Smoked Chili Con Queso Taco Dip
A hot cheesy appetizer sure to inspire excessive celebration.
- 1 pound ground Italian Sausage, mild or hot
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3 tablespoons packaged low-sodium taco seasoning or the taco seasoning recipe below
- 1 (28 oz) black beans, drained
- 1 (14 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drain and reserve juice
- 1 (7oz) can diced green chilies, drained
- 1/2 cup chunky picante sauce, mild or medium
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 sweet bell pepper, red or green, chopped
- 2 (8 oz) package shrdded sharp cheddar cheese (4 cups)
- 1 (10 oz) package quesadilla cheese, cut in chunks
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) cream cheese, more if needed for thickening
- 1 lime
Taco Seasoning Ingredients
- 1 tbsp chili powder blend
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Use a full load of Primo lump charcoal. Place 1 apple or pecan wood chunk at one end of the Primo Ceramic Grill. On the opposite end of the grill light the charcoal with one fire starter cube. Leave the dome open. Wait 5-8 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers.
- Above the wood chunk side, insert the Primo Heat Deflector Rack to the lowest position and top with the Primo Ceramic Heat Deflector Plate wrapped in foil. Above the deflector plate insert the grill rack to the highest level.
- On the opposite side of the grill, right above the hottest embers, insert a grill rack to the lowest level.
- After small embers can be seen, close the dome with the bottom draft door and top vent fully open. Allow the temperature to reach 325°F. Adjust the bottom draft door to about 1.5 inch open. The top vent will not be used during the next step.
- Carefully, open the dome 1-inch to allow some heat and smoke out then fully open. Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet on the grill rack above the direct heat, heating skillet for 2 minutes.
- Add the sausage and ground meat, breaking up meat with a spatula.
- Stir and cook ground meat until it is cooked through, and is no longer pink. Drain the fat. Sprinkle cooked meat with taco seasoning, stir well, cook for 1 minute. Transfer the skillet, with grill gloves, to the indirect side of the grill.
- Add black beans, tomatoes, green chilies, picante sauce, green onions, sweet bell pepper, and cilantro; do not stir. Add the quesadilla cheese, cream cheese and 2 cups sharp cheddar on top but do not stir. Reserve the additional sharp cheese if needed.
- Close the dome. Adjust bottom draft door 1/2-inch open and the top vent to 1/2-inch open with the daisy wheel holes fully open. Adjust the daisy wheel as needed to maintain the target temperature of 300°F. Smoke meat and cheese for 40 minutes.
- Carefully, open the dome 1-inch to allow some heat and smoke out then fully open. Stir smoked ingredients together in skillet. Transfer skillet over to direct heat. Add remaining sharp cheese as needed. Adjust seasoning with salt, and or more taco seasoning. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lime over meat and cheese mixture.
- Serve Smoked Chili Con Queso Taco Dip over tortilla chips, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and crumbled queso fresco.