Queso is a type of Mexican delicacy that is a major crowd-pleaser. It can be prepared in many different ways but what most people don’t know is that it can also be smoked. The smoky flavors give the dish a different taste and texture.
There are a series of ingredients one can incorporate to make queso a dish worth a second serving. The crockpot method of preparation is common but the smoked version tastes better. To smoke queso, you can either use a smoker or bbq grill.
How to Smoke Queso?
1. Vegetables and Sausage Preparation
The major components of queso are vegetables and sausages. Depending on your desire, you can choose to cut the sausages into large or little pieces.
The veggies include onions and bell peppers. They are cut, then added to the sausages in a heating pan.
Drain the extra oils and fats from the mixture after letting them cook till done.
Transfer the well-cooked meat and vegetable mixture to a different, preferably disposable pan made of aluminum foil.
Add seasoning, green chilies, Velveeta, mushroom soup, diced tomatoes (Rotel), and cubed cheese. You can add more ingredients and a variety of seasonings according to your taste.
2. Setting up the Smoker
Queso is best smoked under a temperature of 350° F. Place the wood chips inside the smoker box above the burner.
You should then turn the heat up to the mentioned temperature and give the wood chips time to get heated and start producing smoke.
Light-flavored wood chips such as apple and cherry are best for queso because it is a light meals that shouldn’t be overpowered by a smoke flavor that is too strong. This would make the meal’s original flavor get overshadowed by the wood flavor.
Once the smoke starts forming, place the aluminum pan with the prepared ingredients on the opposite side of the grill or smoker’s grate.
3. Cooking Time
The time taken for the meal to get ready is between 45 to 60 minutes – depending on the amount of food prepared.
Open the smoker’s top every 15 minutes and stir the mixture with a spoon.
The cheese starts melting at the slightest contact with heat and by the time you’re done cooking, it should have melted away. The combination turns into a thick, bubbly, melted, and smoke-flavored delicacy.
How to Modify Smoked Queso for Better Taste?
A recipe can be modified using as many different ingredients as there can be. The one prepared above is kid-friendly since it does not involve the addition of hot and spicy ingredients.
If you prefer your meals with a deeper touch of spices, here are additional ingredients to consider:
- Cayenne pepper
- Poblano peppers
- Drained black beans
- Shredded or cubed cheese
- Smoked beef brisket
- Ground beef
- Jalapeno (fresh)
- Green chilies (canned)
- Fresh cilantro
- Jalapeno (pickled)
You can add more spices to this list as per your liking. You can also experiment with different types of meat, for example, if you use ground beef this time, the next time you can go for leftover brisket, and so on.
Customized recipes are the best way to prepare smoked queso. Every time, it comes with a new flavor.
Smoked Queso Recipe
- Gas/electric grill or smoker
- Disposable pan (made of aluminum foil)
- Cooking gloves
- Stirring spoon
- 1 bell pepper (red and diced)
- 1 diced onion
- Cream cheese- 4 oz
- Mushroom soup- 5 oz (creamed)
- ½ Tablespoon cumin
- Velveeta- ½ lb
- ⅛ tablespoon of adobo seasoning
- Browned sausage- ½ lb
- Rotel diced tomatoes- 5 oz
- Number of servings: 8
Time required: 15 minutes of preparation and 45 minutes for cooking.
Total time taken: 1 hour
The ingredients measurements can be adjusted proportionally to suit your required number of servings.
- Put the sliced sausages, bell pepper, and onions in one pan and cook them till brown.
- Drain away the excess grease after the mixture is well cooked.
- Take a disposable pan and put the cooked sausages and vegetables in it.
- Add all the other ingredients, sliced, diced, or cubed into the aluminum foil pan.
- Set the smoker’s temperature at 350° F and let the wood chips preheat for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Place the queso inside the smoker and let it cook for 15 minutes.
- Take the stirring spoon and turn the mixture for about 5 minutes, till the melted cheese makes a thick paste with the other ingredients.
- Turn down the heat to 275° F and leave the food to cook for 15 more minutes.
- Check if every piece of cheese is melted by stirring again. If that’s done, turn off the smoker and remove the food from it.
- Let it rest for a while before serving it alongside other preferred dishes.
In conclusion, Queso can be as simple or complex as you’d like to make it. The ingredients used play a major role in determining this. If you prefer your food hot and spicy, jalapenos among other spices will come in handy. But, if not, the above-provided recipe is ideal.