Smoked cream cheese has been around since the 1960s, but it’s becoming more popular as people begin to appreciate its unique flavor.
What Is Smoked Cream Cheese?
It’s an aged cream cheese with a distinctive smoky taste.
Smoked cream cheese can be used in salads, sandwiches, baked goods, pasta dishes, and even dessert recipes like cheesecake!
It’s available in different flavors such as blueberry, caramel apple, balsamic fig, and honey mustard – so you won’t have trouble finding one to suit your tastes.
The process of making smoked cream cheese begins by mixing milk with vinegar into curdled form.
This mixture is then heated until it reaches a temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 Celsius).
The cheese maker slowly adds salt to the mixture while stirring constantly to prevent any separation between the proteins.
Once the temperature drops below 100 degrees Farenheit (38.4 Celsuis), the cheese maker stops adding salt and starts heating up the mixture again for another eight hours.
During this time, the cheese makers add smoke flavoring agents such as hickory chips, mesquite wood chips, pecan shells, or oak chips.
These ingredients give the finished product a distinct smokiness.
After the smoking period, the cheese maker adds additional spices, cultures, enzymes, and other additives to make sure the final product turns out just right.
Finally, the cheese is cooled down before being packaged.
Where Does Smoked Cream Cheese Come From?
The most common method of smoking food involves curing meat in an environment with low oxygen levels, typically by packing the item into plastic bags filled with sawdust.
The smoke produced during this process gives the meat an appealing smoky aroma.
Another way that smoked goods are cured is through smoking them over wood chips.
Smokers can be found at many restaurants and grocery stores where you would normally find hams and sausages.
These smokers use wood chips, which impart their own distinctive flavors onto the meat.
A third option, which I personally prefer, is to make your own home-cured meats.
There are numerous recipes online for making your own bacon, ham, sausage, jerky, and even jerky flavored cheeses!
While there are countless ways to cure your meat, one thing remains constant: You must start with raw ingredients.
If you want to try your hand at making homemade smoked cream cheese, you will need some fresh cream cheese (or sour cream) and butter.
How Is Smoked Cream Cheese Made?
The process of making smoked cream cheese starts with a pasteurized version of cream cheese that is then heated and flavored with smokey flavors such as paprika, chipotle peppers, and bacon fat.
The mixture is then cooled before being packaged into jars.
It can be stored at room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen until needed.
What Does Smoked Cream Cheese Taste Like?
Smoked cream cheese can be described as having a sweet, salty, tangy flavor with hints of smoke.
It’s not too strong so you won’t feel sick from eating it if you have sensitive stomach, but it will still make you want to eat more!
Smoked cream cheese isn’t just good because it tastes great — it also contains healthy fats (including monounsaturated fat) which help improve heart health.
So, even though this smoked cream cheese recipe is decadent enough to satisfy your cravings, you don’t need to worry about being unhealthy while enjoying it.
Ingredients for making smoked cream cheese
- 1 pound full-fat cream cheese
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Follow these simple steps to create a delicious smoked cream cheese snack:
What Are The Benefits Of Smoked Cream Cheese?
While it might sound strange at first, smoked cream cheese offers some very real health benefits, including being low-fat and high in protein.
It can be used as an ingredient in many different recipes, from salads and sandwiches to baked goods and even ice cream.
Its smoky notes also make it great as a garnish.
Low fat and packed full of nutrients
The main benefit of smoked cream cheese is how much less saturated fat it contains than regular cream cheese.
While both are made from cow milk, one is pasteurized while the other is not.
Smoked cream cheese is often lower in calories too, which means you don’t have to eat so many servings to get your daily recommended amount of calcium.
High protein content
Another bonus of smoked cream cheese is that it is extremely high in protein.
A 1/4 cup serving (about 3 tablespoons) provides about 10 grams of protein, making it a good source of lean protein if consumed regularly.
Easy to use in all kinds of dishes
You can add smoked cream cheese to just about anything you want.
You can spread it onto bread or crackers before baking them.
Or you could serve it alongside other foods such as grilled fish, chicken, or vegetables.
Use it when cooking pasta, rice, and potatoes, especially because it will help keep these items moist and tender.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Smoked Cream Cheese?
No, there aren’t any known health issues linked to eating smoked cream cheese.
It’s also safe to eat if you have an allergy to dairy products.
The main risk comes from handling raw milk cheeses.
Raw milk cheeses can contain bacteria such as E.
coli which may cause illness in some people who consume them.
However, this doesn’t apply to smoked cream cheese because it’s made with pasteurized milk.
Pasteurization kills most bacteria so your chances of getting sick from consuming smoked cream cheese are very low.
What else do I need to know about smoked cream cheese?
- It can be stored at room temperature for up to one week
- Keep it refrigerated after opening
- You should use smoked cream cheese within two weeks of purchase
- Use smoked cream cheese immediately after opening
- Don’t freeze smoked cream cheese once opened – it will get hard and lose its texture
- Store smoked cream cheese away from other foods that might go bad quickly
- Avoid leaving containers open while smoking the cream cheese
- If you smoke the cream cheese yourself, make sure you follow all safety precautions when doing so.
How Long Does Smoked Cream Cheese Last?
