Have you planned your upcoming BBQ weekend? Is the meat well-seasoned and ready to go on the smoker? Are the drinks cold and perfect for all guests?
But what about a cheesy and delicious side? Every main dish needs a flavorful companion. Have you thought about that?
Fret not, as we have a fantastic smoked mac and cheese recipe for you. It is safe to say that this dish is unreal.
So, read on and explore what this cream cheese delight has to offer. We are sure you won’t be disappointed!
Table of Contents
How to Make Smoked Mac and Cheese
If you use a smoker regularly, you would understand how it is pretty easy for soft and porous food items like pasta to get smoked. So, once you have placed your big pieces of meat to rest after being smoked and cooked, you can quickly prepare smoked mac and cheese without performing any preheating procedures.
This smoked mac and cheese recipe is that easy!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 Hour
- Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
- Cooking Temperature: 225 degrees F
- Wood Flavor: Apple or Cherry
- Serving: 8 people
- Large Pot
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Wood Chips of cherry or apple wood
- 1 pound cooked elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 Tablespoons of flour
- 1 Tablespoon of mustard powder
- 4 oz of cream cheese
- 2 cups of half and half
- 3 cups of cheddar
- 1.5 cups of gouda
Ingredients for Topping
- 1 cup of panko topping of bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 2 Tablespoons of Signature Sweet Rub
- Take a bowl of salted water with macaroni and boil it.
- Turn off the heat as soon as the macaroni noodles feel al dente and not very soft.
- Use apple or cherry hardwood to preheat the smoker. Its temperature should reach 225 degrees F.
- Simultaneously, place a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Use it to melt butter.
- In the melted butter, add the given amount of flour and whisk until there is a paste.
- Now also include a tablespoon of mustard powder.
- Whisk well and add half and half in the paste. Cook until the mix has reached the boiling point.
- Now slow down the heat and add cream cheese. Whisk again until the whole paste is smooth.
- Add gouda cheese and cheddar cheese as well. Stir and whisk until they have adequately melted.
- Now turn off or reduce heat and add macaroni noodles. Stir them in the cheese sauce so that they look fully coated.
- Simultaneously, add melted butter, panko topping of bread crumbs, and sweet rub in a bowl. Sprinkle the resultant mix over the prepared mac and cheese.
- Put the skillet in your smoker and cover it with a lid.
- Let the mac and cheese smoke for at least an hour.
- Once the time is over and you are fully satisfied, serve your creamy smoked mac and cheese while it is still melty and tempting.
BBQ Tip: Make sure to keep the smoker’s temperature as low as 225 degrees F. A temperature above that will make your cooked pasta dry and ruin the flavor of your smoked mac and cheese.
Detailed Cooking Instructions
Here are complete details of the smoked mac and cheese recipe:
Step 1 – Boil Macaroni in Salt and Water
Follow the package directions and boil the macaroni in a bowl with water and some salt. Salt helps to add flavor to your macaroni and enhances the overall flavor of the meal. Once your macaroni noodles are al dente and still a little chewy, turn off the heat.
Step 2 – Preheat the Smoker
Use mild wood to preheat your smoker. We would recommend you to go for pecan, cherry, apple wood. These flavors are mild yet rich.
As mentioned above, make sure to keep the smoker’s temperature as low as 225 degrees. However, don’t ruin this side dish by going overboard with the heat.
Step 3 – Prepare Cheese Sauce on a Large Skillet
Take a good-sized cast iron skillet to prepare the cheese sauce for your mac n cheese. We have chosen a 12-inch skillet because it will be used as a multipurpose dish. You can utilize it to prepare the sauce, smoke the mac n cheese, and even serve this side dish to your guests, thus saving from the hassle of arranging additional cutlery.
Moreover, this skillet gives enough surface area for the smoked mac n cheese to cook correctly.
So, first, add butter and let it melt properly. Then, whisk in flour and mustard powder to form a paste.
As the sauce thickens, add half and half and bring the mixture to a boil.
Step 4 – Add Cheese Variations of Pre Shredded Cheese
Reduce heat and add cream cheese to the sauce. Whisk and stir to attain a consistent paste.
Now also add gouda and cheddar shredded cheese. If you like, feel free to include parmesan cheese. The choice is ultimately yours.
Whisk and store the cheese sauce on medium heat. Once the cheeses have properly melted, reduce or tune off the heat.
Step 5 – Add Boiled Macaroni to Cheesy Paste
Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce. Mix well until the boiled pasta is thoroughly coated with the white sauce.
Step 6 – Prepare Topping
While the macaroni noodles are mixed with the sauce, prepare your topping. Use a small bowl and mix bread crumbs, sweet rub, and melted butter. Sprinkle the resultant mix over the cheesy mac and cheese.
