If you follow trends in barbecue you know that one of the hot new recipes everyone is trying is smoked cream cheese.

I think the reason it has become so popular is that it is so unbelievably easy to make and it tastes incredibly delicious. Two factors that make this a perfect appetizer dip for game days!

So if you’re looking for a great smoked cream cheese recipe, you’ve come to the right place. We’re sharing our sweet and savory recipes and we’ve even added a list of 9 more variations of this delicious and simple appetizer.

sweet and savory smoked cream cheese in a cast iron pan

Whether you’ve been backyard smoking enthusiasts for years or you have a pellet grill you don’t even know how to use yet, you can make smoked cream cheese that will make anyone’s mouth water. This creamy goodness brings a perfect balance of flavor to every bite.

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How to smoke cream cheese

Have I mentioned yet how easy smoking cream cheese is?

First things first, prepare your smoker to a temperature of 225°. We used our Traeger Ironwood 885 pellet smoker.

Next, prepare the dry seasonings that you will rub on the outside of the cream cheese block. We’re sharing two slightly different smoked cream cheese recipes today, which you can find down below.

smoked cream cheese savory rub
smoked cream cheese savory rub
smoked cream cheese sweet rub
smoked cream cheese sweet rub

Pull the block of cream cheese out of the refrigerator and unwrap it. Immediately begin covering all 6 sides of the entire block with the dry seasoning. (Don’t take the cream cheese out before this step or it will be too soft to work with). Some recipes will call for a light coat of olive oil before adding the seasoning, but I think that to be generally unnecessary.

Take a good knife and gently score the top of the cream cheese in a diamond pattern. Honestly, this step isn’t critical but it makes for a more attractive presentation. It doesn’t impact the flavor of the smoked cream cheese recipe in any way.

Place the seasoned cream cheese in a disposable aluminum foil pan or cast iron pan and move it to the pellet smoker. Leave it alone for about 2 hours.

Pellet grill smoked cream cheese

The Finishing Touches

putting glaze on the smoked cream cheese

Once the cream cheese comes out of the smoker, allow it to rest for about 5 minutes as it will be very hot. This gives you the perfect opportunity to prepare your finishing touches.

Our sweet smoked cream cheese calls for apricot preserves and our savory calls for Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze, both of which will need to be warmed up slightly in the microwave.

Lightly drizzle the warm glaze over the top of the smoked cream cheese. Serve while still warm with your favorite crackers. We love it with pita chips.

How to Store Leftovers

I honestly don’t think you’ll ever have leftovers of this appetizer dip. In my experience, those who taste it once are physically and emotionally unable to stop eating it until it’s all gone.

However, if you do find yourself with a supernatural amount of willpower and self-control and actually have some leftover, feel free to transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for a few days. I’m assuming it would also taste great cold. Although we’ve never had any leftovers of this recipe to try that out.

Smoked cream cheese variations:

The fun thing about smoking cream cheese is that there are endless possibilities on how it can be made. We’ve shared our sweet and savory variations below, but there are so many other ways you can make smoked cream cheese:

