Cheesecake is Jannah’s favorite dessert and I always make it for her birthday. Typically, I just bake this in the oven, but I thought I would change things up this year and use our Traeger Ironwood 650 Pellet Grill to give the cheesecake a bit of a unique smoky flavor.

You can pretty much smoke anything BUT; the real question is should you? As we all know, smoked cheese is delicious so a little smoky flavor in cheesecake is a nice way to shake things up.  Cheesecake is typically baked in the oven, often in a water bath, on a lower heat. So….. in essence; low and slow. Kind of sounds like a smoker, right? The smoke gives the cheesecake an incredible flavor. Pecan or maple pellets seem to work wonders with this recipe!

If you do not have a smoker or pellet grill, you can use your oven instead. The steps/instructions do not change if you use your oven. 

Cheesecake is a perfect dessert after eating a perfect steak. See how we do our steaks.

A Few Tips on Making the Perfect Cheesecake

  • Use room temperature cream cheese; nobody likes a lumpy cheesecake!
  • Mix the cheesecake filling well….. again; nobody likes a lumpy cheesecake!
  • Use a flex edge flat end beater, instead of the whisk beater. The whisk attachment clogs with cream cheese so easily and often isn’t firm enough to mix the cream cheese well enough.
  • Use a springform pan; it really does just bake and present better.
  • Put it in the smoker/oven and leave it! Opening and closing the smoker can cause larger temperature changes or drafts which often is the cause of large cracks on top of the cheesecake.
  • Use a water bath! Cheesecakes love a humid environment. Because cheesecakes are heavy with eggs, the humidity helps the eggs to rise without burning or drying out. This, in turn, helps to prevent the top of your cheesecake form cracking. In addition, the even steam from the water bath helps to lift the cheesecake slightly and prevents it from falling when taken out of the heat.
  • Over-baking a cheesecake is more common than you think as it’s not so easy to tell when it’s done. Over-baking can also lead to cracks. When tapping the sides of the pan, the center (about 2 inches in diameter) should still slightly jiggle while the rest of the cheesecake appears firm. The sides should also be puffed up ever so slightly.
  • Once the cheesecake is done and removed from the smoker or oven; it should cool at room temperature AND then be chilled in the fridge. Do not place the cheesecake directly from the heat into the fridge. Chill for at least 4 hours…. but overnight is better! When serving, allow the cheesecake to sit out and come back up to room temperature.

Recipe Overview:

Serves: 8

Equipment needed: 

  • Oven or Smoker
  • Electric mixer with flat beater
  • Spatula
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Large Roaster (For Water Bath)
  • 10” Springform Pan
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
Flexible beater head
Flex Edge Beater
10 inch springform pan
Spring-Form Pan

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Honeymade Crumbs (Substitute crushed Graham Crackers)
  • 3.5 TBSP Brown Sugar
  • 6 TBSP Melted Butter
  • 1 TSP Vegetable Oil

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Original Cream Cheese -Slightly Warmed
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 3 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 3 TBSP Flour
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar – Packed

Topping of Your Choice : Caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, strawberry compote, blueberry compote (the options are endless!)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Starting with the crust. Mix the Honeymade crumbs (finely crushed graham crackers) with the brown sugar and melted butter. Work together to ensure there are no lumps and the crumbs are evenly covered in the butter. 
Mixing graham crumbs, brown sugar, and butter.
  • Lightly grease the springform pan bottom and sides with the vegetable oil. This helps with removing the cheesecake later. 
Greasing springform pan
  • Pack the crust mixture to the bottom of the pan firmly. 
Packing cheesecake crust into springform pan
  • Lightly bake in the oven for a couple minutes until the crust turns a slightly darker brown color. 
  • Remove from the oven and cool. 
  • Preheat your smoker or oven to 350F. If you are using a pellet grill, I suggest maple or pecan wood pellets. 
Smoker set at 350
  • In a large mixing bowl add the slightly warmed cream cheese (easier to mix when warmed) with the brown sugar, vanilla extract, and flour. 
Cheesecake filling : Step 1
  • I use a mixer with a flat beater as this seems to work best when mixing cheesecake filling. A whisk attachment will quickly clog with the cheese and is too flimsy to initially mix the filling. Start the mixer on low. 
  • After a couple minutes of mixing, I stop the mixer and use a spatula to wipe the edges of the bowl to the center to help the ingredients mix. I then restart the mixer. I’ll do this a couple times until the mixture is even. 
  • Add the 1 cup of sour cream and mix for a couple more minutes on medium low. 
Adding sour cream to cheesecake filling
  • Once the mixture is looking even, I add one egg and slowly mix. Only add one egg at a time. Once the egg is mixed in well, add another egg. 
Adding eggs to cheesecake filling
  • Once all four eggs are properly mixed, I turn off the mixer, and scape down the mixing bowl sides one more time. Then turn on the mixer to medium low for one last mix. It’s really important to properly mix the cheesecake filler until all lumps and air bubbles are gone. Lumps and air pockets are the reason your cheesecake cracks when it’s baking. 
  • Once the mixing is complete, remove from the mixer and set aside. 
  • Take heavy duty tinfoil and wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan. This will protect the cheesecake when it is set inside the water bath.
Wrapping tin foil around pan to prepare for water bath
  • Fill your large roaster with 1-2 inches of hot water. 
  • Take the cheesecake filling and pour over your crust. Lightly shake the pan to allow the filling to flatten and remove any air pockets. 
  • Carefully put the cheesecake springform pan into the roaster water bath. 
  • Bake in the smoker or oven for 1.5-2hrs. 
Cheesecake in water bath
  • After 1.5hrs I start checking for doneness. You can poke the center of the cheesecake with a toothpick. If the toothpick come out clean, the cheesecake is done.  Alternatively, look for the a center with a slight jiggle, firmness on the outer ring, and raised edges.
  • Once done, remove from the smoker or oven and run a knife along the inside perimeter of the pan. This will help separate the cake from the pan when you remove the rim. 
  • Cool on your counter until it reaches room temperature. Remove pan rim.  Refrigerate for four hours or more. 
Cheesecake
  • Remove from fridge an hour before serving to slightly warm. 
  • Top with your favorite toppings (caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, strawberry compote, blueberry compote…. the options are endless!)
Cheesecake with caramel topping
  • Enjoy

