Learn how to make smoked queso dip on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill!
We take you step-by-step through the ingredients and cookware you'll need, how to best set up your Pit Boss pellet grill, and how to smoke the homemade queso dip to perfection!
Smoked queso dip is a fantastic appetizer to prepare on your Pit Boss pellet grill.
Whether you are inviting guests over for the big game and need an appetizer, or just looking to prepare a fun snack for the family, smoked queso prepared right on your Pit Boss pellet grill is hard to eat.
While many people normally prepare their queso dip in a crock pot indoors, nothing beats the smoky flavors and rustic cast iron skillet presentation of a Pit Boss Smoked Queso Dip.
And the best part is it's really easy to make!
Even if you've never made something like this before before, we've got you covered with step by step instructions and a list of exactly what you'll need to make a great smoked queso on your Pit Boss pellet grill.
Let's get started!
If you are going to make great side dishes and appetizers like smoked queso on your Pit Boss, you really need a good cast iron skillet.
When it comes to using cast iron, we like anything from Lodge.
It's already pre-seasoned and has the nice high sides to keep all that bubbly smoked queso contained.
The best part is you can bring it right from the Pit Boss to the table and serve directly from the cast iron skillet for a great rustic presentation that also keep the dip nice and warm!
Now let's talk about what ingredients you'll need to make the Pit Boss Smoked Queso Dip.
Original Velveeta works best for the base of the cheese as it melts smoothly and won't seize up or stick to the cast iron like other cheeses may.
We then added some shredded Colby jack as well.
We also incorporated chorizo sausage into our smoked queso recipe for some extra spice, color, and savory flavor.
However, you can absolutely leave the chorizo out for a meatless option.
Or, you can substitute regular pork sausage, ground beef, ground turkey, or even some leftover pulled chicken or pulled pork if you wish!
Here's what you will need:
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 12 oz Chorizo Sausage (cooked)
- ½ of a Large Jalapeno Pepper (seeded and diced)
- ½ Cup Red Onion (chopped)
- 1 10 oz can Mild Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles (do NOT drain)
- 1 lb Original Velveeta Cheese (cut into cubes)
- 4 oz Colby Jack Cheese (freshly shredded)
You can substitute "Original" Rotel if you wish, but we found this adds A LOT of heat to other queso dips we have made so we opted for the "Mild" Rotel instead.
The Best Wood Pellets for Smoking Queso Dip
Because the smoked queso will have a fairly strong flavor profile on its own, unlike a delicate fish fillet or even chicken breasts, it should hold up well to a stronger smoke flavor like hickory or even mesquite.
It all depends how much smoke flavor you want to incorporate into your Pit Boss Queso.
For the best results, store your unused pellets in a sealed room temperature container like this 20 lb pellet container rather than in the Pit Boss hopper outside.
Pellets do not last forever, but will definitely last a LOT longer if stored indoors in a quality airtight container.
How a Pit Boss Pellet Grill Works
We have previously covered how to season a Pit Boss, how to start a Pit Boss, as well as how to troubleshoot the smoke level of your pellet grill.
So if you need a more in-depth review on how to use your Pit Boss for the first time, check those articles out first!
If you already know your Pit Boss inside and out, feel free to skip this stuff.
But if not, below is a brief overview of how a Pit Boss pellet grill works and how to start it up properly to prepare to smoke your food.
In order to cook ANYTHING well on a Pit Boss pellet grill, you need to first have a basic understanding of how a pellet grill works.
***Completely New to Using a Pellet Grill? No Worries!****
Hop over and check out this Complete Guide to Understanding How a Pellet Grill Works if you are interested in learning more in depth. We'll be here when you get back!***
Add your Hardwood Pellets
First, you add hardwood pellets into the side hopper.
The Pit Boss pellet grill automatically feeds these small wood pellets via an auger mechanism to a fire pot where they are burned up, providing both heat and smokey flavor.
The pellet grill automatically controls the flow of pellets depending on your temperature setting so that you maintain an even temperature throughout the entire cook.
How to Start up the Pit Boss Pellet Grill
- Fill your hopper with pellets as described above.
- Make sure the fire pot is cleaned out from the last cook and not full of ashes. You can remove it from the bottom and dump or vacuum it out and then put back and clip into place.
- Plug in and start up the pellet grill, keeping the lid open. Set the temperature dial to "Smoke" and press the "Power" button.
