How to Smoke Chex Mix

Growing up we had a tradition of making Chex mix, peanut butter balls, and chocolate-covered peanut butter crackers for Christmas. Snacks like this are easy to make and usually taste much better than the store-bought stuff. In this article, I’ll show you how I bake Chex mix on my smoker instead of the kitchen oven to kick the flavor up to a new level.

The SQ36 was my first smoker and I still enjoy cooking on it. It's an excellent entry-level offset smoker for those of us in love with stoking a fire.

"I’m in love with this smoker! With the 2nd tier, I can feed a huge crowd a variety of smoked meat... The quality of my finished product is 10 times better than on my New Braunsfield offset. Also, the customer service support from Lavern & Meadow Creek is phenomenal."

- John Russell, owner of SQ36 -

This is a big recipe, so you’ll need a large bowl to mix it in. Pull out your biggest bowl and get ready to entertain some guests! If you don't have a bowl big enough, a meat lug works great for this too.

Dry Mix:

  • 3 cups pretzel sticks
  • 1 box (12-ounce) Cheerios
  • 1 box (12-ounce) corn Chex
  • 1 box (12-ounce) rice Chex
  • 1 can (10.5-ounce) Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Virginia Peanuts
  • 1 can (8.5-ounce) whole cashews
  • 1 small box bagel chips

Sauce:

In a small kettle, melt the butter and mix it with the other sauce ingredients. You can substitute the seasoning with another barbecue rub. If the rub isn't salty, add some table salt to taste.

Pour all the dry ingredients into a bowl. I used a 6-ounce box of Glutino gluten-free bagel chips, but you can adjust the ingredients to suit yourself. To me, the Cheerios, chex, and peanuts covered in a savory, buttery sauce are the foundation. I love cashews for variety, but if you add too many pretzels, crackers, and other gimmicks, it’s easy to overdo it. I added bagel chips this time to see how I would like it, and they do add some good notes.

Drizzle the sauce all over the dry mixture and stir it until it all looks wet. Pour the mix into three aluminum half pans, and it is ready for the smoker.

I like to use my Meadow Creek SQ36 offset smoker for this recipe and fire it with 7–8 pounds of hardwood charcoal briquettes and a large chunk of hardwood. Any temperature between 225 and 350 degrees F works.

For this batch my smoker was running hotter than 300 degrees in the beginning, and then I let it drop down to 225 for the rest of the smoke. I smoked it for 2 hours and stirred it a couple of times. I added a second chunk of wood partway through.

If your smoker makes more smoke when it’s running cooler, or you have a hard time getting it hotter than 225 degrees in the winter, that is fine. I like to bake it until the Cheerios shrink a little, and a hotter smoker will speed up the process.

What's an SQ36A handmade charcoal/wood-fired offset smoker for those who want better quality than what you will find in the chain stores.

Add a second tier grate to nearly double the cooking surface and a grilling pan for cooking with direct heat.

"I love my SQ36! I’ve had it for a few years now. Easy to fire, and plenty of room for 4 or more racks of ribs on the single grate. It’s very well built of heavy steel, and is large and heavy—a serious cooker! But not the sort of cooker you would use for small quantities of meat. Comes up to temp quickly, and holds a fire nicely."

- Dave L, SQ36 owner -

Remove the mix from the smoker and stir in a bag of Crunchy Cheetos or Fritos Honey BBQ Flavor Twists. Let it cool for 15 minutes and dig in!

You can freeze what you won’t eat right away in an air-tight container or freezer bag. I think it tastes better after a week or so in the freezer, because the flavor has more time to mix.

About the Author

Lavern is the online brand ambassador for Meadow Creek Welding and founder of StoryQue magazine.