The shelf life of smoked cream cheese depends on how you store it.
If you want a fresh product, keep your smoked cream cheese refrigerated at 40°F (4C).
Otherwise, you should store it at room temperature up to four weeks after opening, but avoid freezing it because this will damage the texture of your cheese.
If you open your jar a little early, you might be able to use some smoked cream cheese within two days, but we recommend waiting until it reaches the expiration date before eating it.
You can also freeze smoked cream cheese for longer periods.
For example, you could buy one-pound packages of smoked cream cheese and put them in freezer bags.
Just make sure you remove the labels from each bag so they don’t get damaged by moisture.
When you thaw frozen smoked cream cheese, let it sit out uncovered for about 15 minutes.
You do not need to defrost it completely before using it.
Once you take the cheese out of the fridge, place it back inside the refrigerator overnight and then use it within three days.
Don’t worry if you forget to eat all of your smoked cream cheese in one day! It won’t go bad unless you allow it to spoil.
However, if you have leftovers, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and return them to the fridge right away.
How Can I Tell If Smoked Cream Cheese Is Bad?
If you think your smoked cream cheese might be bad, first make sure it isn’t spoiled.
If there’s mold growing inside of it, throw it out immediately.
You should also keep an eye out for any cracks or leaks, which could mean liquid was introduced into the product during manufacturing.
If this happens, don’t eat the entire batch!
You may not get sick from eating smoked cream cheese if you follow these steps:
- Keep your eyes open for signs of spoilage like discoloration, strong odors, or slimy texture.
- Don’t let anyone else handle the jar before opening it up.
- Wipe off any residue with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Re-seal the container tightly after storing.
What Are Some Creative Ways To Use Smoked Cream Cheese?
Many of us have tried this delicious spread at one time or another, but how many of you actually know how to make your own?
If you’ve never made smoked cream cheese before, here are several recipes that will help get you started!
- Homemade Smoked Cream Cheese Recipe — A simple homemade recipe that uses cream cheese along with other ingredients like smoked paprika and brown sugar.
- This smoked cream cheese is great for snacking on toast or making sandwiches.
- Baked Mac & Cheesy Spread Recipe — Use your favorite macaroni pasta shape to create cheesy baked mac-and-cheese that tastes just like the real thing.
- With this easy recipe, you won’t even need any melted cheese.
- Cheddar Biscuits Recipe — These biscuits are an excellent addition to breakfast or brunch, especially when paired with eggs or sausage.
- The cheddar biscuit dough makes them extra special.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip – This dip combines chocolate chip cookie dough with classic cream cheese frosting.
- It’s so good, it should be illegal.
- Easy Smoky Bacon Ranch Dressing — Make this tasty dressing without all the fuss by combining ranch sauce with bacon bits instead of mayonnaise.
- Spicy Sausage Gravy -This spicy gravy is loaded with Italian seasoning and garlic powder to give it a kick.
- Serve it over mashed potatoes or polenta as a side dish.
- Herb Roasted Potatoes — This roasted potato recipe comes together quickly and easily, and includes rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice.
- You’ll love these crispy spuds served plain or alongside chicken or pork chops.
- Stuffed Jalapenos — These stuffed peppers taste amazing and only require five minutes of hands-on prep work.
- They’re also super quick and easy to freeze for later.
- Tuna Salad Sandwich — Tuna salad sandwich is a fun twist on a traditional tuna salad sandwich.
- Using avocado instead of mayo gives this recipe a healthy boost while still keeping everything light and refreshing.
- White Bean Hummus — White beans add protein, fiber, and texture to hummus.
- Plus, they take less than 10 minutes to prepare.
- This white bean hummus is also gluten free and vegan friendly.
- Zucchini Boats — Zucchini boats are a great way to serve vegetables.
- They’re easy to make, filling, and full of fresh flavors.
- Try serving zucchini boats with salsa, pesto, or tomato basil sauce.
- Zesty Lemon Chicken — This juicy chicken is flavored with lemons, capers, olives, parsley, and shallots.
- It’s an easy weeknight meal you’ll want to make again and again.
- Chicken Tikka Masala — This Indian restaurant classic gets updated with a bold blend of spices including cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, coriander, and turmeric.
What Are Some Recipes That Include Smoked Cream Cheese?
You can find tons of different recipes that call for smoked cream cheese, including many savory dishes such as quesadillas, pizza crusts, meatloaf, burgers, chicken salad sandwiches, and even desserts like cheesecake!
If you want to try your hand at smoking your own cream cheese, here are some great ideas.
- Smoked Cream Cheese Pizza Crust
- Cheese & Bacon Quesadilla with Smoked Gouda
- Crispy Chicken Salad Sandwich with Smoked Cheddar
- Pork Tenderloin Stuffed With Smoked Cheddar And Prosciutto
- Chicken Taco Rollups with Smoked Monterey Jack Cheese
- Homemade Cheeseburger Buns with Smoky Bacon and Caramelized Onions
- Strawberry Shortcake with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and Smoked Fudge Sauce
- Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches with Smoked Buttercream Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon dry rub
- Preheat the smoker to 200 degrees.
- Apply a dry rub to the outside of the cream cheese.
- For 1 hour, smoke. If available, use the super smoke setting.