For the crust:
1 (14.4-ounce) box graham crackers (or 4 cups graham cracker crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (12 tablespoons)
For the filling:
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Crush the graham crackers to fine crumbs using a food chopper, food processor, or by placing the crackers in a large zip-top bag and crushing with a rolling pin.
In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, salt, sugar, and butter. Mix to coat the crumbs in the butter.
Add about 3 cups of the crumb mixture to the springform pan and use a dry measuring cup to firmly press the crumbs in the bottom and on the sides of the pan to create the crust.
In a mixer, add the softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the eggs and mix until combined and smooth – being cautious not to over-mix. Pour the mixture into the prepare crust.
Add the remaining 2 cups of crumb mixture evenly over the top of the filling and lightly pat down.
Bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until the cheesecake is set to about 1-inch in from the edge. The center will still be jiggly. (You can also use an instant read thermometer to check doneness in the center of the cheesecake. It should read about 145°F.) Cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before slicing and serving. Keep chilled.