Smoked Mac & Cheese w/ Bacon & Pulled Pork

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Smoked Mac & Cheese w/ Bacon & Pulled Pork

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!

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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.

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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 original barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here)
  • Jeff's original 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.


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°F crisps it up just perfectly in a non-stick cookie sheet.


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


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.).


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


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.

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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.

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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.


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.


Sprinkle on a good generous helping of my original 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 original rub.


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°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.

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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 original barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here) on top of the pulled pork and let it run down the sides like chocolate on ice cream.


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.

Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats-- you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

AND.. we are running a limited-time 30% off sale on the DOWNLOADABLE RECIPES ONLY. Click HERE to purchase the instantly downloadable recipes (formulas) for both of my rubs and barbecue sauce for the lowest price I've EVER offered. Somebody pinch me! Or better yet, just go get them 😉 Note: The coupon should be automatically applied OR use JOY30 during checkout if necessary.
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"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 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 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.

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2018-06-14T03:34:28+00:00By |33 Comments

About the Author:

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


  1. Tom December 8, 2018 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Hey Jeff I have been reading the forums and some guys used uncooked noodles. I’m wanting to make this for Christmas but have to do it ahead of time because of travel. Since it has to be reheated I don’t want the noodles to get mushy. Would you change anything in this recipe if you went with uncooked noodles? Or a recommended reheat method to keep it just as good?

    • Jeff Phillips December 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm - Reply

      I have reheated this stuff in the oven before and in my opinion the noodles weren’t mushy. You’ll definitely want to make sure the noodles are cooked through before you remove it from the smoker but since you are reheating, it probably wouldn’t hurt if you undercooked them a little and then perhaps do the baking/browning part of this recipe after you arrive.

  2. Matt Swartzendruber September 26, 2018 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Jeff how many people will a pan of this Mac and cheese feed?

    • Jeff Phillips September 26, 2018 at 11:45 am - Reply

      Matt, If memory serves me right, this will feed about 8 people a fairly large entree sized serving. If it’s just a small side, about 12 servings.

  3. Dan November 12, 2017 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Have you, or anyone, mixed or layered the pulled pork right in the mac and cheese vs topping it with the pork, jusT curious, thanks much

    • Paul V Messier July 10, 2018 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      Dan, I layer my pulled pork, bacon and cheese like a lasagna. I put half of the mac and cheese in the bottom, then put the pork, bacon, cheese and a little bbq sauce on it. Then the rest of the mac and cheese and top it with more pork, bacon and cheese and a little more bbq sauce on it. Then smoke it.

  4. Larry Ballard Sr March 8, 2017 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Hey Jeff I ordered your recipe for your rub and sauces last week and I haven’t gotten them yet! Thanks!

    • Jeff Phillips March 8, 2017 at 10:11 am - Reply

      Larry, I had the system re-send the download email. If you don’t see it, check your spam/junk folder then let me know if you can’t find them and I will send them as attachments from a different email address.

  5. Blaine March 7, 2017 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    I use 4 cheeses. Cheddar, mozzerella, parmessian, and a smoked cheese. But not too much of the smoked or it can be overpowering. I make the rue, add the cream, then the cheeses all in the same pot. Pour it over the noodles and slog it all together. Top it with the bacon and pop it in the oven. I make this right before I pull the meat out of the smoker. Pulled pork and jalepeno over the top.

  6. Brian Mason February 18, 2017 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Whats the 4 cheese mix ? Is it dry mix or like velveta?

    • Jeff Phillips February 21, 2017 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      I believe this was a 4-cheese finely shredded Mexican mix which normally contains Monterey Jack, Mild Cheddar, Queso quesadilla and Asadero cheese.

  7. Rainer November 23, 2016 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Have you ever made multiple batches of this at once? if so, Did you let smoke longer and change the wood chips during the smoke?

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

    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?

  9. 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?

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. From the Smokehouse: Smoked Mac and Cheese | High Plains Gastronome June 29, 2015 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    […] theme and put together a smoked macaroni and cheese. I went to my go to and found their recipe and decided that would make a good base for my experiment. By the way, if you are into smoking and […]

  13. 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.

  14. After Bacon…What Next? | High Plains Gastronome December 30, 2014 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    […] Chicken Cherry Bombs Smoked Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Pulled Pork Smoked Beef and Pork Meatloaf Muffins Cranberry Pecan Stuffed Turkey […]

  15. The Best Electric Smokers: Electric Smoker Reviews - TAILGATE PARTY SITE December 14, 2014 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    […] The adjustable shelves will allow you to cook a turkey and other side dishes.  Yes, you CAN smoke mac’n’cheese. […]

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. What's for dinner tonight? - Page 145 October 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    […] smoked then grilled pork tenderloin, smoked mac and cheese with bacon, rolls but not smoked. here is what the mac and cheese looks like, i did not add the pulled pork however Smoked Mac and Cheese w/ Bacon and Pulled Pork on Top […]

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  24. 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.

  25. 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. 

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