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First time ABTs - far from successful

Discussion in 'ABT's' started by Justincase, Dec 5, 2018 at 9:30 PM.

  1. I had never had ABTs before but i had heard good things and i was looking for smoked sides/ mid-smoke snack options so i gave it a shot.

    Im not sure exactly where i went wrong but they turned out pretty aweful. The first thing ive smoked (which is not very much) that ive thrown away, which is saying a lot because im not picky. I liked the texture and all but they seemed overwelming salty/bitter. I also could have appreciated a little more heat but that wasnt a big deal. Figured id post it on here to get some feedback to hopefully redeem myself in the future.

    I used jalapinos sliced in half, stems removed and all the guts cleaned out.
    I filled with a mixture of cream cheese, sharp cheddar, and mixed tony chacheres in with it. Wrapped then in a full strip of bacon and sprinkled some more tonys on top of it all.

    I smoked them with 2 chunks of hickory at around 275f for about an hour and a half on my weber kettle untill the bacon was crispy.

    My first thought was that maybe i gave it too much smoke or used too much seasoning. Any input would be welcome.

    Not sure if this picture is from when they were done or a little before as it was about a month ago.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tony's is pure salt with some garlic, etc. I like salty but I can't eat Tony's, beside it's super easy to make your own Cajun Seasoning and you control the salt. Anyway, no need for all that seasoning. Use a little rub or just tasty cheese, a quality bacon and ABT's will stand on their own. Thin Blue Smoke comes from wood smoldering on a hot fire. From the picture, your charcoal is barely burning. The charcoal and the wood giving white smoke likely contributed to the bitter flavor. Try the recipe below...JJ

    Cajun Rib Tickler

    1C Tubinado or Dried Brown Sugar*

    1/4C Paprika**

    2T Kosher Salt

    2T Garlic Powder

    2T Onion Powder

    2T Mustard Powder

    2T Chili Powder

    2tsp Black Pepper

    1-2tsp Cayenne

    2tsp Dry Oregano

    2tsp Dry Thyme

    2tsp Cry Celery Flakes

    1tsp Celery Seed

    Grind the Oregano, Thyme, Celery Flake and Seed. Mix all and store in air tight container, up to 3 months...

    Notes...* Leave out the Sugar for a Cajun Blackening Spice. Spinkle a lot or a little, on whatever meat, dip in melted Butter or Olive oil and saute in a very hot pan until cooked to your desired IT.

    ** If you wish you can use Smoked Paprika in the recipe. This will give a seasoning that will add some "Smokey flavor" to Grilled, Sauteed, Fried or Roasted meat, not just stuff you smoke.

    Mix and store in an air tight container...JJ
    ksblazer likes this.
  3. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Well, were they refrigerated during that month?
    If not, maybe that's why they tasted bad?
    After a month, they might taste like a 1,000 year old duck egg.

    They look good. Or did...
  4. Yea i think i will go for your advice next time, i think i tried to dude it up too much. Going to go for a little more simplicity next time.

    Appreciate the advice!
    zwiller and chef jimmyj like this.
  5. This is the recipe for Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning in the green can that most of us use.

    1-26oz box of salt

    1-1/2 oz fine ground black pepper

    2 oz cayanne pepper

    1 oz garlic powder

    1 oz chilli powder

    1 oz msg (accent)

    Mix well and use like salt.

    when it's salty enough, It's seasoned to perfection.

    This is from Mr. tonys cook book from 1972


    Qty’s by weight.

    I made this myself and used 1/2 the amt of salt. Came out very good. I held some back and cut the salt even more, not as good. A word of caution, this makes a bunch.
    5GRILLZNTN likes this.
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Honestly I don't use any seasoning for abt's I don't think it's needed. Try pretty much the same thing you did but find some "little smoky sausages" cut them in half lengthwise and put that on after the cream cheese-cheese and then wrap the bacon around it. If you want more heat leave some of the seeds in them. Keep the smoke thin and blue and when the bacon is to your liking they are ready
  7. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    ABTs are a lot like pork butts to me in that they are almost impossible to mess up.

    If they tasted to Smokey cut back on your smoke. If you didn’t like the flavor it could very well be your seasoning. You just have to adjust it. I sprinkle just a little seasoning on top of my ABTs after they are wrapped in bacon. Salty is too much seasoning, and bitter could be too much smoke.

    Also you can wrap the abt with a half strip of bacon. A whole piece of bacon is too much. It wraps around itself and the inner layer won’t get crispy.

    I’d cut out the seasoning completely and try again and compare. Hopefully it’ll be more to your liking.

    Good luck,
  8. I agree on the Tony's being too salty. I give mine a sprinkling of slap ya mama before I wrap the bacon.
  9. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    JIC, I only add 1/2 slice of bacon when I do ABT's (every month) and usually add no rub but add a smokey or shrimp or sausage chunk etc.

    P1010068.JPG P1010070.JPG
    The bacon isn't overlapped and crisps up better,don't give up as these are excellent snacks!
  10. HalfSmoked

    HalfSmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Seems you have already received the replies you need. I use tony's but it seems you over did it.

  11. Woe thanks for the info everyone!

    Im going to take another crack at it today, going to keep it simple for now with just the half a jalapino, cream cheese, a little smokie and half a strip of bacon.

    Ill post the results later!

    One last question though, how long do you usually smoke these for? Do you let the pepper get softer or leave some it with some crunch?
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    At lower temps, the Jalapeno will get soft. 275+ and you get a tender/crisp jalapeno. I smoke until the bacon gets brown, not quite crisp, but well done...JJ
  13. I gave it another shot today and got much better results. I do believe the main difference was not using the tonys (or any seasoning for that matter).

    I made 8 of them in my kettle at around 250-275f, took about an hour and a half and the last little bit i cranked up the heat to crispen up the bacon to my liking and the peppers stil had the crunch i was looking for.

    Overall im quite satisfied, definitely going to make these more in the future and do some more experimenting with it.

    Appreciate the help everyone! Definatly some great advice on this site.

    I was positive i took at least one picture but im not seeing it on my phone.
    chef jimmyj and ironhorse07 like this.