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Groark Boys BBQ makes a smoked mac and cheese that's so good, it went viral. It's so creamy and cheesy and impossible to mess up.
5 from 4 votes
Smoked Mac and Cheese closeup

By Christie Vanover | Published January 8, 2022 | Last Updated June 27, 2022

Smoked Mac and Cheese closeup

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If you’re on TikTok, you have to be following @groarkboysbbq. At the time of this post, the dude has 3 million followers. If you’re not on TikTok, don’t worry. You can also find him on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. As the “Meat Teacher,” he usually shows off awesome barbecued meat, but one day, he shared his smoked mac and cheese recipe, and it went viral. Over 1 million views, to date. 

To my knowledge, he’s never shared the exact measurements of all of the ingredients he uses, but he’s come pretty close. Close enough, that I was able to copy what he did, and I threw together a lil’ duet / remix making it with him side-by-side. 

Below is the recipe I knocked out, which I’ve posted with Matt’s permission. Thanks Matt!

cheese sauce dripping off spoon

It’s all about the cheese sauce

I’m sure you’ve had bad mac and cheese. You know that kind that’s just dry where the noodles don’t even stick together, and it’s totally not worth the calories. 

I promise you, this is the complete opposite of that. This is worth every single calorie, and you’re going to want seconds and thirds, so really don’t even count the calories. It’s not health food. 

What makes this smoked mac and cheese so worthy of this praise, is the ultimate cheese sauce. It includes butter, milk, shredded cheese and Velveeta. Yes. I said Velveeta. Don’t knock it, till you try it. It’s the magic ingredient that makes the sauce so creamy.

cooked macaroni in colander

Should you rinse your pasta

Apparently, those of you out there on social have really strong opinions about this. Rinsing pasta does remove some of the starch. When making most pasta dishes, like spaghetti or shrimp scampi, I like having that starch, because it helps the sauce stick to the noodles. 

For this smoked mac and cheese, however, Matt recommends rinsing the pasta to cool it down and stop the cooking process. Because the pasta is going into the smoker, this prevents the noodles from overcooking and turning to mush.

If you’re totally against rinsing your noodles. That’s cool. Make this dish how you want, but you may want to cook your noodles just a little bit less than normal, if that’s the case. 

GCG Tip!

Salt your water when boiling the noodles. Use two teaspoons kosher salt for 8 cups of water.

Shred the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses contain anti-caking ingredients, which interfere with melting. Fresh shredded cheese melts much better.

Parmesan cheese is already salty, so you shouldn’t need to add extra salt to this recipe.

The types of cheeses in smoked mac and cheese

The beautiful thing about mac and cheese, is that it’s so versatile. You can mix and match cheeses to your liking; however, I always recommend using cheeses that melt well. Feta, for instance, isn’t gonna turn out so well. 

In addition to using different types of cheeses, this mac and cheese uses the cheeses three ways.

Velveeta Cheese

As I already mentioned above, grab the yellow box. Velveeta is going to give you the creaminess you need. And although it is a processed cheese, it’s still a dairy product made with milk, whey and salt. This recipe calls for 16 ounces, which is half of the big box. 

Shredded Cheese

Here’s where you can mix things up. Matt’s recipe calls for shredded cheddar, Monterey jack and gouda cheeses. You can use mild or sharp cheddar or even sub the Monterey jack for pepper jack. Gouda can be a little harder to find. Check for it at your deli counter. Bonus is that you’ll likely find smoked gouda, which makes this dish even better.

Other cheeses that would work nicely include colby jack, fontina and mozzarella. 

Parmesan Cheese 

As if that wasn’t enough cheese, Matt adds 2 cups of Parm. While Parmesan isn’t known for its meltability, it punches up the flavor big time with a nice nutty saltiness.  

bottles of rubs on black background

If your mac and cheese is dry, you didn’t add enough milk. This recipe uses 4 cups of milk in three stages of the assembly.

macaroni in pan topped with cheese and rub

Assembling your mac and cheese for the smoker

Once you cook your noodles and make the cheese sauce, you’re going to combine all of the ingredients together. 

