With a smooth creamy texture and the extra flavor from the smoke, this Smoked Queso dip recipe will become a party favorite. It makes a fairly big batch, so invite some friends and pop a pan of this onto the smoker, and in no time, you’ll have a tasty dish that everyone will rave about.
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My only pet peeve with smoking is the wasted space on the smoker. I’ll cook a few chicken breasts or a smallish cut of meat, and I have oodles of leftover space with all that delicious smoke going to waste. Dishes like this Smoked Queso come to the rescue! It doesn’t take very much prep time, and in about 2 hours, you’ll have delicious, smoke-kissed queso that will be the hit of the party.
What You Need To Make Smoked Queso
- Traeger Pellet Grill
- Pellets for your pellet smoker
- 9 x 13 (or similar size) disposable foil pan
- Velveeta cheese – now’s not the time for generic knock-offs
- Tex-Mex or Cheddar cheese shreds
- Rotel canned tomatoes with chilis
- Red onion
- Garlic – Fresh is best!
- Canned evaporated milk
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A Word on Smokers
I use a Traeger Pellet Smoker. I like the pellet smoker vs a wood-fired smoker for a variety of reasons, including temperature precision and ease of use. I can turn it up, turn it down, and can use the Traeger as an oven or a grill (there’s no flame, so you won’t get char, but you can get to a pretty high heat.)
Any smoker will work for this recipe but keep the heat low to around 225-250-F.
How To Make Traeger Smoked Queso
- Preheat your pellet smoker or smoker as per the manufacturer’s directions.
- Brown the chorizo and add the onions and garlic.
- Load everything into a disposable (recyclable) foil pan.
- Smoke it at 225-F for about an hour until all melted, stirring every 30 minutes.
- Add the whole jalapeno to the smoker for the last hour – just set it on the grill.
- Add the evaporated milk and smoke for an additional hour, stirring every 30 minutes.
- Seed and dice the jalapeno and chop it, then add it to the smoked queso.
- Serve and enjoy!
A Word On Using Pans on In The Smoker
Be careful what dishes you use in the smoker because the smoke will ruin the bottom of your pan. If you’re lucky, you can remove the smoke residue with steel wool and an abrasive cleaning powder. I’ve also had some luck with putting down a sheet of parchment paper between the grill and the pan, but this doesn’t seem to help much for long smokes.
I keep an assortment of recyclable foil containers on hand for dishes like this. That way I can just give the empty container a rinse and recycle it with no worries about trying to get the bottom clean.
Chef Jenn’s Tips To Make Perfect Smoked Queso Dip
- Chorizo is great in this recipe, but you can also use sausage, ground beef, or pork. I like chorizo because it has oodles of flavor and a bit of a spicy kick.
- Cooking the onion with the chorizo ensures that it is cooked! If you don’t cook it first, you’re going to end up with crunchy onion bits in your queso.
- Smoked queso Traeger style is perfect for parties and is easily doubled. You’ll just need to add about an extra hour on the smoker to account for the extra ingredients.
- You can cook this smoked queso recipe at a lower heat, but resist the temptation to turn it too high, or your ingredients could dry out around the edges.
- Don’t worry if your queso gets a bit of a film on the top – just stir it in.
- Keep your smoked queso dip warm in a crock pot, or reheat it gently in the microwave.
- If it gets too thick, adding more evaporated milk or even heavy cream will do the trick. Just add a bit at a time, so it doesn’t get too soupy.
What To Serve With This Smoked Queso Recipe
This is one of my favorite recipes for Traeger grills, and it pairs perfectly with your favorite tortilla chips. But I’ve also ladled it over enchiladas, over grilled chicken, and used it as a dip for veggies of all kinds. Experiment and find your favorite way to eat it up!
Is This Traeger Smoker Recipe Freezer-Friendly?
No, unfortunately, this dish won’t freeze. Enjoy it fresh! It will, however, keep in the fridge, if tightly covered, for up to a week. To reheat it, just heat it slowly in a pot on the stove or in the microwave, frequently stirring until it is heated through.
Frequently Asked Questions
This Traeger smoked queso recipe works with a variety of pellets, including applewood, mesquite, or any of the blends.
I cook my queso at about 225-F, but it could go up to 250-F. Don’t cook it any higher, or you run the risk of drying out the edges or baking the bottom of it to the pan.
Well, you can’t smoke it in your kitchen oven, but you can make it on the stovetop (in a non-stick skillet/pot) or cook it low and slow in the oven. A crockpot will also work.
Step By Step Process
- 1/2 pound chorizo sausage
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 14.5 ounce Rotel tomatoes undrained
- 1 pound Velveeta cheese
- 1 jalapeno
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- Preheat the smoker as per manufacturer's directions.
- Remove the chorizo from the casing, if necessary, and brown in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it is cooked through and no longer pink, add the onion and garlic.
- Add the chorizo mixture, Velveeta cut into cubes, shredded cheese, cilantro, and the can of Rotel tomatoes to a 9 x 13 disposable foil pan, or something similar.
- Smoke it at 225-F for about an hour, stirring after 30 minutes to combine all the ingredients. At the one hour mark, add the evaporated milk and mix well. Mix again after another 30 minutes.
- At the one hour mark, add the jalapeno to the smoker. Just set it on the grill.
- Seed and chop the jalapeno and add it to the queso.
A Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.
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