Smoked Mac N Cheese

Kids love it, adults love, and there is perhaps no better southern crowd pleaser than mac n’ cheese. There are about 10,000 different ways to make it, and while I certainly don’t proclaim to be the mac n’ cheese whisperer — I assure you, mine is about as easy as they come.

I would encourage you to experiment and see if you can make this recipe even better.

Utensils:

Cast iron pan (or steel pan, but remember this goes into the smoker at the end so your rubber handle non-stock cuisinart won’t cut it)
Saucepan
Wooden/Plastic French Sauce Spoon (you know, the ones that look giant, flat and you use to mix your spaghetti sauce with)
Colander Bowel (that’s the name for the thingy you pour the pasta into to separate the water we generally call the pasta strainer thingy)
Large Pot for Boiling

Ingredients:

Macaroni Pasta (or pasta of your choice)
1/4 Block of Sharp Cheddar
1/4 Block of Colby Jack
1 Block of cream cheese
1 Cup of heavy whipping cream (you might want more depending on how thick you want it)
Olive Oil
Salt
Truffle Salt (optional)
Bacon (optional)
Wine

Let’s Cook:
Fill a wine glass with your favorite wine and begin drinking

Fill the large boiling pot with water and bring to a rapid boil
Dump in pasta — you should also put a smidge of salt and olive oil, but, I’m going to assume this isn’t your first time making pasta and you already knew that
Let Pasta Cook — will take about 10 minutes. I know the box says 8 but it’s never right, don’t forget to stir it once every couple of minutes

Put all the cheese and heavy whipping cream into a sauce pan and turn it on high heat. You will want to stir it and break that cream cheese block down — pro tip, cut the block cheese into smaller cubes to make it melt faster. Whatever you do, do not stop stirring. you will get scorched cheese on the bottom of your saucepan and all the bars keepers friend in the world won’t help you. If you were using the optional truffle salt, now would be the time to add it — remember, truffle salt is potent — a little bit goes a long way. If you also decided to add a pound of smashed up bacon, now would also be the time. You could cheat and use bacon bits, but if you put forth the effort to make mac n’ cheese from scratch, don’t use bacon bits — go big or go home.

Once the cheese has melted down, turn the burner down from high to med/low to prevent it from burning — use your discretion here. Now is also a good time to taste your cheese — if you need to add more cheese you won’t get this opportunity again.

By this point you’re either out of wine or the pasta is done or both. Take this moment to drain the pasta in the colander and refill your wine glass.

Dump the pasta into the cast iron pan, and then dump the cheese sauce in the sauce pan on stop of it. Slowly mix all the pasta and cheese — get it mixed good. Once you’re satisfied with your creation, take a fork and taste it. Yes, taste it. If you think it takes bad everybody else will too. Now is the last chance you get to add something like salt or bacon.

Once the pasta is mixed, carry the cast iron pan out to the smoker, and slide it on. You want to ensure your smoker is on a low temp — low 200’s — brisket smoking range. Leave it there for approximately 30 minutes. After that, pull it off and serve. You might mix it again prior to serving as the top layer is likely a little crusty. This is purely up to the cook.

Ok, go eat and enjoy now.

Top