The ultimate smoked mac and cheese recipe right here! This amazing dish features our famous mac and cheese sauce and is smoked to cheesy perfection in under an hour.
The Ultimate Smoked Mac and Cheese
We mean it! This smoked mac and cheese is super creamy and perfectly smoky. It also features our famous mac and cheese sauce, so you know this cheesy goodness is sure to please any crowd. It makes a perfect side dish or main meal (ahem, top this delicious recipe with bacon, brisket or sautéed onion, just to name a few!).
why you’ll love it!
- 9 Ingredients: to make this smoked mac and cheese all you need is 8 simple ingredients + your smoker.
- Extra cheesy: we aren’t skimping on the cheese here, people. You need 2 full cups of shredded cheddar.
- Smoky goodness: homemade mac and cheese is so much better than boxed mac and cheese (obviously!) and this recipe takes things up another notch with the amazing smoky taste!
Choosing a Smoker
There is a wide range of smokers out on the market, and we suggest using the smoker that you are the most comfortable with. Any smoker should work as long as it can fit a large cast iron skillet!
We used a Traeger 575 Pellet Grill. A pellet grill uses wood pellets to heat the chamber. We love our Traeger pellet grill because the grill automatically adds pellets to the smoker to keep the heat at the desired temperature.
Other kinds of smokers you can use include:
Ingredients – What You Need
This smoked mac and cheese recipe is split into two easy peasy elements, the homemade mac and cheese sauce and the pasta.
Homemade Mac and Cheese Sauce
You only need 7 simple ingredients to make the creamiest, cheesiest mac and cheese sauce on the internet, which creates the perfect base of this smoked mac and cheese recipe:
- all-purpose flour
- 2 % milk
- shredded cheddar cheese
- granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
- buffalo hot sauce (we used Franks)
Technically the hot sauce is optional, but we truly do recommend it. A little vinegar really does bring out the flavor of the cheese sauce.
Are you looking to jazz up your smoked mac and cheese? Try mixing things up and use your favorite cheese. Any cheese that can easily melt will do. Here are some of our favorites:
- Smoked gouda cheese
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Colby jack cheese
- Mexican cheddar blend
- White cheddar cheese
Let’s talk pasta for this smoked mac and cheese! We used a classic elbow macaroni noodle, but you can feel free to use any shaped noodle your cheese-loving heart desires. Some great options, include:
- Bow tie
pasta pro tip
Regardless of the variety of pasta you use for this smoked mac and cheese, make sure to boil the noodles UNDER al dente. The noodles will continue to cook and absorb moisture during the smoking process.
How to Grate Cheese
Whether you have a box grater at home or find yourself in need of grated cheese and no grater, we’ve got you covered on how to grate cheese without a cheese grater!
How to Make Smoked Mac and Cheese
Preheat your pellet smoker to 225°F, making sure to use a mild wood flavored pellet (we used applewood!).
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the uncooked macaroni noodles and salt to the water and stir.
Let pasta cook until just under al dente. Pour noodles through a strainer and set aside.
Prepare a Roux
Next, prepare a roux by heating a large Dutch oven or cast iron skillet (use a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet so you can put the same pot on the smoker!) over medium/high heat, and add butter.
When you have melted butter, add flour and whisk until the butter and flour mixture forms a crumble.
Slowly add milk to the pot, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk the roux over medium/high heat for about 4-6 minutes or until the roux thickens.
Add Cheddar Cheese
When the roux is thick, remove from heat and add the cheddar cheese. Whisk until the cheese has melted. Then, add the granulated garlic, hot sauce and salt and black pepper to the cheese sauce.
Combine Pasta + Cheese Sauce
Add the cooked macaroni noodles to the cheese sauce and mix until the noodles are covered in cheese sauce. Then, sprinkle additional ½ cup of cheese over the top.
Smoke Mac and Cheese
Place on the smoker uncovered for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until desired smokiness is achieved.
Serve & Enjoy!
Enjoy this smoked mac and cheese as a perfectly cheesy side dish.
You already have your smoker up and running, so why not make a few more recipes to round out a full meal! This smoked mac and cheese is an amazing side dish to accompany anything smoked, like any of these deliciously smoky recipes from our sister site, Fit Foodie Finds:
How to Store Smoked Mac and Cheese
Store this smoked mac and cheese in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
If you smoked your mac and cheese in a dutch oven or cast iron skillet, feel free to store it right in that!
Reheating Mac and Cheese
The key to reheating smoked mac and cheese is two fold:
- Add a little moisture (milk works great!) since the noodles continue to absorb moisture even after they’re originally cooked.
- Reheat low and slow to avoid the cheese breaking down and changing texture.
If you have time to reheat your smoked mac and cheese in the oven, that is a great method! Simply add a little milk (start with a tablespoon, and go up from there depending on how much mac you’re reheating), and stir thoroughly before covering an oven-safe dish and placing in the oven at 350°F.
You’ll need 10-20 minutes of reheating time, depending on how much mac you’re reheating.
Reheating on the smoker? We don’t recommend reheating your smoked mac and cheese in the smoker unless you want it to take on additional smoky flavor.
Smoked Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb. macaroni noodles
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups 2 % milk
- 16 oz. cheddar cheese* ½ cup removed for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1-2 tablespoons buffalo hot sauce we used Franks
- Preheat your pellet smoker to 225°F, making sure to use a mild flavored pellet (we used applewood).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the uncooked macaroni noodles and salt to the water and stir.
- Let pasta cook until just under al dente. Strain noodles and set aside.
- Next, prepare a roux by heating a large Dutch oven or cast iron skillet (use a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet so you can put the same pot on the smoker) over medium/high heat. Add butter.
- When the butter is melted add flour and whisk until the butter and flour form a crumble.
- Slowly add milk to the pot, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk the roux over medium/high heat for about 4-6 minutes or until the roux thickens.
- When the roux is thick, remove from heat and add the cheddar cheese. Whisk until the cheese has melted.
- Add granulated garlic, hot sauce, and salt and pepper to the cheese sauce. Mix well.
- Add the cooked macaroni noodles to the cheese sauce and mix until the noodles are covered in cheese sauce.
- Sprinkle additional ½ cup cheese over the top.
- Place on the smoker uncovered for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until desired smokiness is achieved.
- Enjoy immediately.
Tips & Notes
- We recommend buying a block of cheddar cheese and shredding it yourself for a fresher shredded cheese.