This creamy Smoked Mac and Cheese is loaded with three cheeses, bacon, and jalapeno for an amazingly delicious version of the classic comfort food recipe! The perfect touch of smoke flavor pairs with the richness of cream cheese, cheddar cheese and smoked Gouda to make the best smoked mac n cheese ever!!
8ozcream cheese(one package - softened at room temperature and cubed)
8ozcheddar(grated, medium or sharp cheddar)
¼cuppickled jalapeno(jar, tamed or hot jalapeno slices - or fresh jalapeno - diced)
4stripsbacon(cooked, and crumbled or sliced)
each, salt & pepper(to taste)
Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F (107 degrees C) and load your wood tray with a wood of your choice. The best mild woods are cherry, sugar maple, pecan and apple. I personally like hickory on occasion when smoking anything using a strong cheese like sharp cheddar.
Cook your pasta in a large stock pot, with salted water. Follow the package instructions for cooking time, minus about two minutes for an al dente (firm to the bite) texture. Drain and rinse pasta in cool water, and set aside.
1 lb elbow macaroni
Return your stock pot to the stove top, add the heavy cream and butter, then warm them over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the softened cream cheese and whisk until the cream cheese has broken down and the sauce is smooth. Add the grated cheeses (cheddar and smoked gouda) and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2 cups heavy cream, ½ cup butter, 8 oz cream cheese, 8 oz cheddar, 7 oz smoked gouda, each, salt & pepper
Return the cooked pasta to your stock pot and cheese sauce, and stir gently to thoroughly coat the pasta. Fold in sliced jalapeno and crumbled bacon (reserve some for the topping, if desired) then transfer to a 9 x 11 inch disposable aluminum pan that has been oiled or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
¼ cup pickled jalapeno, 4 strips bacon
Place your pan of macaroni and cheese into your preheated smoker and close the lid or door. Cook for 1 ½ hours or until golden browned on the top and bubbling around the edges.
Remove from the smoker when done and serve immediately.