These Jalapeno Poppers are my favorite! Not too spicy, full of cheese and garlic, wrapped in bacon. Technically, anything wrapped in bacon is aces in my book. What these lack in prettiness they make up in flavor.

These things are so easy to make and so delicious you’ll wonder why you kept buying the TGIF variety in the freezer section. Yuck.


Start by getting all your ingredients together. Because we have to repeat the same process over and over for each jalapeno, it’s the most efficient to get everything ready first.

A word about the garlic: For recipes like this, I like to use garlic in a jar, or as I call it “Jarlic”. I use it when I want to put it in wet rubs, or when a recipe calls for a a sauteed garlic. If you use a lot of garlic it is a must have and stays very well in the fridge! I’ve discovered fresh garlic and this garlic is indistinguishable after a long cook or a saute. I use fresh garlic when it goes into a sauce or a salsa where it’s not under high heat.

  1. Gather. Lay out all of your ingredients.
  2. Make the stuffing. Mix about 75% of the cream cheese block and minced garlic together in a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Cut the Cheese. (hehehe) Slice the cheese in 1/4″ square along the short side, about 1-2″ long depending on your cheese blocks. You should have one slice per jalapeno.
  4. Prep the Jalapeno. Cut the top off. Using a small knife or jalapeno corer remove the seeds and membrane. Get it all and be careful not to puncture the jalapeno! You don’t want these to be too spicy to eat. However, if you like spice, go ahead and throw a few of the seeds back into stuffing mix. You are braver than I am. Using a toothpick, make a hole in the bottom of the jalapeno to allow air to escape.

Lets make some Jalapeno Poppers!

Now that you are all prepped and ready to get dirty, lets do it.

Start by using a small spoon to fill a jalapeno about 75% full of the cheese/garlic stuffing. Make sure we leave room for the cheddar stick!

Stick a cheddar stick down into the jalapeno as far as you can. Wipe the excess stuffing off and put back in the bowl and trim off the cheddar end. If you find the stuffing is not oozing out, add some more. The jalapeno should be full.

All stuffed!

Wrapping things in bacon is not my forte. I always find a way to muck it up, but this is Q and I’m not here to give you the prettiest pictures in the world; This is real life. Brian Regan, one of my favorite comedians, does a really funny skit on this (starts around the 1:10 mark)

Wrapping bacon is an art, and here is how I do it. I first wrap the bacon to cover the top to limit the amount of ooze that will inevitably follow. Then I wrap it around the sides and stick a toothpick through it. Not pretty, but works!

How to bacon wrap
Bacon Wrap Anatomy

Lets Cook!

I like to put a few on a skewer. I like the skewers that are flat or two pronged, not round… this allows you to flip things easier and not stay put when you spin the skewer. You can also use one of these fancy schmancy contraptions, but only if you really love jalapeno poppers.


Preheat the grill medium high heat. Place poppers on the grill grates on indirect heat and cook for about 5 minutes on one side, lid closed. I like indirect heat because:

  1. Minimizes the risk of fire. Bacon grease is highly flammable, and dripping on top of flames can make a fire, especially if doing a lot of poppers.
  2. The grates are still pretty hot, and there is lots of heat that can still get transferred.
  3. It cooks the bacon just fine without tons of heat going into melting the cheese. We don’t want the cheese to ooze out before the bacon is finished!

After about 5 mins or when grill marks start to appear, flip them. Monitor and remove when bacon is at desired doneness. Enjoy the Q!


This is really my favorite method, especially if you have some extra room in your existing cook! Usually when I’m doing a brisket or shoulder, I’ll throw these in towards the end of the cook or right when I pull the meat to hold.

If your smoker is running at 225, put your poppers in for about 1-1.5 hrs or until the bacon is to your liking. Because this could take awhile, I recommend a baking dish with a rack. This is also pretty handy for vegetables and jerky.

Well that’s it! Pretty simple recipe, and sure to tingle the tbuds right. Let me know how they turned out in the comments below!

Jalapeno Poppers

Spicy, Cheese, Garlic, and wrapped in Bacon. Oh man… Perfect appetizer for a hungry crowd!
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people


  • Smoker/Grill


  • 12 each Jalapeno's (Medium-Large)
  • 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • ½ block Medium Cheddar
  • 1 lb BACON
  • 12 each Toothpicks
  • 1 block Cream Cheese



  • Mix about 3/4 of the Cream cheese block and garlic in a bowl. Mix well.
  • Cut the top off the jalapenos and carefully remove the seeds and membrane. Be careful not to puncture the sides.
  • Using a toothpick, poke a hole in the bottom of each jalapeno to allow air to escape.
  • Slice the chedder block into approximately ¼" square slices by 1½" long.


  • Using a small spoon, start filling a jalapeno until about ¾ full.
  • Stuff a cheddar slice as far as you can into the jalapeno.
  • Cut off and remove any excess.
  • Wrap in bacon and secure with a toothpick.

On the Grill

  • Place directly on medium hot grill, indirect heat, lid closed. Cook for approximately 5 min. When grill marks start to show, flip.
  • Eye them carefully. When the bacon is cooked, take them off.

In the Smoker

  • With your smoker anywhere between 180-250 degrees F, place the poppers inside either directly on the grates or on top of a baking sheet. Cook for about 45 mins or until bacon is at desired doneness.
Keyword Appetizer, Cheesy, Garlic, Grill, Jalapeno, smoked, Spicy
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