Smoked cream cheese crab dip is loaded with cream cheese and crab, and has a fantastic smoky flavor that goes perfectly with all the ingredients in this recipe. This delicious crab dip is a star appetizer for any get-together and preparing it is easy.
Is there any appetizer better than warm crab dip? If you're a fan of crab and cream cheese, then the answer is a definite No! This creamy dish is always a welcome treat no matter when or where it's served.
I first encountered crab dip at a party when I was in my 20s. It was on a trivet on the table, and it smelled absolutely delicious. When the host told me it was crab dip, I was dying to taste it. But I knew better.
For those that have read the introduction to my web site, know I'm deathly allergic to shellfish. Although it's a crying shame, I can't do a thing about it. It is what it is.
But that didn't stop my roommate from trying it. He went back for seconds and thirds, and then gushed about it for the rest of the night! I was glad he enjoyed it, but I have to say, I was a little envious.
So I got the recipe off the host and have made crab dip for my family and friends every since.
Over the years, I've made other versions of crab dip from spicy to forms that featured other kinds of shellfish mixed in.
But I discovered smoked crab dip leaves regular crab dip in the dust! That's what people tell me anyway.
How it began is that one day, as I was putting the ingredients together for regular crab dip, my husband suggested we try smoking it. He had just pulled a pork roast out of the smoker, so it was already heated up. I thought, why not? From the first bite, he was sold. He practically ate a whole bowl himself! So we had to make more for the party
Because my husband's love of the smoker, I have him to thank for this smoked crab dip.
To this day, my husband can't say enough good things about smoked crab dip. Same goes with just about everyone that tries it.
Regular crab dip is no match for the smoky flavor of this crab dip. When it comes to smoking it, there's no comparison. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!😉
History of Crab Dip
Crab dip, as we know it today, is actually an evolution of creamy minced shellfish recipes that began over 200 years ago. No one knows exactly who invented crab dip, but we do know that the version we all know and love originated in Maryland.
However, there are creamy crab recipes that predate crab dip that are key to the evolution of this modern appetizer.
The earliest relative of crab dip can be found in a recipe in "The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy" which was published in 1747. The recipe called for minced crab or lobster to which wine, vinegar, butter, and eggs, along with a few other ingredients, were added.
All the ingredients were simmered until hot and then served in the shell. Other recipes we found on the road to modern crab dip included stewed crabs, scalloped crabs, cream crab, and other such creamy crab dishes.
A recipe called Cheese and Crab Delight was published in "Favorite Recipes" from Marye Dahnke's File in 1938. This recipe consisted of chopped green pepper, crab meat, butter, flour, and several other ingredients.
Here, we begin to see the modern version of crab dip. The first recipe for actual crab dip came about in 1955. Published in the Los Angeles Times, it was submitted by Clementine Paddleford. She was probably not the person who invented it.
Over the years, crab dip has evolved with different ingredients to create the creamy base with various shellfish additions as a standard dip. One version...hint, it's ours... where we use a smoker to cook up a delightfully smoky version that always hits the spot!
Easy Smoked Cream Cheese Crab Dip
Filled with smooth, silky cream cheese and, of course, delicately sweet crab, this easy smoked cream cheese crab dip is so rich, people rave about it!
It's the one dip people ask for all the time. So when planning a get-together, it's the first appetizer on the list.
Someone described it as a smoky, cheesy seafood feast. And for an appetizer, that says a lot!
The ingredients themselves are fabulous. Cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives, crab meat, all come together beautifully. Put the mixture in the smoker, cook it, and out comes one amazing dip!
Although it takes a few ingredients to make this easy smoked cream cheese crab dip, you probably have most of them in your kitchen anyway.
Barring the crab meat, the ingredients for this dip are all kitchen staples that you likely keep on hand for other recipes. Here's what you'll need.
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup of sour cream
- ⅓ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 & ¼ cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons of old bay seasoning
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup if finely chopped chives (or scallions), plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon of hot sauce, optional
- 1 pound of lump crab meat, drained
- Add a teaspoon of thyme leaves, tarragon, or dill, if desired
Making the Dip
As I said, it might take a few ingredients to make this dip, but it doesn't take a whole lot of effort. In fact, the entire recipe is a masterclass in simplicity. All you're doing is mixing and smoking. That's it!
One of the easiest crab dips you'll ever make.
- Preheat the smoker to 250°F.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth.
- Add the sour cream and mayonnaise and mix until smooth.
- Next, add 1 cup of the cheese, garlic, old bay, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, chives, and hot sauce (optional) and blend until smooth.
