How to Make Smoked Cream Cheese, According to a Recipe Developer
Move over baked feta, smoked cream cheese has arrived.
There’s a new trendy cheese dish in town and it isn’t baked feta. Months after TikTok introduced the world to baked feta pasta, Facebook has given us another cheese craze known as smoked cream cheese.
The dish seemingly started gaining popularity last month after a Facebook user named James Tudor shared his version of the creation. According to Tudor, all you need to smoke some cream cheese is cream cheese (duh), your favorite spice rub and some olive oil. To prep the snack, Tudor suggests you place some foil on the grill, put the block of seasoned cream cheese on top, and smoke it for about three hours.
Food Network recipe developer Amanda Neal offered a slightly more precise method of preparation. “To make smoked cream cheese, place an 8-ounce block of cream cheese on a small sheet tray lined with aluminum foil. Brush all sides of the cream cheese with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then season generously with your favorite rub or seasoning mix,” she shared. “Smoke at 250 degrees F until softened, smoky and golden, about 2 to 3 hours.”
As for how to best enjoy smoked cream cheese, Neal advises treating it like a block of Brie or another soft cheese. “Serve simply with your favorite crackers for dipping, or add your smoked cream cheese to a charcuterie board with fresh veggies for a crowd pleasing appetizer,” she shared.
When it comes to picking a rub to go with your cream cheese block, Neal suggests going with bold flavors, be they sweet or savory. “You can use a variety of savory and sweet rubs for smoking cream cheese. I would recommend one that has paprika, onion, garlic and black pepper for a traditional, smoky flavor profile, such as Lawry's Perfect Blend Chicken Rub and Seasoning,” she says. “You can also use a spicier rub with cayenne and hot smoked paprika if you prefer some heat, such as Kosmos Q Cow Cover Hot BBQ Rub.”
For something a touch less complex, Neal notes that a lemon-pepper rub works wonders and will “enhance the natural tang in the cream cheese, if you love acidity and brightness.”
And what about that smoky quality that makes this food of the moment so darn good? Neal has pointers regarding that as well. “When it comes to selecting wood chips for smoking cream cheese, I would recommend using hickory or pecan wood, as those will give you a deep, meaty flavor profile similar to bacon,” she explains. “However, apple wood, cherry and oak would also work perfectly fine.”
If you’re unsure about whether smoked cream cheese is for you, Neal points out that it’s not all that different from baked feta. In fact, some people may prefer smoked cream cheese because of its smoky flavor and rich texture.
“The main difference between the baked feta and smoked cream cheese trends are the preparations. The oven, along with the addition of olive oil and juicy vegetables like tomatoes, helps to soften the feta, making it perfect for a creamy sauce. Additionally, the feta is tangy but also saltier in flavor,” she says.
“Alternatively, the smoker provides an earthy, smoky flavor, and it also eliminates some of the moisture from the cream cheese, resulting in a texture that's warm, soft, and super rich, perfect for dipping and smearing on crackers.”
And there you have it!