When we went on family vacations during childhood, we always packed plenty of snacks and a cooler with pop for the journey.
I didn’t know until I was nearly an adult that people could actually buy the snacks and drinks at roadside convenience stores. What a world.
One of our stand-by car trip snacks was a box of Cheez-Its. As I’m sure they are for many of you, too, Cheez-Its are one of my weaknesses. I have to be really careful that I don’t polish off half a box—or, let’s face it, a whole one—in one sitting.
One of my favorite things to find in a box is an extra-toasty cracker. You know, the ones that have just a tiny bit of brown around the edges? When Cheez-Its starting selling extra toasted boxes, I was a big fan.
So it was no wonder that seeing a recipe online recently that featured roasting Cheez-Its on a smoker was extremely interesting to me. I absolutely had to give it a try. If you don’t have a smoker or a grill that you can keep at a steady temperature, you can do these in the oven, too. They just won’t have that extra smoke flavor.
I found this recipe on the blog “Crave the Good.” You can find the original at https://www.cravethegood.com/smoked-cheez-it-crackers/. I changed the cooking time a bit for my version, but with only three ingredients, there wasn’t much else to play with.
- 1 box Cheez-it crackers
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue seasoning
- Preheat smoker or oven to 275 degrees.
- Toss the crackers in olive oil until they’re evenly coated. Start with three tablespoons. If it isn’t going to coat them all, throw in one more.
- Add your seasoning and toss again to evenly distribute it on all the crackers.
- Spread the crackers onto a sheet pan or into a roasting pan that will fit on your smoker.
- Smoke/bake for about 30 minutes, and then stir them. If they aren’t as toasty as you like, let them go a bit longer until they reach your desired toastiness.
- Let them cool a bit before enjoying. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
These were tasty, and honestly, I think I might like warm crackers now. I loved how easy these were to customize, and if you’re more of a Cheese Nips or Goldfish person, I think this would work great for those, too.
I was glad I showed restraint and made a slightly smaller batch for Joey and I to share alongside some amazing chicken thighs he made on his smoker along with my crackers, because we would have polished off as many as I made, regardless of the amount.
And hanging out with Joey and chatting while eating some Cheez-its brought me back to all those times my sister and I shared a box in the backseat in between driving each other crazy. Thank goodness for frugal road-trip snacks.
This piece first appeared in print on Oct. 5, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.