Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
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Smoked Jalapeno Poppers are absolutely “popping” with flavor! It’s nothing to joke about: tangy cream cheese, sharp cheddar, spicy chili powder, smoked paprika, fresh scallions, and cilantro are all packed together inside a hot jalapeno, then wrapped in bacon. Different flavors and textures explode in your mouth with each and every bite!
A couple of hot peppers stuffed with cheese, scallions, and herbs… What could be better? This recipe will walk you through how to smoke jalapenos, and some important recipe hacks to keep them in one piece.
Appetizers may be the start of the meal, but they’re usually everyone’s favorites! And this is one of those shareables that I can guarantee everyone will enjoy.
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
You can also make smoked stuffed jalapeno peppers on the grill as a spicy side with other BBQ favorites. We have an easy air fryer jalapeno recipe too! Prefer a bready appetizer? Try out some jalapeno popper pretzel bombs instead!
There are a ton of bold flavors in this dish, and they go together so well! I recommend trying them out in some other dishes… Perhaps a main course?
A delicious twist on smoked stuffed jalapenos is this creamy, crazy flavorful one pot pasta dish!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Jalapenos – The star of our dish! When removing the stems and seeds, wear gloves and thoroughly wash your hands afterward.
Those juices and seeds hold all of the spice and you don’t want to accidentally touch your face, your pets, or other items in your kitchen with those oils on your fingers.
- Bacon – Use uncooked bacon for easier wrapping, and to take on all of the smoky goodness from the smoker. I really don’t recommend using precooked microwave bacon.
- Scallions – If you don’t like the very distinct flavor that scallions have, try chives or shallots! Either will add that sharp, oniony flavor that we’re going for. You can also leave them out entirely.
- Cilantro – I know not everyone likes cilantro; feel free to use flat leaf parsley instead.
- Chili Powder – I like to use New Mexico chili powder for authentic chile heat, without the extra seasonings you find in regular chili powder. But if all you have is the regular blend, that’s totally fine!
- Smoked Paprika – I don’t recommend substituting regular paprika for smoked paprika. The smoked kind really has that, well, smoky flavor that defines this dish! It’s a must-have for these smoked appetizers.
- Cream Cheese and Cheddar Cheese – I like to keep things easy and classic with these two cheeses! But almost any other shredded cheese can be swapped in for the cheddar.
Feeling even more adventurous? Try feta or goat cheese!
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers Tips and Tricks
Close the peppers tightly.
Before you start smoking jalapenos, soak some toothpicks in water and stick them right through your peppers. This will keep the bacon wrapped tightly around the jalapenos while they smoke!
Shred the cheese fresh.
You can really notice the difference when you use freshly shredded cheese versus the bagged stuff. It melts easier and has a sharper, more distinct flavor.
Use room temperature cream cheese.
Save your forearm by letting the cream cheese come to room temperature before attempting to mix up the filling.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
I’ll be absolutely shocked if you have any leftover smoked jalapeno poppers! When I break these out, they’re gone in minutes.
If you do somehow have leftovers, just keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 3 days.
To reheat, pop those poppers back in the oven at around 350-400°F, until the bacon crisps back up and they’re warmed through to the center.
Or, if you have an air fryer, that would be a fantastic way to reheat them.
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers FAQ
It takes just about 2 hours and 30 minutes to smoke 24 jalapenos at 225°F.
They are a bit spicy: after all, you’re biting right into a pepper! However, there are plenty of things that help to tone these bad boys down. The cream cheese, for starters, dulls a whole lot of that heat. The bacon is the first thing you bite into, too, and the fat in the meat helps a bit.
You’ll also be removing the seeds from the pepper when making this recipe, and those are really the hottest part. So you shouldn’t find these overwhelmingly spicy at all!
You have a couple of options! I recommend trying out my simple and light blue cheese dip, some zesty cilantro lime yogurt sauce, or a spicy chipotle lime mayo. They’re all quick and easy to whip up, and are perfect dippers for so many appetizers.
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Other Recipes with Jalapenos
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
- 12 jalapeños
- 12 strips of bacon
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon New Mexico chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
- Using a hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese in a medium size mixing bowl. Add the spices and shredded cheese, then mix again to combine.
- Fold in the scallions and cilantro with a rubber spatula.
- Cut the ends off of the jalapenos, halve, and remove membranes and seeds with a spoon.
- Fill each jalapeno halve with cheese filling, smooth flat, and wrap with a half piece of bacon.
- Place directly on the grill plates and smoke for 2-1/2 hours, or until the bacon becomes crispy.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally Published July 2022
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These are amazing. Great appetizers for when we have friends come over. We always get compliments.