Smoked Chile Con Queso is a simple dip loaded with a ton of flavor! Toss cooked ground beef with decide tomatoes, green chiles, jalapeños and cheese and smoke it in your grill. Makes about 8 cups.
What is better than a bowl of queso?
A 9×13 pan filled with creamy smoked chile con queso! If you haven’t smoked your queso YOU MUST! It’s deliciously addictive and couldn’t be any easier to make. This recipe makes a lot, so it’s great for a crowd or enjoying all by your self.
Side note: queso is not my favorite thing to photograph.
To Make This Smoked Chile Con Queso You Will Need:
- apple wood chips
- lean ground beef
- yellow onion
- diced tomatoes with green chiles
- taco seasoning
- sharp cheddar cheese
- monterrey jack cheese
- half & half
- tortilla chips
To a large bowl, add lots of apple wood chips bowl and cover with water. Let those soak for no less than 30 minutes.
Next, add 1 pound of 96% lean ground beef, 1/2 a diced yellow onion and 3 cloves minced garlic into a 12-inch skillet.
Use a wooden spatula to break up the meat until fully cooked and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess fat.
Transfer the meat and onion mixture to a disposable aluminum pan. Because these pans tend to be flimsy, I doubled up. BTW this is a 13×9 “stuffing” pan.
To the meat mixture add 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (aka Rotel), 1 chopped medium jalapeño (leave the seeds and ribs in for more heat!).
And then measure and add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning.
Toss those together.
Add the cheese. Yes, I’m using velveeta BUT this is like the only exception in my life. In my opinion, this queso needs it so it doesn’t separate and get all oily.
To that, add 1 (8 ounce) block each of sharp cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack that has been grated on the large holes of your box grater.
Give it all a toss.
Lastly pour 1 cup of half & half over top.
Now prep your grill and smokebox.
First, preheat your grill on high for 15 minutes.
Once hot, clean grates and use tongs to open the smokebox. Use the same tongs to grab the soaked wood chips (2 to 3 tongs full), dripping excess water back into the bowl.
And add to the smokebox and then close the lid. Ignite the burner under the smoke box.
If your grill does not come with a smokebox, you can purchase one online or at hardware store.
Place the dip on the grill grates.
The closer to the smokebox the more smokier the dip.
Close the lid and turn off all the burners with the exception of the one under the smoke box. On my Weber grill, that one burner is enough to keep the grill at 250-300°. Smoke the queso for 30 minutes.
This is it after smoking for 30 minutes.
Cover with foil and close the lid, for 30 more minutes.
Remove, stir and add more half and half to thin the queso out. I usually do this on the grill to keep the dip warm. Alternatively, you could heat the half & half in a saucepan and then gradually add it.
Normally, I would put the pan out and let the crowd devour it. But you could also prep a batch and reheat small amounts if you want.
Enjoy as is or top with pico de gallo – which is equally good.
The flavor of this queso is AMAZING! Cheesy, beefy, subtly spicy and smoky and will no doubt be a hit at your next get together.
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Smoked Chile Con Queso
- 1 pound 96% lean ground beef
- 1 cup diced yellow onion, about 1/2 a large
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 medium jalapeño, diced (leave seeds and ribs for more heat)
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 1½ tablespoons [taco seasoning]
- 16 ounce block processed cheese
- 8 ounce block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 ounce block Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
- 1 cup half and half, plus more as needed
- OTHER EQUIPMENT NEEDED:
- apple wood chips
- disposable aluminum pans, I use 9x13 stuffing size
- heavy duty aluminum foil
- Add 3 to 4 large fistfuls of apple wood chips into a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the lean ground beef into a skillet with onion and garlic. Cover over medium, stirring often and breaking up the meat with a wooden spatula. Cook until no longer pink. Drain and discard any fat in the pan.
- Transfer meat mixture to a disposable pan.
- Then add in diced tomatoes and green chiles, jalapeño, taco seasoning and mix to combine. Add all of the cheese and again, carefully toss to combine.
- Pour in 1 cup half and half.
- Preheat outdoor gas grill on high for 15 minutes.
- Once hot, clean grates and use tongs to open the smokebox. Use the same tongs to grab the soaked wood chips (2 to 3 tongs full), dripping excess water back into the bowl and add to the smokebox and then close the lid. Ignite the burner under the smoke box.
- Close the grill lid, turn off all burners except for the one under the smokebox to maintain a grill temp of 250-300°. You may need to adjust the heat under the smokebox to control the grill temp.
- Smoke the queso for 30 minutes. Then cover with heavy duty foil and continue to "grill" at 250-300° for another 30 minutes.
- Use oven mitts to move the queso to a rimmed baking sheet. Stir well to combine and add more half and half if needed - you can do this on the grill while the dip is warm or heat the half and half in a sauce pan and add it off the grill.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
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