Smoked Queso

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Smoked Queso is a whole new level of cheese dips! It’s a peppery, savory, hearty blend that you can scoop up and enjoy with bread, pretzels, veggies, and more! This creamy, melty, and spicy Velveeta cheese dip is sure to stir up anyone’s appetite… The only danger is filling up on this delicious smoked queso before the main course arrives!!

smoked queso

Smoked Queso

Your smoker can totally redefine even the most simple recipes! When you make this easy Velveeta recipe in the smoker, you’ll see (or taste!) what I mean – that subtle smoky flavor combined with Mexican spices, sweet barbecue seasonings, and creamy melty cheese is to die for!!

smoked cheese dip ingredients.


Since you’ll have a couple hours to kill while the smoked cheese dip is cooking, you have more than enough time to whip up some air fryer tortilla chips to serve on the side!

Or, if you’re like me, you’ll just love pairing your dip with these soft pretzel bites!

pouring beer into queso ingredients.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Ground Pork – Don’t skip browning the meat beforehand for the best flavor and texture!

    If you don’t want to use ground pork, then turkey, chicken, or beef works, too. You can even use a meat substitute with a similar texture!
  • Velveeta Cheese – The star of the show! Nothing melts or tastes quite like it, so try not to substitute.
  • Shredded Queso Manchego – Also known as Mexican cheddar cheese.

    Its closest cheese cousin (in taste, that is) is Monterey Jack, which would make a great substitute!
  • Beer – I use an IPA, but go with your beer of choice! There aren’t really any bad options – lagers, ales, stouts, and pilsners all pair well with cheese. 
  • Pickled Jalapenos – Add more or less depending on your spice tolerance.

    And those with no spice tolerance to speak of may want to opt for pickled banana peppers instead!

    You’ll get a bit of heat, that vinegar taste, and iconic pepper texture without burning your taste buds. 
  • Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles – Don’t drain! The juice inside is like liquid gold for our smoked cheese dip. 
  • Sweet BBQ Rub – This is an optional blend, but I think it ties in with the spicy and smoky flavors in this Velveeta cheese dip just perfectly! 
pan of queso ingredients.

Things to Know Before Making Smoked Queso

  • Best Dippers For Serving – Aside from the aforementioned chips and soft pretzels, you can spoon this cheesy masterpiece over fries or baked potato wedges or skins, slice up a French or Italian loaf for scooping, or even pair with crisp veggies like celery, carrots, or bell peppers!
  • Extras to Add In – I’ll only say it once – bacon!! That would be so tasty along with the peppery BBQ flavor.

    But some other great add-ins include black or pinto beans, fresh herbs like cilantro or Mexican oregano, and sauteed onion. 
  • Choosing Your Wood Chips – Any flavor of wood chip pairs well with smoked queso!

    Just consider the flavor you’re going for – for example, you have fruity woods like apple and peach versus rich and robust options like hickory and oak.
mixing smoked queso ingredients.

Storing and Serving Smoked Queso Dip

Leftover dip can be stored for up to two days – the ground pork shortens its fridge life a little bit.

Reheat it on the stovetop or in your slow cooker depending on how quick you want it! 

You can always microwave as well, but do so in really short bursts (I’m talking 10-15 seconds) and stir in between so the top doesn’t burn and bubble before the center gets warm. 

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Smoker – Wood pellet varieties allow extra flavor to be infused into whatever you’re smoking, like my smoked cream cheese. This is my favorite blend of pellets that I use for just about everything!
  • An aluminum pan is perfect for smoked appetizers – it can go right in the smoker, is convenient for serving, and can simply be thrown away at the end of the meal!
  • Garlic Press – This is a necessary tool in any kitchen to add fresh minced garlic flavor. And trust me, when it comes to smoked cheese dip, that fresh garlic taste makes all the difference!
spoon of smoked queso

Smoked Queso FAQ

How do you thin out smoked queso?

As we’re working with cheese, you’ll want to be a bit choosey with the liquids you use to thin out your queso. Milk, half and half, or heavy cream would be my first recommendations – their creaminess is the best match!

The brine liquid in your pickled jalapenos can also be used! It’ll add a real intense flavor, of course, and is best if you only want to thin things out just a smidge.

What is real queso made of?

Authentic queso is made with evaporated milk or regular milk, cheese, and cornstarch. 

How do you keep smoked queso warm?

I like to keep my cheese dip warm in a crockpot if I’m serving over an extended period of time! 

Once my dip is done smoking, I transfer to my slow cooker and cover on a low heat. Just remember to stir every once in a while to prevent the surface from hardening and the bottom from burning!

smoked queso with chips and pretzels.

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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smoked queso in aluminum pan.

smoked cheese dip

Smoked Queso

Donna Elick
Smoked Queso is easy to make, serve, and eat! Make my smoked cheese dip recipe in your smoker for the ultimate sweet and smoky starter!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Method Smoker
Servings 20

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound ground pork, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded queso Manchego, (Mexican cheddar cheese)
  • 8 ounces IPA, or beer of choice
  • 20 ounces canned diced tomatoes with green chiles, and the liquid
  • 3/4 cup pickled jalapenos, or more for a spicier queso
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons sweet BBQ rub, optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
  • Add all ingredients to a 9×13 aluminum pan and stir well to combine.
  • Smoke uncovered for 2 hours, or until the cheese melts, stirring every hour.

Donna’s Notes

The dip can be smoked for up to 4 hours if desired.
1 serving equals approximately ½ cup smoked queso.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 123cal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 316mg | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
smoked queso dip recipe.

Originally published November 2022

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5 Comments

  1. Hello. This looks really good but I don’t have a smoker. You’ve mentioned the microwave, but what about the oven? At what temperature and for how long?

    1. Dorothy, in same shoes here; No Smoker, so made this in my large crockpot; setting on low and stirring every so often. I do use ground beef or even mild Italian sausage or 1/2 beef and 1/2 sausage.

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