The Best Smoked Mac And Cheese Recipe
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Smoked Mac and Cheese
Homemade macaroni and cheese is one of the best comfort foods. The rich and gooey cheese, the traditional macaroni noodles and the delicious crunchy topping are what pull this dish together to create an American favorite. In our past 10 years together we’ve tried so many different recipes trying to find and create a family staple. During that process we developed this recipe and were so excited to finally make it and adapt it for the smoker! We honestly weren’t sure it this could get any better but were easily proven wrong once we had our first bite.
One of my favorite aspects of this smoked mac and cheese recipe is the Old Bay Seasoning. Growing up in Maryland has made me a seafood lover from the start. I’ve shared that love with my family and spices like Old Bay have quickly become a staple in our home. This Old Bay Mac and Cheese could easily be made right in your oven too. Even if you don’t currently own a smoker or pellet grill, I HIGHLY suggest you give it a try. I promise – it’s worth it.
Before We Get Started
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Smoked Mac And Cheese Recipe
Let’s jump right into this step by step! I’ll share every detail so you can create the best smoked mac and cheese that ever existed!
To start, boil your macaroni noodles according to your packaging direction. Drain your noodles and rinse with cold water. Place them in a large bowl and sit to the side. We are now going to make your cheese sauce which will be placed on top of your noodles to mix.
Next, you’ll need to shred your blocks of cheese. I can completely understand the desire to buy pre-shredded cheese but I would avoid it at all costs. Pre-shredded cheese has a coating on it to prevent it from sticking together. When you melt it into a cheese sauce, it becomes gritty. You will not regret taking the time to shredded each block by hand, TRUST ME!
Now that your cheeses are shredded, you can turn on your Pit Boss Pellet Grill or smoker and set to 180 degrees. While that is preheating, it’s time to make the cheese sauce!
Place your cast iron skillet on your stove and warm 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Next, add your stick of butter and melt. Add flour and whisk until combined. Now, add your half and half and bring it to a simmer, whisking constantly with the butter flour mixture. Once that begins to simmer, add in your cream cheese and Old Bay and stir until completely combined. Add in shredded cheddar cheese and munster cheese. Whisk until combined and remove from heat.
Now it’s time to coat your noodles. Pour your cheese mixture over your macaroni noodles and toss until completely covered. Add the mac and cheese back to your cast iron skillet and top with shredded colby jack cheese. Now it’s time to cook! Place your cast iron skillet into your smoker for 1 hour.
Okay, so this is a very messy dish. While my smoked mac and cheese is cooking during that first hour, I like to clean up my kitchen. Get everything in the dish washer, wipe down your stove and declutter your cooking area. Once everything is cleaned up, it’s topping time!
Melt your 1/4 cup of butter (half a stick) and combine with Old Bay Seasoning and the panko bread crumbs.
After that hour is up, remove the smoked macaroni and cheese. Turn the smoker temperature up to 220 degrees. While the smoker is coming to temperature, top the macaroni and cheese with the panko bread crumb mixture. Be sure to evenly spread.
Place the cast iron skillet back into the smoker for 30 minutes and serve!
Recipe For Smoked Mac And Cheese
This recipe is going to be amazing! Made as is, this recipe is vegetarian. If you’re looking to make this a meal on it’s own and want to add some protein, throw in some lump crab meat (literally drooling as I type that) or lobster meat. You can also try shrimp, fish or scallops as well. I mean, I would never judge you if you added multiple of the above in to make a delicious smoked seafood mac and cheese!
Smoked Mac and Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
- 16 oz sharp cheddar cheese block, shredded
- 16 oz munster cheese block, shredded
- 16 oz macaroni noodles
- 8 oz colby jack cheese block, shredded
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 2 cups half & half
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 stick butter
- 1 tbsp old bay seasoning
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 tbsp old bay seasoning
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- Cook macaroni noodles using packaging directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.
- Start your smoker. Set to 180 degrees.
- Place 1 stick of butter in a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Melt over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add flour and whisk to combine. Next, add half & half and bring to a simmer.
- Add cream cheese and old bay. Stir until cream cheese is fully melted.
- Whisk in cheddar and munster cheese, stirring until it is fully melted. Remove from heat.
- Pour cheese mixture over cooked noodles. Once fully coasted, pour cheese mixture and noodles back into the cast iron skillet.
- Top the mixture with the shredded colby jack cheese and an additional sprinkle of old bay. Place in smoker for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, mix together your topping ingredients and sit to the side.
- Remove from smoker and turn the temperature up to 220 degrees. While smoker is coming to temperature, add bread crumb mixture to mac and cheese. Smoke for an additional 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Store cooled leftovers in the refrigerator.
Notes For The Best Smoked Mac And Cheese
If you love bread crumb toppings like we do, try doubling the topping recipe but only use 1.5 tbsp on Old Bay
To add protein to this dish, try adding lump crab meat, shrimp or scallops.
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