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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Smokey Beef Queso

It's tailgating season! Time to gather around and eat some good grub 
while watching the big game.
This Smokey Beef Queso is PERFECT with a crunchy tortilla chip.

This post is sponsored by the Iowa Beef Council.

Smokey Beef Queso #ad #iowabeefcouncil

It's been a weird year.

This is exactly why I wanted to bring you COMFORT FOOD when again partnering with my good friends at the Iowa Beef Council this month. We all need a great big hug.

Any other year we'd be up early with the sun and tailgating on any given Saturday. With fans not being in the stands this year and sports a bit more limited, our weekend plans are looking a bit different.

But, that doesn't mean we can't eat the yummy tailgating foods, right?

Smokey Beef Queso #ad #iowabeefcouncil

Some media sources are now calling this trend "homegating".  It makes sense - we aren't crowding stadiums and parking lots this Fall, but instead we are watching the games at home in much smaller groups.  Homegate or tailgate, bring on the food!

Even if you aren't a sports fan, I think most will admit they'll happily go along with the cheers and boos if they can grab a plate of good grub in the process. I'll admit I'm a HUGE sports fan {thank you Big Ten for finally getting your act together and bringing back football}, but I'm also there for the delicious eats.

At these events finger foods reign supreme, while simultaneously balancing an overloaded plate on our lap. When the Iowa Beef Council and I started researching this month's recipe, we both agreed that these special finger foods cannot be overlooked just because we are watching games differently this year.

So queso it was!

Smokey Beef Queso #ad #iowabeefcouncil

Queso has always been one of my favorite appetizers. Do I really need to explain why? Multiple cheeses melted together around tomatoes and chilies and meat and spices.

What is there not to love?

Last year we bought a smoker {and by we, I mean my husband}. It really is his "thing" I just reap the benefits.

So when queso was decided on I figured I better take this batch UP A NOTCH so it could have an edge over all other quesos.  Let's smoke it!

Don't worry if you don't have a smoker I give both crockpot and oven directions in the recipe card below as well.  I didn't forget about you guys! But you will want to grab a small bottle of liquid smoke to mimic that same underlying "smokey" taste.

Smokey Beef Queso #ad #iowabeefcouncil

In this queso I combined easy, peasy ground beef with two cheeses, canned Rotel and diced chiles, diced onion and my favorite guacamole salsa {any green salsa will do}.

I wanted to use ground beef because 1) that is what most of you have readily available in your freezers and 2) it is the cut of beef that works best in any cheesy dip. It mingles well with all the other ingredients and is small enough to handle and stick to tortilla chips when scooping up this tasty stuff.

Trust me, you'll be scooping up lots of this cheesy queso.

After you remove this from your smoker, those undertones of "hickory smoke" are what make this queso unique from others. It gives it another complete level of flavor! And for those putting this together in the crockpot or simply melting it all together in the oven, those two teaspoons of liquid smoke you add will do the same thing.

Just look at this drip!

Smokey Beef Queso #ad #iowabeefcouncil

Who is ready to try this gameday treat out?

I cannot wait to see your photos and hear your stories of utter bliss when you give this one a try.  Don't faint at the first bite! It's that good, be careful.

Be sure to tag me {@sweetsavoryeats} and the Iowa Beef Council {@iowabeefcouncil} when sharing on social media. We'll be watching.

For more beef tailgating recipes, be sure to check out this complete list of tailgating food treasures.

A big thanks to the Iowa Beef Council for sponsoring this post.

Smokey Beef Queso

Smokey Beef Queso
Yield: 3 quarts
Author: Ally
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 45 Min
Need a great tailgating recpe? It's queso time! This smokey beef queso is FULL of flavor. The perfect appetizer for game watching. Directions for the smoker, crockpot or oven.


Smokey Beef Queso
  • 2 lbs Original Velveeta, cubed
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef, cooked
  • 2 14.5 oz cans Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 oz can diced chiles
  • 2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Herdez guacamole salsa (or any green salsa)
  • 2 t liquid smoke (if cooking in the crockpot or oven)


For the smoker
  1. Combine all the ingredients  into a double layered 9x13 reusable alumimum tin foil pan. Stir well to make sure all is combined.
  2. Over indirect heat light and start your smoker, adding two hickory blocks to the charcoal.
  3. Bring the smoker to between 250-300 degrees.
  4. Place the pan on the smoker grate and close the lid.  Give the queso at least 15 minutes before giving it a stir. After that continue to stir every 5-7 minutes until completely melted. It should take around 35 minutes.
  5. Remove from the smoker and eat immediately with tortilla chips.
  6. Store leftovers in storage containers and keep in the fridge for up to a week.
For the crockpot
  1. Place all the ingredients (including the liquid smoke) into a large crockpot and stir to combine.
  2. Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours or until melted.
  3. Keep on WARM while eating/serving with tortilla chips.
  4. Store leftovers in storage containers and keep in the fridge for up to a week.
For the oven
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients (including the liquid smoke) into a double layered 9x13 reusable alumimum tin foil pan. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook in the oven for one hour or until completely melted.
  4. Remove from the oven and serve warm with tortilla chips.
  5. Store leftovers in storage containers and keep in the fridge for up to one week.


Cook times listed are for the SMOKER. The prep time for the crockpot is 10 minutes, cook time is 2-3 hours. The prep time for the oven is 10 minutes, cook time is around an hour.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @sweetsavoryeats on instagram and hashtag it #smokeybeefqueso
Created using The Recipes Generator

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