First attempt at smoked poppers

Discussion in 'ABT's' started by plimtuna, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. plimtuna

    plimtuna Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    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.
  2. 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.

  3. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    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 .
  4. plimtuna

    plimtuna Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    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.
    crazymoon likes this.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    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!
  6. plimtuna

    plimtuna Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    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.
  7. plimtuna

    plimtuna Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    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?
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    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.
    crazymoon likes this.
  9. plimtuna

    plimtuna Fire Starter SMF Premier Member


    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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