I’ve written about smoked shrimp and it was really good but it has so much more potential as I have shown in this newsletter. I have taken extra large shrimp and butterflied them, stuffed them with a cream cheese mixture, wrapped them in a half-slice of bacon and  then smoked them to perfection.

These babies surpassed my every expectation and were everything I thought they could be and more!

I know that you are going to want to try these very soon and maybe even this weekend. They are quick and easy and I would have no problem serving them on paper plates at a backyard barbecue or on my best china at a fancy dinner.

It’s that kind of dish!

These smoked shrimp make a great appetizer or even a main entree depending on your setting.


Try the Recipes for My Rub and Sauce..

Many of you have my very own rub recipe and sauce recipe and I highly recommend that you always use the recipes for my rub and sauce anytime you smoke meat but if you don’t have them, then do yourself a huge favor and get them today. They will add a massive amount of flavor to anything you cook and will boost your cooking to a level of success that is unmatched by anything else!

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Stuffed, Bacon Wrapped, Smoked Shrimp

Important Information
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Marinate Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Smoker Temp: 225 F
  • Meat Finish Temp: N/A
  • Recommended Wood: Apple
What You’ll Need
  • 2 lbs extra large shrimp (22-26 count)
  • Jeff’s rub and sauce (purchase recipes here)
  • Large zip top bag
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 lb bacon
  • Toothpicks
Peeling the Shrimp

I like to buy the easy-peel shrimp but obviously, if you have access to fresh local shrimp then that is better and they may not be easy-peel.


I am big on food safety so I like to fill a metal mixing bowl about half full with ice. I then set a slightly smaller metal mixing bowl onto the top of the ice.

The shrimp goes into the slightly smaller bowl to keep them cold while I’m peeling. The metal does a better job than plastic to transfer the cold from the ice to the shrimp.

Also go ahead and remove the tail as well while you’re at it.

Butterflying the Shrimp

Using a sharp knife, make a cut along the outside edge of the shrimp without cutting all the way through.


Marinating the Shrimp

Once all of the shrimp are peeled with tails removed, and butterflied, place them into a large zip top bag.


Pour about 1/2 cup of my rub (purchase recipes here) into the bag right on top of the shrimp.

Seal the bag and roll it around to thoroughly coat the shrimp with the rub.


Once the shrimp are coated well, place the bag of shrimp in the fridge for 3 hours. The delicious rub will mix with the delectable juices in the shrimp and create a marinade that will amaze your tastebuds!

Making the Stuffing

Mix a single 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese with the shredded mozzarella, cheddar and Monterey jack cheese and combine well.

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Precooking the Bacon

I highly recommend pre-cooking the bacon. The shrimp cook so quickly that the bacon doesn’t even have time to start getting done in the smoker.

To pre-cook the bacon:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Place strips of bacon on a baking sheet
  3. Cook bacon for about 6 minutes then remove (no flipping or turning required)*

*I used thin cut bacon. If the bacon is thicker, it will probably require more time to pre-cook.

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Stuffing and Wrapping the Shrimp

After 3 hours the shrimp are done marinating and can be removed from the fridge. Do NOT rinse.

Place about 1/2 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into the butterflied part of each shrimp then wrap a half-slice of pre-cooked bacon around it’s midriff. Secure with a toothpick and that’s all there is to it.

If you have some Bradley racks, the stuffed, bacon wrapped shrimp can be transported to and from the smoker without being disturbed.

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Getting the Smoker Ready

Set your smoker up for cooking at about 225 degrees with apple wood or another favorite wood. I prefer a milder tasting wood on these but any smoking wood will technically work just fine.

Once the smoker is maintaining a steady temperature, it is ready for the shrimp.

If your smoker has a water pan, use it.

Smoking the Shrimp

Place the stuffed, wrapped shrimp on a Bradley rack or on a baking sheet if you do not have anything better. Something mesh-like which will allow the smoke to come up through the bottom is your best option.


When Are the Shrimp Finished Cooking?

