Grilled Jalapeno Poppers are a classic appetizer or side dish perfect for any backyard BBQ. Cored jalapenos are filled with cream cheese, cheddar, and wrapped in bacon. These poppers are the perfect bite!
HOW TO MAKE JALAPENO POPPERS
There are several approaches to making jalapeno poppers. You’ll see them whole, cut in half, with stems, without stems, and honestly it all comes down to personal preference. I like to make my poppers with jalapenos that have the stems removed and are cut in half. Cutting off the top means that nobody accidentally bites into a stem and halving them means double the poppers as well as a better ratio of jalapeno to bacon.
I like to keep things simple and slice the poppers with a paring knife then scrape the seeds with a spoon. There are fancy tools for de-seeding jalapeno poppers but they never clean the jalapeno out as well as a simple spoon does. Once your poppers are cleaned out, the filling is simple! Equal parts softened cream cheese and shredded cheddar. I do like to mix up my fillings from time to time, but this classic combo never disappoints.
BACON WRAPPED JALAPENO POPPERS
The key to any good jalapeno popper is the bacon. I’ve tried all of the varieties from maple to peppered to applewood smoked and I’ve found that classic hickory smoked bacon at a regular thickness is the way to go. Thick cut bacon never seems to cook through in time (rubbery bacon isn’t the best) and thinner slices fall apart instead of holding the popper together. If you are struggling to get the bacon to tuck in or stay wrapped, use toothpicks to secure it in place. Just remember to remove them before eating!
GRILLED JALAPENO POPPERS
Jalapeno poppers can be difficult to grill because the fat rendering from the bacon can cause flare ups. The best way I’ve found to cook poppers is over indirect heat. This can be done by creating two zones of heat where there is high heat/coals on one side of your grill and no or very low heat on the other. My most preferred method is cooking them on my pellet grill since it is all indirect heat.
JALAPENO POPPERS RECIPE
- 6 whole jalapenos
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 8 oz medium cheddar cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Homemade Sweet BBQ Rub optional
- 12 slices bacon
- Preheat your grill to 375-400 degrees F using two zone heat. That means one zone of your grill has the fire directly under the grates and the other does not.
- In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Set aside.
- Prepare the jalapenos by slicing the jalapenos in half. If you don’t mind having a little of the stem left, you can scrape the seeds and ribs out with a spoon at this point. If you prefer being able to eat the whole popper with no stem, cut the tops off of the popper before using the spoon to scrape out the jalapeno.
- Spread about 1 Tablespoon of the cream cheese and cheddar filling into each jalapeno half.
- Wrap each stuffed jalapeno in a half of a slice of bacon. Tuck the ends of the bacon under or use a toothpick so they don’t fall apart while grilling.
- Sprinkle the tops of the poppers with the homemade BBQ seasoning, if desired.
- Place the poppers on the indirect heat side of your grill and allow them to cook with the lid closed for 20-25 minutes. Once the poppers are cooked through and most of the fat rendered from the bacon, move them over to the direct heat side of your grill for 2-3 minutes to crisp the bacon to your liking.
- Remove from the grill and serve hot.