Smoked Queso Recipe

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This smoked queso recipe is big, bold, and flavorful. It’s a family favorite and I also love to bring it to potlucks. The smoky flavor gives it a little extra punch that surprises people and has them asking me for the recipe.

Smoked Queso: Ready to Eat

Keep reading to find out how to make this smoked cheese dip, the best types of wood chips to use, and tips for cooking smoked queso on the grill.

Ingredients

Smoked Queso Ingredients: See Text for Details
  • 32 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1 lb. chorizo
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. canned green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, optional

How To Fix Thick Smoked Queso

Queso has a tendency to thicken quickly. Since we’re letting it hang out in the smoker for quite some time, there is a chance that it can be a little too thick for dipping when we’re ready to eat.

The quick fix is to have some heavy cream or whole milk on hand. Once your queso has finished smoking, check to be sure it’s still creamy. If it needs a little help, stir in cream or milk, about ¼ cup at a time This will get the smoked cheese dip back to your desired consistency.

Instructions

Here are all the steps to make this cheesy smoked queso. While you prepare everything, preheat your smoker or grill to 250°F (121°C). 

Step 1 – Brown the Chorizo

Browning Chorizo for Smoked Queso

In a large skillet, heat the chorizo until it’s completely cooked through and starts to brown. This takes about 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Drain the chorizo using a slotted spoon or placing it on a towel-lined plate to soak up the excess grease.

Step 2 – Soak the Wood Chips

Soaking Wood chips for Smoked Queso

If using wood chips, I recommend using mesquite or hickory. I used mesquite for this recipe and absolutely loved the flavor.

Soak the wood chips for 5-10 minutes before putting them in the smoker. They will take a little longer to start producing smoke, but they’ll smoke for longer without needing to be replaced.

You will likely need to replace the wood chips once during the smoking process. Replace wood chips when they stop producing smoke or if the smoke they are producing has a burnt odor. 

Step 3 – Combine the Ingredients

Combining Ingredients for Smoked Queso

Cut the Velveeta into 1-inch cubes and add it to a 9×13 aluminum pan. Top with the cooked chorizo, the green chiles, onion powder, and 1-2 minced chipotle peppers with a little bit of the adobo sauce.

Shred the cheddar cheese and sprinkle it over the top. 

Step 4 – Smoke the Queso

Smoking Queso

Place the pan in your smoker or on the top rack in your grill.

Step 5 – Stir the Queso

Stirring Smoked Queso

Cook for a total of two hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes.

Cookware Used

Smoker or Grill: You can make this delicious smoked queso recipe in a smoker or on the grill. I used an electric smoker and had great results. For more grill tips, see below.

Aluminum Pan: I like using a disposable aluminum pan for this because it makes cleaning up a breeze. But you could absolutely use a metal pan that is grill-safe or a cast iron skillet.

Large Heat-Proof Spoon: While we don’t cook this smoked cheese dip at a very high temperature, you still want to avoid using a utensil that could melt or fall apart while stirring.

Pellet Smoker vs. Wood Smoker

A wood smoker is a more affordable option when compared to a pellet smoker. Wood smokers have a box near the bottom for wood chips and produce a stronger smoky flavor that will not overpower your food. The downside to wood smokers is that you do need to replace the wood chips every few hours for recipes that require longer smoke times.

Pellet smokers are more expensive but give precise temperature control. They also produce smoke using pellets in a small chamber that are heated using an electric igniter. These pellets are sent automatically and so there is no need to replace anything while cooking using a pellet smoker.

How To Choose Wood Chips for Smoking

If you’re new to smoking and use a wood smoker, the options for wood chips can be overwhelming. There are several kinds of chips that all produce different flavors. Apple, cherry, and maple are three very common types. They’re all quite mild and can be combined for sweet, subtle, and fruity flavors.

Hickory and mesquite produce a strong smoked flavor. Since this queso recipe has other bold flavors, like chorizo, I recommend using one of these to get a stronger flavor that stands out.

Smoked Queso on a Gas Grill

If you don’t have a wood smoker or a pellet smoker, that’s okay! You can easily make this smoked queso recipe on your gas grill. Follow the same steps above, but when you place the pan on your grill, be sure to avoid the actual grill grates. You want the queso to be on the top rack, never in contact with flame.

To create the smoke, soak your wood chips in water for 30 minutes and then drain them. Create a pouch out of aluminum foil and poke holes in it to allow the smoke to come out. Place the wood chip pouch directly on your grill grates and it will start producing smoke within about 20 minutes.

Smoked Queso Variations

Since my favorite recipes are always customizable, this queso fits the bill. I love trying different ingredients and flavor combinations. Here are some of my favorite smoked queso ingredients for different flavors.

  • Taco-spiced ground beef
  • Cream cheese
  • Fire roasted red peppers
  • Pickled Jalapenos
  • Cilantro
  • Black beans

What To Serve With Smoked Queso

While tortilla chips are my weapon of choice, there are so many other options to dip in this smoked cheese dip.

  • Crostini
  • Fried tortillas, corn or flour
  • Raw veggies like peppers, carrots, celery, or cauliflower
  • Soft pretzels
  • Fries or potato wedges
  • Crackers

Now, It’s Your Turn!

Smoked Queso Served and Ready to Eat

Run, don’t walk, to your smoker. This smoked queso recipe is so simple but so flavorful. The perfect snack for game days or for family BBQs. Get creative with the ingredients and make this recipe your own.

Be sure to get a strong smoked flavor from your wood chips to pair with the other bold ingredients. Oh, and definitely don’t forget to stock up on the chips. 

Print

Smoked Queso Recipe

This smoked queso recipe is big, bold, and flavorful. The smoky flavor gives it a little extra punch that surprises people and has them asking me for the recipe.

  • Author: Beatriz Garcia
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Texan
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 32 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1 lb. chorizo
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. canned green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 12 chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, optional

Instructions

Here are all the steps to make this cheesy smoked queso. While you prepare everything, preheat your smoker or grill to 250°F (121°C). 

Brown the Chorizo

In a large skillet, heat the chorizo until it’s cooked through and starts to brown. This takes about 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Drain the chorizo to remove the excess grease.

Prepare the Wood Chips

I recommend using mesquite or hickory wood chips.

 Soak the wood chips for 5-10 minutes then put them in the smoker. It will take a little longer to start producing smoke, but they’ll smoke for longer without needing to be replaced.

 Replace wood chips when they stop producing smoke or if the smoke they are producing has a burnt odor. Likely this is once during the process.

Combine the Ingredients

Cut the Velveeta into 1-inch cubes and add it to a 9×13 aluminum pan. Top with the cooked chorizo, the green chiles, onion powder, and 1-2 minced chipotle peppers with a little bit of the adobo sauce.

Shred the cheddar cheese and sprinkle it over the top. 

Smoke and Stir the Queso

Place the pan in your smoker or on the top rack in your grill. Cook for a total of two hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes.

Tried this Recipe?

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