IMG_0476_1024

This week I am going to show you how to make smoked mac and cheese and if you are a mac and cheese lover like I am, then you will appreciate this recipe beyond words!

The smoke goes with the cheesiness like it was just meant to happen and you seriously will not believe your taste buds when you taste this.

I have had smoked mac and cheese on several occasions and it’s always been amazing but this time I took it a step further and added a dollop (yes I said a dollop) of smoked pulled pork right on top of it.

As if that is not enough, I also added more than a pound of crumbled bacon and I used my rub to pull all of the flavors together into one happy, happy, happy bowl of smoked mac and cheese!

I would like to thank my wife, Abi and my great friends, Josh and Carina, for helping me create this wonderful recipe!

Get the Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce


recipe-ad-rubI highly recommend that you use the rub between every cheesy layer to add that perfect touch of seasoning to the smoked mac and cheese.

promise you’ll love my dry rub/seasoning recipe and my barbecue sauce recipe or you don’t pay!

Reasons to buy: Support the newsletter and the website | Own “the recipes” | Get the email newsletter 100% AD FREE from now on | Includes the Texas style rub recipe

Order the Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce


This recipe is a lot easier than it looks. You simply cook the noodles, make the cheese sauce and then layer it in a throw away aluminum pan and smoke it for 2 to 3 hours in that order.

 Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 2-3 hours | Smoker Temp: 225 F | Meat Finish Temp: N/A | Recommended Wood: Pecan or Apple

What You’ll Need

  • 16 oz of medium or large elbow noodles
  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) of butter
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (regular table salt)
  • 1/3 teaspoon of paprika (McCormick’s, sweet or smoked will all work just fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper
  • 4 cups of cheddar cheese, grated
  • 5 cups of Half & Half
  • 9 x 13 x 3 (or so) deep foil pan
  • 3 cups of a good 4 cheese mix
  • 1 lb of bacon, crumbled
  • 2 lbs of smoked pulled pork
  • Jeff’s sauce and rub (purchase recipes here)

Cooking the Noodles


You really have to just follow the recipes on the back of the box or bag for this since it may differ from brand to brand and depending on the exact type of noodles you purchase.

The main thing is that you only cook them to partially done (al dente) since they will finish softening up in the smoker.

Once the noodles are finished, quickly pour into a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process.

2013-IMG_0396

Pour the noodles into a large bowl and set aside for a few minutes.


Crumbling the Bacon


Note: This can be done while the noodles are cooking to save time.

The bacon really makes this dish so don’t be stingy with it. I used 9 pieces when I made this for the pictures and it was not nearly enough. I now recommend at least a pound.

I also added the crumbled bacon to the noodles and it sort of got lost in the mix so upon further investigation and review, I now recommend placing the crumbled bacon right on top with the last layer of grated cheese and rub.

I use the oven to make the bacon but you can use whatever method you like.

About 15 minutes at 400 degrees F crisps it up just perfectly in a non-stick cookie sheet.

2013-IMG_0353

Allow the bacon to cool on a paper towel then crumble to your hearts desire.

2013-IMG_0380

If you’re anything like me, you might want to make a little extra since, you won’t be able to control the urge to eat a few pieces!


Making the Cheese Sauce


Start out by adding a stick of butter to the bottom of a pan on medium heat (now I sound like Paula D.).

2013-IMG_0364

Once the butter is melted add the flour, pepper, salt, paprika and mustard and stir for a couple of minutes while the ingredients combine.

2013-IMG_0367

Add in the half & half and continue stirring until the sauce starts to get thick which usually takes 8-10 minutes.

Note: Use a whisk for best results.

2013-IMG_0369 2013-IMG_0372

Place 4 cups of grated cheddar cheese into a large mixing bowl.

Pour the thickened sauce over the cheese and stir until it is well melted.

2013-IMG_0384 2013-IMG_0385

Once the cheddar cheese is melted, pour the cheese sauce over the noodles we set aside earlier and stir well to mix it all together.

