Pellet Smoked Spinach Artichoke Dip
Who doesn’t love a good spinach artichoke dip when you are watching “The game that lawyers won’t let us mention”. But have you ever tried a smoked version of this dip? Sure we all know what the TGI Friday’s Chili’s Applebee’s Ruby Tuesday’s (RIP) local sports bar dip is like and heck it ain’t that bad… usually. But there is something special about a smoked version of this dip with your own hand selected cheeses. One could only guess how your favorite restaurant prepares their dip, maybe it’s all a frozen pre-mix in a plastic bag. But you have a pellet smoker and free will so you can make some fresh and delicious smoked dip! The good part about this recipe is that you can do all the prep work a day or two ahead of the cook day. When you are ready, all you need to do is put this dip on your smoker and enjoy.
Man That’s Cooking
- 14 oz can artichoke hearts
- 10 oz frozen spinach
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 8 oz gouda cheese
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese
- 8 oz parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
First, thaw out the frozen spinach overnight in the refrigerator. On the next day when you are ready to start, remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator and allow it to soften on the kitchen countertop.
Next open the can of artichoke hearts and drain out the water. Using paper towels, squeeze out the excess water from the artichoke hearts. Roughly chop the artichoke hearts and place them in a large mixing bowl.
Next open the package of the thawed out spinach and drain out the water. Using paper towels, squeeze out the excess water from the spinach. The spinach should already be chopped but if not, chop it. Add the spinach to the large mixing bowl.
Next grate the gouda, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese then set aside a small amount from each (about ½ cup total) for a topping and add the rest to a large mixing bowl. Add the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream, then mix everything together. Add the spices and mix everything once again. At this point you can cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator if you plan to cook the dip the next day.
Preheat your smoker at 250F and use mild pellets such as apple or competition blend. The total smoke time should be at least one hour and 20 minutes but you can cook for longer if desired. Transfer the dip mixture into a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet and place this on the smoker when it reaches temp.
Stir the dip every 45 minutes and if you plan to cook for the recommended 1 hour 20, then you will stir the dip just once. If you plan to cook longer, use the 45 minute stirring as a checkup to see how much moisture is lost and don’t allow the dip to get too dry.
20 minutes before you plan to remove the dip, add the 1/2 cup of shredded cheese that was set aside to the top of the dip. Allow this to cook without stirring and let it melt down. Another option you can try is to brown the cheese topping in the oven by placing it on the top oven rack and using the broiler. Set it to high and cook for about 2 – 3 minutes. Do not walk away, always keep an eye on the brown coloring of the cheese.
Allow the dip to cool for at least 5 minutes because it is molten lava hot. Then serve it with corn chips, or pita chips for dipping. For extra fancy stuff you can thinly slice a French baguette and toast the slices in the oven.
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