posted October 07, 2021
Smoked Cream Cheese Ball with Bacon and Jalapenos
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.
Cream Cheese 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!
How to Make Smoked Cream Cheese
Now, I know the trend online is simply to throw a hunk of cream cheese on the smoker and call it a day. And while you are more than welcome to do that and dip some crackers into the smoky cream cheese, I think you’ll find turning your smoked cream cheese into a ball makes it all that much more worth the effort.
Here’s how to make the smoked cream cheese. Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a full recipe and instructions on the cheese ball.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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.
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 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.
Smoked Cream Cheese
- 16 ounces cream cheese (cold)
- 2 Tablespoons Fish & Veggie Seasoning (recipe link in notes)
- 8 slices bacon
- 2 Tablespoons Sweet Rub (recipe link in notes)
- 2/3 cup pecans (whole)
- 1 ¼ cups cheddar cheese (grated for divided use)
- ½ cup pepper jack cheese (grated)
- 1 jalapeno (seeds removed and minced)
- ⅓ cup green onions (chopped for divided use)
- 3 Tablespoons sour cream
- 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.
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