2013-IMG_0398


Layering the Noodles and Cheese into the Pan


Pour about 1/2 of the saucy noodles into the foil pan

Sprinkle about 1-1/2 cups of the 4-cheese mixture over the top of the noodles to cover completely.

2013-IMG_0416

Sprinkle on a good generous helping of my rub (purchase recipe here) for great flavor.

Now pour on the remainder of the noodles and once again add about 1-1/2 cups of the 4-cheese mixture and some of my rub.

2013-IMG_0438

Sprinkle the crumbled bacon onto the top of the layered mac and cheese.

The mac and cheese is now ready for the smoker.


Smoking the Mac and Cheese


Set up your smoker or grill for indirect cooking at 225 degrees F with pecan or apple wood if you have it. Any good smoking wood will work such as cherry, oak, hickory, etc.

Place the open pan of mac and cheese on the grate and let it enjoy the smoke for 2-3 hours or until it reaches the desired level of “brown” on top. The longer you leave it in the smoker the better the smoke flavor will be.

We like it nice and brown on top.

2013-IMG_0442 2013-IMG_0449


Serving the Smoked Mac and Cheese


I know folks who just eat the smoked mac and cheese as it is and that is fine and very good but if you want to take it up a few notches to that amazing place, then try this:

Place a good sized helping of the mac and cheese in a bowl and then put a tablespoon or two of smoked pulled pork right on top. Put some of my barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here) on top of the pulled pork and let it run down the sides like chocolate on ice cream.

2013-IMG_0476

I smoked a pulled pork especially for this smoked mac and cheese but if you have some left over in the freezer, you can just heat it up and use that. If you need instructions for smoking up some pulled pork then check out my instructions for pulled pork.

Don’t blame me if the mac and cheese disappears too quickly.. it tends to do that at my house when I make it so I have learned to make plenty!


Alternate Methods


  • Try adding a light layer of blue cheese to the mac and cheese before smoking for a very adventurous but rewarding alternative.
  • For a super smoky mac and cheese, forego the top layer of cheese and bacon until the last hour. During the first hour or so, stir the mac and cheese every 20 minutes. Add the top layer of cheese and bacon with more rub during the last hour. If the top layer of cheese does not brown quickly enough, place the pan under a broiler for a minute or two but watch it carefully as it can burn fast.

Get the Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce


jeffs-rub-framed-250x169 jeffs-sauce-framed-250x169
***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!

If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.

Read these recent testimonies:

Love the sauce and rub
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well! ~Peter S.
I tried the rub on a beef
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
..I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while. ~Darwyn B.
Love the original rib rub
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
 Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future! ~Michelle M.


You see the raving testimonies and you wonder, "Can the recipes really be that good?"

No worries! Make up a batch and if it's not as good as you've heard.. simply ask for a refund. Now that's a bargain and you know it. Let's review:

  • You decide you don't like the recipes.. you don't pay!
  • The recipes are absolutely amazing!
  • Once you order, there'll be no more recipe ads in the email version of the newsletter
Well.. what are you waiting for.. click on the big orange button below to order the recipes now.

Order the Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce

I really, really appreciate the support from my newsletter friends and be sure to let me know if you have any questions about this.


Order My Smoking Meat Book

smoking-meat-book-cover-275x289The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that "no smoker should be without this book"!

With more than 600 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended.

It is also listed as a #1 Bestseller in Barbecueing & Grilling books on Amazon.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble (in stock at most stores)

Digital versions available via Nook | iTunes | Kindle

Note: German version available under the title "American Smoker" at Amazon.de


Amazon.com Orders

If you enjoy the newsletter and would like to do something helpful, then..

The next time you decide to order something at Amazon.com, use THIS LINK to get there and we'll get a small commission off of what you purchase.

