids were running through the store somewhere and last time one had pressed a "DO NOT TOUCH" button which consequently brought down a huge metal door, blocking off a quarter of the store. So, not wanting to risk another embarrassing moment and waste any more cigarettes while burning my kid in public, figured it was just easier to reach for Captain Stag's temperature gauge, put it in the basket and go look for the offspring.

When smoking cheese, even with a smoke block a person's got to be careful. Thank IG (Internet-God) for the forewarning.


Gotta love that collective.
  • and ice
Yeah, can't forget about the ice when cold smoking cheese.  That's what helps keep the temperature between 10-15 degrees Celcius or 50-60 Fahrenheit. During a warmer season, I'd be a little worried, but since it's fairly cool here at the moment, we're good. 

The Meat Guy is selling blocks of cheddar for 2,830 yen a kilo, plus shipping. So I feel like I'm getting a good deal the way I'm doing it. And having a lot of fun. 

The setup wasn't necessarily beautiful.  

My Perfect 10

Yeah, Love is blind. But with some soft lighting, a glass of anything, and a thin slice of ambrosia... we good

Just got to let it mellow for a week or so in the fridge. Still managed to sample a stick. Not bad. No, not bad at all.

When it's ready, we'll shave off a little fire to put on top. 

Bhut Jolokia (homegrown)


Until then...


  1. Yum smoked cheese!
    Is cheese generally expensive in Japan? Or was it the type of the cheese you bought?

    1. The cheese slabs were Kirkland.

      Most things are offensively priced here, even the cheap stuff. I think some people see this as the cost of keeping society in line... maintain the order of things.

      But the cheese turned out okay. It's been wrapped and will age for a week or so before being shared with the community.

      Funny how everything is a delicacy when living in an environment where self-induced scarcity is the norm.

      I'm not sure folks understand how long cheese can be kept, so scouting out the stuff that's nearing it's sell-by date is bound to become one of my favorite pastimes. This kind of insanity happens when living in the land of Velveeta cheese and instant coffee.


  2. Dude....fucking awesome!!
    You're McGyver (?)

    Thermometers are cheap little miracle makers. I have seen many a folk somehow think they could "eyeball" something on their way to fucking something up.

    fucking awesome!!

    Love this post...time to fire up RLS

    1. Have yet to get a proper meat thermometer for the next stage, which will include at least a bird or two.

      Resisting the urge to try and guess how long or how much something should take hasn't always been (and still isn't) easy.

      RLS recognition appreciated. Thanks.

  3. I'll make some of my killer salsa and bring some beer over soz we can par-tay...

    1. That would be nice.

      Salsa, good salsa, is such a rarity here. Wifey made some a few weeks ago with a bit of homegrown cilantro - makes all the difference in the world. Chips were hella expensive though.

      On the distant horizon is homebrew - with lots of hops.

      One thing at a time.

    2. If you ever get to bottling some homebrew, you should send some my way. I loves me some craft brews!

      I actually had some beer recently that had a great smoked taste in it. Though to people who aren't as used to those type of tastes, it can be misinterpreted as an ash tray taste, like Polygamy Porter. Good Luck!

    3. Micro-brewish kind of beer is like a meal in a bottle. Am not able to drink too much of the stuff, which is probably a good thing.

      If I end up brewing anything, I'll definitely take pictures and post them somewhere.

      Unfortunately, this particular blog's got a little less than a month to 'live'.

      Thank you.

    4. That's a bummer! I enjoy your writing style. I hope you pick up again elsewhere and I find your new blog if you start anew. :)

    5. Things will continue, but in another form. This particular blog will remain in orbit, though it will enter a dormant cycle (for the most part).

      I'll definitely continue to read your blog as well as the others I've been actively commenting on.

      Thank you.

  4. "last time one had pressed a "DO NOT TOUCH" button"

    Yes. Of course. One of 'the kids' pushed that button.

    That cheese looks awesome and not a little envy inducing. Amazing what enquiring minds will get up to to keep things interesting, isn't it?

    1. Everybody's pushing buttons, which can be quite hysterical. The married-with-more-than-one-child life is like that.

      Sooooo, yeah, life's just a little too short for it not to be fun. I've just come to accept the fact that no matter what ideas I might have, Wifey will respond with a 'no'. On average it can take anywhere from three weeks to three months to convince her that the idea was hers. Now I simply have learned not to care.

      Pushing buttons has never been so interesting.