You can also add flavor additions of your choice. For instance, if you like bacon or green chilies, make them a part of your toppings. Feel free to experiment!
Step 7 – Place the Skillet in the Smoker
Place the skillet carrying the well-cooked macaroni in the smoker now. Now is the time to give your dish the much-needed smoke flavor.
Place the lid over the smoker and let the delicious dish absorb all the smoke flavor for an hour. You can extend this duration for another hour too for rich smoky flavor but be careful as the elbow macaroni may end up too strong for your tastebuds.
Step 8 – Serve the Smoked Mac and Cheese Once the Time Is Over
As soon as you are happy with the results, wait longer and place the skillet with smoked cheeses and smoked macaroni to your hungry guests.
BBQ Tip: It is better to serve the smoked macaroni and cheese dish while it is still hot. The smoked cheeses taste better when warm and gooey.
Frequently Asked Questions
If this is your first time making a smoked mac and cheese dish, you might have many questions in mind. So, clear them up by reading the answers below before heading to your kitchen to prepare this wonderful cheese recipe.
How Many Nutrition Calories Do Smoked Mac and Cheese Recipe Has?
This great recipe and comfort food has total calories of 837kcal. It is rich in protein, carbohydrates, and saturated fats. Besides, the comfort food contains 877mg of sodium, 231mg of potassium, and 1665IU of Vitamin A.
Which Cheeses Work Best for the Smoked Mac and Cheese Dish?
The best cheeses that are easy to smoke and taste great are Mozzarella and Parmesan. Smoked Gouda also has a sharp taste, and many people also try Swiss, Brie, and American cheeses.
You can try as many cheese variations as you want. Moreover, you can also choose to buy these products in bulk from warehouses and save lots of money.
Can You Use Whole Milk In the Smoked Mac and Cheese Recipe?
Yes, you absolutely can. Whole milk can be a good substitute for cream cheese. Moreover, if your guests are health freaks, you can also add evaporated or low-fat milk to your smoked mac and cheese dish.
What Is the Right Temperature to Smoke Cheese At?
Smoked Gouda or any other cheese should be prepared at a temperature below 90 degrees F. This tip is essential to save the cheese from unnecessary melting. If you want to produce cold smoke, put your chosen cheese on the smoker’s grate.
Can You Add Hot Sauce to Your Mac and Cheese?
If your guests love spicy sides, you can also add hot sauce to your cheese sauce. This product will add an element of rich flavor to your dish and make your cheese smoked mac worth every effort.
Is It Possible to Save Macaroni from Sticking Together?
People often use olive oil to prevent the pasts from sticking. Moreover, it also helps to save the pot from boiling more than required.
However, olive oil can also be harmful to the cheese smoked mac recipe. It can create a significant barrier between the sauce and pasts and prevent the former from mixing with the latter. So, make sure if you are using it, the quantity is way below than required.
Can I Use Long Pasts While Preparing Mac and Cheese?
No, long or thin pasts may not work well for this dish. They fail to hold and catch the cheese with precision and may not give you the creamy flavor with every bite.
So, do not pick pasts in a hurry. Instead, give this task some time and select the product that can help maximize the cheesy flavor with every spoonful bite.
When Is the Right Time to Turn Off the Smoker?
You can remove the skillet from the smoker as soon as one hour has passed. Besides, if your macaroni has turned golden brown and looks ready to serve, it is worthless to continue smoking the cheese.
Is It Safe to Add Colby Jack Cheese to this Delicious Recipe?
This cheese tastes rich and adds value to your best smoked mac and cheese recipe. It doesn’t take long to melt and smoke. So, it is safe to use this cheese in your dish.
However, make sure to add the right quantity of cheese so you can get the maximum flavor in your food.
How Can You Experiment With the Basic Mac and Cheese Recipe?
There are many ways you can add new variations to a basic mac dish and make a new recipe altogether.
For instance, by adding some jalapeno slices to the sauce, you can create Jalapeno Popper Smoked mac and cheese. Moreover, you can include bacon in the dish to get a flavorsome Bacon mac and cheese.
If you aren’t serving this side dish to a vegetarian, adding pulled pork to the recipe will help you create cheese bombs that your guests will cherish for a long time.
Smoked Mac and Cheese That Will Make Your Guests Keep Asking for More!
Here’s hoping that the above recipe will help you create magic at the upcoming party weekend.
Of course, you can’t serve your barbeque dish without an interesting side. So, get up and buy all the required ingredients that will help you make an incredible comfort food.
Print the recipe card if you want and also go through reader interactions comments below to know how your fellow learners found this recipe.
Moreover, give your feedback as soon as you try it. We will love to hear from you and make improvements if required.