Smoked Cream Cheese

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Smoked Cream Cheese is an easy recipe that only requires a few ingredients and can be made in just a few minutes. Smoked cream cheese is perfect for entertaining, as it can be served as an appetizer or main course.

Smoked Cream Cheese
Smoked Cream Cheese

The Best Smoked Cream Cheese

Smoked cream cheese is an intriguing twist on a classic cheese dip that is sure to be a hit at any party. There are endless smoked cream cheese variations for you to experiment with to find the flavors and textures that work best for you and your taste buds.

This smoked cream cheese recipe is a popular online trend right now and can be made as simple or as complex as you choose. Our recipe takes you through just a few simple steps to create a decadent, cheesy, and delicious dip. We guarantee that his appetizer is one of the easiest, most delicious ways to enjoy cream cheese!


How To Make Smoked Cream Cheese

At first glance, smoking cream cheese may not seem like a gourmet choice, but it certainly tastes like it. You can spread this creamy goodness on a thick slice of toasted sourdough, or dip tortilla chips in for a burst of creamy, flavourful deliciousness.

Smoked cream cheese is a versatile dish that can be served with crackers, bread, or vegetables. It can also be used as a spread for sandwiches or wraps.

In addition, smoked cream cheese can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. This recipe is simple, delicious, and sure to please your guests.

To smoke cream cheese, follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat your smoker to approximately 180 – 200 degrees F.
  2. Use foil or parchment to line a baking dish or tray.
  3. Place cream cheese block onto foil/parchment and add shallots & garlic heads if you opted for those.
  4. Score 1/2-inch cross hatches across the top of the cream cheese.
  5. Brush olive oil or chili oil over the top of the cheese.
  6. Add your favorite rub to the top of the cheese.
  7. Place the tray in the smoker for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  8. Enjoy hot or cold with sides to dip and toppings to enhance the flavors.

For a more detailed recipe overview, keep reading!


Smoked Cream Cheese Shopping List

  • Full-fat cream cheese block (we recommend Philadelphia Cream Cheese)
  • Olive oil (sub for chili oil if you like a bit of spice)
  • Favorite rub (we love a roasted garlic rub, but you can use any rub or seasoning)
  • Shallot (optional)
  • Head of garlic (optional)

Smoked Cream Cheese Seasonings

For this dish, you can use pretty much any seasoning that you want, however, there are some tried-and-tested favorites that elevate the cream cheese in the best possible way.

  • Hot: For a spicy twist, try Nashville Hot Chicken Rub. Pair it with a hot honey drizzle on top for additional spice and carrots, celery & crackers on the side.
  • Mexican: Adding a simple taco seasoning as your rub can turn your block of cream cheese into a Mexican-inspired dish. Serve with pico de gallo on top and pita chips or tortilla chips for the ultimate dip.
  • Everything Bagel: Use Everything Bagel Seasoning and serve with bagel chips for a savory dip with an amazing smoky flavor. Top with a sprinkle of bacon pieces to please meat lovers at your party.
  • Sweet: If you have a sweet tooth, adding cinnamon sugar or brown sugar turns this recipe into a dessert version that’s super quick & delicious. Serve with apple slices or wafers.
  • Garlic: After using a simple garlic powder as your rub, serve your smoked cream cheese with honey drizzles and grilled peaches on slices of baguette for a fancy, incredible-tasting appetizer.
  • BBQ: Try adding your favorite BBQ rub for a classic, BBQ-inspired smoked cream cheese dip. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

How To Make Smoked Cream Cheese Recipe

Step 1 – Preheat your Smoker

Fire up your pellet grill or pellet smoker and preheat it anywhere between 180 and 200ºF.

We recommend using Maplewood and Applewood flavored wood pellets or wood chips to create the best smoke flavor for the cheese. However, we’re confident that any wood pellets or wood chips you choose will taste phenomenal with your smoked cream cheese.


Step 2 – Line Baking Dish

Using parchment or aluminum foil, line a baking dish or tray to prevent your block of cream cheese from sticking. We recommend opting for a non-stick foil to make cleanup a breeze.

Another great option is to use a disposable aluminum pan to house your smoked cream cheese whilst it cooks. Though a disposable foil pan is wasteful, it is the easiest way to do it if you don’t want to spend time scrubbing a dish.


