Smoked Macaroni & Cheese

Smoked macaroni and cheese elevates everyone’s favorite comfort food to the next level. Slow cooked and easy to assemble, this weekend meal makes a great addition to any barbecue or can be the star of its own show.

smoked macaroni and cheese shown on a white plate set on a blue checkered napkin

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We love our smoker!

A few years back, we bought ourselves an electric smoker.

And let me tell you, it was worth every penny!

Shortly after that purchase, I came up with delicious take on mac and cheese.

I figured, what could make that classic comfort food better? Smoking it.

Obviously.

It makes so many things better: burgers, queso, salsa….

smoked macaroni and cheese shown on a white plate set on a blue and white checkered cloth napkin

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this smoked classic.

  • Elbow noodles – Cook them until they are JUST al dente and run them under cold water to stop cooking and prevent them from sticking together.
  • Melted butter – Either salted or unsalted butter will work fine.
  • Flour – This will help thicken the cheese sauce.
  • White cooking wine – This adds some moisture and flavor to the mac and cheese.
  • Spices – Mustard powder, cayenne pepper (or Cajun seasoning), garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper.
  • Half & half – This adds extra creaminess to the cheese sauce for the mac.
  • Cheeses – The most important ingredients to mac and cheese! You’ll need cream cheese, cheddar (shredded), mozzarella (shredded), and Velveeta cheese (cubed). 

over head shot showing the ingredients needed to make smoked macaroni and cheese laid out on a marble countertop

How to make

First, melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
 
Next, whisk in the flour until evenly combined and cook until it starts to become fragrant.
 
Then, whisk in the wine, slowly, stirring until completely incorporated and the base is smooth and without clumps.
 
Stir in the half & half, cheeses, and seasonings.
 
Continue stirring until everything’s melted and evenly combined and smooth.
 
If desired, add salt & pepper to taste.
 
a four image collage showing the roux and cheese sauce being made in stages for a batch of smoked macaroni and cheese
 
Once the cheeses are all melted and smooth, stir in the pasta.
 
Finally, spray a an aluminum pan with non stick spray and then transfer the macaroni and cheese to the pan, spreading it out evenly.
 
Top with a sprinkle of extra shredded cheddar and place on your smoker set at 225 degrees for 1 to 3 hours.
 
The longer you let it smoke, the browner the top and the deeper smokier the flavor.
 
Remove from the smoker and serve!
 
a four image collage showing the steps to assembling smoked macaroni and cheese first in a dutch oven and then in a grill safe aluminum pan
 

How to smoke without a smoker

I highly, HIGHLY recommend getting yourself a good smoker if you love outdoor cooking.

They take so much of the work out.

We got the Master Built Electric Smoker and could not be happier! It is so easy to smoke this mac and cheese, ribs, or any other meat you can think of!

But, if you don’t have a dedicated smoker, you can turn most grills into smokers pretty easily if the grill is big enough.

For charcoal grills, the key is to create indirect heat with your coals.

Light them up and then push them to the far side of the grill away from the food.

You can smoke them with just the coals, or for added flavor and smokiness, you can place soaked hardwood on top of the hot coals.

an aluminum pan filled with smoked macaroni and cheese shown on a rack in a smoker

The main drawback to charcoal grills is you will need to periodically add fresh coals and hardwood if you are using it.

If you use hardwood, make sure to soak for at least a half hour so they don’t instantly catch fire!

If you use a gas grill, you can get a dedicated smoker box or use a throwaway aluminum cooking tin.

In both cases, you follow similar steps to the charcoal grill and place the food away from the burners you turn on.

You then want to place the box or tin with soaked wood over the distant burners and light them at low to medium heat.

It should create a nice smoke effect in the grill.

Neither case creates the best smoking environment, but they will both do in a pinch!

And they certainly work well enough to enjoy this recipe!

an aluminum pan filled with smoked mac and cheese shown on a blue and white checkered cloth napkin

Serving and storing

This is truly the king of mac and cheese.

As such, you can certainly serve it as a main course and fill in some sides, like grilled veggies or fruit.

If you are making a bigger barbecue, you can serve this on the side of ribs, dogs, hamburgers, or whatever it is you are serving.

To store, allow it to cool and then either wrap the entire tin in cling wrap or scoop into an airtight container.

You can store it for up to 5 days in the fridge.

You could also freeze it for up to 6 months if you like.

a silver spatula shown lifting a serving of smoked mac and cheese out of an aluminum pan

To reheat, you can warm it through in the microwave in individual servings.

You could also pop the whole container back into the oven set at 300 until it is warmed through.

I recommend covering and possibly mixing a splash of milk to help keep it moist if you use the oven.

Tips and tricks

  • Don’t over cook the noodles! It’s better to remove them before they are completely done then let them get too well done. Also, make sure to run them under cool water to completely stop the cooking process.
  • You can add additional cheeses or different cheeses to the mac. Sky is the limit when it comes to cheese!
  • For added flavor, you can mix in peas, bacon, ham, or your other favorite mac and cheese add ins. You can never really go wrong with bacon!

a silver fork shown digging into a serving of smoked mac and cheese served on a white plate

Other smoked recipes you’ll love

Smoked macaroni and cheese takes the classic comfort dish to the next level.

You and your family will love the added smoky flavor that the mac and cheese incorporates.

If you love a good smoked recipe, check out some of my other favorites:

Appetizers

Main Dishes

Sides

If you’ve tried this SMOKED MACARONI AND CHEESE, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

a silver fork shown digging into a serving of smoked mac and cheese served on a white plate

Smoked Macaroni And Cheese

Smoked macaroni and cheese elevates everyone's favorite comfort food to the next level. Slow cooked and easy to assemble, this weekend meal makes a great addition to any barbecue or can be the star of its own show.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 409kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb elbow noodles, cooked JUST until al dente, run under cold water to stop cooking and prevent sticking
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 heaping tsp mustard
  • 1 3/4 cup half & half
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 6 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • pinch smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until evenly combined, and cook for 30-60 seconds. Whisk in the wine, slowly, stirring until completely incorporated and the base is smooth.
  • Stir in the half & half, cheeses, and seasonings. Continue stirring until everything's melted and evenly combined and, again, smooth. Salt & pepper, to taste.
  • Add the pasta to the pot, stir to evenly incorporate. 
  • Spray a an aluminum pan with non stick spray. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the pan, spreading out evenly. Top with a sprinkle of extra shredded cheddar.
  • Smoke at 225 degrees for 1-3 hours, depending on how much smoke flavor you want and how browned you want it on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 483mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 333mg | Iron: 0.9mg

This post may contain affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full Disclosure Policy for details. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

3 thoughts on “Smoked Macaroni & Cheese

    1. I’ve really been trying to embrace the spices in my spice cabinet! And yes, the crunchy cheese topping absolutely makes it texture wise.

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