- If there are no pellets in the auger or firepot yet, only in the hopper, you need to now hold the "Prime" button until you hear pellets begin to drop into the firepot.
- The "Prime" feature on a Pit Boss pellet grill speeds up the auger so that pellets fill it quickly and get to your fire pot before the pellet grill "times out" from a lack of pellets coming into the fire pot.
- Once pellets are in the firepot, stop holding the "Prime" button and wait about 5-7 minutes with the lid open for a torchy burner lighting sound. This means the fire rod has come up to temperature and has ignited the pellets. At this point, a more significant amount of smoke will begin coming out of the pellet grill. This means the pellets are ignited and the pellet grill is working. Now you can close the lid.
- Close the lid and change the temperature setting to 350°F. Pit Boss recommends always preheating to this temperature FIRST, even if you are eventually going to cook at different temperature.
- This will take about 10-15 minutes to preheat the grill.
- Using a good bristle free grill brush, clean off the grill grates.
- Now adjust the temperature to where you need it to cook your food.
Why Bristle Free Grill Brushes?
Check out our Ultimate Guide to How to Keep your Family Safe by using ONLY Bristle Free Grill Brushes, along with a selection of some of our favorites!
Set the Pit Boss Temperature
The best temperature to start smoking your queso on the Pit Boss is going to be 180°F, or the "Smoke" Setting depending on your Pit Boss model.
We just wouldn't recommend smoking the queso any higher than about 300°F on the Pit Boss as you will risk burning your cheese on the bottom of the cast iron pan
For our Pit Boss Smoked Queso, we started at 180°F for the first hour to slowly melt the cheese and incorporate as much smoke flavor as possible.
Then we raised the temperature to 260°F for the last 10-15 minutes to get the dip nice and hot before serving.
Thankfully, in the cast iron pan the smoked queso dip will stay nice and hot for a little while even once you've taken it off the Pit Boss so you don't have to be perfect!
Cook the Meat
One of the best parts of using a 12 inch cast iron skillet is that you can make your Pit Boss smoked queso dip a one pot meal!
First cook your chorizo with a tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in the same cast iron skillet in which you will be smoking the queso dip
Stir occasionally so that the chorizo doesn't burn (Cast Iron can get VERY Hot) and while it is cooking you can chop your onion and jalapeno and shred the colby jack cheese.
Once the chorizo is cooked after about 10-15 minutes remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
Dice the Vegetables and Shred the Cheese
Cut your jalapeno in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with the edge of your knife, otherwise the smoked queso dip will be VERY spicy. Then dice up half of the jalapeno pepper.
Then, dice your onion, and cut a pound of your Velveeta cheese into 1 inch cubes.
Next, you'll need to shred the colby jack cheese.
Make sure to shred your own fresh block of colby jack rather than using pre-shredded cheese.
Pre-shredded cheese, while convenient, is coated in cellulose to keep it from clumping up in the package.
Unfortunately, this also keeps the cheese from melting as easily and from absorbing moisture and smokey flavor in the Pit Boss.
This is exactly the opposite of what we want to happen so make sure to grate your own cheese.
If you need a good cheese grater we are fans of this rotary style one from Zulay.
Its makes quick and easy work of grating large amounts of cheese and you don't risk scrapping for finger tips off!
Incorporate the Ingredients and Smoke the Queso Dip
Next you add the ingredients to the cooked chorizo sausage in the cast iron skillet.
Stir as best you can until everything is combined and place the skillet in the Pit Boss.
Avoid placing the skillet directly in the center of the Pit Boss over the fire pot.
We find even on LOW temperature settings it can get much hotter directly over the fire pot and you risk burning the cheese in your cast iron skillet.
Stir every 5-10 minutes or so as the cheese begins to melt.
Continue stirring throughout the cook about every 10 minutes so that the queso can absorb as much smoke as possible on the Pit Boss.
This will prevent the smoked queso from forming a "skin" on top and keeping the smoke out.
Finish at a Higher Temperature
After about an hour the cheese should all be melted and have absorbed plenty of smoky flavor.
However, we found we wanted our smoked queso a little hotter than the 180°F smoking temperature was providing us.
So after an hour, turn the temperature on your Pit Boss up to 260°F and close the lid. Let the smoked queso cook here for another 10-15 minutes to get a little hotter and easier to stir and dip into.
