The Smoked Jalapeno Poppers Recipe That Puts All Others to Shame

The Smoked Jalapeno Poppers Recipe That Puts All Others to Shame

By:

Meathead

stuffed pepper holder

Grilling takes bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers, a.k.a. ABTs, to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Jalapeño Poppers are great appetizers. While standard restaurant jalapeño poppers are usually breaded and fried, my outdoor grilled version is smoked and much more flavorful. This BBQ and grilling appetizer is a big hit with people who like a little bit of heat in their food, but you can remove most of the heat to accommodate wimps if you wish.

There are many variations on grilled jalapeño poppers. Most call for wrapping the halved jalapeños with bacon and holding it in place with toothpicks (a.k.a. ABTs). That’s too much of a pain for me, the dripping grease can put all kinds of soot on things, and by the time the bacon cooks, the chiles are limp and dull. I like them with some snap. So I prefer to put the bacon in the filling.

Jalapeños are chile peppers with a measurable amount of heat, but they are not too hot for most folks. The cool part (pun intended) is that the best way to extinguish capsaicin heat is with cooking and dairy fat. Cooking somehow disarms jalapeños, and the cheese in this recipe not only tastes good, it also helps control the fire. If you remove the seeds and ribs, you can remove 90% of the heat if you wish, and the flavor is wonderful.

Grilled Jalapeño Poppers Recipe


jalapeno poppers
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
4.08 from 81 votes
A cheesy appetizer with a kick, this easy recipe is sure to please, and the smoked and grilled versions are better than the fried version. This appetizer is a big hit with people who like a little bit of heat in their food, but you can remove most of the heat to accommodate wimps if you wish.

Serve with: Pilsner or lager


Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack, Vegetable
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Difficulty: Moderate

Makes:

Servings: 24 pepper halves

Takes:

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

For One-eyed Jalapeño Poppers. You'll need 24 green olives with pimento stuffing
About the bacon. Leftover pulled pork is a good substitute. Or go upscale and mix some crab meat, lobster, or shrimp into the stuffing. Sundried tomatos are nice too.
About the jalapeños. If you like things really hot, use habaneros.
About the cheese. You can use storebought boursin, but making it is easy and a lot cheaper. Try replacing the cheddar with blue cheese, mozzarella, jack, queso quesadilla, or queso asadero.
Optional, but strongly recommended. Mango works well too in place of pineapple.

Method

  • Prep. Cook the bacon to the level of doneness you prefer. It will not cook any more once you stuff the jalapeños with the cheese. Let it cool and chop it into bits.
  • Prepare the Home-made Boursin-style Cheese Spread and mix in the bacon, cheddar, and pineapple.
  • Put on rubber gloves to work on the peppers. If you are going to halve them, use a thin sharp filleting or paring knife to cut off the stems and discard them. Then cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Run the blade along the inside wall of the pepper removing the seeds and the white ribs. If you like hot stuff, leave the ribs in. If you are going to leave them whole and cook them in a rack, slice off the stem and cap and use a potato peeler or narrow knife to remove the seed pod inside. It will be hard to remove the ribs this way, so they will be hotter than the sliced peppers.
    coring jalapeno pepper
  • You can cut them in half, remove the seeds, and stuff them as shown at the top of the recipe. The stem is woody and not very good to eat, so you use it as a handle and bite it off just below the cap. Or, you can cut them in half, remove the inedible cap, and keep the cheese from oozing out with an olive as a plug. Hence the name "One-Eyed Jalapeño Poppers". For this option, the olive is not only functional, it tastes great.
    one eyed jalapeno poppers
  • If you have a jalapeño grilling rack like the King Kooker Stainless-Steel 36-Hole Jalapeño Rack with Corer shown here, you can just chop off the top, cut out the seeds, and stuff them.
    stuffed pepper holder
  • You can also cut a small hole in the side and using a pastry bag pipe the cheese in.
  • Spread the cheese mix into the peppers, but not so much that it will overflow when cooking. To make them one-eyed, put an olive at the stem end. Sprinkle the paprika on top.
  • Fire up. Get the smoker or grill going with a 2-zone setup and aim for 225°F on the indirect side.
  • Cook. Grill the poppers at about 225°F over indirect heat until the cheese melts and the pepper gets a little soft. Try not to let the peppers go limp—they're better with a little crunch.
  • Serve. Remove gently with a spatula and let them cool a bit before serving. They are also fine at room temp or right out of the fridge. Make sure you have plenty of cold beer on hand.

Related articles

Published On: 11/28/2013 Last Modified: 4/16/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone


GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily rmoved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy


The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

If you’re using oven mitts at the grill, it’s time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder’s gloves. They’re heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

Click here to read our detailed review

Click here to order from Amazon

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker