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I love smoked appetizers.. maybe as much as any other part of the meal and one of my favorites are the stuffed jalapeños which I am redoing in this newsletter to show you a variation or two on my previous recipe from the last newsletter I did on smoked appetizers and party foods.

I’m getting hungry so let’s get started!

Pig Candy

Smoked Pig Candy

Traditional pig candy is simply bacon coated with a mixture of brown sugar and cayenne but I (of course) took it a step further and used my rub on it first for that “kick” then once that settled in real good, I sprinkled brown sugar on top of that. Let’s just say that it got lots of compliments from my testers. I did  try some the traditional way and then some my way and everyone agreed that the kind with my rub + the straight brown sugar on top was the bomb!

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 2 hours | Smoker Temp: 225 F – 240 F | Meat Finish Temp: 160 F
Recommended Wood: 50:50 Oak/Apple Mix

Ingredients

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Instructions

Place bacon on cutting board and sprinkle rub on it. Once the rub gets a wet look to it, generously sprinkle brown sugar on the bacon. If you have bradley racks, I recommend laying the bacon on the rack before adding the rub and brown sugar to minimize “fall off” of the brown sugar.

Pig candy preparation

Place the bacon on a cookie sheet or Bradley rack and place in a 225 degree smoker for about 2 hours.

Allow candy to cool before eating.

Pig candy almost done

Note: it will get more crisp as it cools.


Pulled Pork Scoops

Pulled Pork Scoop

I have not come up with a really catchy name yet (feel free to help out with this) but you have to know that I have received rave reviews on these bad boys and they are just perfect for games, parties, get togethers or just about any time.  The corn chip scoops are perfect for holding fillings and while you can obviously use your imagination on these, I like to use pulled pork for a filling with a little sauce and jalapeno on top. My wife was using leftover cream cheese from the ABT’s on top of these as well so maybe there’s an idea..

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Smoker Temp: 225 F
Recommended Wood: Hickory

Ingredients

Instructions

Place a small bit of pulled pork down in the scoop and squirt some barbecue sauce on it. Place a jalapeno slice on top and you’re good to go. Place the scoops on a bradley rack or a cookie sheet and into the smoker for about 30-45 minutes at 225 degrees.

Options:

  1. You could put some shredded cheese on top of the jalapeno and let it melt down over it to hold everything together.
  2. I saw my wife putting a dab of the cream cheese mixture from the ABT’s onto the top of the chip before eating it, great idea!

These are easy to put together, in and out of the smoker in no time and a great appetizer for the smoker.


Dragon Tongues

Smoked Dragon Tongues

This is something that I’ve seen from time to time online and in multiple places so I don’t know who the originator is. It’s almost too simple to have such a fancy name. but.. folks love ’em so why not try these at your next event or party!

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 3 hours | Smoker Temp: 225 F | Meat Finish Temp: 160 F
Recommended Wood: Apple

Ingredients

Instructions

Lay 1/2 strips of bacon on cutting board

Bacon onto cutting board

Sprinkle on some rub

Sprinkle on some rub

Roll up as tightly as you can

Rolling it up All rolled up

Sprinkle more rub on top and then lay down a mean bead of sauce

Bead of sauce

Smoke these for about 3 hours or until they are crispy


Bacon Wrapped Sausage Links

Bacon wrapped sausage links

These are a great smoked appetizer but can also be a great thing to serve at breakfast when you don’t want your guests to have to choose between bacon or sausage. Give them both!

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 2 hours | Smoker Temp: 225 F – 240 F | Meat Finish Temp: 160 F
Recommended Wood: 50:50 Oak/Apple Mix

Ingredients

Instructions

Lay sausage link on cutting board and sprinkle some of my rub onto all sides of it.

Wrap a half piece of bacon around the link and sprinkle on more rub.

Lay the wrapped sausage link onto a Bradley rack or cookie sheet

Place in smoker and cook for about 2.5 – 3 hours at 225 degrees.

Bacon wrapped sausage links


Atomic Buffalo Turds (ABT’s)

Atomic Buffalo Turds ABT's

ABT’s are one of my favorite appetizer and I make these quite often even if there’s not a party or event going on. They are easy to make, fairly quick to put together and about 3 hours into whatever else you are cooking, snacks are ready to eat.

