Smoked cream cheese is one of the popular delicacies you will come across if you follow many social media cooking videos. In fact, it has become a trend, it may sound odd to you when you first see or hear about it but it is one of the awesome delicacy you will come across especially if the smoker is good.
Another reason why people love smoked cream cheese is that it has one of the easiest recipe and it is nice for even parties and social gatherings. Smoked cream cheese does not have strict recipe or ingredients which means you can twist it to any variety or taste of your choice. You can spice it up, add sauces and twist the flavor.
WHAT IS SMOKED CREAM CHEESE?
Smoked cream cheese is a cow milk cheese that is cooked using grill or pallet smoker. It is a sweet and savory dish that can be eaten alone or used as a base of another dish because of the smoky flavor it has. The cheese is always spiced with many ingredients depending on the taste bud and flavor needed by the cook. Other than the taste and flavor, cream cheese on its own is a diary food so it contains a rich source for nutrients like vitamin A, calcium and potassium.
Here are other reasons why people love smoked cream cheese. One question most people ask is if the smoked cream cheese will melt. Well, the answer is no. It lies on the cook, if the cream cheese is smoked with the right and correct temperature, it will not melt or become soft and sticky. You will have a more dry version of cream cheese with delicious taste and flavor.
- It Is Versatile – There are many options when it comes to smoked cream cheese. You can use it as a sauce for pasta, dip for many foods, sandwich or bread spread and others.
- You Can Make Smoked Cream Cheese By Yourself – This is one of the delicious dish you can make by yourself without much struggle. You can blend the spice to get your desired district taste.
- It Has Easy Recipe – Nothing beats a delicious food with easy recipe. The only difficult things you need to make smoked cream cheese is a smoker or grill. You can twist the recipe to suit your taste buds.
TIPS FOR SMOKING CREAM CHEESE
Before you start smoking your cream cheese, there are some tips you will need. These tips will help you to make nice and delicious smoked cream cheese without messing your kitchen or having bad results.
These tips are:
Use the best and right smoker – Smoker plays a great role in smoking cream cheese, so you should first decide on the type of one to use. You can use pellet smoker or grill but you should know that they can be difficult to use or correct when they are faulty because they have high-tech nature. Using charcoal smokers are recommended because the wood and charcoal you add can help with the flavor and smokiness.
Choose the right wood – The smoker you are using will determine the type of wood to use. Use only the best wood for your smoker so as to get the best result. If you are using kettle grill, you should go for wood chunks while wood chips will work well for grill smoking. Slice the top of the cream cheese – Use a knife to make diagonal lines on the cheese before you smoke. This will help to make the cream cheese more delicious as the flavor will penetrate into it.
SMOKED CREAM CHEESE RECIPES
Making smoked cream cheese is not difficult, you only need ingredients like:
- A Block Of Cream Cheese – You should use full-fat cream cheese that does not have lots of preservatives, they will soften properly unlike fat-free cream cheese. You can go for any brand of your choice.
- Dry Rub – Use any rub of your choice, the goal is to make your cream cheese have good taste with flavor. Most people like to use barbecue rub especially the ones made for ribs or pork because of the brown sugar it has which enhances the taste.
- Oil Or Mustard – This acts as a binder to help the stick to the cream cheese. When the seasoning sticks to the cream cheese, the flavor and taste gets to all parts.
Follow the steps below to make your smoked cream cheese
1. Freeze The Cream Cheese
Remove the cream cheese from the package and place in a foil. Put the block of cream cheese in the freezer and allow it to stay for 10 minutes. The cold temperature will allow the cheese to absorb smoke faster, it will also help the cream cheese to firm up.
2. Add The Oil Or mustard Binder
Place the foil in a tray. You can use a bit of olive oil or mustard if you like the flavor of the mustard. Use a small brush to coat the oil or mustard on the cream cheese. Make sure the binder touches all parts of the cream cheese.
3. Slit The Cream Cheese
Making shallow slots on the cream cheese will help the seasonings to penetrate into the cheese well, it also gives the cheese a nice look and it makes it easier to dive into the cream cheese especially if it is used as a dip. Wet a knife with water and make diagonal lines on top of the cream cheese. The water will help the knife to avoid sticking into the cheese.
4. Season Your Cream Cheese
This is the part where you twist the recipe, you can use any rub of your choice. Sprinkle the rub all over the cream cheese generously, make sure to cover and coat every side evenly.
