I’ve been making this extra cheesy smoked Philly cheesesteak dip for years, following some of the tried-and-true techniques of America’s best Philly cheesesteak shops. A true Philly sandwich comes down to the meat, cheese, onions and bread.
I used to use rib-eye steaks to make this dip because it’s one of my favorite cuts of meat and has a beautiful meat to fat ratio. Feel free to go that direction, too. It’s what Pat’s King of Steaks owner, Frankie Olivieri, traditionally uses.
Over the years, I’ve started using tri-tip. It also has a nice marbling of fat, and is a lot less expensive per pound than rib-eye. Plus, it still provides the rich beefiness a Philly cheesesteak is known for.
The Key Ingredients
The key to this smoked Philly cheesesteak dip, is slicing the meat nice and thin. You’ll want to freeze it for about 45 minutes. That will make getting butcher quality slices a breeze.
For the cheese, traditional Philly’s come with provolone, American or Cheese Whiz. My favorite combo is provolone and American. They both melt to a smooth and creamy consistency.
Sweet yellow onions are the Philly standard for cheesesteaks, and onions are the only veggie on the original. You order wit or wit-out. If you want extra stuff like peppers, mushrooms or jalapenos that’s a whole ’nother sandwich.
Fire up the Grill
You can make this entire recipe on a stove top, but you know me, I look for any excuse to fire up the grill, so I smoke this on my Big Green Egg in a cast iron skillet over Rockwood Charcoal with some hickory wood chunks. I use the diffuser plate in the egg, so the pot cooks over indirect heat. If you place the pot over a straight fire, the pan could get too hot and burn the cheese.
Don’t have a Big Green Egg? No problem. Fire up any pellet grill, charcoal grill or gas grill. Just be sure to use the indirect heat cooking method, and add some wood chunks, chips or pellets for smokey flavor.
Saute the onions in the skillet, and then add the seasoned tri-tip. After it cooks for about 10 minutes, grab two metal spatulas to tear the meat apart. This is exactly what they do in Philly to get those nice shredded pieces of beef.
Next, I add some beef broth for added meatiness, because I’m a sucker for au jus and some mayo for a little tangy creaminess.
Just before serving, add in the cheese slices. they melt into the beefy broth quickly.
Slice some soft hoagies into cubes, and dive in. Be prepared to share the recipe. Your friends and family are going to love it.
Smoked Philly Cheesesteak Dip
Smoked Philly cheesesteak dip combines all of the beefy, cheesy goodness of a Philly cheesesteak sandwich into a dip. Add to that a few beers, and you have yourself a party.
Freeze the tri-tip for 45 minutes. Remove it from the freezer. Slice the meat into slices the thickness of bacon.
Place the meat in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, garlic and onion powder.
Heat the grill to around 400F degrees with an indirect cooking area and hickory wood chunks.
Heat the oil in a large pot on top of the grill. Add the onions. Sauté until tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the beef and stir to combine. Close the grill lid. Let the meat cook, without stirring, for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the grill, and close the lid to maintain the proper temperature. Using two metal spatulas, tear the meat apart to shred. Hold one portion of the meat down with one utensil and pull the meat apart with the other utensil. Continue with this process, until the meat is in bite-sized pieces.
Place the skillet back on the grill, and add the broth to the pan. Close the grill lid and heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the mayo to combine.
Add the American cheese and stir, until melted. Add the Provolone cheese and stir until melted.
Slice the hoagie rolls into 2-inch squares and arrange on a large platter. Serve the dip warm with slices of soft hoagie rolls.
If using a charcoal grill, add a couple hickory wood chunks. If using a gas grill, add a foil pouch of hickory chips. If using a pellet grill, use hickory pellets.Keep the grill lid closed as much as possible, to get more smoke flavor into the dip.If you would like to add peppers, mushrooms or jalapenos, add them with the onions.