Step 3 – Prepare Cheese

Place your cream cheese onto the foil or parchment and add shallots or garlic heads to the space surrounding the block if you chose to include those in your recipe. Adding these items to your foil pan allows the flavors to envelop the cheese without being overbearing.


Step 4 – Score Cheese

Using a sharp kitchen knife to score across the top of the cheese, creating a crosshatch pattern of around a half inch each.

This allows the oil and seasoning to get further into the cheese, improving the flavor deep within.


Step 5 – Brush Oil

Use a basting/pastry brush and lightly brush the top of the cream cheese with oil. You can use olive oil, chili oil, or just about any other oil that you prefer.

To ensure the best quality results, try to get oil into all of your freshly created scores.


Step 6 – Season Thoroughly

This is the part that allows for the most creativity and variety. Add your favorite rub or seasoning that you’d like to the top of the cream cheese. Don’t be shy! As long as there’s lots of it and it’s coating the whole block, you’ll have great flavor.

You can experiment as much as you’d like with the seasonings, just try to pair the flavors of your seasonings with your toppings/serving sides for the best results.


Step 7 – Smoke!

Now it’s time to smoke the cream cheese!

Place your dish in the smoker and sit back and wait. You can smoke this dish anywhere from 1.5 hours, to up to 3 hours depending on the strength of the smoky flavor that you would like.

Avoid direct heat and keep the heat low enough that your cream cheese won’t melt.


Step 8 – Add Toppings & Serve

The toppings and sides you can add will hugely depend on the seasonings and rubs that you chose, though there are some fool-proof options that work with anything.

If veggies are your thing, you can serve this cream cheese dip with celery sticks, cucumber sticks, or carrots. For a more carb-heavy appetizer, use bagel chips, tortilla chips, bread sticks, or crackers. If you’re entertaining, add a variety of everything to please all tastes.

For more recipes in appetizer cuisine, check out our vegetable recipes!


Smoked Cream Cheese FAQs

Can you use low-fat cream cheese?

Although tempting for those watching their weight, it isn’t recommended to use low-fat cream cheese for this dish. Full fat will taste better and is definitely worth the extra calories.


Is smoked cream cheese dip better eaten hot or cold?

Both! You can eat smoked cream cheese fresh off the smoker as a hot dip, or you can prepare it ahead of time and let it cool fully before serving. Whilst it won’t be quite as soft after cooling, the flavors will still be incredible.


How long does smoked cream cheese last?

Smoked cream cheese will last up to 4 days if placed in an airtight container in the fridge once it has cooled after smoking. It is not recommended to freeze smoked cream cheese as it won’t taste as good once defrosted.


How do you smoke cheese without it melting?

For other types of cheese, such as cheddar cheese, you can smoke it anywhere up to 90 Degrees F before it starts to melt. Cream cheese, however, softens rather than melts because the solid milk fat will start to liquefy.


Does cream cheese melt in a smoker?

Cream cheese will soften when it is placed in the smoker, but it won’t melt and become gooey like other cheeses. The smoker will add a smoky flavor to the cheese and any seasonings you add will sink deep into the softened cheese to make it really flavourful.


Can I smoke cream cheese on any type of grill?

Yes! As long as your grill or smoker has the ability to cook at low temperatures, you can definitely put your cream cheese dish inside. However, for best results, pellet smokers seem to take the cake for this recipe.

Check out this amazing Pellet Smoker by Traeger, equipped with WiFi pairing and all the bells and whistles!


Smoked Cream Cheese

Smoked Cream Cheese Recipe

At first glance, smoking cream cheese may not seem like a gourmet choice, but it certainly tastes like it. You can spread this creamy goodness on a thick slice of toasted sourdough, or dip tortilla chips in for a burst of creamy, flavourful deliciousness.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • Full fat cream cheese block we recommend Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • Olive oil sub for chilli oil if you like a bit of spice
  • Favourite rub we love roasted garlic rub, but you can use any rub or seasoning
  • Shallot optional
  • Head of garlic optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your smoker to approx. 180 - 200 degrees F.
  • Use foil or parchment to line a baking dish or tray.
  • Place cream cheese block onto foil/parchment and add shallots & garlic heads if you opted for those.
  • Score 1/2 inch cross hatches across the top of the cream cheese.
  • Brush olive oil or chilli oil over the top of the cheese.
  • Add your favourite rub to the top of the cheese.
  • Place the tray in the smoker for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Enjoy hot or cold with sides to dip and toppings to enhance the flavours.