Jalapeño poppers. Simple, delicious, and always a treat. We want to take it to the next level: Bacon.
I made simple jalapeño poppers, wrapped them in bacon, and then smoked them.
A perfect mix of spicy, smoky, and bacon.
Jalapeño poppers are not inherently hot. With this recipe, it is possible to make the poppers as hot as jalapeños themselves or so dull that a infant could snack on them (not recommended). The cream cheese also acts to dull the spiciness of the jalapeños while the bacon adds an entirely new flavor.
Step 1: Materials
- Jalapeños. I used 20 jalapeños in a variety of sizes. The smaller the jalapeño, the softer they tend to be.
- Cream cheese. It took about a package and a half to fill all the jalapeños.
- Bacon. I used peppered bacon and applewood smoked bacon. It took about a package and a half to wrap all the poppers. I wrapped them in half a piece each, and the very large jalapeños in two pieces. The peppered was a little harder to wrap around the poppers but has an interesting flavor and kick.
A smoker or an oven. Can also be cooked on a barbecue. I used a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker.
- Sharp Kitchen Knife (cut bacon and jalapeños)
- Butter Knife (spread cream cheese)
- Smoker (optional, oven may also be used)
Step 2: Preparing the Jalapeños
WARNING: Always wash your hands after jalapeños, touching sensitive skin without washing your hands will cause burning.
First, cut off the top of the jalapeño just below the stem. The stem isn't good to eat and tends to be tougher.
Next, slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise.
Then, using a sharp knife, carve out the seeds and veins. Veins and seeds are the hot part of the jalapeño. The more you leave in, the hotter it will be.
Step 3: Adding Cream Cheese
This is probably the most straightforward and simple step.
Using a butter knife. Spread the cream cheese into the middle of the jalapeño.
You don't need to worry about making it even. The bacon will hold it all together.
The cream cheese will also counteract the hotness of the veins and seeds.
Each jalapeño ended up containing about a tablespoon of cream cheese.
Step 4: Wrapping the Bacon!
WARNING: Consuming raw or undercooked bacon may result in food-born related illness or death.
First, cut the bacon in half, a full piece of bacon around the popper will be excessive.
Wrap the bacon tightly around the popper. The applewood smoked bacon tended to be easier to wrap because it was thinner.
Step 5: Smoking the Poppers.
The poppers need to be cooked but smoking them is fairly optional. Smoking them will result in the best flavor and the most moisture retention.
I smoked the poppers at temperatures between 200 and 250 degrees for two hours using 3, 2 inch chunks of cherry wood.
You will know when the poppers are fully cooked when the bacon is crispy and the cream cheese is browned.
You can also bake them in an oven on a tray until the bacon appears fully cooked.
By the time the bacon is fully cooked, the jalapeño and cream cheese will be browned and soft.