There is no better comfort food than a piping hot bowl of Smoked Mac and Cheese. Creamy macaroni in a cheesy sauce is the perfect side dish or main dish! This homemade mac is full of delicious smoky flavor and aroma from the pellet smoker that will satisfy your taste buds and have you wanting more. The crunchy top layer goes perfectly with the smoked cheese (Gouda or cheddar); such an incredible flavor! It is just as good served on a cold winter day as it is in the middle of summer. Let's get grilling!
Cook pasta according to package directions. Cook the noodles until they are al dente.
Prepare the cheese sauce
While the pasta cooks, prepare the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour while whisking. Continue to whisk until the roux is smooth.
Pour in the half-and-half and whole milk. Continue to whisk
Continue to heat the sauce over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Then, remove the saucepan from the heat.
Cut up the cream cheese into cubes and add to the sauce. Next, add mustard powder, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper.
Add in the shredded gouda cheese. Stir until everything is completely melted and creamy.
Drain the water from the pasta and add it back to the large saucepan or bowl. Pour the cheese mixture over the cooked pasta. Stir until everything is well combined. (At this point, it may look like you have too much cheese sauce and not enough pasta. Don't worry, the sauce will thicken and it will turn out to be a perfect consistency).
Pour the mac and cheese into a large cast-iron skillet seasoned with olive oil or a disposable aluminum pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Smoke the Mac and Cheese
Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the crunchy topping (Panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and butter). Spoon the bread crumb topping evenly over the macaroni and cheese.
Place the cast iron pan with the mac n cheese on the smoker grate.
Close the lid and smoke for 1 to 2 hours. The longer it smokes the stronger the smoky flavor will be. For us, 2 hours is perfect. The top of the mac will be light golden brown and the cheese will be bubbling.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Nutritional information is approximate and is meant as a guideline only.Top Tips
Add 1-2 tablespoon of margarine to the water in the pot the macaroni is cooked in to prevent it from boiling over and making a mess.
Make sure you add your wood pellets before you start the grill. Check during the cooking time to make sure you don't run out.
Use a disposable aluminum pan to make cleanup a breeze!
If the temperature is higher than 225 degrees F, the pasta may dry out, so make sure it is only cooked at 225, or else reduce the cook time if you are cooking at a higher temperature.
Most of my meat recipes made on the smoker cook at 225 degrees F, so you can easily make this mac and cheese at the same time on the pellet grill as another dish.
Room temperature: Do not leave this dish sitting out at room temperature for over 2 hours.
Fridge: Leftover smoked mac and cheese can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Leftover macaroni can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. The disposable aluminum pans work great for freezing! First, cover the top with plastic wrap and push it down so it is directly on the macaroni with no gap. I like to use a couple of layers. Then cover with aluminum foil and place in the freezer.