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I found a recipe for smoked mac n cheese a while back and I did it, but I wasnt overly pleased with the results. The flavor was great, but I wanted creamier cheese so I will definitely be thinking differently if I try it again.

The cheese all melted fine, but it was stringy. Probably should have just used Velveeta and not use the 4 or so other cheeses the recipe called for.

Plus I made it in a pyrex. I need a cast iron skillet or something I think would be better.

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My recipe is very simple, just boil the noodles and remove from the pot, add milk and a little butter to the pot, add velveeta and melt, when almost melted add shredded sharp cheddar and when it's all melted together add the noodles and stir. I then add the mixture to a black iron skillet and top with a layer of shredded sharp cheddar and then put on the BGE indirect at 350 until the edges start to brown. That's all there is to it and it's always a big hit.

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Looks good but I tend to stay away from “smoked” mac n cheese rather opting to use liquid smoke in my cheese sauce and go from there. I find that the pasta absorbs too much smoke on the cooker and is off-putting to most. 

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I start with uncooked pasta, pour in milk and heavy cream, shredded cheese(s), a bit of dry mustard, and salt and pepper. Mix it all up in a foil tray and cook indirect for an hour and 45 minutes. I give it all a good thorough stir at the one hour mark. I use one chunk of smoking wood (usually hickory) and have never had a complaint about too much smoke. Quite the contrary; over time I have learned to double my recipe because people can't get enough of it.

 

Just served it at a cookout this past Saturday and it was the only dish that was completely gone at the end of the night.

 

FWIW, I always grate the cheese myself, and I find that Cracker Barrel brand cheeses are a bit softer and stay creamier than other brands. I'm quite sure Velveeta would be even better, but I haven't ever tried it; for some reason my wife won't stand for it.

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15 hours ago, Brick Pig said:

 I'm quite sure Velveeta would be even better, but I haven't ever tried it; for some reason my wife won't stand for it.

 

I totally agree with your wife. I hate Velveeta!!! Not even real cheese in my book. Sort of like a creamy version of government block cheese. 

 

 

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I have been through so many versions of my homemade mac & cheese recipes that I have tossed them all out and started over once again.  

 

20190503_174716.jpg

 

20190503_175158.jpg

 

I have gone back to basics about what Mac & Cheese is in order to rebuild my recipes and this is my start... 

 

20190614_Mac.jpg

 

I like some specific characteristics of Mac & Cheese and this approach gives me all of those so far.

 

1.  I like a browned top.

 

2. I like it creamy underneath that brown top

 

3.  I like the option of going with a quick mac & cheese that doesn't go in the oven or on the grill for a browned top... something like a quick and easy version of Kraft Mac & Cheese.

 

What you see here is the beginning of my new recipe which is much simpler than any of my previous efforts.  This recipe requires just one basic cooking skill.  You need to be able to make a roux/bechamel.  It's very easy to do.  But it has to be done right.  The bechamel is where you determine exactly how creamy your mac & cheese will be.  It's not so much in the cheese choice.  

 

The basic elements of this recipe are as follows:

 

Cook 8 oz of your choice of macaroni noodles... while those are cooking..... do this...

 

Make a roux with 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup butter.  Wisk that roux for a couple minutes until it just starts to change color and darken very slightly.  Then you drizzle in 2 cups of COLD milk and wisk constantly.   This is gonna tighten up severely as you start adding the milk but it will loosen up nicely as you go.  You just need to wisk quicky to keep it from being lumpy.  If it is lumpy just keep wisking until its smooth.  Keep wisking until it starts to thicken.  This entire process takes about 6 to 8 minutes if you have your pan preheated.  

 

I like to season my bechamel with some salt, pepper, and dry mustard.  I am experimenting at this stage with additional flavors as well. Small amounts of cayenne pepper and/or hot sauce here are quite interesting.  Just work with small amounts of things until you find your sweet spot.  

