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Smoked Queso with Real Cheese

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    Smoked Queso with Real Cheese

    I have seen a ton of people on FB posting smoked queso. Most of those recipes use Velveeta but I wanted to give it a shot with real cheese. Nothing wrong with Velveeta but I know a lot of people have an aversion to it so I wanted to try this and see if it worked.

    Click image for larger version

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    For my normal queso I use cheese, water, and sodium citrate. The sodium citrate breaks down the cheese proteins and makes a nice, smooth queso from real cheese without having to use a bechamel or anything like that. So I translated that into this smoked queso recipe.

    You can scale this up and down easily using bakers percentages and going 100% cheese, 50-60% water, and 4% sodium citrate. Then add whatever else you want like meat, tomatoes, peppers, etc.
    • 1000 grams Cheese - Pepper jack and sharp cheddar is what I used. Feel free to change that up. Smoked gouda would be great in here. You can use plain jack cheese and add a can of jalapenos too.
    • 500 grams Water
    • 40 grams Sodium Citrate
    • 1000 grams Meat - I used leftover carne asada skirt steak but any good ground sausage would work. Chorizo would be excellent in here.
    • 1 can Rotel I used mild Rotel but use whatever type you want. If you don't like much spice at all a can of fire roasted tomatoes would be a good option
    • 2 tbsp BBQ Rub - Any good BBQ rub will work here. I would lean more towards a spicy rub than a sweet rub and used Meat Church Holy Voodoo. Holy Voodoo is pretty salty and the end product was definitely on the salty side of things but not overwhelming. If you use a salt free rub you might want to put a couple pinches of salt in.
    Put it all in a pan (I used a cast iron dutch oven) and throw it on the smoker running at ~350 for about a hour stirring once or twice throughout the cooking process. I used some oak wood and charcoal on my new SNS kettle. I went pretty heavy on the smoke and maybe could have used a bit less but the end product was delicious. With the smoke flavor and the carne asada it was a pretty rich queso.

    Click image for larger version

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    All in all it was nice to see that the sodium citrate did its thing here and made a nice, smooth queso. Everything melted great and came together nicely and tasted great. It reheated great too. Can't wait to make this stuff again.

    And for you more visual people here is a video:



    If you want to read more I wrote more about it here: Smoked queso with real cheese but all the relevant information is above.

    #2
    I've made something similar with Velveeta and it was good. This I'm betting is much better.

    Comment


    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      If you like the taste of Velveeta, try adding some freshly grated Muenster or Gruyere. Both melt well and will take the Velveeta up a notch.

    #3
    Thanx - always lookin for a smokey party snack.

    Comment


    • JoeSousa
      JoeSousa commented
      Editing a comment
      Since it is so rich it would be perfect for a party snack as a dip or something like that. Not sure this is what you would want to drench your nachos in (although I did that) but having out on a snack table would be great.

    #4
    Awesome. Since I have tried sodium citrate I don't think I could do it any other way. Thanks for posting.

    Comment


      #5
      That looks great! I feel a little bad getting queso tips from someone in Washington. They're gonna kick me out of Texas.

      Comment


      • JoeSousa
        JoeSousa commented
        Editing a comment
        BFlynn Just to make things even do you have any salmon or apple tips for me?

      #6
      That looks delicious, Brother!!!

      Thanks fer sharin with us, I'll be makin this sooner, rather than later...

      I so LOVE that ya used th real cheeses....I likeys Velveeta jus fine, but usin th real cheeses opens up countless other doors to Flavourtown!!!!

      I might make it straight offa th rack, first run, but I already wanna sub Guinness, or broth...(I never hardly use water as an ingredient, jus a cookin medium... )

      Comment


      • JoeSousa
        JoeSousa commented
        Editing a comment
        Mr. Bones Never thought about using beer in this. That would definitely be good. Apples are great dunked in regular queso so I would think a nice hard cider could be good as well.

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        JoeSousa What planted th idea was my love of beer cheese soup, but yup, even cider might be a nice combo, as well...
        Loves me some Angry Orchard Green Apple, every now an again...
        Last edited by Mr. Bones; July 20, 2020, 06:29 PM.

      #7
      Finally made this today as I was smoking some pastrami on the KBQ so the temps were lower - about 225*

      For the meat I used leftover beef Dino rib meat and a 5 oz. piece of homemade tasso. Also added 4 hot Hatch chilis. Here it is as I pulled it off the KBQ (I tasted it and it has enough smoke) and it will finish in the oven.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	smoked_queso.jpg Views:	12 Size:	5.09 MB ID:	943442
      Last edited by 58limited; November 21, 2020, 10:01 PM.

      Comment


      • JoeSousa
        JoeSousa commented
        Editing a comment
        58limited It can be on the salty side. The sodium citrate does add quite a bit of saltiness.

      • 58limited
        58limited commented
        Editing a comment
        Adding tasso probably didn't help things in the salt department. Simple fix, I'll add more cheese.

      • 58limited
        58limited commented
        Editing a comment
        Took the lazy way out and added a block of EasyMelt (HEB's store version of American Cheese) and it cut the salt enough for me - I know that defeats the purpose of using real cheese but this has over 1000gm real cheese in it so I'm happy and it is good. I also added an extra can of Rotels but ended up adding some milk because it was too thick: chips kept breaking. Ended up with 4 quarts for the freezer which is great, pre-made dip for holiday gatherings. Thanks for posting this recipe!

      #8
      all the things I see around here that I add to my "to do list" and you go and make a post that gets added to my "wife said I will do list"

      Comment


        #9
        Hmm. I've been thinking of making my own 'American cheese' by using sodium citrate and sharp cheddar, etc. Does this set up at room temp? If not, would simply dropping the water do that I wonder?

        Comment


        • JCGrill
          JCGrill commented
          Editing a comment
          Google making cheese slices or Velveeta. It's just a matter of getting the ratio right. Here's a site I reference frequently.
          https://www.amazingfoodmadeeasy.com/...sodium-citrate

        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          Refrigerate and use a delislicer

        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          It turns out there's another ingredient to add if you want it to firm up more: https://blog.modernistpantry.com/wtf...metaphosphate/

          That's about a 12 minute video but the upshot is that you want to use about 3% (by cheese weight) of sodium citrate and about 0.1% of the sodium hex. The latter produces a firmer finished product so you would NOT use it for a queso.

        #10
        Using cheese instead of (cant bring myself to mention the V word) is a game changer.

        Comment


          #11
          Real Cheese . . . must be up grade from Velveeta.

          Comment


            #12
            My wife loves Velveeta so we always have a big block of it in the fridge. Since I am not sure what cheese food is, I tend to avoid it. Of course, I like a good McRib, so who am I to criticize Velveeta...

            Comment


            • Bkhuna
              Bkhuna commented
              Editing a comment
              Velveeta is to cheese what Rosie O'Donnell is to woman.

            • klflowers
              klflowers commented
              Editing a comment
              Bkhuna that is so wrong lol

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