Campfire Queso Is The Cheesy Dip You Need For Your Next Camping Trip

Queso in a cast iron pan
Queso in a cast iron pan - Rudisill/Getty Images

Summer is the time for packing your bags and spending the weekend camping, which usually comes with a unique menu tailored for cooking over the campfire. Standard dishes include s'mores, hot dogs roasted on a stick, and corn on the cob. However, you can also make some much more decadent and unexpected treats, too.

One such dish is campfire queso. It's a fun and easy dip to make when you're sleeping out in the great outdoors. All you have to do is pop your queso ingredients into a cast iron skillet, and set it on a grill over a roaring flame.

Because you're making the dish over an open fire, you'll get smoky notes infused into the dip that add complexity. Plus, since it's highly versatile, you can experiment with what add-ins to use to enhance those smoky flavors; or, you could mute them instead, and turn up the volume on things like spice level or protein.

Read more: 12 Canned Foods You Should Avoid At The Grocery Store

Picking The Best Ingredients

Dish of queso
Dish of queso - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Part of making a great melty queso dip involves choosing the right add-ins. Sure, you can always just use plain cheese. But, to really turn it into a meal or a nacho-worthy snack, the veggies, spices, and proteins you stir in are where it's at. With campfire queso, start by thinking about the meat you'll use. Chorizo or ground beef with taco seasoning can add spices and flavor while also bulking up the dip. Or, you could opt for something like bacon for a rich, smoky addition. Just make sure to cook the meat before you start stirring in the cheese.

Speaking of cheese, this is the heart and soul of your dip. For a flavor similar to pre-packaged store-bought quesos, Velveeta cheese might be the way to go. Or, if you want something with a bit of bite, pepper jack could do the trick. Classic cheddar can also give a savory flavor to your dip. Grating or chopping the cheese yourself may help it melt more effectively, so bear that in mind regardless of which variety you choose.

Finally, finish it off with veggies. Olives can add some briny tang, while grilled corn kernels can give a smoky feel. Or, go for something else. As for sauces, you could stir in pico de gallo for some limey, veggie zest, or add a dollop of guacamole for a creamy finish. Play around with your favorite nacho and queso toppings to create a tasty mix.

What To Bear In Mind When Making Campfire Queso

making campfire cheese dip
making campfire cheese dip - Adene Sanchez/Getty Images

Making queso over the campfire looks a little different than making it in the comfort of your home. One thing to note is that cast iron doesn't conduct heat as well as some other materials. So, it may take longer to heat the pan up and thus, cook your queso, than if you'd made it in, say, a copper baking dish. However, cast iron doesn't cool down as quickly as other materials, either. So, when you make queso this way, you can enjoy a warm, gooey dip for longer than you might if you used a different style of cookware.

Another thing to think about here is that since you're camping, it might not be as convenient to chop your veggies and toppings once you're at the campsite. Pre-cutting things like bell peppers and olives can save you time and hassle when you don't have the same cutting boards and utensils at your disposal. Plus, you can store these ingredients in containers that may be easier to pack than the odd shapes of veggies.

You should also be aware that this meal may not reheat too well. So, it's best to adjust the amount of ingredients according to how many people will be consuming it. Plus, if you're camping, you may not have a way of storing it for later. With these tips in mind, you can make a yummy campfire queso next time you're sleeping under the stars!

Read the original article on Daily Meal