Crank up the grill to make this Smoked Cream Cheese Recipe, an easy cheese appetizer perfect for your holiday party or summer BBQ! It’s as easy to make as our Smoked Queso. Serve this smoked cream cheese dip next to your favorite smoker recipes!
Grab your favorite dry spice rub to slather on a block of cream cheese and serve with chips, crackers, bread or even raw veggies. Keep reading for a list of dipper and spice rub ideas!
Only two non-pantry staple ingredients are needed to make this cheese appetizer:
Block of Cream Cheese
Use full-fat cream cheese or even Neufchatel. We’ve utilized both with great success. Philadelphia cream cheese is our go-to but use what you have.
Dry Seasoning Rub
Use your favorite seasoning rub, either store bought or homemade! You only need one tablespoon, but you can use up to 1.5 tablespoons. Do watch the sodium content of your selected rub, especially if your dipper containers a ton of salt.
- Bread- bagel, baguette or French bread
- Crackers – bagel chips, pita chips, pretzel thins
- Chips – tortilla chips or your favorite!
- Raw Vegetables – bell peppers, cucumbers or carrots
Smoked Cream Cheese Dip
If you only have access to a tub of cream cheese vs a block of cream cheese, it’s workable! Just transfer the cream cheese to a container that can go inside the smoker. Think a disposable foil pan or a small cast iron skillet.
To make, spread the cream cheese evenly in the pan, coat with the olive oil and seasonings. You’ll have yourself a killer dip! Smoke the cheese as you would the cream cheese block.
- Energy Source – This recipe will be on the heat for hours so make sure you stock up on your selected energy source: charcoal, pellets, propane, gas, etc.
- Smoking Wood – Chunks, chips or pellets.
- Cooking Vessel – Use a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil, a disposable aluminum pan or a cast iron skillet.
- Smoker Box – You’ll need one to impart the delicious smoky flavor if using a gas grill. We’ve used smoker box in the past.
Wondering what wood to use? Anything goes! Cherry wood and apple wood are great options for a lighter smoke flavor, while pecan and oak provide a deeper smoke flavor.
Can You Use Low-Fat Cream Cheese? We don’t recommend it. It doesn’t have the same fat content, therefore won’t melt properly, changing the final texture and smoothness.
What Grill Can I Use? Dip recipes are some of the easiest grill recipes to master. You can use a pellet grill, gas grill or charcoal grill to make this dip. Consult the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full instructions.
Hot or Cold? Either or, baby! This dip tastes amazing served hot and cold.
How Long Does It Take To Smoke Cream Cheese? Anywhere between 1.5 – 3 hours. For a lighter smoky flavor leave it on for 1.5 hours. For a bold smoky flavor, go the full 3 hours.
Can You Freeze Cream Cheese? We do not recommend freezing, since dairy doesn’t freeze well.
- If you’re not a fan of using olive oil, just omit it. It helps the seasoning stick to the cream cheese block, but you can opt to gently press in the seasoning instead.
- Don’t like aluminum foil? Bust out your cast iron skillet.
- This is a great “add on” recipe. Throw it on when you already have the smoker cranked up to grill a main protein.
- To make the cream cheese easier to handle, freeze it for 10 min before seasoning and scoring.
- To store, place the leftover block of cream cheese in an airtight container and cover with plastic wrap. Try and position the plastic wrap so it touches the top of the cheese, as to stop moisture from pooling.
This really is the best smoked cheese recipe. So much so you can utilize it in other recipes made with cream cheese. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
Cranberry Jalapeño Dip – Smoke the cream cheese without any additives. Place the cream cheese in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to chill before adding the cranberry jalapeños mix to the top of the cream.
Salmon and Cream Cheese – Smoke the cream cheese without any additives. Use it in place of plain cream cheese in your favorite smoked salmon and cream cheese recipe.
Meat Church Smoked Cream Cheese – If you’re a Meat Church fan, add 1 tablespoon of their Holy Voodoo or Holy Cow Seasoning. Both pair remarkably well with cheese.
Mac & Cheese – Smoke the cream cheese without any additives. Use it in place of plain cream cheese in your favorite Macaroni and Cheese recipe.
Cowboy Candy – Smoke the cream cheese without any additives. Place the cream cheese in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to chill before adding the candied jalapeños to the top of the cream.
Hot Honey – Use your favorite BBQ rub and drizzle with hot honey after smoking cream cheese.
Smoked Cream Cheese
Servings: 8 Servings
- 8 oz Full-Fat Cream Cheese (*Note 1)
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil (*Note 2)
- 1 tbsp Dry Rub Recipe (*Note 3)
Pre-heat the smoker to 200°F. If using a charcoal grill, place the wood chunks or chips directly on the pre-heated coals, right before cooking.
Wrap a smoker-friendly baking sheet (*Note 4) with aluminum foil. Place the unwrapped cream cheese on the baking sheet.
Drizzle the top of the cream cheese with the olive oil. Using a sharp knife, score the cheese with 1/2″ slits. Evenly spread the dry seasonings over the top of the cream cheese.
Transfer the baking sheet to the smoker, close the lid and smoke for 1.5 hours for light smoke or up to 3 hours for heavy smoke.
Remove from the smoker, gently transfer to a serving platter and serve with crackers, bread, chips or raw vegetables.
Note 2 – If you’re not a fan of using olive oil, just omit it. It helps the seasoning stick to the cream cheese block, but you can opt to gently press in the seasoning instead.
Note 3 – A full list of seasoning ideas is in the blog post!
Note 4 – You can use a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil, a disposable aluminum pan or a cast iron skillet.
Nutritional information does not include any dry rub seasonings. It’s calculated based on the cream cheese and olive oil.
Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 37mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 381IU | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 0.04mg