Smoked Cream Cheese Ball with Bacon and Jalapenos

10 reviews

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This super savory and delightfully smoky cheeseball will change the way you view a smoked cream cheese ball forever. It’s a great appetizer for holidays or weekend parties, but we totally understand if you enjoy this any day of the week as well.

Smoked cream cheese ball surrounded by crackers with text overlay - Smoked Cream Cheese Ball.

Cream Cheese Ball on the Smoker

Smoked Cream Cheese was a viral food trend that swept the internet in 2021, but I just couldn’t bring myself to season and smoke a brick of cream cheese and call it a day. I needed to Hey Grill Hey that brick of basic and level up the flavors to feel more exciting.

And so, my little brick of smoked cream cheese became a ball loaded with candied bacon, toasted smoked pecans, and jalapenos. It’s perfect for parties, family dinners, or even wrapping up and gifting to friends and neighbors.

I cannot express the goodness of this recipe, but don’t take my word for it. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Cream cheese, pecans, and bacon on the smoker.

How to Make a Smoked Cream Cheese Ball

Here’s how to make a smoked cream cheese ball. Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a full recipe and instructions on the cheese ball.

  1. Season. Score the cream cheese and then sprinkle the top with the Fish and Veggie Seasoning. You can purchase some of this pre-made from the store or make your own using the recipe for Homemade Vegetable Seasoning
  2. Smoke. With the smoker preheated to 225 degrees F with an awesome hardwood (pecan worked great for this recipe), smoke the cream cheese for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The cheese is done when it has yellowed slightly and softened.

If you want to stop here and dig into the smoked cream cheese ball with a few crackers, go for it. You’ll be super trendy and have a pretty tasty appetizer. For a little more awesome, check out the recipe below for an awesome appetizer (or side) to add to your meal this week.

Smoked bacon being sliced in half on a wooden cutting board.

Tips for Making a Smoked Cream Cheese Ball

Hold up, folks! Here are some tips to take into account before you dive into the recipe.

  • Make ahead! Sometimes the day of a big dinner or gathering can be stressful. Smoking and assembling the cheeseball in advance means that you have one less thing on your plate when it is busy.
  • Get creative with flavors. This cheese ball is loaded with cheddar, jalapenos, bacon, and pecans, but you can mix things up with different ingredients like mozzarella cheese and pepperoni, or Parmesan and prosciutto. The options are endless!
  • Get gifty. I believe some of the best gifts are homemade and edible. This cheeseball checks both of those boxes. To gift in smaller portions, divide the cream cheese mixture into two separate balls. They are a great size for sharing with neighbors and family with a box of crackers.

Smoked cream cheese ball surrounded by various crackers.

More Cream Cheese Recipes

It doesn’t need to end here with, friends. Check out these other recipes that include cream cheese for some tasty BBQ.

Smoked Cream Cheese Ball Recipe

Whether you use this recipe to make some simple smoked cream cheese or go the full commitment to making a smoked cream cheese ball, you’ll be sure to love how awesome cream cheese tastes on the smoker.

Fancy yourself a visual learner? Check out the video tutorial below or head over to YouTube and scroll through all our awesome video recipes.

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Smoked Cream Cheese Ball

By: Susie Bulloch
5 from 10 votes
This super savory and delightfully smoky cheeseball will change the way you view smoked cream cheese forever. It's a great appetizer for holidays or weekend parties, but we totally understand if you enjoy this any day of the week as well.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Chill Time3 hours
Total Time6 hours 30 minutes
Servings12 people

