How Long You Can Store Queso In The Fridge And The Trick For Reheating It

Meaning 'cheese' in Spanish, queso is more than just a block of cheese in the U.S. and Canada. When we hear 'queso,' we immediately think about gooey orange cheese dip often elaborated with jalapenos or ground beef that's a mainstay on most Tex-Mex menus. A veritable Southwesternized cheese fondue, queso dip is so popular that you can find it jarred along with salsas in the tortilla chip aisle. That said, it's even tastier to make from scratch in a pressure cooker or over the stove.

If you resist the temptation to lick the queso bowl clean, you can store leftover queso in the fridge for up to five days. Because of chemical preservatives, store-bought queso has an extended shelf life in the fridge of up to two weeks — but it can still go bad if not stored properly. The key to reaping the longest life is properly storing queso dip in a tightly sealed container. An airtight seal prevents water and outside smells from tainting queso as it sits in the fridge.

If you safely keep queso in the fridge, it will thicken and congeal. Consequently, you may need to add a bit of liquid when you reheat it. A simple trick for thinning out your queso without diluting it with water is to add a splash of milk. Milk will add a dairy richness that'll enhance the creamy savoriness of queso while maintaining its smooth, emulsified consistency.

Reheating methods: Pros and cons

The milk trick will help you reach the desired consistency using both store-bought and scratch-made queso. However, you have various reheating methods to apply this milk trick, each with pros and cons. The easiest and quickest way to reheat queso is in the microwave. You'll want to place the queso in a microwave-safe bowl, heating it in 30-second increments. Between each 30-second stint, stir the queso to distribute the heat properly and avoid burning it.

Microwaving queso is the quickest way to reheat a smaller serving, but it's also the most prone to overheating. It only takes a few seconds for the queso to bubble and splatter the walls of your microwave. For larger portions that won't fit in the microwave, the stovetop method can fit deeper, larger pots or skillets. To reheat your queso over the stove takes more time because you want to reheat it gradually over medium-low heat. The stovetop gives you more control over the heating process, but you also run the risk of queso sticking and scorching to the bottom of the pot. Consequently, you'll want to continuously stir the dip as it warms.

A surefire, effortless way to reheat a large bowl of queso is in the slow cooker or crock pot. It's the same low and slow reheating method as the stove top but in an appliance meant for hands-off cooking. Plus, you can leave the queso in the slow cooker to serve it while keeping it warm.