• Barker BBQ

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Popper Recipe

The truth is I make bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers too often. And that’s saying something, cause they are wrapped in bacon y’all. These poppers are our go-to appetizer when people come over, and we make them for dinner at least once every couple weeks. The recipe is always evolving but this is as close as it gets to what the default is. These jalapeño poppers are the perfect blend of savory and spicy, with a little touch of sweet from the Barker BBQ Sweet Lou rub.

The Grill

Lets dive in! I cook these on a lot of different grills and they always come out great. The key no matter the grill is getting the bacon to crisp up. This time I cooked on a Weber Performer Deluxe with a Medium Vortex from Owen’s BBQ. With jalapeño poppers hot, even heat is the main goal. This grill set up is one of the best ways I have found for that hot even cook.

The Ingredients

Lets start with the cast of characters needed for the cook:

15 slices Bacon

15 Jalapeños

16 oz Cream Cheese

8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese

2 Tbsp Sweet Lou BBQ Rub (or other rub)

Here are some tips before we get started….

Each pepper gives you 2 poppers.1 slice of bacon per popper.I like a sharp cheddar cheese to mix in with the cream cheese, I used a sharp cheddar from Tillamook for this cook.I always use Philadelphia cream cheese, full fat version. Cream cheese that is reduced fat or fat free won’t set up, it will just melt away, gross.I like a BBQ rub that has a little spice and some sweetness to it. My Sweet Lou rub is perfect for this recipe.

The Prep

First things first…. halve the peppers, cut the center out, and remove the seeds. Trust me, you’ll want to remove the seeds (unless you like the dangerous life and washing down poppers with whole gallons of milk).

After cutting you’ll be left with a nice little boat to stuff full of popper goodness.

After a little work you will end up with a big ol pile of Jalapeños like this:

Mix cream cheese, grated cheddar, and sweet Lou rub together in a mixing bowl. I usually mix it by hand with latex gloves on, it makes it easier with the cream cheese. Fill the jalapeños by hand, but don’t overfill them. I usually just put enough filling to be even with the top of the jalapeño shell. Or bacon awaiting boat. Or flavor savor holder smolder. Whatever you wanna call it, fill er up but not too much.

Now we are really to the good stuff, BACON! Here’s the basic, no fuss bacon I use whenever I do a bacon wrap. You don’t want a frilly, flavored bacon throwing off the taste.

I cut off the parts of the bacon that are all fat on the ends (they are great to save for another cook). For jalapeño poppers we want the more meaty part of the bacon. The wrap of the popper isn’t the easiest thing to describe. I start with one whole pice of bacon for each popper (minus the fatty ends). I wrap the bacon from the top around the “open” end of the popper then I start wrapping all around the pepper. You don’t want some loose goose wrap job or the bacon will fall off and you’ll get a hole punched in your man card (okay, okay, one free pass). You end up with this:

The Cook

Time for the cook! For charcoal I used FOGO Charcoal

I filled a weber charcoal chimney as full as I could get it, lit the chimney and waited until all of the coals were lit, we’re going for a grill so hot your eyebrows are in danger.

Next I set up the grill with an Owens BBQ Vortex. I put the vortex in the middle of the grill, poured in the charcoal and let everything heat up for a good 5-10 minutes. Vents on the top and bottom were wide open the entire cook. *** If you are cooking on a different grill, keep scrolling for instructions!

Now get that bacon wrapped goodness on the grill! Fit as many around the Vortex as you can. As soon as you have them all on there it will look something like this and it’s time to close it up.

The poppers will take 45-60 minutes with this method. On a pellet grill or ceramic grill 350-400 for 45-60 minutes will get you there. The next few pics will get you a look at the color you are going for as you progress through the cook.

We’re not cooking to a specific temperature here, we just want the bacon nice and crispy. As soon as the cheese starts coming out of the cracks and the bacon is crispy its time to eat! Get them off the grill, give it a few minutes to cool down  and dig in!


15 Jalapeños

2 Blocks Full Fat Cream Cheese

2 Cups Shredded Cheese (I Like Cheddar)

3 lbs Bacon

1-2 Tablespoons BBQ Rub, I used Barker BBQ Sweet Lou here


Cut Jalapeños in half and de-seed. Set aside.Mix cream cheese, shredded cheese and BBQ rub.Fill up the 1/2 jalapeños with the cheese mixture.Wrap the jalapeños in bacon.Put on the grill around 350-400 degrees for 45-60 minutes.EAT!


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