Smoked cream cheese is one of the easiest and most delicious appetizer recipes out there. If you haven’t tried this one yet, then you are in for a treat!
Yes, we jumped at the chance to try out this trending Tik Tok sensation, and let’s just say we were skeptical at first, but wow, was it delicious! If you need an easy and inexpensive appetizer for your next barbecue, consider giving this smoky, creamy, delicious recipe a try. Don’t worry, this cream cheese isn’t over the top smoky. We were able to strike the perfect balance of smoke flavor and creamy goodness in just 2 hours. It is particularly easy on a pellet grill.Jump to Recipe
What you’ll need:
- One 9″ x 9″ disposable aluminum pan (or a cast iron skillet)
- An 8 ounce package of cream cheese, full fat
- 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons barbecue rub
Typically, this recipe is seasoned with dry ranch dressing seasoning mix or dry onion soup mix. You can certainly go that route, but we wanted a more BBQ flavor profile. We used our popular Kansas City Rub for this recipe. Trust us when we say that you’ll want to make up a good amount of this rub to keep on hand. It’s one of our favorites to use on ribs and low and slow pork shoulder.
How to make smoked cream cheese:
Gather your ingredients. We recommend using regular, full-fat cream cheese, and cannot comment on how well low-fat, whipped, or light versions will turn out. Our guess is that the lighter versions will release water as they cook, and that could interfere with the smoking process.
Next up is the rub. Use your favorite bottled sweet rub or use one of our rub recipes. To make serving and clean-up a breeze, we suggest using a disposable aluminum pan. You can also use doubled up sheets of aluminum foil.
Prepare your grill or smoker for 225 degrees F. We used a pellet smoker for this recipe, and it worked beautifully. However, you can use any type of smoker for this recipe. If you want to add extra wood chips, we recommend maple, alder, or oak. For a more robust flavor, use hickory or mesquite wood, or a mixture of milder and heavier wood flavors.
Apply the Rub:
Carefully remove the block of cream cheese from the foil packets and place it directly into the aluminum pan. You can leave the surface of the cream cheese smooth, or make 1/8″ crosshatch marks on top as demonstrated in the video. Brush it with a neutral-flavored oil and sprinkle with 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of barbecue rub. We don’t recommend olive oil unless it matches your flavor profile. Season the top and sides of the cream cheese block, or just the top if preferred.
Into the Smoker:
Place the entire pan with seasoned cream cheese into the smoker. Close the lid and let it cook for 2 hours. Keep a close eye on the temperature gauge, as some smoker temps can fluctuate. You don’t want it getting much hotter than 225 degrees. A cooking temperature between 210-225 degrees is optimal for this recipe.
Smoke time and doneness:
Check on your smoked cream cheese after 2 hours. You’ll notice a little cracking on the top of the cream cheese, and if you gently nudge the pan, the cream cheese will jiggle. This is the perfect consistency! The sides of the cream cheese will turn a yellowish, golden brown color. Once it looks this way, it is done. Time to serve it up!
Remove the smoked cream cheese from the smoker and let it rest for 10 minutes. It will be hot, so keep this in mind before digging in. We tried this with corn chips, but you can serve this smoked dip with crackers, bagel chips, a baguette, or chopped vegetables like carrots, celery, or jicama.
Better yet, use it in sandwiches or as a bagel spread. This smoky cream cheese is so versatile and incredibly delicious. Happy eating!
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing it. Smoked cream cheese is delicious warm and cold, so enjoy it as an any-time snack!
Smoked cream cheese variations:
- BBQ Style: Top with warmed barbecue sauce, crispy fried onions, and chopped cooked bacon before serving.
- Try it with Everything Bagel Seasoning! It’s fantastic
- Tex-Mex: Make your cream cheese pop by adding cooked fajita veggies, beans, pico de gallo, or your favorite salsa after it comes off the smoker.
- Sweet and Spicy: Spoon some warmed pepper jelly onto your cream cheese right before serving. Delicious!
Smoked Cream Cheese the Oven Method:
Yes! You read that right! You can make this recipe right in the oven.
- Heat your oven to 210 degrees F.
- Use a 9″ X 9 ” pan and a 12″ piece of aluminum foil to contain the cream cheese.
- Score your cream cheese (as shown in our video), then brush with oil and season with your favorite rub or seasonings of choice.
- Create a boat-like structure around the cream cheese with the foil. Do not cover the cream cheese; you are just trying to contain it.
- Place it into your oven for 1 hour. After that time, check on your cream cheese. If it is soft and the rub has baked in nicely, your oven-cooked smoked cream cheese is done. If it is still solid, let it cook for another 30 minutes.
- Remove your cream cheese and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Like this recipe? Try our Smoked Cream Cheese Dessert
Smoked Cream Cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese full fat
- 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons Kansas City Rub or your favorite bottled sweet rub
- 1 disposable aluminum pan 9″ x 9″
- Prepare your grill or smoker for 200 degrees F. Use your favorite pellet or add wood chips or chunks of choice.
- Place unwrapped cream cheese into the pan, and season with BBQ rub.
- Place the pan with cream cheese into the smoker, close the lid and let it go for 2 hours. If you'd like it a little smokier, let it go an extra half an hour.
- Once the cream cheese has a golden color and has cracked at the top, it is done.
- Remove from the grill, let stand for 10 minutes and dig in.
- Smoked Cream Cheese the Oven Method:Heat your oven to 210 degrees F.Use a 9" X 9 " pan and a 12" piece of aluminum foil to contain the cream cheese. Score your cream cheese (as shown in our video), then brush with oil and season with your favorite rub or seasonings of choice.Create a boat-like structure around the cream cheese with the foil. Do not cover the cream cheese; you are just trying to contain it.Place it into your oven for 1 hour. After that time, check on your cream cheese. If it is soft and the rub has baked in nicely, your oven-cooked smoked cream cheese is done. If it is still solid, let it cook for another 30 minutes. Remove your cream cheese and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.Yes! You read that right! You can make smoked cream cheese right in the oven.
Check out all our best grills and smoked appetizer recipes!