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Smoked Chicken Cherry Bombs

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Super Bowl parties are the perfect time to bring out the appetizers and these smoked chicken cherry bombs and other smoked super bowl snacks will be the perfect way to celebrate as you cheer your team to victory with your family and friends.

I have also included some links to favorite recipes for smoked wings, pulled pork hot dogs, smoked chicken cherry bombs and of course no appetizer or snack list is complete without those cream cheese filled, bacon-wrapped jalapeños.

Here's to hoping your team wins and if nothing else, you'll win the contest for having the best smoked super bowl snacks!

Important Information
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 38 -48 pieces
  • Cook Time: 45 min to 1 hour
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
  • Recommended Wood: Cherry
What You'll Need

*purchase pre-ground chicken or grind it yourself in the food processor or meat grinder using half breast tenders and half boneless, skinless thighs with visible fat removed.

**Use less habanero if you don't like your food very hot. See my notes below entitled, “How much habanero to use”.

Prepare the Cherries and the Habanero Peppers

Use a hand pitter to remove the seeds from the cherries. You can remove the seeds by any means possible if you don't have a pitter. Use the food processor and just pulse it a time or two to chop the cherries up or you can use a hand chopper. A sharp knife also works.

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Remove the seeds and veins from a couple of habaneros.

***BE SURE to use GLOVES!***

Add the peppers to the food processor and pulse them just enough to chop them up real fine. A hand chopper or sharp knife works equally well.

Mix it up

Add the bread crumbs, eggs, 3 TBS of the rub, chopped cherries and chopped habanero to the ground chicken. Fold all ingredients together but don't over mix the chicken.

How much habanero to use: I used 1 habanero per lb of chicken and while I really liked it, others told me it was pretty hot.

I tried ½ habanero per lb and could barely taste it. If you really like it hot then use 1 or more habaneros per lb of chicken but if you only want it to be slightly hot, then use ½ habanero per lb of chicken.

I recommend making a batch with ½ habanero per lb and another batch with 1 habanero per lb that way you have something for everyone.

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Forming the Cherry Bombs

Form the chicken mixture into ¾ to 1-inch balls then roll them lightly in a plate of my rub.

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Stick a toothpick into each ball and they are ready for the smoker.


I recommend using a Bradley rack if possible for maximum smoke penetration and ease of transport back and forth from the kitchen to the smoker.


Getting the Smoker Ready

Prepare the smoker for cooking/smoking at about 225°F using dry cherry chips, chunks, splits, pellets or bisquettes if possible. Once the smoker is maintaining it's temperature, the smoked chicken cherry bombs are ready to go on the grate.

Here's some information that I have written on various smokers.

Note: In colder weather, it is advisable to preheat the smoker at least an hour or more before you are wanting to use it. Keep the door closed as much as possible and even skip basting if necessary to maintain proper smoking temperatures.

Smoking the Chicken Cherry Bombs

Place the smoked chicken cherry bombs directly on the grate and let them smoke the entire time using dry cherry wood. They should take around 45 – 60 minutes to reach 165°F in the center of the meat balls.

Making the Sauce

Mix 1 part Jeff's sauce with 1 part Franks Original RedHot Sauce to make a delightful sauce that pairs really well with the smoked chicken cherry bombs.

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Serving the Smoked Chicken Cherry Bombs

Squirt some of the sauce on each one or you can let folks do it themselves. Grab a few for yourself and watch the others disappear very quickly!

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Alternate Method for Smoked Chicken Cherry Bomb

Wrap a third or half piece of bacon around the smoked chicken cherry bombs before you smoke them.

For extra crispiness, cook the bacon about half way before wrapping around the cherry bombs.

Secure with the toothpick and smoke cook for 1 hour or until they reach 165°F in the center.

Printable Recipe 

5 from 1 vote

Smoked Chicken Cherry Bombs

Little balls of chicken, cherries, habanero pieces and flavored inside and out with my rub and sauce for that perfect super bowl or anytime snack that will drive you and your friends wild.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 12 -15


  • 2 lb ground chicken*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 15-18 fresh cherries (pitted, seeds removed)
  • 2 habanero peppers (cleaned, seeds and veins removed)
  • 2 TBS crumbled blue cheese (optional)
  • Jeff's original rub
  • Franks Original RedHot Sauce
  • Jeff's original barbecue sauce


Prep Cherries and Habanero

  • Chop 18 fresh cherries very fine and set aside
  • Chop two cleaned/deseeded habaneros very fine and set aside (only use one habanero if you don't want them to be very hot)

Mix it up

  • Fold in bread crumbs, rub, blue cheese (optional), eggs, cherries and habanero to ground chicken

Form & Season Cherry Bombs

  • Form 1-inch cherry bombs from the chicken mixture
  • Pour some rub in a plate and roll the 1-inch balls in the rub to coat lightly
  • Insert a toothpick into the center of the cherry bombs

Smoke the Cherry Bombs

  • Smoke the chicken cherry bombs at 225°F for about 1 hour or until they reach 165°F in the center

Make the Special Sauce

Finish up and Serve

  • Drizzle the sauce on the smoked chicken cherry bombs or serve on the side for dipping



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Recipe Rating


  1. I made these last weekend and they were dynamite! How are they with hamburger instead of chicken?

  2. Hello Jeff,

    Jeff, I would like to THANK YOU for providing your FREE WEEKLY EMAIL. Your Weekly email is always packed with lots of good information..I enjoy your recipes thay always make me hungry! Ty

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks for the awesome recipes Jeff. I was skeptical about buying the rub recipe because I am very particular about my smoking. I’m glad I did because it has been fantastic. The first cook with your rub was Thanksgiving with the Cranberry brined turkey. Goodness gracious, it was incredible!

    Going to try the cherry bombs today for the SB.

  4. Hi Jeff ,
    Many thanks for your weekly News Letter , as I live in South Africa I am finding it difficult to obtain recipe’s . I have contacted a friend in Canada , who is making a plan to sort me out . I had no idea that meat smoking was so popular in the USA , we in South Africa smoke mostly fish and poultry . I am converting a 55gal stainless steel drum into a smokes , once this is working I want to build a wooden cold smoker .
    If you have any advice on making and operating a cold smoker please pass it on as this is something new to us South Africans . If you could recommend a book that will teach me the basics it would be appreciated .

    Regards and keep up the good work ,


  5. Jeff: I want to take a moment and THANK YOU for providing your FREE WEEKLY EMAIL, Unfortunately due to my limited “fixed income”, I can’t afford your recipes. However, I do appreciate that you are willing to share with the world information about smoking meets, etc. You are a true “Conscious Entreprenuer”, providing information and having FAITH that the market will take care of you and your family. Peace and Blessings, Wayne Harper, Spirit Lake, Idaho