Smoked Chicken Bombs (Chicken Breast Stuffed with Cream Cheese & Jalapeño)

Smoked chicken breasts are good all on their own, however, if you want to try something different and really, really good, stuff them with a mixture of cream cheese and diced jalapeño wrapped in bacon to hold it all together. I've been making variations of these for ages, but I hear they are now called chicken bombs in some circles. Regardless of what you name them, it's a recipe designed to please everyone!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Brine Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: ~1.5 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225-240°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan
What You'll Need
IMG 0492 1000x715Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Step 1: Brine (optional)

I always recommend brining chicken and, all poultry as far as that goes, but just know that if you are short on time or decide to make this recipe at the spur of the moment, it will not ruin the recipe if you skip brining it.

Brining adds moisture and flavor to the inside of the meat to help ensure that it ends up as juicy, tender and flavorful as it can be.

To brine the chicken breasts make a solution of:

  • 1 quart of cold water
  • ¼ cup of coarse kosher salt (Morton's blue box)
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar

Stir well until everything is dissolved.

Place the chicken breasts into a zip top bag or other plastic or glass container and pour the brine over the chicken to cover. Place in the fridge for about 2 hours to brine.

Once the brining is complete, remove the chicken from the brine and rinse well under cold water. Pat dry and set aside.

Step 2: Make the Cream Cheese/Jalapeño Mixture

This step can be completed while the chicken is brining (if you opt to brine).

Leave the cream cheese out on the table for about an hour to soften.

Place a block of cream cheese or about 8 oz into a small to medium sized mixing bowl.

Deseed, clean and dice 2-3 jalapeño peppers, depending on how well you like jalapeño and how spicy the jalapeños are.

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I usually taste of a little piece to get a feel for the heat level of the peppers (they tend to vary greatly).

Tip: soak the cleaned, deseeded peppers in a bowl of sprite to remove some of the heat. The longer you soak them, the more mild they will become. I usually start with about an hour and go from there.

Note: Another option is to use poblano peppers which contain a lot of flavor but without the heat.

Put the diced peppers into the bowl with the cream cheese and stir to combine.

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Step 3: Season and Stuff the Chicken Breasts

Brush a little olive oil onto the chicken breasts, then season the top side with Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub).

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Add a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese/jalapeno mixture on top of the rub. Spread the rub over half of the chicken breast.

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Fold the chicken over on top of itself. To make it easier to fold, you can make a shallow cut at about the halfway point of the chicken breast widthwise.

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Once the chicken is folded coat the entire outside of the chicken breast with a little olive oil and season generously with Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub)

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Step 4: Wrap with Bacon

Lay 2 thin slices of bacon across the stuffed chicken breast.

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Lift the chicken up and hold it with one hand while you wrap the bacon “artistically” around the chicken.

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It can be as “purdy” or haphazard as you like.. no one's judging the wrap ;-)

Step 5: Smoke Cook the Chicken

Place the stuffed chicken on a pan/rack, Weber grill pancooling rack or something similar to make it easy to carry them out to the smoker.

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Set up your smoker for cooking with indirect heat at around 225- 240°F if possible.

If your smoker has a water pan, it's a good idea to use it.

I used pecan but you can use any smoking wood that you desire and have available.

Once the smoker is ready, place the stuffed chicken directly on the smoker grate and insert a probe from a digital probe meat thermometer (if you have one) so you will know the exact time it is finished. I use the Smoke by ThermoWorks most often because it works so well and because it has excellent range (more than 300 feet).

You can also use a super fast meat thermometer such as the Thermapen.

It should take around 1.5 hours to finish cooking and I recommend applying smoke for at least an hour.

Step 6: Serve

When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

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You can also order the formulas for my rubs and sauce and make these yourself at home. Grab those HERE and download immediately.

Jeff’s Smoking Meat Books

smoking-meat-book-coverSmoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue – The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that “no smoker should be without this book”!

With more than 1000 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended and is a Bestseller in Barbecuing & Grilling books on Amazon.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | German Edition

smoke-wood-fire-book-coverSmoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.

It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.

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Printable Recipe

2015 IMG 7976
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Chicken Bombs (Cream Cheese & Jalapeño Stuffed Chicken Breast)

Smoked chicken breasts are good all on their own however, if you want to try something different and really, really good, stuff them with a mixture of cream cheese and diced jalapeño wrapped in bacon to hold it all together, add a lot of great flavor and to keep the meat moist in the absence of the skin.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 4 -6

Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken breasts
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 3 jalapeños
  • 2 slices of thin bacon per piece of chicken
  • Jeff's original rub recipe

Instructions

Step 1: Brine (optional)

  • To brine the chicken breasts make a solution of: 1 quart of cold water, ¼ cup of coarse kosher salt and ¼ cup of brown sugar.
  • Stir well until everything is dissolved.
  • Place the chicken breasts into a zip top bag or other plastic or glass container and pour the brine over the chicken to cover. Place in the fridge for about 2 hours to brine.
  • Once the brining is complete, remove the chicken from the brine and rinse well under cold water. Pat dry and set aside.

