This is where we’ll share some recipes.
First one? That famous mac & cheese.
Traeger Smoked Macaroni & Cheese
5 QT. WATER
1 TBSP. SALT
2 LB. ELBOW MACARONI
12 TBSP. (1.5 STICKS), BUTTER
OLIVE OIL COOKING SPRAY
1/2 CUP FLOUR
1 TSP. DRY MUSTARD
1-1/2 TO 2 CUP, OR MORE AS NEEDED MILK
1 LB. each VELVEETA and AMERICAN CHEESE, CUT INTO 1/2″ CUBES
1-1/2 CUP SHARP/MILD CHEDDAR CHEESE, GRATED
2 CUP PLAIN DRY PANKO BREADCRUMBS
PAPRIKA (if desired)
1 DISPOSABLE ALUMINUM ROASTING PAN (TURKEY-SIZE), OR LARGE HEAT-PROOF CASSEROLE
Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt.
Add the macaroni, and stir. Cook for 2 minutes less than the time recommended on the package, stirring periodically to keep the pasta from sticking. (The pasta will continue to cook in the Traeger.)
Drain well, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add the flour and mustard, whisking constantly. Continue whisking for about 2 minutes, being careful that the mixture doesn’t begin to brown. (The butter/flour mixture will bubble.) Gradually whisk in 1-1/2 cup of milk; whisk continuously until the mixture is smooth.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the Velveeta, one-third at a time, until all the cheese is incorporated and melted. Add more milk if the cheese sauce seems too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir gently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
Spray the roasting pan or casserole with the olive oil cooking spray. Pour the macaroni and cheese evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese blend on top.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add the breadcrumbs, and stir to coat with butter. Spread the breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Dust lightly with paprika (if desired).
Start the grill on smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes. I use hickory pellets.
Bake the macaroni and cheese for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the mixture is hot and bubbling and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Turn the pan 180 halfway through baking. Serve hot.