Thank you in advance for using our special link: http://www.smoking-meat.com/amazon

 

 

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

21 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Lew Newman September 16, 2016 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Question
    How long can I let the mac and cheese sit before I smoke it.
    Ex. Could I make mac and cheese night before and smoke the next day?

  2. Moondougie March 19, 2016 at 12:10 am - Reply

    Have you ever tried it with dry noodles and all the ingredients in the pan and do all the cooking in the smoker?

  3. Andrew Herzog January 5, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    My mouth started watering just reading this.

    • Dave February 9, 2016 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      you aint kidding!

  4. Rick September 21, 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Made this for a football watching party yesterday. Everyone raved about it and were swelled up like ticks afterward. Thank you Jeff for a great recipe and all the goodness that you and your site bring.

  5. arline January 19, 2015 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    I’d like to try this recipe, but you don’t say WHICH add’l cheeses are in the “good, 4-cheese mix”. Can’t believe no one else has asked this. I even chk’d in my grocery store and they only have “3 cheese mixes” but labeled for: Mexican flavor or Italian flavors, etc. I’d even prefer to grate my own so could you please tell me which cheeses are in the 4 cheese mix (obviously not cheddar). Thank you.

  6. Kent October 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    I love mac-n-cheese and had to try this. I put it in with a rack of Baby Backs, using a mix of Cherry and Apple chips for smoke in a Smoke Canyon gas smoker. Amazing! Only two of us, so lots of leftovers. I used our Food-Saver to vacuum pack and freeze them. Each time I reheat some it’s just as good!! Almost time to make some more…

  7. Jason August 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Great recipe!
    Everyone loves it!
    One thing I have learned to do for any pasta, is I save my carcasses from smoking chickens and make stock for soups and stews. I now also boil pasta in the stock for a great flavor profile, it works great for the mac & cheese and an other pasta dish.

  8. Moose October 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Made this for a pig roast and it was a hit..Only change i did was used my cold smoked cheese for extra flavour then only had to warm it up in the oven the next day at the party…It was gone in a flash. Next time have to make two.

  9. blake October 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    I’m somewhat of a mac and cheese snob but this is amongst the best I’ve ever tried.  I’ve made this recipe twice now…..the first time was for just me and my wife and we ate on it all week.  The 2nd time was for a party and a major disaster because by the time the cook (me) got to eat it was all gone…..3rd batch is coming.  Great stuff….love the website

  10. Chris October 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Made this along with my first Pork Butt using a Sweetwood mixture I picked up at Ace Hardware. Both turned out very good, but in the future, I may add the bacon into the mixture like you originally did. Having the bacon directly on top seemed to cause it to absorb a large amount of smoke, to the point where the kids were saying the bacon tasted too smoky and were going just for the mac and cheese. Great Recipe! Thanks!

  11. Mike September 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    We made the fast pulled pork and the macaroni and cheese, they both came out unbelievably good.  Our company loved every bit of it and most went back for seconds.

  12. Rob Regets August 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Smoked Mac & Cheese………. I don't have words to explain how this tasted.  I'm going to make this everyday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  13. Yolande Lippe August 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    This seem to be so goog. I want to know how man y services for that recipe ,. Thank you to answer

    • Jeff Phillips August 19, 2013 at 11:23 am - Reply

      That depends on whether it is served as a side or as the main course. We usually serve this as the main course with pulled pork on top and it serves about 8. If it were served as just a side then it would probably serve about 12 or so.

      • Don July 4, 2016 at 9:49 am - Reply

        Absolutely love your rubs, sauce, and wonderful recipes. I think I have the best pulled pork and smoked ham anywhere, thanks to you. I have a question. My family absolutely love your smoked mac and cheese recipe. I thought you had a different recipe posted for Mac and cheese a few years ago. It was great but I did not remember I it having half and half. Is the recipe you have out now with the bacon and pulled pork on top the same recipe.
        Thanks
        Don

  14. Faith Davis August 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you for being on Pinterest. I love that I can pin your recipes and keep them filed where I know they will be. 

Leave A Response