about How to Make Indoor Smoked BBQ Beet Nachos with Drunken Cashew Queso
These nachos, you guys. These indoor smoked beets, you guys. Indoor smoking, you guys! I’m obsessed, and I think you should be too.
This started when I wanted to make some nachos for the Big Game, and I thought that something BBQ-y would be a fun change of pace. However, vegan bbq tends to just mean stuff flavored with liquid smoke, and while I’m down with liquid smoke, I really wanted something smoked for real. I may be vegan, but I’m also Texan, and I know the difference.
I knew indoor smoking was going to be my best bet (more on that later), so I just needed to figure out what to smoke.
I didn’t want to do mushrooms because I wasn’t feeling that texture on nachos. I thought about using soy curls, but I wasn’t in the mood to drive to the store that sells them here. Then I remembered this pizza place in town that makes a vegan beet pepperoni that everyone swears is good. I figured if beets could be pepperoni’d then why not smoked?
It was a risky idea because my husband and I don’t really like beets. I mean, they kinda just taste like dirt, right? That’s not just us, is it?
I picked up a bag of beets anyway and got to thinking. I wanted smoke to be the primary flavor, so I decided not to worry about marinating them or anything like that. I just tossed them in some BBQ rub, and hoped for the best. Then I got to work on my homemade indoor smoker.
Years ago I came across this video from Saveur, and I bookmarked it for a rainy day. I was intimidated by the process (despite how easy it looked) because I tend to think that smoking/grilling/etc. is going to be a whole drawn out ordeal.
Years ago my husband was a big grilling enthusiast, and the whole thing seemed like such a process. Even when he was just using his indoor smoker (which always resulted in our cats smelling like hot dogs), it seemed like such a to-do. However, I had a vision for these nachos, darn it. Drunken Cashew Queso, guac, and something smoked. I needed to see this dream realized so I got to building.
Honestly, it’s more assembling more building. This method doesn’t require any fancy equipment, and I was able to get everything I needed for it at our regular grocery store.
First: I soaked a handful of wood chips in a little water for about ten minutes before draining.
Second: I lined the bottom of a medium sized pot with foil and poured the wood chips on top.
Third: I covered the wood chips with another sheet of foil, inserted my opened vegetable steamer, and viola! My smoker was done.
Remind me of how easy that was next time I’m intimidated by a new project.
Then I added my BBQ rub-tossed beets and got to smoking. The result blew. my. mind.
Beets are so whatever to me so I guess I was hoping that they wouldn’t be recognizable. However, smoking didn’t hide their flavor – it accentuated what’s good about beets (the sweetness) and masked what’s not so good (the dirt flavor) with smoke. Glorious and delicious pecan smoke.
Sweet and smokey is a combo that makes BBQ so enticing, and smoking beets achieves that in one easy swoop. They’re perfect for this cooking method, and I can’t believe that this isn’t a thing that everyone has already discovered.
We’ve already made them multiple times for things like mac and cheese and sandwiches, and of course, nachos covered in beer queso.
When people go vegan I think there’s an assumption that we have to abstain from certain tried-and-true cooking methods like smoking. We associate smoking with meat, and just don’t look back.
However, going vegan not only opens you up to new ingredients and flavors, but it also offers you the opportunity to play around with cooking methods you already know. It’s not always about recreating what you loved but discovering something similar yet new.
These nachos are really special, friends. They’re not “everyday nachos”, they’re more like “wow everyone you know” nachos. Make these for the Big Game tomorrow, or for a movie night, or on any other occasion that calls for a group of people and nachos. Why? Because these are going to impress, and you should take advantage of that.
I’m now officially obsessed with indoor smoking, and I can’t wait to see what new culinary delights this will open up. Y’all are gonna try this right? What are you going to smoke first??
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