Make this rich and creamy Smoked Mac and Cheese in your smoker! Bacon, four cheeses and SO much flavor. You'll love this side dish recipe!
I have so many smoker recipes here on the site at Blackberry Babe. But, I've never posted a Smoked Mac and Cheese recipe, because I've never gotten it *quite* right. We've made good smoked mac, but not *GREAT* smoked mac.
Well, I am happy to report that this Mac and Cheese recipe is IT! After 7 years of experimentation, we have a recipe that we're proud to share.
The difference in this Smoked Mac and Cheese recipe? It's CREAMY AF! Anytime you cook mac and cheese after you assemble it, you risk it drying out a bit. This is true for baked mac and cheese made in the oven, or on the smoker!
The secret ingredient in this recipe? I could say it's one of the many cheeses used, or the bacon, or the breadcrumb topping.
But, I think the secret ingredient is plain old cream cheese! Adding cream cheese was what helped us finally achieve our desired level of creaminess.
Can I make thisMac and Cheese ahead of time?
Make the macaroni and cheese as directed, but do not smoke. Cool completely and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge up to 1-2 days ahead of time.
Allow the macaroni and cheese to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before smoking.
How do I store Mac & Cheese?
You can store any leftover macaroni and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.
You can freeze mac and cheese for up to 3 months, but you will lose some texture. It's best to eat this dish within a few days of preparing it.
Our goal is to keep this luscious mac as CREAMY as possible, so make sure that your water pan is full! This will help you maintain a high moisture level within the smoker.
The goal of smoking this mac and cheese is to get a nice, smoky flavor. The smoker may NOT crisp or brown the panko crumb topping to your liking.
If that's the case, NO worries! Just broil your mac and cheese in the oven on high for 1-2 minutes, until the panko bread crumbs are golden brown.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 12 tablespoons tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half and half
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- 8 ounces Havarti cheese, cubed
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed
- 8 ounces smoked gouda, cubed
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 12 ounces bacon, cooked & crumbled
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot, adding elbow macaroni and cooking until al dente (following package instructions).
- Drain the pasta. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- Melt ½ cup of butter in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour until smooth.
- Slowly pour in the half and half and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
- Reduce the heat to low and add in the cubed cream cheese, whisking until melted and smooth.
- Slowly add the other cheeses, whisking until melted and smooth.
- Add in the dry mustard, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add the cooked elbow macaroni and stir until all of the pasta is coated in the cheese sauce.
- Add in the crumbled bacon and stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, melted, and the panko breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the macaroni.
- Place the cast iron skillet in the smoker and smoke for 60 minutes
- Remove from the smoker and serve immediately.
- Garnish with additional bacon and parsley, if desired.
If you love this creamy mac and cheese on the smoker recipe, I think you'll also enjoy these smoker recipes on Blackberry Babe!