If you want to go hotter or longer, feel free. But just make sure to stir occasionally and watch for any burning on the bottom.
If you find the smoked queso to have gotten a little too thick while cooking, you can stir in about ¼ cup of beer or water to thin it back out.
The best part about smoking your Pit Boss Smoked Queso in a cast iron pan is that you can bring the pan right to the table to serve from to your guests!
Cast iron retains heat incredibly well and also makes for a more fun presentation than a boring old slow cooker.
Top the smoked queso with some diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro for extra color and a nicer presentation!
If you are looking for more fun smoked appetizers to make on your Pit Boss, make sure to also check out our Smoked Cream Cheese and Smoked Cream Cheese Dip, as well as our Smoked Jalapeno Poppers and Smoked Pig Shots!
Pit Boss Smoked Queso
- 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
- Wooden Spoon
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Cheese Grater
- Can Opener
- Pit Boss Pellet Grill
- Wood Pellets preferably oak, hickory, or a blend.
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 12 oz Chorizo Sausage cooked
- ½ of a Large Jalapeno Pepper seeded and diced
- ½ Cup Red Onion chopped
- 10 oz can of Mild Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles do NOT drain
- 1 lb Original Velveeta Cheese cut into cubes
- 4 oz Colby Jack Cheese freshly shredded
- ¼ Cup Beer optional to thin out
- Diced Tomatoes optional to top with
- Fresh Chopped Cilantro optional to top with
Start the Pit Boss Pellet Grill
- Remove the fire pot from the bottom of the Pit Boss and clean out any ashes left over from the last cook. Replace it and make sure it is secured in place with the clips on either side.
- Add your pellets to the hopper, start the Pit Boss pellet grill and put it on the "Smoke" setting.
- If there are no pellets in the auger, hold the "Prime" button until you hear pellets begin falling in the fire pot. This will speed up the auger to prime it full of pellets before you start preheating.
- Once the Pit boss begins to produce thick white smoke, let it run for about 5-7 minutes on the "Smoke" Setting, leaving the lid open, until the smoke turns more of a clearish blue color. This means the fire rod has fully heated up to burn the pellets more cleanly.
- Next, set the temperature to preheat the Pit Boss pellet grill to 350°F. We will drop this temperature before we start cooking.
- Once the Pit Boss has come up to 350°F, drop the temperature on the control panel to 180°, or the "Smoke" setting if your Pit Boss has that, and clean the grill grates with a good grill brush and close the lid.
Cook the Chorizo
- Heat the olive oil in the cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat.1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Add the chorizo and cook for about 10-15 minutes until it is fully cooked, stirring often.12 oz Chorizo Sausage
- Remove the cast iron skillet from the heat and set aside.
Dice the Vegetables and Shred the Cheese
- Cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with the edge of a knife, otherwise the smoked queso dip will be VERY spicy. Then dice up half of the jalapeno pepper.½ of a Large Jalapeno Pepper
- Then, dice the onion, and cut a pound of the Velveeta cheese into small 1 inch cubes.½ Cup Red Onion, 1 lb Original Velveeta Cheese
- Next, shred the colby jack cheese using cheese grater.4 oz Colby Jack Cheese
Smoke the Queso in the Pit Boss
- Add the pepper, onion, cheeses, and the can of Rotel tomatoes (Do NOT drain first) to the skillet with the chorizo.10 oz can of Mild Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
- Stir to incorporate as best you can and then place the skillet in the Pit Boss cooking chamber set to 180°F or "Smoke."
- Take care to not place the skillet directly in the center above the firepot or it may get too hot.
- Stir the queso every 10 minutes or so until the cheese has mostly melted and continue to smoke at this temperature for 1 HOUR.
- After an hour on the Pit Boss, increase the temperature to 260°F to cook for the last 10-15 minutes to get the queso nice and hot to serve.
- If the queso appears to have gotten more thick than you would like, you can add up to ¼ cup of beer to thin it back out. Make sure to stir well afterwards.¼ Cup Beer
- Carefully remove the smoked queso dip from the Pit Boss to a heat proof surface or trivet.
- Optionally top with extra diced tomatoes and chopped cilantroDiced Tomatoes, Fresh Chopped Cilantro
- Serve with tortilla chips directly from the cast iron skillet.