These stuffed sausage poppers are great for almost anytime and especially when you have hungry people coming to your house. Easy to make and brings a smile every time!

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Helpful Information

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2.5 hours
Smoker temperature: 225-250°F
Meat finish temperature: N/A
Recommended wood: Hickory

What You'll Need

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Step 1: Prepare the Sausage

Most of the smoked sausage that I purchase locally comes (2) per package. Lay the links parallel with sides touching to speed up the cutting

2015-IMG_7320

Cut them into ¾ to 1-inch long pieces.

2015-IMG_7321

Use a knife to cut an “X” in the top side of each piece of sausage down about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through. Make sure to NOT cut all the way through.

2015-IMG_7330

Step 2: Make the Cheese Mixture

Leave the cream cheese on the cabinet for about an hour prior to use so it can soften and be easier to work with.

Place the 8 oz of cream cheese into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add a good handful of grated cheddar (about a cup if you want to measure) and 3-4 TBS of Jeff's rub (purchase recipes here).

2015-IMG_7324

Please note: I halved the recipe to make about 20 of these and had some left over.. the full recipe will make enough for about 40-50 depending on how much you use in each one

Combine all of the ingredients. A fork works well for this.

2015-IMG_7325

Step 3: Stuff It

If you have an icing tool or bag, that will work well for operations like this. Otherwise, you can just put the cheese mixture into a small ziptop bag and cut off a small corner to make a stuffing tool that will work great.

2015-IMG_7326 2015-IMG_7329

Use one hand or a helper to open up the “X” in the sausage. Put the cut corner of the stuffing tool into the opening and squeeze until it oozes out of the sides and top of the sausage pieces. Be as generous as you like. You can't get too much of this stuff.

2015-IMG_7341 2015-IMG_7336

Step 4: Add the Peppers

Cut off the stem of the peppers and carefully clean out the seeds and ribs of the peppers if you want to. The peppers will be hotter if you leave some of the seeds in there.

I recommend using gloves any time you deal with hot peppers in any way.

Once cleaned, cut the peppers into slices that are about 1/8-inch thick. Thicker is fine if you want more of the pepper flavor to come through.

Lay a pepper slice on top of each piece of stuffed sausage.

2015-IMG_7339

Step 5: Wrap in Bacon

Cut pieces of bacon in half.

2015-IMG_7349

Use ½ slice for each piece of sausage.

2015-IMG_7350

Wrap the bacon across the top and bottom of the stuffed sausage pieces.

2015-IMG_7351

No toothpick is needed in most cases as the bacon is sticky and will usually hold fine with no further pinning required.

Step 6: Season Generously

Make up a batch of Jeff's rub (purchase recipes here) and put some of it into a cheese shaker or other spice dispenser with large holes. Sprinkle the rub onto the tops of the stuffed and wrapped sausage pieces. Be generous with the rub as it is low on salt and high on flavor.

2015-IMG_7360

If you haven't already, place the wrapped and stuffed sausage poppers onto a Bradley rack or a cookie sheet to aid in transporting them out to the smoker.

Step 7: Smoke Time

Setup your smoker, grill or other cooking device for 250°F. If your smoker will not get that hot, then 220 or 225 °F will work but please note that it will take longer and the bacon will not end up as firm as it would otherwise.

Use the water pan if you have one and apply smoke for at least 1 hour if you are using a charcoal, gas or electric smoker.

Leave the sausage pieces in the smoker until the bacon starts to get done (about 2 hours). At that point you can paint on some good barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here) if you want to add another layer of flavor. I think it definitely adds to the “goodness” but use your own judgement there or do some with and some without to get a fair comparison from your guests.

Let the sauce caramelize for about 20-30 minutes before removing them from the smoker.

Step 8: Serve

These will go fast once you take them into the house so, eat a couple before you announce “done” and then rearrange them on the serving platter so no one will notice that a couple are missing 😉

2015-IMG_7380

Enjoy!

Questions and Comments

Can recipes like this be cooked in the home oven?

I mention, “other cooking device” above to let folks know that, although these recipes are intended for the smoker or indirect grill, they can also be cooked in the oven if that is a necessity for some reason.

I mention this due to all of the questions I get concerning cooking the smoking recipes in the oven.

Many of the techniques that make food so tender and juicy in the smoker will do the same in the home oven however, you will not have the smoked flavor. I do not care for liquid or artificial smoke flavoring so I cannot advise you in that department.

