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First attempt at smoked poppers

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Here is a record of my first attempt at smoked pepper poppers this weekend.  I prepped by reading other recipes on this forum.


Here are the ingredients I used:  Cheap thin bacon, 1 lb chorizo, 8 ox cream cheese, 4 oz, cheddar, tine bell peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers, onion.  And I had FURY on DVD while we waited.



I fried and drained the Chorizo with some diced onions.  I first tried to fill the peppers with chorizo and then top with the blended cheeses.  it did not work so well, so I then mixed the cheeses with the chorizo and then filled, much easier.



Started by wrapping with bacon, then as I ran out of bacon I cut the bacon in half and only covered the cheese/chorizo mix.  Next time I will will cut the bacon in 1" squares and lay a few on each popper.  this will make eating much easier as it was hard to chew bacon through.  Or, I will will precook the bacon a bit so that they get very crispy and easier to bite.



after 1 45 minutes at 210F.  (though I suspect it was really closer to 190F I will know better when the Maverick arrives)  I smoked with barely a 1/2 handful of apple in the Mes 40 smaller hopper.


Finally cooked for nearly 2 h 45 mins.  I raised the temp to 240 F for the last 40 minutes to get a crisper bacon.



Result - fantastic, almost sinful flavor.  a bit difficult to bite through the bacon, not hardness, more stringiness.  just the right amount of smokiness (my wife has been complaining that I am overdoing the smoke - newbie enthusiasm I Guess).


There is a bit of a grease problem.  It seems the boat nature of the peppers collects the bacon grease.  Mind you, I loved them, but some health sensitive types or people who like unspotted shirts might find the dripping crease a bit of a problem.   Two things I might try nest time, pre cooking bacon a bit to lower fat and maybe poking a couple holes in the peppers to drain excess grease (better dirty smoker than dirty shirts).


Finally we really enjoyed FURY , one of the better war movies.  Check it out.

post #2 of 9

They look good. A little precooking the bacon might help. I always cook them higher temp. If you poke holes in them the cheese will drip out.

Happy smoken.


post #3 of 9

Good looking ABTs', you can always crisp the bacon a bit at the end by sticking in the oven, it does tend to give the house a likely smoky smell not always appreciated by the other half .

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately the better half has been a bit vocal about new smokey cabin smell.  I like the house smelling like that but she is a bit uptight about it.  I think I may have overdone with my 45 day old MES 40".  


it is funny, this morning she scrambled some eggs for me with some smoked ham I had made.  I walked in the kitchen convinced she was giving me a nice pulled pork sandwich for breakfast.  The smell was permeatingly wonderful.

post #5 of 9
Tasty looking ABT's! You can pre cook the bacon, but smoking at a higher temp will do the trick too. Don't forget some of that grease is from the chorizo and cheese.

Pre mixing the filling is the best method to use. A couple other protiens that are good, shrimp, crab, smoked salmon, tuna or smoked tuna, pulled pork, kielbasa, andouille, I'm sure there's more!
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yes, other (less fatty) proteins are in order.  I love smoked salmon and always seem to have some to spare, so that might be next.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Minor Update:


I made my second batch with a few modifications:


1. Used 1/3 the fat cream cheese - made nice difference, less dripping grease

2. Bacon - trimmed bacon of some obvious chunky white fat parts (gave to wife for some other recipe - great for refried black beans).

3. Bacon (2) - also cut the bacon into 1" - 2 " lengths, made eating much easier.  

4. Bacon (3) - precooked the bacon (after trimming and cutting to length) in microwave on high for 1 minute on a plate with paper towels, made it more pliable and cut the grease some more


New Lessons learned:  


I cooked the poppers while also doing some ribs and a butt.  Man did opening and closing the smoker for the poppers screw with my cook times.  I have to plan that better next time.


Secondly, there was so much moisture in the smoker that the poppers were not as firm as last time.  too much moisture?

post #8 of 9

Water pan? If so lose the water. I have taken to rolling my bacon out with a rolling pin before wrapping. It doubles the size of your bacon so it goes farther, cooks better and creates less grease. It really works, I do this on fattie's too.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 



You are right!  I had the water pan in for the other meats.  That explains it.


I will have to try the rolling pin.

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