Start by mixing the noodles with the parmesan cheese, some shredded cheese, seasonings and milk. Groark Boys uses granulated garlic and black pepper, which is great. But my go-to mac and cheese seasoning is Ooomami from Girl Carnivore. Trust me on this one. I mix in one tablespoon. 

Then, pour on that cheese sauce and top with more shredded cheese. Once that is spread evenly, pour on a cup of milk.

For a final touch, sprinkle on about a tablespoon of your favorite BBQ Rub. I recommend my award-winning Pork Rub or Chicken Rub

Smoking Mac and Cheese

This can be made on any type of smoker. The key is to set your temp to 350-375F degrees and to use indirect heat. 

As for wood, oak, hickory and pecan are all good options. 

After 30 minutes, your smoked mac and cheese should be brown and bubbly like the picture below. Allow it to cool a bit, and then dig in.  

brown and bubbly Smoked Mac and Cheese

Wanna make the recipe in advance?

If you want to do some party prep and prepare as much in advance as possible. Assemble everything together, but leave off that last cup of milk. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 1-2 days. Then, just before smoking, pour on that cup of milk and throw it in the smoker. Because the dish will be colder, you may need to add 10-15 minutes to your cook time. 

Smoked Mac and Cheese in pan

Smoked Mac and Cheese closeup

Smoked Mac and Cheese

Groark Boys BBQ makes a smoked mac and cheese that's so good, it went viral. It's so creamy and cheesy and impossible to mess up.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
 

Shredded Cheeses

  • 6 oz cheddar cheese
  • 6 oz Monterey jack cheese
  • 6 oz gouda cheese

Macaroni Noodles

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lb box macaroni noodles

Cheese Sauce

  • 1/2 stick butter (4 tbsp)
  • 16 ozs Velveeta
  • 2 cups milk

Seasonings

  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup milk

Finishing Touches

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp BBQ rub

Instructions
 

  • Preaheat. Heat your smoker to 350-375F degrees with oak wood.
  • Shred Cheeses. Shred all of the cheeses and mix them together in a large bowl. You should end up with about 6 cups.
  • Cook Pasta. Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes. Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • Cheese Sauce. In a large pot over medium heat, melt together the butter, Velveeta, 3 cups of shredded cheese mix and 2 cups milk. Stir until smooth.
  • Mix Noodles. Place the noodles in an aluminum half pan. Mix in the Parmesan cheese, granulated garlic, black pepper, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese and 1 cup milk.
  • More Cheese Please. Pour the cheese sauce into the pan, and stir well. Top with 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese. Pour 1 cup milk over the top. Sprinkle on your favorite BBQ rub.
  • Smoke. Place the pan on the smoker over indirect heat. Smoke for 30 minutes, until brown and bubbly.

Video

Notes

If you don't have a smoker, you can bake this in a 350F-degree oven.
For tips on other cheeses and seasonings and how to make this recipe in advance, read the post above. 

Nutrition

Calories: 542kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 32gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 1601mgPotassium: 394mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1105IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 819mgIron: 1mg
Brag About Your BBQShare it on Instagram using #GirlsCanGrill

Like this recipe? 

Try my Campfire Mac and Cheese

cast iron skillet of macaroni and cheese over a campfire

MORE SIDE DISHES

2022-06-27T11:31:00-07:00

One Comment

  1. Timothy March 28, 2022 at 12:04 am - Reply

    I have tasted a lot of different BBQ smoked mac and cheese recipes in my life, but never have I tasted one that is THIS GOOD! The best BBQ smoked mac and cheese recipe is the BEST BBQ SMOKED MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE IN THE WORLD. And trust me, I’ve tried a lot.

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