Everyday Mom's Meals: On The Blackstone Wagon

Monday, July 1, 2024

On The Blackstone Wagon

You know that moment when you see the new "it" thing and you say "What's all the hype? We don't need one." And then you find yourself jumping on the bandwagon and have to eat your own words? Yeah, that was recently us! 

We knew people who had a Blackstone. We had seen them on tv and net, but we had a grill, in fact we had two grills, so we didn't see the need. 

But then Mr E. stumbled upon the Blackstone smoker/griddle combo and the next thing we knew Lowe's was delivering it to our backyard. 

Well, a few smoked pork butts, beef brisket  and breakfasts cooked on the griddle later, we now understand all the fuss, 100%. I would even say Mr. E's a tad obsessed since his new moniker is "oooo could we smoke that?" (No, honey, we aren't putting fish sticks on the smoker....lol!)

Last weekend he was smoking another pork shoulder on a hot and steamy day. I was planning the sides and when I decided on macaroni and cheese I figured why not? So I read a few recipes online to get tips for the temperature and time and then got to cooking!

 Oh people! This mac and cheese is super ooey and gooey thanks to a homemade cheese sauce with not one, not two, but THREE cheeses! It has a rich, creamy texture with just a slight smoky flavor in the background. It comes together on the stove quickly and then the smoker takes care of the rest. 

We had a meal that could have come from our favorite barbecue joint, it was that tasty. Plus, we did it all without heating up the house! 

The next time you see the latest food trend, don't dismiss it right away because you never know when you will be joining in and wondering what took you so long! 

Can I use different cheeses?

Of course! I think a sharp white cheddar or pepperjack would be great! 

Why stir in a figure-8 pattern? 

This was a tip I learned from Rachael Ray years ago and it has never failed me. She said adding cheese and stirring this way would result in the smoothest sauce and it always does!

Can I use a different pasta?

Sure! Any of the smaller shapes will work best. Shells or rotini maybe! 

What if I don't have a smoker?

Don't worry, you can still make this. Follow the recipe, but bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20-25 minutes! 

Do I have to use heavy cream?

You could try swapping it out for half-and-half, but I don't know if it will be as creamy.

Smoked Macaroni & Cheese

Best Tips

Don't skip the step of warming the milk and cream. It will result in the smoothest sauce with no clumping. 

I used 2% milk. I don't recommend anything with a lower fat content.  

You want a blonde (light brown) roux for this, don't let it get too dark. 

Try adding in some green chilies or diced jalapenos for a Mexican flare. 

Any leftovers should be transferred to a container with a lid and refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Smoked Macaroni & Cheese

1 lb. elbow macaroni

2 cups 2% milk, warmed

2 cups heavy cream, warmed

1 stick butter

1/2 cup flour

1 TBS ground mustard

8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup reserved

8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 1/3 cup reserved

8 oz. shredded Gouda cheese, 1/3 cup reserved

Salt and Pepper

Dried Parsley

Lightly grease a 9x13 foil pan. Preheat smoker to 250. Boil macaroni until al dente, Drain well. Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt butter over medium high heat. Whisk in flour and mustard until smooth. Cook 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and cream until smooth and combined. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheeses, stirring in a figure-8 pattern until smooth. Add macaroni to cheese sauce and stir well. Transfer to foil pan. Top with reserved cheese. Cook on smoker for 1 hour. Remove, sprinkle with dried parsley and allow to sit 5 minutes before serving. 

Smoked Macaroni & Cheese

Inspired by Chiles & Smoke

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