Most shrimp will turn pinkish when they are done and this is a good indicator but you do not want to overcook shrimp or they will get rubbery. The meat will turn from translucent to somewhat opaque when they are near perfect.

They will also feel firm and plump.

Shrimp will also curl into a distinct “C” shape when they are finished but this is somewhat subjective.

I recommend making sure that your smoker is absolutely maintaining 225 degrees at grate level using a very reliable thermometer then let them cook for 20-25 minutes. Check them again in 5 minute intervals if they are not quite done yet.

I have done multiple batches of these and they consistently come out perfect in 35 minutes at 225 degrees F at grate level.

Serving the Shrimp

I love serving these smoked shrimp as appetizers especially when something else I am cooking is going to take a while.

Alternatively, these smoked shrimp would work well on skewers.

Place 4-6 on a long, wooden skewer and serve them with grilled asparagus or another favorite side as an entree that will delight your family and friends.


Here’s my barbecue cocktail sauce that I came up with the last time I wrote about smoked shrimp:

Jeff’s Barbecue Cocktail Sauce

Mix until well blended.

Seems to simple? It is simple but you will love it and folks will want the recipe. I recommend keeping an air of mystery about it for a while before divulging your secret;-)


  • I really like horseradish, if you don’t like it as much as I do, you might want to start with 1 TBS, taste it, then add more to taste.
  • You can use another barbecue sauce however, I cannot vouch for the ingredients or the flavor. My list of ingredients just happen to work really well for the sauce, others may not.


Try Jeff’s Recipes for Rub and Sauce on Smoked Shrimp

You and I both know that there are a lot of rub and sauce recipes out there and I recommend you try as many different ones as you can but I have a couple of recipes that I personally and painstakingly came up with over the course of about 6 years that I’d love for you to try.

I sell these recipes to help cover the cost of producing the newsletter, to provide hosting for the website, the research and development of new recipes, the service charges for automating the newsletter to more than 200k subscribers, and everything else that we do here to promote the learning of how to smoke meat.

You will find that my rub recipe and sauce recipe are extremely uniquebetter than anything you ever tasted and if your tastebuds don’t go incredibly nuts over them, I’ll buy them back.

I am very confident that you’ll love them and you’ll not only end up with a couple of wonderful recipes, you’ll feel really good that you helped to support what we do here at smoking-meat.com in teaching the wonderful art of smoking meat.

Almost every review that I get at the online store is 5 stars and if that don’t make you want to see what all the fuss is about then I don’t know what will.

Here’s one of those reviews that just came in recently from Charlene:

“Tried the rub on Pork Country Style Ribs and it was a raving success. I received so many compliments it was embarrassing. Definitely will be using it again and again”

And here’s an excellent review from Jeremy:

“Smoked pork butt, ribs and chicken, delicious rub, sauce is over the top!”

I receive raving reviews just like these every single day via email and many more are posted at the online store for you to read.

Give the recipes a shot, support the website and impress your friends and family with the amazing flavor of these recipes. I will owe you a debt of gratitude for allowing me to continue do what I love to do.

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Other Resources

Smoking Meat Forums – 61 thousand passionate, raving fans all gathered in one place to talk about smoking meat. It’s free and if you have not checked it out then you are missing what could be one of the best experiences you’ve had in a while. No junk, spam or creepy stalkers, just good people talking about smoked food!

The Smoking Meat Book – My book has 177 reviews on Amazon and an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. That’s pretty amazing and it makes me proud to have had the privilege to author it. I have put together more smoking meat information than you can shake a stick at plus a really good collection of some of the best smoking meat recipes anywhere. It’s been selling like crazy for over a year now and you need to order your own copy today.

Smoking Meat Newsletter Archive – I like to mention this once in a while since some folks still do not know that it exists. We archive every copy of the newsletter on the website just a week or two after it goes out and we’ve been doing this for 9 years now. We now have more than 200 newsletters archived for your reading and learning pleasure.


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