Smoked cream cheese is the appetizer you never knew you needed! It’s so simple and so delicious – you’ll be hard-pressed to not eat the entire block by yourself! I made a savory and a dessert option and still can’t decide which I like better! They’re also good hot or cold. Perfect appetizer for any afternoon of grilling on the pellet grill.
A lot of people ask me, “What does smoked cream cheese taste like?” – well it’s just a smoother warmed up cream cheese with this light hint of smoke in the flavor and the smell. It really tastes like whatever you season it with.
What’s in the Smoked Cream Cheese recipe?
Well – first off – you’ve got a cream cheese block! Then – it’s sort of up to you! Here are the two I did:
Smoked Savory Ranch Cream Cheese
This one is super simple – but really delicious with veggies and crackers! In addition to cream cheese, you just need:
Smoked Cream Cheese with Cinnamon Sugar
I love the ranch but this dessert version took me by surprise and I devoured it!!!! It’s perfect with apples and graham crackers. All you need (besides the cream cheese) for this great recipe is:
- Sugar (white or brown sugar)
That’s it – these are super simple – so you can put them together in just a few minutes.
What are other popular toppings for Smoked Cream Cheese?
A super simple appetizer dish is just to pour a jar of “jelly” over top of the cream cheese and serve with crackers. But you can also mix it up with seasonings. Here are some other cream cheese creation ideas:
- Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Dalmatia Fig Jam
- Robert Rothschild Farm Pineapple Habanero Glaze
- add a little heat with Hot Pepper Jelly
- Stonewall Kitchen Maple Bacon Jam
- Diced jalapenos & cooked & crumbled slices of bacon
- Taco seasoning & salsa
- There are so many different ways you can season your cream cheese! You can also use sweet rubs, dry seasonings or even your favorite bbq rub – I would just recommend coating block with olive oil first
How do you smoke cream cheese on the Traeger grill?
I paired this with some bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin I had on my pellet smoker – two birds, one grill kind of thing! This only takes 90 minutes – so it’s great to get your main dish smoking and then add this a bit later.
- Turn Traeger onto Smoke with the lid open – make sure your pellets are full!
- Once the smoke dissipates, turn to 225 degrees and shut the lid. It’ll take about 10 minutes for the Traeger to preheat.
- Score the top of the block of cream cheese with a sharp knife – like a boning knife – in a crosshatch pattern
- Season your brick of cream cheese as you like – be sure to get the sides of the cream cheese too!
- Side note: if using a jam – try and keep it on the block of cream cheese vs it pouring over the sides. And you spray the pan you’re using – it can be a difficult clean-up if you don’t.
- Once the Traeger is preheated and cream cheese is seasoned, pop your the pans on the smoker.
- Smoke for 90 minutes – it’s perfect to remove before your main dishes are done and have some yummy snacks before dinner!
Tips, Tricks & FAQs
I suggest a small oval baking dish – but just know – it’s going to be covered in soot when you smoke it. So you can also use a cast iron pan or a cast iron skillet – no smoke will show on that! Or you can always use a disposable aluminum foil pan or a small baking sheet.
It’s great to serve with crackers – I love the Toasted Onion crackers. If you’re doing a savory – carrots, celery and green peppers are great! If you’re doing a sweet – go with graham crackers and pear or apple slices! It’s also perfect for a charcuterie board – surrounded by meat, veggies and crackers!
Microwave – just reheat the portion you’re going to eat for maybe 30 seconds, Air Fryer – place in a dish and reheat for 3-4 minutes at 250 degrees, Oven – place in a baking dish and heat at 250 for 20 minutes.
Well – you sure could bake it but it’s not going to have that authentic smoky flavor and scent. But it will heat up and become nice & full of creamy goodness!
It takes less than a couple of hours – just about 90 minutes! Don’t do much more – I did 2.5 hours the first time and it was too much – got all dried out!
If you want that smoky flavor – but don’t have a smoker – you’ve got a couple of options!
* Wood chips – Soak them in water for 30 minutes before starting the grill. One cup of wood chips will last for about 20 minutes. Keep adding chips to the grill throughout the process.
* If you use a charcoal grill, light the coals, when the coals are ready, place them on one side of the grill. Place some of the wood chips on top of the coals. Place your food on the side without the coals to cook it with indirect heat.
* Smoker Tubes – My friend Nick introduced me to the wonderment of a smoke tube! It’s a metal tube with holes – fill that tube with Traeger pellets and then light it with a butane lighter. Once the pellets catch fire – let them get started – then blow the flames out. Set them in the grill with your chicken and shut the lid. The smoke flavor is all those tubes will leave behind!
I live alone and smoked up two blocks of cream cheese – so I had leftovers! Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to a week. Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 30 sec – larger portions for 1 min.
What to serve with Smoked Cream Cheese
Really – you just need something to scoop with for this – I would go with:
- veggies – carrots, peppers, celery
- savory crackers – avoid Ritz – they break too easily – think heartier crackers!
- My favorite crackers are the Onion Toasteds
- tortilla chips or pita chips – these are always so good!
- fruits – apples or pears
- sweet crackers – graham crackers are perfect
Other delicious recipes for the Traeger
- Smoked Queso (it’s legendary!)
- Traeger Smoked Chicken Breast
- Smoked Turkey Breast (Thanksgiving is just around the corner!)
More Recipes with Cream Cheese
Traeger Smoked Cream Cheese
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 2-3 tbsp ranch seasoning mix
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- green & red pepper slices
Cinnamon Sugar & Honey
- 2-3 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- apple slices
- graham crackers
- Set Traeger to Smoke for five minutes with lid open. Once smoke dissipates, change temp to 225.
- While Traeger preheats – prep your cream cheese. In a small baking dish, set your block of cream cheese.8 oz cream cheese
- Using a boning knife, slice angular lines to make crosshatches in your cream cheese. The cream cheese expands while it smokes so this allows it the room to breathe and open up.
- Drizzle olive oil over top of cream cheese2 tbsp olive oil
- Sprinkle with ranch seasoning mix2-3 tbsp ranch seasoning mix
Cinnamon Sugar with Honey
- Mix together sugar and cinnamon – sprinkle over block of cream cheese
- Drizzle with honey
Smoking on the Traeger
- Smoke on Traeger at 225 for 90 minutes
- Serve Savory with crackers & veggies. Serve Honey with sliced apples and graham crackers