  • Everything Bagel: Use Everything Bagel seasoning. I mean we already know that cream cheese and Everything bagel seasoning taste great together on bagels. This variation was already a slam dunk.
  • Taco: Instead of the BBQ rub, season the cream cheese with taco seasoning. After it’s done smoking, top it with some salsa and dip tortilla chips in it.
  • Chili Cheese: Sprinkle some chili seasoning on the brick of cream cheese. While the cream cheese is smoking, also cook up a few slices of bacon to crumble on top with some chopped green onions. Corn chip dippers would go perfectly with this variation of smoked cream cheese.
  • Barbecue: Season the cream cheese with your favorite BBQ rub before smoking, and after it comes out drizzle it with some warm BBQ sauce. Have any leftover brisket or pulled pork? Throw that on top with it! Top it off with some crispy fried onions and you’ve got yourself a delicious winner.
  • Buffalo Chicken: Sprinkle a little dry ranch seasoning on the cream cheese and put it in the smoker for about 2 hours. When it’s done, top it with some warmed-up shredded chicken mixed with Frank’s buffalo wing sauce and some blue cheese crumbles and serve with pita crisps.
  • Cherry Cheesecake: Cover the cream cheese with cinnamon sugar, put it in the smoker for a couple of hours, and when it comes out top it with some warm cherry pie filling. Use graham crackers or vanilla wafers for dipping in this dessert version.
  • Pizza: Drizzle some olive oil over the cream cheese. Blend some parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning to sprinkle on the cream cheese before smoking. After smoking, top the smoked cream cheese with warm marinara sauce and some crumbled Italian sausage.
  • Seafood cocktail dip: Lightly season the cream cheese with Old Bay seasoning before smoking. After smoking, top it with chopped-up crab or shrimp and cocktail sauce. Ritz crackers go great with this.
  • Crab Rangoon: This one I think would be best with a little extra preparation. Unlike the others, soften the cream cheese and blend it together with some lump crab meat, soy sauce, green onions, and minced garlic and then wrap it up in plastic wrap to form it back into the brick shape. Chill in the fridge until the cream cheese has set back up. Smoke the now-modified cream cheese block for 2 hours. After removing from the heat, drizzle the top with a little bit of sweet chili sauce. Crispy wonton chips would be perfect with this.

Can you think of any other delicious smoked cream cheese variations we haven’t included? Drop a comment down below to tell us about your smoked cream cheese creation!

smoked cream cheese with sweet and savory glaze in front of the Traeger Ironwood
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Smoked Cream Cheese (Savory)

Just about the easiest appetizer you can make, this smoked cream cheese will be a smash wherever you serve it!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: cream cheese, dip
Servings: 8
Calories: 40kcal
Author: David Gafford

Equipment

  • Smoker
  • pan
  • knife

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 Tb turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 Tb garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tb onion powder
  • 1/2 Tb paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tb Captain Rodney's Boucan Glaze

Instructions

  • Combine all the dry ingredients and blend together.
  • Remove the block of cream cheese from the wrapper and generously coat all sides in the BBQ rub.
  • Take a sharp knife and score the top of the cream cheese in a diamond pattern.
  • Put the seasoned and scored cream cheese on a pan and place it on your smoker set to 225° for about 2 hours.
  • After removing the smoked cream cheese from the smoker, warm up a little Captain Rodney's to drizzle over the top.

Notes

While a generous coating of the BBQ rub is appropriate, you will probably have some leftover. (Do not feel like you have to use it all.)
Serve this warm with your favorite variety of crackers. We prefer pita crackers.
Keep the cream cheese nice and cold in the refrigerator until you’re ready to begin. Otherwise, it will be too soft and messy to work with.
I do not recommend using low fat cream cheese for this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 40kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg
smoked cream cheese with sweet and savory glaze in front of the Traeger Ironwood
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Smoked Cream Cheese (sweet)

This sweet variation of smoked cream cheese will be a fan favorite every time you serve it!
Prep Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: cream cheese, dip
Servings: 8
Calories: 58kcal

Equipment

  • Smoker
  • pan
  • knife

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 2 Tb Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Tb Turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp onion
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1 pinch Chipotle
  • 1 pinch Cumin
  • 2 Tb apricot preserves

Instructions

  • Combine all the dry ingredients and blend together.
  • Remove the block of cream cheese from the wrapper and generously coat all sides in the sweet BBQ rub.
  • Take a sharp knife and score the top of the cream cheese in a diamond pattern.
  • Put the seasoned and scored cream cheese on a pan and place it on your smoker set to 225° for about 2 hours.
  • After removing the smoked cream cheese from the smoker, warm up a little apricot preserves to drizzle over the top.

Notes

While a generous coating of the sweet BBQ rub is appropriate, you will probably have some leftover. (Do not feel like you have to use it all.)
Serve this warm with your favorite variety of crackers. We prefer pita crackers.
Keep the cream cheese nice and cold in the refrigerator until you’re ready to begin. Otherwise, it will be too soft and messy to work with.
I do not recommend using low fat cream cheese for this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 93IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1mg

Looking for more recipes?

These are some of our favorite dip recipes that we make around here.