These Queso Ranch Smoked Cheez Its will become one of your favorite snacks for movie nights, tailgating, game days or sitting by the fire at a campout. These are quick and easy to make and you’ll make them time and time again.
🍽️ Why This Works
Easy | There is nothing complicated about this recipe at all. If you can spray the oil and shake a Ziploc with the seasoning, you got this!
Addicting | The light salt and cheesy taste mean you can’t stop easting at just a few! I bet you and your guests will finish the bowl in record time!
Cheez Its | These are fun to eat by themselves, but add a bit of smoke and some seasoning, and you’ll have an addicting snack that everyone will love!
Ranch Seasoning | I used the prepackaged variety. This adds a bit of that cool and creamy flavoring to the mix.
Taco Seasoning | The Cheez Its already have a bit of salt in them, so I chose a low sodium variety of this. For a fun twist, opt for the spicy variety.
Step One: Pour a box of Cheez Its in a glass bowl or a large Ziploc bag. Spray them with a little bit of olive oil. This will help the seasoning stick to the crackers.
Step Two: Sprinkle the Taco Seasoning over the crackers and then add the ranch. Mix them all up to evenly coat the crackers.
Step Three: Pour everything into a shallow disposable aluminum pan. Don’t worry about how much you put in, as the smoke get to all of them.
Step Four: Heat up the grill to 250 degrees using indirect heat. For the Kamado style grills, add a plate setter. For gas grills, turn off the center burners.
Step Five: Add your favorite wood chips. For gas grills, use a smoking box. For stronger flavors, try a Hickory or Mesquite. For a more mild and subtle flavor, stick with the fruit woods.
If you have never tried your hand at smoking on the grill, don’t worry. There are many different varieties of wood to choose from. Use this handy cheat sheet to help you decide which wood is best for you.
Step Six: Stir every 15 minutes and remove them after 60-90 minutes. You’ll see them darken substantially. The longer you keep them on the grill, the more intense the smoke flavor will become.
Step Seven: Remove them from the grill and let them cool. Add to a large bowl and let your friends and family snack on them. Enjoy!
❗ Expert Tips
Make a Double Batch – I made the mistake of using a single box of Cheez Its the first time I made this and it just wasn’t enough. These will go fast!
Mix and Match – Try different seasonings. I have made this with Chili packets, Cool Ranch, Fajita, and Sour Cream and Chives. See what you have in the pantry and give it a shot. Do me a favor and leave a comment below on what you tried. I would love to see! Another idea is to take off the taco seasoning and just do the ranch for an even simpler recipe that kids will love.
Spray Oil – The seasoning won’t stick to the crackers without a bit of help. The best thing I have found to use is spray oil. You don’t need a lot.
You bet! Pick your favorite wood and add some seasoning to the Cheez Its. The light smoking will add a deep, rich and complex flavor that works so well with the cheese flavor!
You may be surprised to learn that there are 27 in a single serving. That is the equivalent of about 30 grams.
Store in a sealed container for up to a month.
Absolutely, just use what you like and keep the technique the same. I’ve seen Fish, Saltines and even pretzels will work.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Queso Ranch Smoked Cheez Its
- 1 box Cheez Its
- Olive Oil Spray
- 1 packet Taco Seasoning
- ½ tbsp Ranch Seasoning dry, we used Hidden Valley
- Pour the box of Cheez Its into a glass bowl or a large Ziploc bag.
- Spray the crackers with a little bit of olive oil. This will allow the seasoning to stick.
- Add the Taco and Ranch Seasonings and mix well to coat them evenly.
- Add the seasoned crackers to a disposable aluminum pan that will fit on your grill.
- Heat your grill to 250 degrees using indirect heat. If you have a gas grill, turn off the center burners. For a Kamado style grill, add a plate setter.
- Add your favorite wood chips to the charcoal or a smoking box.
- Let the Cheez Its smoke for 60-90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. You'll see them darken over that time. Watch that they don't burn.
- Remove them from the grill and let them cool before serving!