Smoked Cream Cheese with Jalapeno Salsa

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This smoked cream cheese is seasoned with a flavorful BBQ rub and given a hit of smoke for a tasty appetizer that you’ve just gotta try.

Smoked cream cheese surrounded by chips and crackers with text overlay - Smoked Cream Cheese.

Smoked Cream Cheese

Smoked cream cheese became a viral BBQ sensation overnight, and I gotta admit, I was skeptical of all the hullabaloo. A block of cream cheese. On the smoker. Really?

After finally biting the bullet and trying this smoked cream cheese, I get the hype. It’s a happy little appetizer that pairs great with crackers, salsa, and meats. You can also get really creative with flavors and infuse the cream cheese with a spicy, sweet, or savory seasoning. So yeah, smoked cream cheese is something you definitely need to try at least once.

Two blocks of cream cheese being scored with a knife.

Ingredients for Smoked Cream Cheese

You don’t need much to make this smoked cream cheese. Here’s what you’ll need to make this appetizer:

  • 1 8-ounce block of cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of your favorite BBQ Rub

This cream cheese takes on a bit of flavor from both the rub and the wood smoke, so get creative with this recipe. I absolutely love this with my Sweet Rub or Rib Rub, but it would work well with just about any rub or seasoning. I have yet to try them out, but I’m super tempted to try this with my Fish & Veggie Rub and Fiesta Rub.

Seasoned cream cheese on a baking rack.

How to Smoke Cream Cheese

Let’s get to the smoking! It’s a simple process with very little prep work or effort on your part. (A win-win in my book!) Here’s how to smoke cream cheese:

  1. Preheat. Turn on your smoker and preheat it to 180 degrees F with your favorite wood.
  2. Season. Score 1/2 inch deep cuts into the top of a cold brick of cream cheese. Place it on a baking sheet and season well with your favorite BBQ seasoning or rub.
  3. Smoke. Place the seasoned cream cheese on the smoker and smoke for 1 hour.
  4. Make the salsa. While the cream cheese is smoking combine all ingredients for the cranberry jalapeno salsa in a blender (ingredients listed in the recipe card below) and pulse until it’s finely diced. Do not overmix! Transfer the salsa to a glass jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Serve. Remove the smoked cream cheese from the smoker and serve with the cranberry jalapeno salsa. 

Ingredients for cranberry jalapeno salsa in a blender.

How Long to Smoke Cream Cheese

It takes approximately 1 hour to smoke cream cheese with the smoker running steady at 180 degrees F.

Make sure you keep an eye on the temperature of your grill to ensure it’s not dropping in temperature too often. Use your best judgment with this cream cheese. If it’s looking quite done before that 1-hour mark, feel free to remove it early. If the brick of cream cheese is still looking too firm, give it a little bit of extra time to let that cheese get all soft and delicious.

Smoked cream cheese on a baking rack.


Tips for Smoking Cream Cheese

Hold up there just a moment! Before you get to smoking this cream cheese, I have a few tips to help you get the most out of the recipe.

  • Choose your wood adventure. Experiment with different wood types to create different flavor profiles. The cream cheese takes on a lot of smoke flavor quickly, so you can have some fun here.
  • Try a different rub! Mix and match rubs for different final flavors that your friends and guests can sample. I made my smoked cream cheese with both Rib Rub and Sweet Rub, and both turned out totally amazing!
  • Give the gift of smoked cream cheese! To give these snacks as a gift, cool the cream cheese entirely before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap. Prep the salsa a day in advance and spoon it into individual 6-oz serving jars.

Salsa being poured on smoked cream cheese.
More Smoked Cream Cheese Recipes

Looking for more cream cheese recipes from Hey Grill Hey? Look no further, BBQ friends! These are a few of our absolute favorite cream cheese recipes cooked on the BBQ. Check them out in the links below.

Smoked Cream Cheese Recipe

Hey Grill Hey is here to ensure you master a BBQ recipe like a total pro. In fact, we hope each recipe and tutorial makes you feel like a backyard BBQ hero so you can feed the people you love.

If you loved this recipe, be sure to rate it 5 stars and leave us a comment below! You can also access this amazing smoked lamb shoulder recipe and over 500 other recipes on the Hey Grill Hey App.

Smoked Cream Cheese with Cranberry Jalapeno Salsa

By: Susie Bulloch
5 from 2 votes
This smoked cream cheese is seasoned with a flavorful BBQ rub and given a hit of smoke for a tasty appetizer that you've just gotta try.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Servings4 people


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Cranberry Jalapeno Salsa

  • 1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries
  • 5 green onions
  • 2 whole jalapenos seeded and diced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin


  • Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 180 degrees F.
  • Prep the cream cheese. Cut 1/2 inch deep scores into the top of the cold cream cheese brick with a paring knife. Place the cream cheese on a baking sheet or grill mat and season with the Rib Rub or your favorite BBQ seasoning.
  • Smoke. Place the cream cheese on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 1 hour.
  • Make the salsa. While the cream cheese smokes, prepare the cranberry jalapeno salsa. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the salsa reaches a finely diced consistency. Stop blending before it becomes a paste. Transfer to a lidded glass container and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Serve. Remove the smoked cream cheese from the smoker to your serving platter. Top with spoonfuls of cranberry jalapeno salsa and serve with tortilla chips or crackers.


Rib Rub
Sweet Rub


Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 0.3mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

5 Reviews

  1. Jona says:

    I did this and it turned out amazing, but the cream cheese didn’t hold it’s shape super well. The bottom kind of flatted out a bit. Any reason why this would occur? Happened almost right away on my grill at 225. Is it because I put it on tin foil? Just bad luck?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      It could be your grill running hotter than it reads. Make sure to check with a reliable thermometer.

  2. Barry says:

    How far in advance can you smoke the cheese?

  3. Michelle says:

    Best smoked cream cheese dip recipe ever!!

  4. Greg says:

    Just made this today but added a sister cheese. On the same plate I made a smoked soft goat cheese. Italian herb style from the store that I, then, crusted with dried cranberries, fine-chopped pistachios and sweet rub. Crowd pleasers, the both of them!