Bacon-Wrapped Smoked Jalapeno Poppers cooked on the Traeger may be my very favorite appetizer. And I don’t mess around when putting them together. I’m particular about the jalapeno size, picky about the bacon used, and generous with the cream cheese.
Best Bacon for Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
My very favorite bacon for the best jalapeno poppers is Kirkland bacon from Costco. It isn’t too thick, which is important because the bacon needs to wrap nicely, and it tastes fantastic when it’s smoked. And this smoked bacon is the bee’s knees. If you don’t have a Costco nearby, any non-thick sliced bacon is best. Save that thick bacon for your BLTs.
How to Pick Jalapenos for Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos
I like a mild to medium heat jalapeno for my Traeger smoked jalapeno poppers, so I look for smooth, uniformly green peppers. This indicates they are younger and therefore less hot. We find medium sized jalapenos are the right size to be wrapped by a half piece of bacon.
If you don’t want your mouth burning too much when eating your poppers, ensure the membranes (the white stuff) and the seeds are removed. If you like it hot, leave some of both in.
What Cream Cheese to Use in Traeger Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos
When it comes to the cream cheese, room temperature is easiest to work with. I use the blocks of cream cheese taken completely out of the package. I’m a purist, so I let the original, full-fat cream cheese speak for itself and I don’t add any seasonings or any other cheeses in my poppers.
If you are into adding stuff into your poppers, though, go for it! This recipe, like everything on this site, is open for adaptation.
How to Wrap Jalapeno Poppers
After the jalapenos are filled with cream cheese, wrap half of a slice of bacon around the jalapeno nice and tight. If desired, use a toothpick to keep the bacon in place. We don’t, because we’re wild and crazy like that.
Place the poppers on the smoker that has been preheated to 350 degrees. Close lid and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until bacon is to desired crispness.
How to Catch Grill Drippings
Our Traeger has a nice grease tray to divert any drippings into a bucket, but if your smoker doesn’t, put a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and place the jalapenos on top of that. The cooling rack will prevent the jalapenos from sitting in the bacon grease.
What if I don’t have a smoker?
No problem! See that cooling rack cookie sheet set up in the picture above? Use that and cook your poppers on the grill or in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes or until bacon is how you like it. Cooking times may vary, so keep an eye on your poppers.
- 16 jalapeno peppers
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 lb regular sliced bacon (don't use thick sliced)
- Preheat smoker to 350.
- Using gloves, slice jalapeno peppers lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes.
- Spoon cream cheese into jalapeno cavity.
- Cut bacon slices in half and wrap each pepper tightly with a piece of bacon. If desired, keep bacon in place with a toothpick.
- If smoker has a dripping catcher, place poppers directly on grill grate, cover lid, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or to desired bacon crispness. If smoker doesn't have a drip catch, place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and place poppers on cooling rack before placing cookie sheet on grill.
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