One Smoked Macaroni and Cheese to Rule them all
Looking for the best smoked macaroni and cheese recipe, this is it! One smoked mac and cheese recipe to rule them all. In our family we have allot of fairly large cook-outs with friends and family. This is, by far, my most requested dish and it never fails to impress and get tons of compliments! It really is that good. Finally I have decided to share this recipe with the world, so get comfortable and take notes because this smoked mac and cheese will change you life!
So, what’s in the best smoked macaroni and cheese recipe?
This smoked mac and cheese recipe has what may sound like some strange ingredients. Trust me, just follow the recipe exactly.
- Pasta Noodles: Well duh! Yeah, you definitely need macaroni for your macaroni and cheese. I prefer the rotini noodles as the cheese sauce seems to stick to them the best.
- Velveeta cheese: Oh yeah, plenty of creamy Velveeta cheese in this recipe. You will need to cut your velveeta cheese into 1/2″ chunks.
- Sharp cheddar cheese shredded: The sharp cheddar cheese adds a little zip to the cheese sauce so don’t leave it out.
- Mayonnaise: Yep, this is one of the ingredients that may seem a little strange to some people, but I promise, this is going to turn out amazing.
- Sour cream: Another strange ingredient to be found in macaroni and cheese but it’s all part of the magic.
- Onion Powder: Using onion powder in this macaroni and cheese recipe adds a special deep and savory flavor.
- Cajun or Creole Seasoning: I prefer to use Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning. Honestly this should already be in your cabinet and if it’s not we need to get that corrected asap.
- Cheez-it Crackers: This is the magic right here! The greatest thing to be put on top of macaroni and cheese in the history of mankind. Don’t skip it. . . Just Don’t.
The Tony Chachere’s adds allot to this recipe, if you can’t find it in your local store it can be order on Amazon HERE.
Making the cheese sauce
So, lets start making this cheese sauce.
Making the sauce could not be easier, you simply mix all of your ingredients (Except the cheez-it crackers) in a large bowl.
Mix very well until all of your shredded cheese is completely mixed in and all of your wet ingredients are combined. In the past I have tried going ahead and melting all the cheese sauce by slowly cooking it in a pot. While this makes it easier to mix the noodles in, it is not really necessary. But, if you would like to pre-melt the sauce feel free. Also, on a side note, this is a wonderful cheese base for all sorts of other foods. It goes amazing on a hamburger or over steamed broccoli.
So, let’s put it all together now.
Go ahead and prepare your choice of pasta noodles according to the package directions. I have found it useful to reduce the recommended cook time of the pasta by about a minute to account for the additional cooking on the smoker. After draining you noodles allow them to cool for a few minutes.
Next you want to gently, very gently fold the drained and cooled pasta into your cheese sauce. Try to take special care not to break up and destroy your pasta as the cheese sauce, when left un-melted, is quite thick.
Gently spread your pasta and sauce into a 9×13 pyrex pan or, even better, a disposable aluminum pan.
Last, we add the magic. Take handfuls of the the cheez-it crackers, crush them, and then sprinkle them across the top. It’s better not to completely crush the crackers into powder. Instead, you want all of the crackers to be broken into halves or quarters.
While I highly recommend cooking the macaroni and cheese recipe on a smoker, it will still come out wonderful in the oven if you do not have a smoker. Simply follow the same temperature and time guidelines below and use your oven instead.
Preheat you smoker to 275 degrees. For this smoked macaroni and cheese recipe a lighter wood like pecan, cherry or apple works best. You can use whatever smoking wood you have on hand just be sure to reduce the amount of smoke with stronger flavored wood.
Smoke for 1 hour. All of you cheese sauce should be melted and bubbling. The crackers on top of the macaroni and cheese should have taken on a slightly toasted look.
One important note, it is very easy to over-smoke this macaroni and cheese. One option for reducing this possibility is to add just enough wood or chips to smoke for the first 20 minutes and then do not add wood for the remainder of the cook time.
Well, that’s it. If you have followed these directions you have just created what is probably the Best smoked macaroni and cheese recipe you will ever taste. So, sit back and enjoy a plate of this at your next family BBQ and let the compliments roll in!
World’s Best Smoked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Preheat smoker to 275
Cook rotini according to package directions adding olive oil to water:
Drain and rinse pasta. Set aside
Mix all other ingredients EXCEPT crackers in a bowl
GENTLY stir in pasta
Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pyrex or stone dish or disposable aluminum cooking pan.
Top with crushed crackers
Smoke for 1 hour.