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 3 hours | Smoker Temp: 225 F – 240 F
Recommended Wood: Pecan

Ingredients

  • Jalapenos or Mini sweet bell peppers for the kids (I like to do some of each)
  • 8 oz box of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Bacon (cut into half slices)
  • Jeff’s Rub (purchase recipe here)

Instructions

Make cream cheese mixture by putting cream cheese and shredded cheddar in a mixing bowl and combining the two ingredients with a fork until it is well mixed. Add about 1/4 cup of my rub and stir that in well.

Set the cream cheese mixture aside

Cut peppers in half and clean out the seeds/veins.

Pepper cut in half and cleaned

Fill pepper boats with the cream cheese mixture.

Fill pepper halves with cream cheese mixture

Wrap half piece of bacon around center of pepper and lay them onto a Bradley rack or foil pan

Ready to smoke

If you are not using a bradley rack, place the peppers directly on the grate. Smoke peppers for 3 hours at 225 degrees.

Note: If you cannot find the mini sweet peppers in your location, you can tame jalapenos by soaking the cleaned halves in Sprite® for 2-4 hours depending on how tame you want them. The longer you soak, the more mild they become.

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Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well! ~Peter S.
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..I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while. ~Darwyn B.
Love the original rib rub
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 Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future! ~Michelle M.


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6 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Bryan December 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Jeff:

    GREAT Newsletter!

    Pulled Pork Scoops suggested name:

    Babe on the Half Shell

  2. Bob F December 31, 2014 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Tried your bacon candy and it was a major hit. You might have your wife try a cream cheese and pulled pork dip, just need a blender. My wife does this with the leftover wild hog that I smoke and pull and it is fabulous. I use a vinegar, mustard and pepper sauce, applying as I pull and chop, in order to tenderize the lean hog.
    I will have to get some frito scoops and put it on with your jalapeno garnish…that should be perfecto!
    Happy New Year!

  3. The Taste Place December 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    You asked for other smoked appetizer suggestions, so here is one–a smoked salmon dip that has never failed to please a crowd: http://www.thetasteplace.com/2010/04/14/superb-smoked-salmon-dip/

  4. The Taste Place December 30, 2014 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Good suggestions! I may have to do the bacon-wrapped sausage for our next Sunday School brunch potluck, and while I always get assigned to “meat”, it can indeed be difficult to decide between smoked breakfast sausage, bacon, or smoked ham, so this would let me do at least two of the three! I presume the breakfast sausage is raw when you wrap it?

    Also, I generally add a cocktail frank/smokie nestled in the cheese to my ABTs, but you can’t go wrong with jalapenos, bacon and cheese, regardless!

    Love your stuff,

    Jeff

  5. John December 30, 2014 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    I bought your Texas rub with rib rub and bbq sauce. They were the BOMB.. as people told me. I did a Prime rib so good, people asked me what I put on it and I said my special rub. Will never give my secret away. I also recommend your BOOK Smoking Meat. It has helped me a lot in smoking. All my neighbors love me now. lol I did buy an elec. smoker to me it works the best. Thank You Very Much.

  6. Terry Blackwell April 18, 2013 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Appetizer I like to make

    Take a single sheet of phyllo dough and paint it with melted butter.

    On the end near you place smoked salmon and crumbles of goat cheese across the the sheet.

    Cut it the long way into strips about 3 inches wide.

    Role each strip up like folding a flag until you reach the far end. This will result in about 4 to 5 triangular packets with the buttered phyllo about 8 or so layers thick.

    Repeat the process for the desired count.

    Butter the back side of the packets and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 425 until the brown. I am not sure how long that is but relatively short. Probably 10 to 12 minuets. The phyllo will puff up light and flaky and the goat cheese inside will melt together into the warm salmon.

    Drizzle a sauce of your choice under them on a plate or over the top sparingly. I like to thin down pesto with olive oil until it is about like 30 wt oil. Another is flame roasted red bell pepper puréed with seasoning and a shot of hot sauce.

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