Smoked Mac & Cheese Question?!

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I haven't posted any of my Mac-N-Cheese creations nor can I find any photos.
Very simple
I use the cheese sauce recipe from the back of the Creamette Cavatappi box with a few changes.
Double the amount of sauce
Use a good amount of american cheese to help with the melt and don't over heat it or else you will break the cheeses. If that happens toss it and start over.
Lots and lots of rendered bacon ends & pieces.
I smoke in my pellet pooper set around 225° with a smoke tube filled with hickory.
Stir the entire pan a couple times to amp up the smoke.
 
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Just my $0.02: Take the pasta well short of al dente; it’s going to be in the heat quite a while. Otherwise the pasta gets mushy.
I prefer the slightly more substantial Cavatappi, box says 6-8 minutes for al dente. I typically go 3-4 minutes less than pkg, about 3-4 minutes. What I’m looking for is calamari-like chew. Strain, then spread out on a sheet pan to cool and prevent overcooking (unless you’re ready to dump it in the sauce).
Also agree with others: boost the sauce. I’ll usually make at least 1/3 more than recommended as well as augmenting with pasta water.

Hope this helps!
 
Since I stumbled across this on a now defunct BBQ forum, it is my go-to mac & cheese.

MAC and CHEESE​

Ingredients
2 cups Elbow Macaroni
3 cups Milk ( or fat free milk)
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream (or fat free whipping cream)
1/2 stick Butter
1 ea 8oz package Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 ea 8oz package Combination of Colby and Monterey Jack cheese cubes
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Put the dry macaroni elbows in a pan (somewhere around 9”x13” size)

Yes, dry macaroni. You don't need to pre cook.
Melt the butter, and then pour it over the macaroni
Add cheddar cheese (save some to sprinkle on top)
Add Colby and Monterey jack cheese
Add milk
Add heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Give it a stir

Into the smoker at 250 degrees for approximately 1hr 50 min. (Closer to 2 hrs at high altitude)
(Stir another time or two during the early cooking process to make sure cheese cubes have melted).

Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top.

Optional: Into the oven on broil for a few minutes (or use a torch) until you get the desired color.

Can also sprinkler Panko bread crumbs on top before going into oven or use a torch to brown it.


OPTIONAL: TRY ADDING CREAM CHEESE, GREEN CHILI, HAM, BACON or ???
 
Since I stumbled across this on a now defunct BBQ forum, it is my go-to mac & cheese.

MAC and CHEESE​

Ingredients
2 cups Elbow Macaroni
3 cups Milk ( or fat free milk)
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream (or fat free whipping cream)
1/2 stick Butter
1 ea 8oz package Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 ea 8oz package Combination of Colby and Monterey Jack cheese cubes
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Put the dry macaroni elbows in a pan (somewhere around 9”x13” size)

Yes, dry macaroni. You don't need to pre cook.
Melt the butter, and then pour it over the macaroni
Add cheddar cheese (save some to sprinkle on top)
Add Colby and Monterey jack cheese
Add milk
Add heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Give it a stir

Into the smoker at 250 degrees for approximately 1hr 50 min. (Closer to 2 hrs at high altitude)
(Stir another time or two during the early cooking process to make sure cheese cubes have melted).

Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top.

Optional: Into the oven on broil for a few minutes (or use a torch) until you get the desired color.

Can also sprinkler Panko bread crumbs on top before going into oven or use a torch to brown it.


OPTIONAL: TRY ADDING CREAM CHEESE, GREEN CHILI, HAM, BACON or ???
I never thought about adding the macaroni uncooked. I do lasagna with uncooked noodles all the time with great results. Thanks!
 
What I’m looking for is calamari-like chew.
That is probably the best way I've ever heard of describing the texture!

I never thought about adding the macaroni uncooked. I do lasagna with uncooked noodles all the time with great results. Thanks!
Just make sure your recipe has enough liquid.

I've screwed that up before doing casseroles with dry pasta and boy, was that a dry, undercooked mess :emoji_laughing:

Works great though. I'm surprised so many casserole type recipes call for cooked pasta, when usually all it needs is a few minutes in boiling water at most.
 
I've one recipe done either No- boil or Pre-boil.
The No-boil involves stirring during the cooking process.
And of course the Pre-boil is prepped beforehand.
 
Last edited:
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Great thread. I tried smoked mac and cheese once. The recipe came from here some time back and used uncooked pasta. Did not mention stirring mid smoke, so I didn't. The part I could eat was awesome but there was a lot of uncooked pasta on the top.
Might have to try this again with a par-cooked pasta.
 
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If your cheese sauce is gritty, your cheese was starting to break, usually that happens when you milk is still too hot when u add ur cheese to make ur sauce.

Also need way more cheese sauce than you think you will need
Wife gave me a better word for gritty... grainy. A better word and I'm sure that's what I did!
Thanks guys!
And thanks to Justin for starting this thread!

Ryan
 
Yup. Doing that too. The only difference is I'm using the oven. Long day. Not smoking weather. Pasta is almost done. A little loose at the moment.
Survey says?

As I posted earlier, breaking the cheese is the largest failure in home made Mac-N-Cheese. The box stuff is almost fool proof with the additives (emulsifiers) to prevent breaking.
Breaking cheese is from over heating when the protein separates from the fats. Proteins get gritty and the fats collect on the top as golden globes.
 
Survey says?

As I posted earlier, breaking the cheese is the largest failure in home made Mac-N-Cheese. The box stuff is almost fool proof with the additives (emulsifiers) to prevent breaking.
Breaking cheese is from over heating when the protein separates from the fats. Proteins get gritty and the fats collect on the top as golden globes.
Amazing! So easy too!
IMG_20240129_182528591.jpg

The cheese looks a little lumpy. But there was no separation. And it was smooth, creamy. And delicious!
 
Here you go….. for smoked, put it in the smoker @ 265 (vs the home oven at 400) till the pasta finishes from its al dente pre-cook…..

Homemade Mac & Cheese:
1/4C Flour
1/4C Butter
Cook flour & butter till the flour is cooked in.
Wisk in 2C Milk & 1C heavy cream & put on a very low simmer

Once sauce is creamy add:
1C (each) of coarse grated smoked gouda & extra sharp cheddar (Tillamook)
1/2C fine grated parmesan
Season with S&P and some old bay....you can add some red pepper if you want some heat as well.

Next your fav pasta, about 8 to 12 oz dry (boil it al dente while making the sauce).

Add pasta to cheese sauce it is creamy, you want it saucy cause it will be absorbed by the pasta

Put in oven safe dish (individual size or family size). Add some for cheese blend on top and any other goodies you want, ie sausage, bacon, chicken…..then seasoned bread crumbs if desired. The sauce and pasta are the canvas create individual tastes….

Then put in the oven at 400ish to melt the cheese and brown the crumbs (about 6 to 10 min). Added chopped green onion if desired.

Here it is on brisket pizza…..
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/introducing-the-mac-cheese-brisket-pizza.314296/

Thanks civil, will give this a go!
 
Here's how I make mine Justin
Seafood mac-n-cheese. Sorry I left the process out of this one, but it's the same as the next thread. Just different proteins and cheese.

Seafood Mac-n-cheese
View attachment 686816



This next one is a meat protein based version.


Thanks Chris, will try this out!
 
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