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7 Tips For Cold Smoking On Kamado Joes

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Cold Smoke with Kamado Joe

Cold smoking on a Kamado Joe is relatively easy, with the right accessories. A special cold smoking tube and some wood pellets or wood chips are needed to maintain the low-temperature smoke you need to do things like cold smoke hard cheese.

Since the amount of flame is so low, you don’t even need to install the heat deflectors in your Kamado Joe.

It’s just a matter of lighting the wood chips carefully and setting up the fire chamber, with the dampers set low to allow a small amount of air in.

Then you trap the smoke under the domed lid, to cold smoke the food on the highest grill grate. This lets you add smoking flavor to foods like hard cheese, beef jerky, and shellfish.

What Does Cold Smoking Do on a Kamado Joe?

Cold smoking on a Kamado Joe lets you add smoky flavors to things that don’t need to be heated.

This includes things like classic hard cheese, beef jerky, and some types of seafood.

The term cold smoking generally refers to the process of gradually introducing smoke to meats and cheeses at temperatures below 100 to 150 degrees.

This means cold smoking is more about flavoring foods rather than cooking them to a specific internal temperature.

Can You Cold Smoke on a Kamado Joe?

You can cold smoke on a Kamado Joe without starting an actual charcoal fire in the bottom of the ceramic chamber.

This usually requires a metal cold smoking tube, a wood chip box, or a heavy-duty electric element nestled in a pile of soaked wood chips.

Should You Cold Smoke with a Kamado Joe?

A Kamado Joe is one of the best outdoor grills for cold smoking. The tight lid seals, ceramic interior chamber walls, and easy-to-use airflow dampers are all conducive to cold smoking.

You just need to source some type of cold smoking chamber or wood chip container to hold the slow smoldering fire needed for true cold smoking.

How Do You Cold Smoke Cheese on a Kamado Joe?

Cold smoking cheese on a Kamado Joe is relatively easy with an accessory cold smoking container and some wood pellets or wood chips.

Aftermarket manufacturers sell these small metal tubes for just this purpose.

You can load the cold smoking tube with Applewood or hickory chips that have been lightly soaking in water for about an hour. The water will reduce the risk of flare-ups.

Though it might be easier to use wood pellets like you see being burned in a wood pellet grill.

They are designed to smolder, which helps eliminate the kind of flare ups that can quickly ruin a cold smoking session. Except afterward you will still have a lot of leftover wood pellets to deal with.

You then firmly pack the cold smoking container with the wood pellets or soaked wood chips of your choice.

For cold smoking cheese, you want a mild type of wood like hickory or applewood.

Once the cold smoking tube is loaded, you fire up a grill torch or propane torch and hold it with the point of the flame at the bottom of the column of wood pellets or chips.

When the smoking wood starts to burn, you place the cold smoking tube at the bottom of the Kamado Joe with the smoldering flame at the bottom.

Then, you install the grates in their highest position and place your favorite hard cheese on them.

Set the Kamado Joe’s lowest airflow damper to the lowest setting, and close the top damper on the lid completely.

This will allow just enough air to enter the chamber to maintain a smoldering level of combustion while trapping the smoke that rises under the lid near the cheese being cold smoked.

Can You Smoke Cheese on a Kamado Joe?

You can easily smoke cheese on a Kamado Joe with a smoking tube and some wood pellets or wood chips.

Using wood pellets instead of soaked wood chips with the lower damper set to a narrow opening will give you the best heat control.

Your cheese selection also matters. You want to stick to semi-firm and firm cheeses that won’t get too soft as the temperature under the Kamado Joe’s lid hovers around 100 degrees. 

Mozzarella and cheddar are popular cold smoking cheeses in the United States. Though Gouda, Brie, Swiss, and Gruyere take on a whole new dimension of flavor when carefully cold smoked.

Final Thoughts 

Cold smoking on a Kamado Joe is much easier than on a conventional charcoal grill.

Rather than starting a fire in the bottom of the ceramic chamber, you simply add wood pellets or wood chips to a wood pellet smoker tube.

With the lower damper set to the lowest setting and the upper damper on the lid closed, the smoldering flame produces a mild, yet rich smoke.

It gradually rises up to permeate the cheese on the upper grate, while still keeping the internal temperature of the Kamado Joe in the 100 to 150-degree range that you need for true cold smoking.