A year or two ago, a craze hit the internet known as the smoked bacon wrapped onion ring. I'm a little slow getting on that train, but, after putting my spin on it and trying it out, I'm wondering why I waited so long.
With Super Bowl coming up you need some amazing appetizers no matter who your team is. Here's one you need to add to your list.
Barbecue's Greatest Secret.. My Original Rub Recipe!
These smoked bacon wrapped onion rings are covered in barbecue sauce and sprinkled with my original rub before being wrapped in bacon. The original rub is applied again on the outside once they are wrapped. You've been dreaming of something this good and here it is!
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- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Smoker Temp: 225-240°F
- Meat Finish Temp: N/A
- Recommended Wood: Pecan
- 3-4 sweet onions, large
- 2 lbs bacon, thin sliced
- Jeff's original barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here)
- Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here)
- Toothpicks (optional)
I had 6 sweet yellow onions but only used 4 onions to get 12 large rings with 2 layers each.
Cut about ¼ inch from the root end and the stem end. It will be flat on both sides.
Peel the skin from the outside of the onions.
Cut the onion into ½ inch pieces. You should get 3-4 slices from each onion.
Remove the inner layers to leave the 2 largest outside layers.. we'll call them layer 1 and layer 2.
If the slices are large enough, you might be able to get another slice from the 3rd and 4th layer.
By using rings that are 2 layers thick, it's a lot more robust and holds together better. It also gives you more onion inside the bacon and that's a good thing.
Pick out 12 of the best rings of onion.
Lay the raw onion rings on a plate, cutting board or perhaps a cookie sheet.
Flip the rings over and repeat the sauce and rub on the other side to complete this step.
I recommend you use the thinnest bacon you can find. I usually count slices to determine which package has the thinnest bacon.
If a 1 lb package has 15-16 slices, that's about perfect.
Hold the sauced and rubbed onion ring in one hand and manipulate a piece of bacon around the edges of the ring. When you finish with one slice of bacon, begin another one, going in the same direction.
Each onion ring, depending on the size will take from 2-3 pieces of bacon. If you are careful to stretch the bacon as you wrap, it will cover a little more area.
Some folks use toothpicks to hold the bacon in place, I find it to not be necessary with thin bacon but I will leave that up to you.
This rub will give you another layer of flavor and add to the flavor of this wonderful smoked appetizer.
Leave the rubbed onion rings sitting on the counter while you go get the smoker ready.
Set up your smoker for cooking at about 240°F with indirect heat using pecan wood for smoke. Other smoking woods will work if you don't have pecan.
Place the racks of onion rings on the smoker grate and let them cook for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the bacon gets to the right color and is somewhat crisp.. i.e. has good bite-thru.
It's also important that the onion is vey soft.. you might have to eat one to test for that;-)
Bacon does not get crispy per se in the smoker but it does reach a point at this temperature where it is not chewy at all and has good bite-thru. This is what you are looking for.
Remove the smoked bacon wrapped onion rings from the smoker when they are finished and serve them immediately so folks can eat them nice and hot.
I did not dip them in anything but you could add Sriracha (to taste) to some mayo and a little lemon or lime juice for a good dipping sauce. My original barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here) is always a great option and really compliments the smoke.
Enjoy these and promise yourself you'll make a triple batch next time!
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Smoked Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings
- Cut the root end and stem end off the onion.
- Peel the skin from the outer layer of the onion.
- Cut the onion into ½ inch slices and remove the centers to only leave about 2 layers.
- Brush barbecue sauce onto the top of the onion slices then sprinkle with Jeffs' original rub.
- Flip the onion slices over and repeat the sauce and rub on the other side.
- Wrap strips of thin bacon around the edges of the onion slices. Expect to use about 2-3 slices each.
- Set up your smoker for cooking at 240°F with indirect heat using pecan wood for smoke.
- Smoke cook the onion rings for about 2 hours or until the bacon is crisp and nicely browned.
- Serve immediately when finished.