Video

Ingredients
 

  • 2 8-ounce bricks cream cheese cold
  • 2 Tablespoons Fish & Veggie Seasoning recipe link in notes
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 Tablespoons Sweet Rub recipe link in notes
  • cup pecans whole
  • 1 ¼ cups cheddar cheese grated for divided use
  • ½ cup pepper jack cheese grated
  • 1 jalapeno seeds removed and minced
  • cup green onions chopped for divided use
  • 3 Tablespoons sour cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 225 F with your favorite hardwood. I recommend pecan for this recipe.
  • Prep the bacon. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with a flat cooling rack. Lay the bacon slices across the rack in a single layer. Sprinkle the Sweet Rub on top of each piece of bacon.
  • Season the cream cheese. Place the cream cheese and whole pecans on a second flat cooling rack. Use a sharp paring knife to score each brick of cream cheese in ½ inch deep diamonds. Season the cream cheese on top with the Fish and Veggie Rub.
  • Smoke. Set the bacon pan and the rack with the cream cheese and pecans on the smoker grates. Close the lid and smoke for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until the fat is rendered from the bacon and the cream cheese has yellowed in color and softened.
  • Cool. Remove the cream cheese, pecans, and bacon from the smoker. Allow to cool slightly. Chop the bacon and the pecans into small pieces.
  • Make the cheese ball. Add smoked cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. Mix in sour cream, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, all of the pepper jack cheese, the diced jalapenos, 2/3 of the bacon pieces, and two-thirds of the green onions. Mix with a spatula until the small pieces are all well distributed through the cream cheese.
  • Form the cheese ball. Lay out two sheets of plastic wrap and dump the cream cheese mixture in the center of the wrap. Shape into a ball with the plastic wrap and press firmly to compact the mixture.
  • Make the pecan mixture. In a small bowl, combine the chopped pecans, remaining bacon pieces, shredded cheddar cheese, and green onions. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate. Refrigerate the cheese ball and the bowl of the pecan mixture for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight.
  • Finish making the cheese ball. Pour the pecan and cheese mixture out onto a small baking sheet and spread it into a single layer. Roll the smoked cream cheese ball in the mixture until completely coated, using your hands to press the mixture into the outside of the ball. Serve immediately, or wrap lightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 794IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About

FOUNDER/BBQ BOSS LADY

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

26 Reviews

  1. Karri says:

    I’ve made this cheese ball two Christmas’s in a row now. Originally it was something I thought sounded good and was just going to make it for my family but after tasting it I knew it had to be shared. I made 8 cheese balls last year

  2. Jamie says:

    Can the cheese, bacon, onion outside toppings be frozen with the ball? Or is it best to do that on the day you plan on eating it?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      It’d be fine to freeze those with the ball.

  3. Craig McMurray says:

    Let me put it this way: My sister won’t be bragging about her cheeseball anymore after I made this one! Awesome awesome awesome

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      So glad you could show up your sister! That’s what the holidays are really about. lol. Happy Thanksgiving Craig!! And thanks for the great review and chuckle this morning.

  4. Taylor Stone says:

    What kind of wood/pellets work well for this?

  5. Karri says:

    This is year 2 of making these cheese balls for Christmas. They are Amazing! I made 8 last year

  6. Bill wood says:

    Wanted to try this recipe for new years do decided to try it a week before Christmas and perfect it. I have been smoking cheese for about a year now but never cream cheese so I know how cheese will react and thinking that 225⁰ was a little high. I started at 100⁰ and kept bumping it up. 20 minutes later I am at 135⁰ and I had a pan full of cream cheese soup. All of it fell through the rack on to the pan. I didn’t waste it. I just added some jalapeños to it and turned it into a spread… Where did I go wrong? Thanks.

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      It sounds like your smoker was running hotter than it said it was, or you had a few large temperature spikes. Check it with an accurate external thermometer and go from there.

  7. Dave E says:

    I made two of these cheese balls back to back. My family started tasting the finished product of the first one and realized I needed a second one. I made this with white cheddar cheese instead of yellow , the rest of the ingredients I followed exactly (even making the dry rub for the smoked cream cheese). This is definitely worth the time. Side note, I put the cheese ball in the freezer instead of the fridge to chill faster and it worked well.