World’s Best Smoked Macaroni and Cheese
I’ve hemmed and hawed and procrastinated enough. It is time to unveil the World’s Best Smoked Macaroni and Cheese!
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Now, you can try to argue that your recipe is better, but what’s your cheese to pasta ratio?
Does your macaroni and cheese look all dry like the Atlanta Mayor’s did on Thanksgiving?
We will be having none of that!
Have Your Tried Smoking Your Mac and Cheese?
Being that this is tailgate central around here, we love to smoke up some ribs. Or steaks. Or chicken. Or whatever else we can get our hands on. But definitely some ribs.
And since properly smoked ribs are smoked low and slow, we’ve got plenty of time to sneak a casserole dish of macaroni and cheese on the smoker for finishing, right?
The embers and the smoke give the macaroni and cheese a new, added dimension that you won’t find if you don’t smoke it. Now, you can smoke it the entire time but with the lower temps on a smoker, it’ll take awhile. And I’m usually running behind trying to keep up with all the cornhole games. Or football games. Or whatever else is going on at the tailgate.
As a result, I like to cook the mac and cheese about half way in the convection oven in the RV. This gives it a head start and then you can finish it on the smoker.
With the ribs. And garlic toast. And crab stuffed potatoes. And baked beans.
If You Don’t Have A Smoker
You can still enjoy this recipe if you don’t have a smoker. You’ll just want to bake the macaroni and cheese in your oven.
Bake it for no more than 35 minutes if you bake it in the oven. The last thing you want to do is dry it out. Remember the Atlanta mayor? None of that!
Never Leave a Tailgate Hungry
If I’ve said it once, I’ve probably said it a million times.
But I think that picture just proves it. If you leave a tailgate hungry, you’re just doing it wrong!
Seriously, find some new tailgate friends if your tailgate plate doesn’t look like this. Or something equally delicious. Every single week.
At least you’ll be able to contribute to the meal with yep, the World’s Best Smoked Macaroni and Cheese!
All the Cheese
The secret to the smoked macaroni and cheese recipe is in the cheeses.
Yes, 40 ounces of cheese to 16 ounces of pasta! We aren’t fooling around here people.
I recommend that you buy your cheese in blocks, not pre-shredded. Why?
Pre-shredded cheese has all sorts of fillers. Wood pulp? Eeewwww.
I don’t know about you, but for the couple of minutes of shredding cheese, I’ll leave out the wood pulp. And get a better tasting product that isn’t dried out.
My RV kitchen is stocked with an OXO Good Grips Multi Grater. The Good Grips handle makes it easy to keep in place while quickly shredding cheese. It also folds down nicely to keep your RV kitchen organized.
Save Some Cheese for the Top
There are two kinds of smoked cheeses in this recipe – Smoked Cheddar and Smoked Gouda.
Now, these may not be over in the regular processed cheese section at your local supermarket. I normally find these in the specialty cheese section, near the lunch meat deli counter. But your mileage may vary.
Anyways, you’ll want to save half of each of the smoked cheeses to put on top, while the rest is mixed inside with the macaroni.
Having a crispier top of all the smoked cheeses really makes sure that the first bite and each bite thereafter is full of smoky flavor!
Leftovers? Who Said Anything About Leftovers?
If by some miracle of miracles, the smoked macaroni and cheese is not completely demolished at your tailgate meal, then again, get some new friends.
But you can cover it up and put it in the fridge. Then when you are ready for leftovers, you can just heat it up in the microwave.
Seriously though, how did this survive your meal? Some thing must be wrong…
- 1 box (16 ounces), elbow macaroni pasta
- 8 oz Smoked Cheddar Cheese
- 8 oz Smoked Gouda Cheese
- 8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 8 oz Colby & Monterey Jack Blend Cheese
- 6-8 oz Velveeta Cheese
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Onion Salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- Cook macaroni according to directions on package until al dente or slightly less than al dente. Do not overcook! Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Shred all cheeses. Set aside half Smoked Cheddar and half of Smoked Gouda for later.
- In large bowl, mix shredded cheeses (except the set aside cheese), salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. You do not want a bland mac and cheese, so be generous.
- Add heavy cream and milk. Stir to combine and mix well. "Sample" to ensure that you have enough spices. Add additional spices if necessary.
- Add eggs. Mix well.
- Add pasta. Mix well.
- Butter a 9x13 glass casserole dish. Pour pasta and cheese mix in casserole dish.
- Top with the remaining Smoked Cheddar and Smoked Gouda.
- Bake for 20 minutes in oven.
- Add to smoker, uncovered, for an additional 20-30 minutes.
- Let cool for approximately 15 minutes until fully set.
- Enjoy the best Smoked Macaroni and Cheese ever!
- Use aluminum foil under casserole dish to protect it from scratches on the smoker.
- Most smokers are going to run about 225-230 degrees for ribs. Depending on temperature, you may need to increase or decrease cooking time.
- You can bake the macaroni and cheese on the smoker without the step in the oven first. However, your total cook time will be increased due to the lower temperature. You should estimate one hour if you intend to bake/smoke it entirely on the smoker.
- If you do not have a smoker, then total oven baking time is approximately 35 minutes.
- Do not overbake/oversmoke your Smoked Macaroni and Cheese. It should be slightly jiggly when you take it out of the smoker.
Try This Smoked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Once you try this Smoked Macaroni and Cheese recipe you’ll agree that it is the world’s best!
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