Hickory Smoked Mac and Cheese

Hickory Smoked Mac and Cheese
Makes: 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup grated yellow onion
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 4 cups whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces grated sharp cheddar, divided (2½ cups)
  • 10 ounces grated Monterey Jack, divided (2½ cups)


  • Preheat a smoker to 225°F.
  • Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet, individual ramekins, or an 11 × 7-inch baking pan with the butter and set aside.
  • Cook the macaroni to al dente according to package directions.
  • Drain it and set aside. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Add the onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  • Whisk in the flour until combined.
  • Slowly whisk in the milk until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Add the salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in half of the cheddar and half the Jack until the cheeses are melted.
  • Add the macaroni, stirring to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared skillet.
  • Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar and Jack cheeses.
  • Place the skillet in the smoker and cook for 1 hour, until the mac and cheese is brown and bubbling.
  • Serve warm.
  • Note: If you don’t have a smoker, you can turn your grill into one by making aluminum foil pouches with wood chips.
    • You’ll need 16 ounces of wood chips and two (12 × 12- inch) pieces of foil.
    • Put 8 ounces of wood chips in one piece of the foil and seal.
    • Repeat with the remaining chips and foil.
    • Poke holes in the pouches and place them directly over the heat.
    • Place the skillet over indirect heat, next to the pouches, and smoke as directed above.
    • Alternatively, bake the mac and cheese in the oven at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Recipes are from the The Bourbon Country Cookbook and That’s Entertaining by Tim Laird, America’s CEO – Chief Entertaining Officer, both available on Amazon and in local bookstores.

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook: @timlairdcheers

Reprinted with permission from The Bourbon Country Cookbook by David Danielson and Tim Laird, Agate Surrey, 2018.