You won't believe how amazing a Smoked Cheesecake can be until you've tried it. One bite and you'll be hooked. Rich, creamy, and smooth with a perfect texture and just enough smokiness to balance out the sweetness.
I love cheesecake. It is one of my favorite desserts any type of year. With berries, with caramel, and even (sometimes) with chocolate. But until I tasted this smoked cheesecake I never could've imagined how good it would be.
Slow cooking a cheesecake on a smoker gives it the absolute perfect texture. Give this a try and let me know that you agree! This is the perfect dessert after you finish your dinner of Smoked Leg of Lamb or your Sous Vide Pork Chops.
Graham Crackers - I use cinnamon graham crackers but honey graham crackers are fine too. You will use one sleeve of the cracker if you buy a typical-sized box that has three sleeves with nine sheets in each.
Butter - I only buy salted butter so I use it when baking. The hint of salt balances the sweetness. If you have unsalted butter I recommend adding a tiny pinch of salt.
Cream Cheese - I use full-fat cream cheese in my cheesecake for the best texture. If you prefer you can use one package of full-fat cream cheese and one package of low-fat cream cheese. Fat-free cream cheese is not recommended.
Sour Cream - Using a bit of sour cream improves the creamy texture and cuts the sweetness.
Eggs - Regular large eggs or extra-large eggs will both work.
Sugar - I use granular white sugar in the cream cheese filling.
Vanilla - Pure vanilla extract enhances the other flavors in this dessert.
How to Make Smoked Cheesecake
This is a very easy cheesecake recipe! You don't need any special techniques like a messy bain-marie with a pan of water and a springform pan wrapped in aluminum foil. Cooking the cheesecake low and slow on the smoker gives a perfect texture while being hands-off and low maintenance!
Step One: Process the graham crackers and butter in a food processor until it resembles damp sand.
Step Two: Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan.
Expert Tip: No food processor? Buy graham cracker crumbs and mix with melted butter. And then make the filling in your stand mixer with softened cream cheese.
Step Three: Process the rest of the ingredients until they are smooth batter. You may need to scrape down the sides.
Step Four: Pour the batter over the prepared crust.
Step Five: Place the cheesecake on the preheated smoker directly on the wire rack and smoker for about 2 hours at 225. You need to cook the cheesecake until the center only jiggles slightly when shaken.
Step Six: Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours. I like to make this the day before serving. As it chills the cheesecake pulls back from the pan so you can easily remove the ring.
Nut Crust - A great sub to make this gluten-free is to replace the graham crackers with your favorite nuts or nut flour. Almond flour works well as do pecans.
Sweet Crust - I think that the graham crackers make the crust sweet enough but if you want to add a little white sugar or light brown sugar you can.
Maple - Maple goes really well with the smokiness. For this one, I prefer a pecan crust and then add 1-2 teaspoons of maple extract to the filling. You can taste it as you go. If you want to add that eggs after adding the maple to taste that is fine.
Caramel Swirl - After you pour the batter into the pan drizzle some caramel sauce on top and swirl it gently with a knife. Follow the cooking times and temperature listed. After baking sprinkle on some coarse sea salt for an amazing salted caramel cheesecake!
Keto & Low Carb - For an easy low carb keto smoked cheesecake recipe just make the nut crust mentioned above and swap out the sweetener in the filling for your favorite sugar-free sweetener.
Can you smoke a cheesecake?
Absolutely! The cheesecake in these photos was smoked on our Traeger grill!
What does smoked cheesecake taste like?
Smoked cheesecake tastes like regular cheesecake with an undertone of smokiness added to the flavor. The texture is very similar to a classic New York cheesecake that was baked in an oven.
What type of wood should I use to smoke cheesecake?
We used hickory pellets in our pellet grill when we smoked this cheesecake. You can use any wood with a sweet undertone such as alder, apple, or maple.
How should I store cheesecake?
Cheesecake should always be stored in the fridge. I normally remove the outside of the springform pan, serve it, and then if there are leftovers I put the ring back around it so it keeps its shape. Cover with plastic wrap and pop it back in the fridge.
Can I freeze cheesecake?
Yes. You can freeze cheesecake, either whole or in individual pieces. To freeze cheesecake wrap it tightly with plastic wrap covering all surfaces. This will prevent freezer burn.
- Traeger Grill or other smoker
- 4.8 oz graham crackers (9 sheets, ⅓ of a box)
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 16 oz cream cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the smoker to 225. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
- Add the graham crackers and butter to a food processor. Process until it is fine crumbs.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan.
- Add the filling ingredients to the food processor. Process until the batter is smooth.
- Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust.
- Place the cheesecake into the smoker. Cook for 2 hours or until the center only jiggles slightly.
- Chill for at least 4-6 hours before serving. As it chills the cheesecake will pull back from the edges of the pan you you can get a nice clean edge.