Looking for more grilled related desserts? Try out Easy Grilled Blackberry Shortcake or Fudgy Brownies on the Grill!

Cheesecake with caramel topping
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Smoked Cheesecake

You can pretty much smoke anything BUT; the real question is should you? As we all know, smoked cheese is delicious so a little smoky flavor in cheesecake is a nice way to shake things up.  Cheesecake is typically baked in the oven, often in a water bath, on a lower heat. So….. in essence; low and slow. Kinda sounds like a smoker, right? The smoke gives the cheesecake an incredible flavor. Pecan or maple pellets seem to work wonders with this recipe!
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Cooling time8 hrs
Total Time10 hrs 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheesecake, cheesecake recipe, new york cheesecake recipe, Smoked Cheesecake
Servings: 10
Calories: 608kcal
Author: Michael Haas

Equipment

  • Oven or Smoker
  • Electric mixer with flat beater
  • Spatula
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Large Roaster (For Water Bath)
  • 10” Springform Pan
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Honeymade crumbs Substitute crushed Graham Crackers
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp Melted butter
  • 1 Tsp Vegetable oil
  • 4 Cups Cream Cheese Original
  • 1 Cup Sour cream
  • 4 eggs Large
  • 3 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Starting with the crust. Mix the Honeymade crumbs (finely crushed graham crackers) with the brown sugar and melted butter. Work together to ensure there are no lumps and the crumbs are evenly covered in the butter. 
    Mixing cheesecake crust
  • Lightly grease the springform pan bottom and sides with the vegetable oil. This helps with removing the cheesecake later. 
    Lightly grease springform pan
  • Pack the crust mixture to the bottom of the pan firmly.
    Packing cheesecake crust
  • Lightly bake in the oven for a couple minutes until the crust turns a slightly darker brown color. Remove from the oven and cool. 
    Baking cheesecake crust
  • Preheat your smoker or oven to 350F. If you are using a pellet grill, I suggest maple or pecan wood pellets. 
    Smoker set at 350
  • In a large mixing bowl add the slightly warmed cream cheese (easier to mix when warmed) with the brown sugar, vanilla extract, and flour. 
    Cheesecake filling : Step 1
  • I use a mixer with a flat beater as this seems to work best when mixing cheesecake filling. A whisk attachment will quickly clog with the cheese and is too flimsy to initially mix the filling. Start the mixer on low. After a couple minutes of mixing, I stop the mixer and use a spatula to wipe the edges of the bowl to the center to help the ingredients mix. I then restart the mixer. I’ll do this a couple times until the mixture is even. Add the 1 cup of sour cream and mix for a couple more minutes on medium low. 
    Adding sour cream to cheesecake filling
  • Once the mixture is looking even, I add one egg and slowly mix. Only add one egg at a time. Once the egg is mixed in well, add another egg.  Once all four eggs are properly mixed, I turn off the mixer, and scape down the mixing bowl sides one more time. Then turn on the mixer to medium low for one last mix. It’s really important to properly mix the cheesecake filler until all lumps and air bubbles are gone. Lumps and air pockets are the reason your cheesecake cracks when it's baking. Once the mixing is complete, remove from the mixer and set aside. 
    Adding eggs to cheesecake filling
  • Take heavy duty tinfoil and wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan. This will protect the cheesecake when it is set inside the water bath.
    Wrapping tin foil around pan to prepare for water bath
  • Fill your large roaster with 1-2 inches of hot water. Take the cheesecake filling and pour over your crust. Lightly shake the pan to allow the filling to flatten and remove any air pockets. 
  • Carefully put the cheesecake springform pan into the roaster water bath. Bake in the smoker or oven for 1.5-2hrs. 
    Cheesecake in water bath
  • After 1.5hrs I start checking for doneness. You can poke the center of the cheesecake with a toothpick. If the toothpick come out clean, the cheesecake is done.  Alternatively, look for the a center with a slight jiggle, firmness on the outer ring, and raised edges. Once done, remove from the smoker or oven and run a knife along the inside perimeter of the pan. This will help separate the cake from the pan when you remove the rim. 
    Cheesecake done
  • Cool on your counter until it reaches room temperature. Remove pan rim.  Refrigerate for four hours or more.
    Cheesecake
  • Remove from fridge an hour before serving to slightly warm. Top with your favorite toppings (caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, strawberry compote, blueberry compote…. the options are endless!)
    Cheesecake with caramel topping

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 608kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 485mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1668IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 2mg

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