Melty, cheesy, creamy queso made with ground sausage and smoked on the grill infusing the queso with delicious smoky flavor. This queso is amazing!! Perfect for Super Bowl Sunday.
Why You'll Love Smoked Queso.
- Delicious smoky flavor. In only a couple hours on the smoker, this queso is infused with all the delicious flavors of smoke produced by wood pellets or wood chips. You're going go to love every single bite!
- Easy to make. Cook the sausage, mix in all the other ingredients and let the smoker do the rest! This recipe only rehires about 15-20 minutes of hands-on cooking time.
- Loaded with sausage. This queso is hearty! It's loaded with chunks of tasty ground sausage that pairs perfectly with melty cheese dip.
Pit Boss Smoked Queso
To make smoked queso, I love to use our Pit Boss Pellet Grill. It makes smoking so easy! Fill the hopper with your favorite wood pellets and preheat to 250 degrees, then it's time to smoke some queso! This is the exact Pit Boss Pellet Grill that we have, and we love it! You can pretty much cook anything and everything on a pellet grill. It can act as a smoker, grill or oven. I also like that Pit Boss prices are much more reasonable compared to Traeger.
But, if you don't have a Pit Boss, that's perfectly fine! You can use any pellet grill, including a Traeger pellet grill.
When smoking queso on a pellet grill, I recommend keeping the flamer broiler closed, so that there's no direct flame coming into contact with the queso. Direct flames will cook the queso too fast, burning it and not allowing the smoky flavors to infuse into the queso. Smoking queso low and slow is best.
How to Make Pellet Grill Smoked Queso
Making queso on a pellet grill could not be easier! Here's how to do it:
- Step 1: Cook the sausage and onion. Either on the stove or the grill, cook the sausage and chopped onion over medium-high heat until the meat is browned and the onion is soft. The sausage must be fully cooked prior to mixing it with the rest of the ingredients because the low temperature that queso is smoked at isn't hot enough to cook the sausage.
- Step 2: Mix together all the ingredients. Mix the sausage and onion with all the remaining ingredients, including lots of cheese, jalapeño, Rotel, peppers, milk and seasoning.
- Step 3: Smoke the queso. Smoke the queso over indirect heat at 250 degrees for about 2 hours. Make sure you're not cooking the queso over direct heat/direct flame, otherwise the queso will cook to quickly and burn without absorbing the smoky flavor.
- Step 4: Enjoy! Serve the queso fresh off the smoker with tortilla chips.
How to Smoke Queso on a Charcoal Grill.
You can still make smoked queso without a pellet grill! Here's how.
- Step 1: Soak wood chips for 30 minutes, then drain the water.
- Step 2: Place the coals on one half of the grill. Light the coals, and when they're hot and ready to use, place the wood chips on top of the coals.
- Step 3: Place the queso on the opposite half of the grill without the coals/wood chips to smoke the queso over indirect heat. Close the lid and smoke for about 1 hour, stirring a few times while it cooks.
How to Smoke Queso on a Gas Grill.
- Step 1: Prepare the wood chips. To smoke queso on a gas grill, I recommend using a smoker tray, aluminum foil or aluminum tray to hold your soaked wood chips (soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes then drain).
- Step 2: Smoke. Set the burners to high and close the lid. Leave it closed for about 5 to 10 minutes. You should begin to see smoke coming from the gas grill, which is a sign that your wood chips are ready. When the smoking starts, turn the heat down to low. Place the queso on the grill, close the lid and smoke for up to 2 hours, stirring a few times while it cooks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you reheat smoked queso?
Yes! There are a few ways to reheat smoked queso. You can reheat smoked queso on your pellet grill/smoker, in the oven, or in the microwave. Heat, stirring frequently, until bubbling around the edges and heated through to the center.
How do you thin out smoked queso?
If the queso gets too thick, you can mix in a few more splashes of evaporated milk or regular milk to thin it out to your desired consistency.
Can I make smoked queso in the slow cooker or crockpot?
Yes, you can make smoked queso in the slow cooker. To get a smoked taste, try adding 2-3 dashes of liquid smoke, or you can leave it out to make regular queso dip. I personally haven't tried it with liquid smoke, but I have used liquid smoke with other foods.
Cook the sausage and onions on the stove, then transfer to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients. Mix it all together, and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. While serving, turn the slow cooker to the warm setting.
