Smoked Jalapeño Poppers with Smoked Bacon. An easy game day appetizer perfect for Super Bowl made with crispy smoked bacon (not wrapped around), cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
But because Super Bowl is coming up, we’re adding these to the roster of game day party food!
If there is ever a season for these amazing smoked jalapeño poppers it’s the late winter and early spring. Between the football playoffs and March Madness, having friends over and wowing them with some delicious finger foods cooked on the smoker is always a treat.
Poppers are a classic. But my take on the classic popper is to deconstruct the way most people make them.
Should I Wrap Jalapeño Poppers in Bacon?
It depends. Do you want crispy bacon or soft bacon?
Many jalapeño popper recipes are wrapped in bacon. These can be good and result in crispy bacon when cooking on high heat (grilling) or in a hot oven. But if you plan to smoke your poppers the temperature won’t be hot enough to result in crispy bacon.
When you wrap the poppers in bacon, and cook them low and slow, they tend to come out soft, vs crispy.
If you want crispy bacon I recommend crisping up first (I smoke the bacon for added flavor). And instead of wrapping the jalapeño popper IN bacon, I stuff them with a mixture that includes diced crispy smoked bacon and creamy cheeses. Then I smoke them for a nice rich and delicious jalapeño popper.
You can grill it too or even roast in the oven, but if you have a smoker, you’d be silly to not take advantage of what awesomeness will come about.
How to Make Smoked Jalapeño Poppers Stuffed with Crispy Bacon
- Cook bacon on the smoker at 250 degrees, for about one hour or until crispy.
- While bacon is smoking prep jalapeños and cheese stuffing. Arrange the poppers on a sheet tray or cookie drying rack.
- When bacon is crispy, remove from smoker and finely chop, then add to the cheese stuffing.
- Fill each jalapeños with stuffing.
- Place jalapeños poppers on smoker at 250 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes. You are looking for the cheese to melt and the jalapeños to look slightly roasted. Remove and serve.
Tips for the Best Smoked Jalapeño Poppers with Crispy Bacon
- Cook up your bacon first, either smoke it until crispy or cook it in the oven or stovetop until crispy.
- Don’t overcook the pepper or you risk drying out the cheese, making for a not so pleasant texture.
- For a creamy filling we like to whip the already softened cream cheese a bit, and then mix in some smoked cheddar (regular sharp cheddar also works just fine). This helps for the filling to be creamy instead of dense. Recipes that call for just just cream cheese (not whipped cream cheese) tend to come out a little dense when slow cooked on the smoker. Not a fan. This way, you get everything — crispy bacon and a creamy filling.
How long to Smoke Jalapeño Poppers
At 250 degrees it should take 30 – 45 minutes. You are looking for the cheese to melt and the jalapeños to look slightly roasted.
If 275-300 degrees it should take 30 minutes to cook jalapeños on a smoker.
These have been tested on a pellet grill, kettle grill, and also a ceramic smoker, and the results are the same on each grill.
More Game Day Recipes on the Grill or Smoker
If you’re looking for more incredible appetizers for your came day, here are some of my favorites.
- Grilled Jalapeño Poppers
- Smoked Sausage and Hatch Chili Beer Cheese Dip
- Brisket Chili
- The Ultimate Smoked Buffalo Chicken Wings
- Smoked Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- Smoked Stuffed Meatballs
Smoked Jalapeño Poppers Recipe
Smoked Jalapeño Poppers
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, yields approx 1/3 cup when cooked and diced up , we use Snake River Farms Kurobuta Pork Bacon
For the poppers:
- 10 medium sized jalapeño peppers
- 1 cup smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces softened whipped cream cheese (purchase "whipped cream cheese" or whip it yourself to soften and aerate)
- Garnish: can use green onion, Italian parsley, etc.
- Preheat smoker to 250 degrees.
- Place bacon on smoker for about one hour or until crispy. Alternatively you can crisp up bacon in the oven or stovetop.
- While bacon smoking; cut the stems off the jalapeño and then cut in half lengthwise. Remove ribs and seeds (that’s where a lot of the heat comes from).
- Arrange on a sheet tray or cookie drying rack.
- When bacon is crispy, remove from smoker and finely chop, then add to a medium sized bowl. Add remainder of ingredients to the bowl and mix together. If you want more creaminess add more whipped cream cheese.
- Fill each jalapeño with about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture; it should be lightly packed.
- Place on smoker at 250 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes. You are looking for the cheese to melt and the jalapenos to look slightly roasted. Remove and serve.
Wine or Beer Pairing?
It’s Game Day, so you may be thinking, silly Mary, this is beer holiday! Well you can go ahead and drink your beer if you wish (I think a crisp pilsner tastes awesome with these poppers), or you can take my advice and drink sparkling wine. Spanish Cava works wonders with these smoked jalapeño poppers. They tend to have bolder flavors that can stand up to the smoky bacon and the powerful bubbles can cut through the creamy cheese the same way a beer would.
Most Cava is also quite affordable at around $10-$15, and is nice and tangy with green apple, fresh pears, and bright citrus. The flavors are bold and zesty and stand up like a champ to these poppers and will stand up equally well to whatever else you serve on Super Bowl Sunday.
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