Smoked Jalapeño Poppers

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It’s no secret that smoked jalapeño poppers are the best appetizer around. This jalapeño popper recipe has all of the flavor you crave, but with a little extra kick!

We’re forever experimenting with our Traeger! The desire to try new things has led us to so many great smoked recipes.

One of my favorite things to experiment with is trying regular recipes on the pellet grill to see how it turns out. Some win, some lose, some are a tie.

This smoked jalapeño popper recipe is dedicated to big time winners.

Smoked jalapeños on a plate.

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Recipe Snapshot

Smoke Time: 90 minutes
Yield: ~24 poppers
Best Part: Cream cheese + bacon + jalapeños + smoke = amazing!

Tips + Tricks

No. 1 –> If you love smoked bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers, try my Texas Twinkie recipe! They’re a brisket lover’s twist on a smoked popper!

No. 2 –> Use thin-cut bacon for this. HOMEMADE BACON works excellent if it’s not sliced too thick!

No. 3 –> Double batching this recipe so you can fill the freezer? Consider wearing latex gloves! The capsaicin in the peppers can and will burn your fingers for a long time if you’re making this recipe at scale.

No. 4 –> Wondering what to do with all the stems and seeds from your peppers? Compost them!

Smoked jalapeno poppers on a glass plate.

Key Ingredients

Jalapeños: Can’t have a spicy popper without a jalapeño pepper! When choosing your peppers, pick large, bright and firm jalapeños. Avoid any wrinkled, or soft peppers.

BBQ Rub: We’re cooking on the smoker, it only makes sense to add some smoker flavor to the recipe! I used some leftover brisket rub from our last smoke, but feel free to use your favorite rub.

Ingredients for smoked jalapeno poppers.

How To Make Smoked Jalapeño Poppers

Prepare it up:

  1. Preheat your Traeger or other pellet grill to 225f.
  2. Thoroughly wash and dry 12 fresh jalapeños. Slice the jalapeños down the middle lengthwise. Use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and membrane. Set prepared peppers aside.

Mix it up:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together one 8 oz block of softened cream cheese, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and 2 tablespoons of BBQ rub. This is much easier done in the stand mixer than by hand.
  2. Once everything is combined, spoon the cream cheese mixture into each of the jalapeño halves. Avoid overstuffing them, as they can crack open.

Wrap it up:

  1. Slice 12 pieces of bacon in half, lengthwise.
  2. Wrap each one around one half of a jalapeño. Try to avoid wrapping the bacon too tightly, because it contracts as it cooks and will squeeze your filling right out. Kinda like I did when photographing these and my smoked bacon wrapped oreos!
  3. Place poppers on a wire mesh baking rack resting inside a baking sheet or on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Smoke it up:

  1. Smoke your bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers at 225f for 60 minutes.
  2. Increase the heat to 350f and smoke for another 20 minutes or so. This part is super important as smoking at this higher temperature will cook the bacon. Allow the poppers to continue smoking until the bacon is crispy and delicious.
  3. Remove smoked jalapeño poppers from the pellet grill and allow them to cool for a couple of minutes before serving!

Batch + Storage

Batch:

This recipe makes right around 24 Traeger jalapeño poppers! It can easily be doubled, or halved, if you like! I find this to be enough for 8-10 people.

Storage:

If you’ve got leftover poppers, they can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. They’re good cold, which surprised me, but they can also be reheated in the oven at 250f for 10 ish minutes or until heated through, they can also be reheated in the air fryer at 250f for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

Smoked jalapeno popper on a mesh cooling rack.

Make Ahead

One great thing about this recipe is that these homemade jalapeño poppers freeze so beautifully, I’m talking perfect with no extra work involved. So if you’re up for it, I recommend making a double batch and freezing some for later!

Simply lay your uncooked bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers flat on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer, the freezer will do all the work. Once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer friendly container until you’re ready to enjoy them again.

When ready to eat, place the frozen poppers on a wire mesh rack and smoke at 225 f for 90 minutes, then increase the temperature to 350f and smoke for another 20 minutes.

*Note: it’s important to cook these on a raised rack, especially when cooking from frozen, as freezing the jalapeños makes them release a lot more liquid. Keeping them raised above the baking sheet avoids sogginess.

More Smoked Recipes To Try :

Variations + Substitutions

There are so many ways to make this recipe your own! I love it exactly as written but here are a couple of ways to tweak it just a bit!

  • Change out the cheese! Use Monterey Jack or even your own homemade cold smoked cheese *bonus points if you use my guide!
  • Add a smidge of your favorite BBQ sauce to your cream cheese mix.
  • Use different peppers! My kids love “jal-no-peño” poppers, as I call them. I make them their own poppers in mini sweet peppers because they can’t handle the heat!
  • Skip the bacon – some people believe that a popper needs no bacon. I personally don’t subscribe to that school of thought, but it’s an option!

Pellet Grill: I have, and love, and use extensively, a TRAEGER TIMBERLINE 1300. I have zero qualms with recommending this unit to anyone looking to purchase a smoker. We absolutely love ours!

Pellets: We use Lumber Jack pellets in this house. By the pallet load. I recommend the Competition blend for this recipe. It’s a blend of maple, hickory, and cherry and I find its the perfect all-round blend.

📖 Printable Recipe

Smoked jalapeno poppers on a glass plate.

Traeger Smoked Jalapeño Poppers

Allyson Letal
This smoked jalapeño poppers recipe has all the delicious ingredients poppers are known for, but with added smoke for an irresistible treat. These smoked jalapeño poppers are perfect for any party or get together. Make sure to make plenty because once people try them they won’t want to stop eating them! Time to fire up the Traeger pellet grill!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Smoked
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 199 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 medium-large jalapenos
  • 12 slices bacon thin sliced
  • 8 oz block cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar lightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ rub

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your Traeger or other pellet grill to 225f.
  • Thoroughly wash and dry 12 fresh jalapeños.
  • Slice the jalapeños down the middle, lengthwise. Use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and membrane. Set prepared peppers aside.
  • In a medium bowl, beat together one 8 oz block of softened cream cheese, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and 2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ rub.
  • Once everything is combined, spoon the filling into each of the jalapeño halves. Avoid overstuffing them, as they can crack open.
  • Slice 12 piece of bacon in half, lengthwise. Then wrap each one around one half of a jalapeño. Avoid wrapping the bacon too tightly, as it will contract while cooking and squeeze all the filling out.
  • Place poppers on a wire mesh baking rack resting inside a baking sheet or on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
  • Smoke your jalapeño poppers at 225f for 60 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to 350f and smoke for another 20 minutes.
  • Remove smoked jalapeño poppers from the pellet grill and allow them to cool for a couple of minutes before serving!

Notes

Batch:

This recipe makes right around 24 smoked jalapeño poppers! It can easily be doubled, or halved, if you like!

Storage:

If you've got leftover poppers, they can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. They're good cold, which surprised me, but they can also be reheated in the oven at 250f for 10 ish minutes or until heated through, they can also be reheated in the air fryer at 250f for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

Make ahead:

Simply lay your uncooked bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers flat on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer, once frozen, transfer to a freezer friendly container until you're ready to enjoy them again.
When ready to eat, place the frozen poppers on a wire mesh rack and smoke at 225 f for 90 minutes, then increase the temperature to 350f and smoke for another 20 minutes.
*Note: it's important to cook these on a raised rack, especially when cooking from frozen, as freezing the jalapeños makes them release a lot more liquid. Keeping them raised above the baking sheet avoids sogginess.

Nutrition

Serving: 2poppersCalories: 199kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 6gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 283mgPotassium: 82mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 391IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 0.4mg
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