Cream cheese in various ceramic bowls on a white background
With Seasoning And Tin Foil, Cream Cheese Can Be An Appetizer On Its Own
By Sarah Richter
When doused in sweet and spicy pepper jelly, cream cheese is already an ideal food for dipping, but when you season and smoke it, it becomes an appetizer on its own. The Takeout took advice from an enthusiastic Facebook group called Smokers n Grillers on how to make this legendary dish, and the result was more than the sum of its parts.
The Takeout details how to cook the cream cheese on a 24-inch pellet smoker, which gives the cream cheese a delicate smokey taste. After seasoning some cream cheese with Everything but the Bagel seasoning and some with a McCormick barbecue rub, they placed the blocks in tinfoil "nests" and smoked them low and slow for two to three hours undisturbed.
As the writer of The Takeout’s article notes, "I could see how two people could easily crush one block of smoked cream cheese as a snack. I kept eating more until I finally had to stop myself." Though you could dig into the dish as is, great dippers could include cucumbers, bagel chips, crostini, raw carrots, hard salami, and celery.
Interestingly, the smoked and seasoned cream cheese taste test The Takeout enjoyed had different winners when served hot versus cold. While the barbecue-seasoned block won the first round, with notes of sugar and salt working well with the warm, melty, smoky cream cheese, the cold cream cheese with the garlicky everything seasoning won the blue ribbon taste prize.