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Smoked Cream Cheese Recipe: A Deliciously Simple Appetizer

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Smoked Cream Cheese

Looking for a simple and tasty appetizer? Smoked cream cheese is incredibly easy to make and offers rich, smoky flavors in every bite. With just cream cheese, your favorite seasoning, and a bit of smoke, you can create an appetizer that pairs well with crackers, bagels, or even tacos.

Whether you like it sweet or savory, there are many variations you can try. Imagine a creamy, smoky cheese enhanced with hot honey or topped with jalapeno salsa. Not only is it a crowd-pleaser, but it’s also perfect for parties and snacks. Dive in and discover how to bring this delicious dish to your next gathering.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Here’s what you’ll need to make smoked cream cheese:


  • 8 oz block of cream cheese
    Be sure to use full-fat cream cheese. It’s rich and creamy, perfect for smoking.



  • Olive oil
    You will need about 1-2 tablespoons to brush on the cream cheese. If you don’t have olive oil, you can use any other cooking oil like canola or vegetable oil.



  • Dry rub or seasoning
    Use 2-4 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub. Some popular choices are BBQ rub, chili powder, or everything bagel seasoning. You can also mix garlic powder, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes for a sweet and spicy kick.


Possible Substitutes


  • Cream Cheese Alternatives
    For a lower-fat option, try using low-fat or Neufchâtel cheese. If you are looking for a non-dairy substitute, use vegan cream cheese.



  • Olive Oil Alternatives
    Instead of olive oil, you can use melted butter or even a flavored oil, such as garlic or herb-infused oil, to add more flavor.


  • Seasoning Alternatives
    Get creative with the seasoning! Some great options include:


    • Herbs
      Fresh rosemary, thyme, or basil.



    • Spices
      Cumin, paprika, or smoked paprika.



    • Nuts and Seeds
      Ground nuts or seeds like sesame seeds or sunflower seeds.


Remember, these ingredients and substitutes will help you tailor the smoked cream cheese to your preference. Enjoy experimenting!

Instructions

  1. Preheat Your Smoker

    • Set your smoker to 200°F to 225°F.
  2. Prepare the Cream Cheese

    • Take an unwrapped block of cream cheese.
    • Lightly coat it with olive oil or yellow mustard.
    • Score the top of the block with a knife in a crosshatch pattern.
  3. Season the Cream Cheese

    • Choose your favorite seasoning or BBQ rub.
    • Sprinkle it generously on all sides of the cream cheese.
  4. Prepare the Tray

    • Line a baking sheet or aluminum pan with foil.
    • Lightly oil the foil to prevent sticking.
  5. Smoke the Cream Cheese

    • Place the prepared cream cheese on the foil-covered tray.
    • Put the tray in the smoker.
    • Smoke for 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on how smoky you like it.
  6. Check and Serve

    • Remove the cream cheese from the smoker.
    • Let it cool for a few minutes.
    • Serve with crackers, veggies, or your favorite dip.

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips:

  • Use a sharp knife to score the top of the cream cheese. This helps it absorb smoke better.
  • Season generously. Don’t be shy with your dry rub or seasoning.
  • Experiment with wood chips. Different types of wood can give unique flavors. Try hickory, apple, or cherry.

Tricks:

  • Preheat your smoker to around 200°F-250°F for best results.
  • Oil the foil. Use a little olive oil on the foil to prevent sticking.
  • Combine flavors. Mix smoked cream cheese with other ingredients like jalapeño or cranberry salsa for added zest.

Storing:

  • Refrigerate: Place smoked cream cheese in an airtight container. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
  • Freeze: For longer storage, you can freeze it. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then place in a zip-lock bag. It will last up to a month.
  • Reheat: Thaw frozen cream cheese in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat gently if necessary, but it’s usually best served cold.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

BBQ Style: Warm up some barbecue sauce and pour it over the smoked cream cheese. Add crispy fried onions and chopped cooked bacon. Serve with crackers or veggie sticks.

Buffalo Chicken: Sprinkle dry ranch seasoning on the cream cheese before smoking. Top it with warmed shredded chicken mixed with buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese crumbles. Pita crisps make a great side.

Tex-Mex: After smoking, top your cream cheese with cooked fajita veggies, beans, pico de gallo, or salsa. Tortilla chips work well for dipping.

Everything Bagel: Season the cream cheese with Everything Bagel seasoning before smoking. Pair with bagel chips or fresh veggies.

Sweet Cherry Cheesecake: Spread cherry pie filling on top of the smoked cream cheese. Serve with graham crackers or cookies for a sweet treat.

Feel free to experiment with these options:

  1. Jalapeño Popper: Add diced jalapeños and shredded cheddar before smoking.
  2. Garlic Herb: Mix the cream cheese with minced garlic and fresh herbs.
  3. Honey Nut: Drizzle honey and sprinkle chopped nuts on top for a sweet and savory combo.

Get creative with your sides and dips:

  • Crackers
  • Crispy Veggies
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Pita Crisps
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.