 

Drain the macaroni noodles and then combine the noodles and the bechamel.  Add in 2 cups or so of shredded cheeses of your choice and mix until the cheese has melted.  Add anything else you might want to add at this stage also.  

 

At THIS point, you have a finished homemade stovetop type macaroni and cheese that is delicious and it only took you about 12 minutes to prepare. If you wanna take it to the next level...........

 

Put it in an 8" cast iron skillet or an 8x8 " baking dish and top it with some additional cheese.  Toss it in the oven or on the grill at around 425°F until the top is as brown as you might like... I usually go about 30 minutes.  Double the recipe if you want to do it in a 12" pan or a 9x13 baking dish.   

 

IF your mac & cheese is not as creamy as you would like, add more milk when making the bechamel.  If you want it less creamy, just add a little less milk.  

 

 

 

 

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On 6/14/2019 at 8:04 AM, John Setzler said:

I have been through so many versions of my homemade mac & cheese recipes that I have tossed them all out and started over once again.  

 

20190503_174716.jpg

 

20190503_175158.jpg

 

I have gone back to basics about what Mac & Cheese is in order to rebuild my recipes and this is my start... 

 

20190614_Mac.jpg

 

I like some specific characteristics of Mac & Cheese and this approach gives me all of those so far.

 

1.  I like a browned top.

 

2. I like it creamy underneath that brown top

 

3.  I like the option of going with a quick mac & cheese that doesn't go in the oven or on the grill for a browned top... something like a quick and easy version of Kraft Mac & Cheese.

 

What you see here is the beginning of my new recipe which is much simpler than any of my previous efforts.  This recipe requires just one basic cooking skill.  You need to be able to make a roux/bechamel.  It's very easy to do.  But it has to be done right.  The bechamel is where you determine exactly how creamy your mac & cheese will be.  It's not so much in the cheese choice.  

 

The basic elements of this recipe are as follows:

 

Cook 8 oz of your choice of macaroni noodles... while those are cooking..... do this...

 

Make a roux with 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup butter.  Wisk that roux for a couple minutes until it just starts to change color and darken very slightly.  Then you drizzle in 2 cups of COLD milk and wisk constantly.   This is gonna tighten up severely as you start adding the milk but it will loosen up nicely as you go.  You just need to wisk quicky to keep it from being lumpy.  If it is lumpy just keep wisking until its smooth.  Keep wisking until it starts to thicken.  This entire process takes about 6 to 8 minutes if you have your pan preheated.  

 

I like to season my bechamel with some salt, pepper, and dry mustard.  I am experimenting at this stage with additional flavors as well. Small amounts of cayenne pepper and/or hot sauce here are quite interesting.  Just work with small amounts of things until you find your sweet spot.  

 

Drain the macaroni noodles and then combine the noodles and the bechamel.  Add in 2 cups or so of shredded cheeses of your choice and mix until the cheese has melted.  Add anything else you might want to add at this stage also.  

 

At THIS point, you have a finished homemade stovetop type macaroni and cheese that is delicious and it only took you about 12 minutes to prepare. If you wanna take it to the next level...........

 

Put it in an 8" cast iron skillet or an 8x8 " baking dish and top it with some additional cheese.  Toss it in the oven or on the grill at around 425°F until the top is as brown as you might like... I usually go about 30 minutes.  Double the recipe if you want to do it in a 12" pan or a 9x13 baking dish.   

 

IF your mac & cheese is not as creamy as you would like, add more milk when making the bechamel.  If you want it less creamy, just add a little less milk.  

 

 

 

 

 

Ever since I met my wife, this is almost exactly how we've always done it.  After a few different attempts at different recipes we found the method with a roux to be the best.  However, as it appears with controversy here we add velveeta to the bechamel and melt it down before adding the noodles.  Top it with a layer of cheddar and bake for about 20-30 minutes.  Since getting my Kamado the baking has always been on it with great results.

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