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Read these recent testimonies:

"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.
"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 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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Printable Recipe

Stuffed Sausage Poppers
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Author: Jeff Phillips
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
These stuffed sausage poppers are great for almost anytime and especially when you have hungry people coming to your house. Easy to make and brings a smile every time!
Ingredients
Instructions
Step 1: Prepare the Sausage
  1. Most of the smoked sausage that I purchase locally comes (2) per package. Lay the links parallel with sides touching to speed up the cutting and cut them into ¾ to 1-inch long pieces.
  2. Use a knife to cut an “X” in the top side of each piece of sausage down about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through. Make sure to NOT cut all the way through.
Step 2: Make the Cheese Mixture
  1. Leave the cream cheese on the cabinet for about an hour prior to use so it can soften and be easier to work with.
  2. Place the 8 oz of cream cheese into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add a good handful of grated cheddar (about a cup if you want to measure) and 3-4 TBS of Jeff's rub (purchase recipes here).
  3. Combine all of the ingredients. A fork works well for this. Please note: I halved the recipe to make about 20 of these and had some left over.. the full recipe will make enough for about 40-50 depending on how much you use in each one
Step 3: Stuff It
  1. If you have an icing tool or bag, that will work well for operations like this. Otherwise, you can just put the cheese mixture into a small ziptop bag and cut off a small corner to make a stuffing tool that will work great.
  2. Use one hand or a helper to open up the “X” in the sausage. Put the cut corner of the stuffing tool into the opening and squeeze until it oozes out of the sides and top of the sausage pieces. Be as generous as you like. You can't get too much of this stuff.
Step 4: Add the Peppers
  1. Cut off the stem of the peppers and carefully clean out the seeds and ribs of the peppers if you want to. The peppers will be hotter if you leave some of the seeds in there.
  2. I recommend using gloves any time you deal with hot peppers in any way.
  3. Once cleaned, cut the peppers into slices that are about 1/8-inch thick. Thicker is fine if you want more of the pepper flavor to come through.
  4. Lay a pepper slice on top of each piece of stuffed sausage.
Step 5: Wrap in Bacon
  1. Cut pieces of bacon in half and use ½ slice for each piece of sausage.
  2. Wrap the bacon across the top and bottom of the stuffed sausage pieces.
  3. Try to end up with the ends of the bacon under the sausage to help hold it. Tip: Bacon can easily be stretched to adjust the length.
  4. No toothpick is needed in most cases as the bacon is sticky and will usually hold fine with no further pinning required.
Step 6: Season Generously
  1. Make up a batch of Jeff's rub (purchase recipes here) and put some of it into a cheese shaker or other spice dispenser with large holes. Sprinkle the rub onto the tops of the stuffed and wrapped sausage pieces. Be generous with the rub as it is low on salt and high on flavor.
  2. If you haven't already, place the wrapped and stuffed sausage poppers onto a Bradley rack or a cookie sheet to aid in transporting them out to the smoker.
Step 7: Smoke Time
  1. Setup your smoker, grill or other cooking device for 250°F. If your smoker will not get that hot, then 220 or 225 °F will work but please note that it will take longer and the bacon will not end up as firm as it would otherwise.
  2. Use the water pan if you have one and apply smoke for at least 1 hour if you are using a charcoal, gas or electric smoker.
  3. Leave the sausage pieces in the smoker until the bacon starts to get done. At that point you can paint on some good barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here) if you want to add another layer of flavor. I think it definitely adds to the “goodness” but use your own judgement there or do some with and some without to get a fair comparison from your guests.
Step 8: Serve
  1. These will go fast once you take them into the house so, eat a couple before you announce “done” and then rearrange them on the serving platter so no one will notice that a couple are missing 😉
About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

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

  1. Jim September 28, 2015 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Jeff, just thought I’d let you know I entered the Stuffed Sausage Poppers in the Wind Energy Capital of Texas Cook-off this past weekend. We won 1st place in the Open Meat category where you could enter any meat except chicken, ribs or brisket. Those had their own category. We also placed 3rd in chicken, which I used the Naked Rib Rub on as well, along with 2nd in beans! We’ll run at ’em with brisket & ribs next time.

    • Jeff Phillips September 28, 2015 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      Well done and thank you for sharing the exciting news with me!

  2. Simple Simon September 18, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Are we using raw sausage or cooked sausage? It looks like in the pictures that it’s cooked; however I’d like to try this using raw sausage, you know smoke it all together.

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