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Homemade mac and cheese was the comfort food of all comfort foods in my book — until I took it to the next level. This smoked mac and cheese recipe is creamy, cheesy, and smokey. Once you’ve tried it you’ll never look at mac and cheese the same way again.
How to Make Smoked Macaroni and Cheese: Tips and Tricks
Smoked mac and cheese is a pretty quick, hassle-free, process perfect for a BBQ side dish. It pairs nicely with almost any main dish and can be smoked right after your meats have been pulled off the smoker.
1. Be sure to use a cast-iron skillet.
Not only will it give your mac and cheese a much better flavor, but you can use the pan as a serving dish. I told you this was hassle-free smoking. My favorite cast-iron can be found here.
2. Avoid using homemade noodles.
They tend to be too soft and you want your noodles to remain firm after smoking.
3. Keep the temperature low.
No one (that I know of) likes overcooked noodles and dry cheese. Keep the smoker’s temperature at 225 or lower to avoid a cheese-tastrophe.
4. Don’t forget the dried mustard.
Seriously, don’t. Dried mustard acts as an emulsifier, enhancing the creaminess and cheesy flavor.
What’s the best cheese to use when smoking macaroni and cheese ?
The goal for this mac n cheese recipe is rich, cheesy, goodness. So I recommend using a number of different cheeses: colby jack, cheddar, and my secret to the creaminess — cream cheese.
Feel free to switch up your cheese choices based on your liking
What Type of Wood Should I Use to When Smoking Mac and Cheese?
My favorite woods to use for this recipe are mild woods, like apple or cherry, fruitwoods give smoked mac and cheese a beautiful fragrant taste.
Pecan or oak woods also work well. Base the wood on the type of flavor you want to achieve.
How Long Should I Smoke Macaroni and Cheese?
Smoking time varies based on the amount of flavor you desire. The mac and cheese is already cooked, so all you’re doing is adding to the flavors when you smoke it. I recommend one to two hours for the best results.
Smoked Mac and Cheese
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Weber Smoker
- 1 pound elbow pasta
- ½ cup butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon Franks hot sauce
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups Colby Jack cheese shredded
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- On a stovetop, cook the pasta in a large pot of water with a ¼ cup of kosher salt.
- Preheat a smoker to 225F degrees, add your choice of wood for smoke. Milder woods are my favorite for this recipe so I tend to reach for apple or cherry but pecan works well too.
- On the stovetop heat, your 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour, dry mustard, and hot sauce until smooth.
- Add the heavy cream and 2% milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
- Reduce heat to low-medium and add the cream cheese, stir with a spatula until completely melted.
- Add in the shredded Colby Jack and Cheddar cheese a handful at a time. Stir and let melt completely.
- Add the cooked pasta and gently combine until it is completely incorporated.
- Transfer the skillet to the smoker and smoke for 1-2 hour depending on the amount of smoke flavor you desire.
- Serve immediately.
This smoked mac and cheese pairs well with my other smoked meat recipes, so make sure you check them out!