Step 2: Make the Cream Cheese/Jalapeño Mixture

  • Leave the cream cheese out on the table for about an hour to soften.
  • Place a block of cream cheese or about 8 oz into a small to medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Deseed, clean and dice 2-3 jalapeño peppers depending on how well you like jalapeño and how spicy the jalapeños are.
  • Put the diced peppers into the bowl with the cream cheese and stir to combine.

Step 3: Season and Stuff the Chicken Breasts

  • Brush a little olive oil onto the chicken breasts then season the top side with Jeff's original rub.
  • Add a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese/jalapeno mixture on top of the rub.
  • Fold the chicken over on top of itself. To make it easier to fold, you can make a shallow cut at about the halfway point of the chicken breast widthwise.
  • Once the chicken is folded coat the entire outside of the chicken breast with a little olive oil and season generously with Jeff's original rub.

Step 4: Wrap with Bacon

  • Lay 2 thin slices of bacon across the stuffed chicken breast.
  • Lift the chicken up and hold it with one hand while you wrap the bacon "artistically" around the chicken.

Step 5: Smoke Cook the Chicken

  • Place the stuffed chicken on a Bradley rack, cookie sheet or something similar to make it easy to carry them out to the smoker.
  • Set up your smoker for cooking with indirect heat at around 240°F if possible.
  • If your smoker has a water pan, it's a good idea to use it.
  • I used pecan but you can use any smoking wood that you desire and have available.
  • Once the smoker is ready, place the stuffed chicken directly on the smoker grate and insert a probe from a digital probe meat thermometer (if you have one) so you will know the exact time it is finished.
  • You can also use a super fast meat thermometer such as the Thermapen but this requires you to open the door several times and you stand the chance of overcooking the chicken if it happens to get done sooner than you expect.

Step 6: Serve

  • When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

16 Comments

  1. Peter Josef Sadlik March 7, 2021 at 2:54 am - Reply

    5 stars
    Thanks Jeff great recipe. Didn't have bacon handy so used prosciutto. Very tasty.

  2. HotSauce Johnny March 5, 2021 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Hey Jeff,

    Can I set these up the night before and leave them in the fridge to put on the smoker next day?

    • Jeff Phillips March 8, 2021 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      Yes.. that works great!

  3. Greg Dokus March 4, 2021 at 10:06 am - Reply

    5 stars
    What happens if you pound the thick end of the chicken to get a more uniform thickness, and in turn there will be easier rolling, but more revolutions? Will they cook up as well?

  4. Mike November 22, 2020 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    I’ve made these a few times and they always come out great. The only tweak I do is I make about half glazed with sauce and the other half just like the recipe. Both disappear. I’ve also had a few instances where I had leftover cream cheese mixture and leftover bacon. Tonight I tried making a bacon weave and rolled the cheese mixture like a fattie. We’ll see how it comes out.

  5. Steve Kaye July 2, 2019 at 10:01 am - Reply

    I've made this on several occasions and it is nothing short of fantastic (and I am not even a chicken breast fan!). Truly delicious — and brining the chicken helps tremendously.

  6. Shane May 26, 2019 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    1.5 hours?
    Am I just an anomaly here – Mine have been on over 2 hours now and cant punch passed 145.
    Im starting to get a bit nervous as it seems ‘stalled'

    • Shane May 27, 2019 at 11:04 am - Reply

      It took a bit longer to cook than I had anticipated, but boy was it worth the wait!! Im glad I went by the temp and not the time. It came out great!

      Deeeeeelish!! Will make again!

  7. Nratty May 4, 2019 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Yum. I cant wait to try! I have frozen leftover holiday ham i want to add to the cream cheese mixture. I also freeze whole jalepenos for recipes like these. Freezing the peppers tames down the heat if I am not craving the spice! Thanks!

  8. vicki May 4, 2017 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I have made these a few times, they are fabulous!
    Where does the meat thermometer go, in the chicken or the cheese?

    • Jeff Phillips May 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm - Reply

      I make sure the tip of the thermometer is in the center where the stuffing is. The poultry juices get to the center where the cheese is so it has to reach 165 in that area in order to be safe. It also does not hurt to check the temperature of the chicken as well just to make sure all is well.

  9. Mike July 1, 2016 at 12:45 am - Reply

    5 stars
    I recently purchased one of those smoker contraptions and decided to make this recipe for my first time as a test. I served them to my wife and a friend and we all agreed that they were super awesome. I made them again for a group of eight and without exception, these chicken breasts were deemed the best thing ever. Highly recommended. The only thing I changed was to wrap them in enough bacon to completely cover the chicken, then added more. DeLish!

  10. Cassandra August 7, 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    My favorite foods combined. We have fresh jalapeños in our garden right now. I can't wait to smoke it this weekend! Thanks

  11. Larry Stephenson August 6, 2015 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    These chicken breast were great. I have found my Masterbuilt electric smoker gets things in about half the time. Is this normal?

    • Jeff Phillips August 12, 2015 at 10:35 am - Reply

      It is possible that it the thermometer is off by 30-40°F. This is actually quite common and one of my electric smokers has the same problem. If it's 30°F off you can simply set it 30°F higher/lower to offset it.

  12. Terry August 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Have made these before with thighs. We tends to like them as they stay juicier.

    I did laugh that your email has a filter on the word “breasts”…

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