Cut the pork tenderloin, pork loin or pork country style ribs into 1-inch cubes and place them in a container in layers.
Sprinkle generous amounts of Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) onto the pieces of meat.
*Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub
Once you have an ample amount of cubes, cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the fridge for as little as 4 hours or overnight for best results.
While the meat is marinating and just before it is ready to be used, prepare the peppers and the bacon as follows:
Cut both ends off of the jalapeños then cut them in half lengthwise. Clean and deseed the peppers then cut them into pieces as shown.
Note: This is a part of the recipe that has recently been modified. When I first did these, the bacon wrap was not getting as done as people liked due to the meat getting done too quickly. Partially pre-cooking the bacon fixes this problem.
The bacon images below is from a different recipe however, I recommend cutting the bacon in half before pre-cooking it.
To partially pre-cook the bacon:
- Cut the bacon in half
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Place strips of bacon on a baking sheet
- 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.
Use a pair of wire cutters to snip the long wooden skewers into the right length for a sucker type stick. I made mine about 4-6 inches long but feel free to deviate from this if you feel so inclined.
Once all the components are ready, take the pork out of the fridge.
Proceed to wrap each piece in partially pre-cooked bacon.
Then push the pointed end of the cut skewers through a piece of the jalapeño pepper then into the bacon wrapped meat.
Prepare the smoker for indirect cooking at about 225-240°F using apple wood or your favorite smoking wood. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
Once the smoker is up to temperature, place the pops directly on the grate with the sticks facing up and close the door or lid of the smoker.
Check the meat after about an hour or so using your Thermapen or digital probe meat thermometer.
Once the piggy pops are about 15 minutes from being done, drizzle Jeff's barbecue sauce (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) on the top of them and let it drip down around the meat.
When the pops reach 145°F (pork tenderloin, pork loin) or 165°F (pork country style ribs), they are finished cooking, tender and ready to eat.
Note: I made these about 1-inch square but I think they would also be very nice as a mini bite-sized piece. You could cut the pork into half-inch cubes with smaller pieces of bacon and jalapeño to achieve more of that “pop it in your mouth” appetizer experience. This would cut down on the cook time so plan accordingly.