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Smoked Mini Sweet Pepper ABT’s (Stuffed Sweet Peppers)

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I've been making stuffed jalapeños (a.k.a ABT's or atomic buffalo turds) for many years but every once in a while I'll get an email asking me how to make them NOT so hot.

Tip: you can soak the jalapeños in sprite or 7-up or some other citrus soda for a few hours or even overnight to leech out the “hotness”

or..

Another really great option is to just use mini sweet peppers.

To make them even better, I've added cooked ground sausage to the mix as well as my very own Jeff's original rub.

Did I mention these are wrapped in bacon?😍

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: n/a
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan
What You'll Need
  • 15-20 (or more) mini sweet peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar, grated
  • ½ cup cooked ground sausage (chorizo would also work well)
  • 2 TBS Jeff's original rub
  • 1.5 lbs bacon, thin cut is best
 
Step 1: Cook Sausage

Place about 1/2 cup of ground sausage into a small to medium skillet and cook it over medium low heat until it is browned through.

Place the cooked, crumbled sausage onto a double layer of paper towels to absorb any extra grease and set aside.

Step 2: Prep Peppers

While the sausage is cooking, cut peppers in half lengthwise to make boats. Each pepper makes 2 boats.

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Use a spoon, grapefruit spoon, melon baller, etc. to scoop out the seeds and some of the white ribs on the inside.

Set the peppers aside and let's make the mixture that we will stuff inside of the boats.

Step 3: Make the Stuffing

Place softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cooked sausage and Jeff's original rub or your favorite low salt barbecue rub into a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly.

I usually just use my hands but a mixing spoon or even a fork works well if you prefer that.

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Step 4: Stuff the Peppers

Stuff the cream cheese mixture into each boat level with the top.

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Note: Size varies but most of these peppers were on the small/shallow side. I was able to stuff about 20 peppers (40 boats) with this amount of stuffing mixture. Your mileage may vary.

Step 5: Wrap in Bacon

Wrap a half strip of bacon around each boat.

Some people use a toothpick to secure the bacon but I have not found that to be necessary.

I like to place the finished peppers on a pan with a rack (here's the one I use) for easy transport to and from the smoker.

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Sprinkle Jeff's original rub onto the top of each one to add another layer of delicious flavor.. now they are ready to smoke!

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Step 6: Smoke Time

Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225°F using indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.

I used pecan wood for smoke.

Once the smoker is ready, place the stuffed, bacon wrapped peppers on the grate and let them smoke cook for about 3 hours.

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Note: if you used a pan with rack, you can place that on the smoker grate instead of laying them on the grate individually.

Step 7: Serve 'em Up

Keep an eye on the peppers and when the bacon starts to crisp up and the peppers are nice and soft, they are ready to eat.

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Eat a few before you bring them in because they will vaporize FAST and you may not even get any if you're not careful!

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Smoked Sweet Pepper ABT's (Stuffed Sweet Peppers)

We often use jalapenos to make smoked stuffed peppers a.k.a ABT's but this recipe milds them down by using colorful sweet peppers instead.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

Units Scale

Main

  • 1520 (or more) mini sweet peppers
  • 1.5 lbs bacon (thin cut is best)

Stuffing

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar (grated)
  • 1/2 cup cooked ground sausage (chorizo would also work well)
  • 2 TBS Jeff's original rub (or your favorite low-salt barbecue rub)

Instructions

  1. Place about ¼ cup of ground sausage into a small to medium skillet and cook it over medium low heat until it is browned through. Place the cooked, crumbled sausage onto a double layer of paper towels to absorb any extra grease and set aside.
  2. While the sausage is cooking, cut peppers in half lengthwise to make boats. Each pepper makes 2 boats. Use a spoon, grapefruit spoon, melon baller, etc. to scoop out the seeds and some of the white ribs on the inside. Set the peppers aside and let's make the mixture that we will stuff inside of the boats.
  3. Place softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cooked sausage and Jeff's original rub or your favorite low salt barbecue rub into a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. I usually just use my hands but a mixing spoon or even a fork works well if you prefer that.
  4. Stuff the cream cheese mixture into each boat level with the top.
  5. Wrap a half strip of bacon around each boat. Some people use a toothpick to secure the bacon but I have not found that to be necessary. I like to place the finished peppers on a pan with a rack for easy transport to and from the smoker.
  6. Sprinkle Jeff's original rub onto the top of each one to add another layer of delicious flavor.. now they are ready to smoke!
  7. Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225°F using indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up. I used pecan wood for smoke. Once the smoker is ready, place the stuffed, bacon wrapped peppers on the grate and let the smoke cook for about 3 hours. Note: if you used a pan with rack, you can place that on the smoker grate instead of laying them on the grate individually.
  8. Keep an eye on the peppers and when the bacon starts to crisp up and the peppers are nice and soft, they are ready to eat. Eat a few before you bring them. in because they will vaporize FAST and you may not even get any if you're not careful!

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