- Gently fold in the crab meat. Try not to break up the crab.
- Spread the mixture into an 8 x 9-inch baking dish or cast-iron skillet.
- Top with the remaining cheese.
- Smoke for 1½ to 2 hours until bubbly and the cheese is melted and is slightly golden on top.
- Garnish with chives or scallions and serve immediately with your favorite dippers!
That's all there is to it! So packed with flavor, everyone will think you slaved in the kitchen. When people compliment you on this quality dip, and believe you've worked long and hard to make it, isn't that the ultimate reward? Perfection all around!
Cream Cheese Crab Dip
There's cream cheese crab dip and then there's smoked cream cheese crab dip. What a difference smoking it makes! My friends and family can't say enough good things about this dip.
Such an incredibly easy recipe, I have only one tip, and it's an important one.
Thoroughly Soften the Cream Cheese
Thoroughly softening the cream cheese is vital in this cream cheese recipe - or with any recipe that requires creaming cream cheese together with other ingredients, for that matter.
If you don't do this, you'll end up with a dip that's lumpy and full of cream cheese chunks. This is not what you want in a dip or in other cream cheese-based mixtures like frostings.
One great thing about this dip is how it lends itself to mixing other things in it.
Of course, crab is the standard shellfish in this recipe. But if you're feeling fancy, consider adding lobster or using it instead. Diced scallops or calamari would be great additions as well. Add a mixture of these, and you've got a seafood dip that's over the top!
If you like the heat, add a dash of hot sauce to this dip to give it a spicy kick. Works really well with the smokiness of cooking this dip in the smoker.
Substitute scallions in place of chives, and use other herbs like thyme, tarragon, or dill to change up the flavors.
Serving Smoked Crab Dip
Serving smoked crab dip is perfect for a weekend treat, gameday bash, backyard barbecue, potluck, or just about any get-together you can think of. You name it.
To serve, simply place the skillet on a trivet on the table, and let people spoon out as much as they want. A welcome addition to any table. From my experience, this dip is one of the first appetizers to go. So make lots!
Storing Smoked Crab Dip
Smoked crab dip will keep well in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for three to five days. For longer storage, you can freeze this dip for up to three months.
When freezing, allow it to cool completely in the refrigerator, and then transfer it to an air-tight, freezer-safe container.
To serve, defrost the dip in the refrigerator and then place it in the oven at 350 for about 20 to 25 minutes or until it's heated through.
What to Serve with Smoked Crab Dip
As you can see, carrot and celery sticks go very nicely with this dip. Other vegetables like green and red bell peppers, zucchini and cucumbers would accompany this dip very well. Consider different types of crackers. And who would say no to potato chips, tortilla chips or a crusty baguette?
Try This Smoked Crab Dip for Yourself
This creamy, cheesy, crabby goodness, accented by the smokiness of the smoker, creates a delicious smoked crap dip like no other.
As I said earlier, if you've always been a lover of crab and cream cheese, try this smoked crab dip once and you'll be sold!
The rich, smoky flavor speaks for itself. An ideal appetizer to serve any type of crowd, anytime, anywhere. It never disappoints.
Chime in and let me know what you think in the comments section below. As always, it's been a pleasure. Bye for now!
Smoked Crab Dip
- cast iron skillet (8-9 inches in diameter)
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh squeezed
- ¼ cup chives finely chopped, plus more for garnish or scallions
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce optional
- 1 pound lump crab meat drained
- you could also add a teaspoon of thyme leaves, tarragon, or dill too, if desired
- Pull out and measure all of the ingredients.
- Preheat the smoker to 250°F.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream cheese until smooth.
- Add the sour cream and mayonnaise.
- Mix until smooth.
- Add 1 cup of the cheese, garlic, old bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, chives, and hot sauce (optional).
- Mix until smooth.
- Then add the crab meat
- Fold it in gently. Try not to break up the crab.
- Spread the mixture into an 8 to 9-inch baking dish or cast-iron skillet.
- Top with the remaining cheese.
- Smoke for 1½ to 2 hours until the cheese is melted and bubbly and lightly golden on top.
- Serve immediately with a garnish of more chives.
- With your favorite dippers!
- Enjoy every bite!
- Creamy, crab deliciousness! The crab really shines through and the lumps of crab gives a nice texture to the dip.
- Scallions can be substituted for chives.
- 1 teaspoon of hot sauce makes this dip the slightest bit spicy. Use more or less to your taste!
- Other herbs that go well in this dip are thyme, tarragon, and dill!