Can I make smoked queso in the oven?
Yes, you can make smoked queso in the oven. To get a smoked taste, try adding 2-3 dashes of liquid smoke, or you can leave it out to make regular queso dip. I personally haven't tried it with liquid smoke, but I have used liquid smoke with other foods.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and cook the queso for about 30-40 minutes, stirring a few times, until all melted together.
What temperature should you smoke queso at?
Smoke queso at 250 degrees for 2 hours, stirring every ½ hour to help the cheese melt and blend together. This also helps infuse the smoke throughout the queso.
What is yellow queso made of?
Yellow queso is made from yellow cheese, such as Original Velveeta and cheddar cheese.
Can I use a disposable aluminum foil pan?
Yes, you can use a disposable aluminum foil pan instead of a cast iron skillet to smoke the queso. Fry the sausage and onion together in a fry pan on the stove, then transfer to the foil pan along with the remaining ingredients.
What is indirect heat?
Indirect heat means cooking the food where it isn't coming into contact with direct heat/direct flames.
On a pellet grill, this just means closing the flame broiler so that no flames are coming though the grill grates. On a charcoal grill, this means only putting coals on half the grill and cooking the food on the opposite half.
Storage & Reheating.
Storing smoked queso.
Smoked queso can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheating smoked queso.
There are a few ways to reheat smoked queso. You may need to add a little extra evaporated milk or regular milk to thin it out as it reheats.
- Pellet grill/smoker: Heat the pellet grill to 350 degrees. Heat the queso uncovered, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 30 minutes.
- Oven: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the queso uncovered, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 30 minutes.
- Microwave: Heat the queso for about 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times, until heated through.
- Slow cooker: Add the queso to the slow cooker and heat for about 1-2 hours on low, stirring often, until heated through.
Variations & Substitutions
- Meat. I like to use Jimmy Dean regular breakfast sausage because it's already pre-seasoned. But, you can use ground pork or ground beef and season it with ½ packet of taco seasoning (don't add the water that the packet calls for).
- Cheese. You can use original Velveeta in place of Queso Blanco Velveeta, if desired. If you do, I recommend using Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese instead of cheddar.
- Jalapeños. The jalapeño adds just a little kick of spice, but you can skip the jalapeño if you don't like spicy foods.
- Evaporated milk. Evaporated milk helps to make queso (or any cheese sauce) silky smooth and keep it from congealing and separating. But, you can substitute milk if needed.
- Stir the dip often. About every ½ hour stir the queso to help the cheese melt and blend together. This also helps infuse the smoke throughout the queso.
- If the queso is too thick or too thin. I think the ½ cup of evaporated milk gives the queso the perfect consistency. But, if the queso gets too thick, you can mix in a few more splashes of evaporated milk to thin it to your desired consistency. If the queso is too thin, add more Velveeta or shredded cheese to thicken it up.
- Keep warm in a slow cooker. While serving, to keep the queso warm, transfer the smoked queso to a slow cooker and set to warm.
Smoked Queso Dip
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound breakfast sausage
- ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 pound Velveeta Queso Blanco
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
- 10 ounces Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (1 can)
- 7 ounces chopped green chiles (1 can)
- ½ - 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (I like to use 1 whole jalapeño)
- ½ cup evaporated milk (not low fat)
- Preheat the smoked to 250 degrees F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (alternatively, you can do this on the grill). Add the sausage and onion. Cook, breaking up the meat, until nicely browned and no longer pink. Mix in the garlic, chili powder and cumin. Cook another minute, then remove from the heat.
- Note: If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can use any fry pan, then transfer the cooked meat and onions to a grill safe dish or a disposable aluminum foil pan before adding the remaining ingredients.
- Into the skillet with the sausage and onions, add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
- Place the queso uncovered on the grill over indirect heat. Close the lid and smoke the queso for 2 hours, stirring about every ½ hour. If the queso gets too thick, you can thin it out with more evaporated milk.
- Enjoy with tortilla chips!
- Cheese: You can use original Velveeta in place of Queso Blanco Velveeta, if desired. If you do, I recommend using Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese instead of cheddar.
- Meat: I like to use Jimmy Dean regular breakfast sausage because it's already pre-seasoned. But, you can use ground pork or ground beef and season it with ½ packet of taco seasoning (don't add the water that the packet calls for).