This Smoked Fried Halloumi Cheese is a perfectly original appetizer or snack to serve! The cheese takes on a lovely smoky flavor and then is fried to crispy perfection. To finish it off we drizzled on honey and sprinkled with parsley and pine nuts.
Don’t you love it when someone puts out appetizers and there is some wonderful smoked cheese on the platter? Some of the commonly smoked cheeses are smoked gouda, cheddar, swiss, goat milk, and mozzarella. Have you ever tried Halloumi? Halloumi is a semi-hard brined cheese from Cyprus made mainly from goat’s and sheep’s milk but can also contain cow’s milk.
The best thing about halloumi cheese is that it has a very high melting point, which makes it perfect for both smoking and frying! I first saw a fried halloumi recipe in a Greek cookbook and thought it was interesting and so I just had to try it.
Then I thought to myself, I know I can fry it, but what about smoking it first, then frying it?!?! It turns out that this cheese is amazing. It takes on the smoke flavor, and then when you fry it, the flavors are enhanced, making it absolutely delicious!
HOW Do you smoke halloumi Cheese?
If you are using a grill to smoke your halloumi cheese, use the indirect method keeping one side of the grill off while heating the other side of the grill. If you are using your smoker, prepare it as you normally would. Keep in mind that you are going to want your smoker at a very low temperature. Although the cheese does have a very high melting point, it will become very soft and melt.
Slice or cut the halloumi cheese into 1/4 – 3/8 inch thick slices. You should get about 6 – 8 slices from your 3 x 4-inch block of halloumi cheese. Place a grate over a deep aluminum pan filled with ice. This will help the cheese to not overheat and start to soften and melt.
Smoke the cheese for about an hour, adding more ice to the aluminum tray if needed. I use applewood chips but any mild wood or wood chips would work also. Remove the cheese from the smoker and wrap it in plastic wrap, keeping it in the refrigerator for 24 hours or so. This allows the smoke flavor to penetrate into the cheese.
How To Fry halloumi cheese
You can eat the smoked cheese now, and it is great, but I love to fry it up for that extra kick of flavor! Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat on your grill. I used canola oil, but you can use olive oil if you prefer. Once your oil is heated to medium-hot you can add your smoked halloumi slices.
How Long to Fry Halloumi Cheese
The halloumi doesn’t take a long time to cook once the pan is hot. I have never tried to dry fry the halloumi cheese. There are a few halloumi recipes that do this. I find the oil adds a luscious flavor to the fried cheese.
You will want to be careful, laying them in gently so as not to splash the oil out of the pan. This will cause the grill to flare up! Add the smoked Halloumi slices and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown. You can do them in batches if need be.
Watch to make sure that the oil doesn’t get too hot! If the oil does overheat, it will spit and splatter. This is not only a little dangerous, as it can cause a flare-up or fire on your grill. It can also burn you if you are too close.
I like to drizzle a little honey and sprinkle some toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley over the cheese just before serving. Nothin else to say except yummy!
One thing that I did learn is that you want to make sure you pick up real Greek halloumi. There are some other variations of halloumi cheese that are made in other Mediterranean countries, but it is not the same. Cooked Halloumi will remain firm and turn a wonderful crispy golden brown. Some of the other cheeses when fried will melt, which is great if you are serving pizza but not if you are serving pan-fried halloumi! Plus, some halloumi cheese can be very salty, and I don’t find that appealing.
CAN YOU SMOKE CHEESE AT HOME?
The answer is of course you can smoke cheese at home! With a little planning and some equipment you likely have around the house, it’s easy to smoke your own cheese. If you like those smoky flavors, you should also try our Million Dollar Smoked Mac and Cheese recipe!
What is the best cheese to smoke?
You can smoke just about any type of cheese, from cheddar cheese to gouda to mozzarella. Obviously, the firmer the cheese, the easier it will be to smoke using this method. If you have a smoker that will cold smoke, then really the sky’s the limit for the cheese that you could smoke.
Pin it HERE!!
Pin it HERE!!
- 1 piece of Greek Halloumi cheese, about 3 inches x 4 inches in size
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 tbsp of honey
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or pecans
- Lemon wedge and chopped parsley for garnish
- Ice cubes
- Deep disposable aluminum pan
- Cooling rack
- Prepare your grill and heat your smoker box so that it is smoking well. I used applewood chips. Keep one side of the grill cool by only heating on the other side of the grill (indirect heat method).
- Slice the Halloumi cheese into 3/8 inch wide slices; you should get between 6 and 8 slices from your block of cheese.
- Place the foil pan on the cool side of the grill and fill with ice, then place the cooling rack over top and lay the cheese slices out in a single layer over the ice. (this will help to keep the cheese cool while it is smoking)
- Close the lid and smoke for about 1 hour; try to keep the temperature of the grill below 250 degrees F. Refill the ice if needed while the cheese is smoking.
- Remove the cheese from the grill and wrap it in plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours to allow the smoke to penetrate the cheese.
When ready to fry the cheese:
- Heat your grill to medium, place a cast-iron skillet on the grill, and pour in the canola oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the cheese and fry on one side for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, turn and cook the other side.
- Remove from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Place 2 slices of the cheese on a small plate and drizzle honey, sprinkle a couple of toasted pine nuts or pecans on top and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the plate.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.