5. Fire Up Your Smoker For Low And Slow Heat
Smoking cream cheese does not need much heat, one of the requirements for making delicious smoked cream cheese is to allow it to smoke on a very low and slow heat. The heat should not be hotter than 225°F, you should smoke for 2 hours. Your cream cheese should be golden brown and the lines should be more prominent. Your smoked cream cheese is ready to serve.
TRAEGER SMOKED CREAM CHEESE
Traeger can be used to smoke, bake, barbecue, roast, brail and grill. It is better for a beginner because it gives a smoke flavor while maintaining consistent temperature. You do not have to monitor the grill like other smokers, the traeger maintains the temperature you have set.
To use traeger, follow the steps below:
- Turn your traeger and fill the pellets, keep the lid open.
- When you notice the smoke has disappeared, turn the grill to 225 degrees and shut the lid. Preheat the traeger for 10 minutes.
- Freeze your cream cheese, rub the oil or mustard.
- Score the cream cheese and season as you choose to. Coat the cheese evenly and make sure the seasoning is enough.
- Once your traeger has preheated, place the seasoned cream cheese on the grill.
- Allow the cheese to smoke for 90 minutes. Your smoked cream cheese is ready to be served.
SMOKED CREAM CHEESE TEMPERATURE
It is important to know the right temperature when smoking cream cheese. Just like other foods, the temperature and time of cooking helps your cream cheese to have a great taste and flavor. You should smoke your cream cheese on a very slow and low heat. It seems not need fast or high temperature. You should smoke your cream cheese at 180-F to 275-F. The maximum is 275-F although most cooks use between 200-F to 225-F. The cooking time should be between 90 minutes to 2 hours.
BEST SEASONING FOR SMOKED CREAM CHEESE
Seasoning is the life of cream cheese, they bring out all the taste and you can twist depending on your choice. There are no rules to the type of seasonings to use but we can recommend some best seasoning for your smoked cream cheese.
- If you need a traditional but smoky flavor, you can use black pepper, paprika, garlic and onion. You can blend all together to make a paste.
- For a hot and spicy flavor, use seasonings with hot smoked paprika and cayenne
- If you want a taste of acidity and natural tanginess, you can use a lemon-pepper rub.
- To get a sweet taste, you can use dehydrated honey, smoked paprika and salt.
SMOKED CREAM CHEESE ON A PIT BOSS
A pit boss pellet grill can be used to smoke cream cheese, it is easy to use.
To use a pit boss pellet grill for smoking cream cheese, use the method below;
- Preheat the grill for 5 to 10 minutes on a medium heat. Set the pellet grill to about 200 – 250°F.
- Put the cream cheese in a foil and freeze for few minutes. Place the frozen cream cheese in a tray.
- Brush the cream cheese with oil or mustard and make diagonal lines on top of the cheese.
- Generously rub your seasoning all over the cheese.
- Place the tray on the pit boss rack and close the lid to maintain temperature.
- Smoke for about 2 hours or till the cream cheese has turned to golden brown. You can serve your smoked cream cheese.
VARIATIONS OF SMOKED CREAM CHEESE
There are many ways you can spice up your smoked cream cheese like:
Coat your cream cheese with brown and white sugar or any sweetener of your choice. You can add cinnamon or pre-made cinnamon sugar with crushed pecans.
2. Pepper Jelly
For this variation, you will have to smoke the cream cheese without any seasoning. Then, after smoking, you add pepper jam. This gives a savory and sweet taste.
3. Everything Bagel
Make an everything bagel seasoning and coat the cream cheese with this seasoning. You can serve with bagels and smoked salmon.
Top your cream cheese with chopped thyme, parsley, dill and rosemary. Sprinkler olive oil, freshly cracked pepper and a pinch of salt before smoking. You can serve with pita bread or chips.
5. Red Pepper Jelly
Spread red pepper jelly on top of the cream cheese to make a layer before you smoke. This is best eaten with crackers and fruits.
Use taco seasoning, you can decide to add salt. Serve with salsa or tortilla.
Smoked cream cheese is fast becoming a trend in the food world, it is fast to make and can be twisted to suit any taste and flavor. You only need a smoker and cream cheese, the other ingredients can be changed or altered. You can freeze smoked cream cheese or stroke in a refrigerator. You can make your own smoked cream cheese to get the taste of awesomeness.