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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!
- 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
- 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 rub (purchase recipe here)
- Franks Original RedHot Sauce
- Jeff's sauce (purchase recipe here)
*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”.
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.
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.
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.
Form the chicken mixture into ¾ to 1-inch balls then roll them lightly in a plate of my rub.
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.
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.
- Bradley 4-Rack Digital Smoker – An electric smoker that is fully automated and keeps the temperature where you set it. It also keeps the smoke flowing via an automated mechanism that moves a new wood puck into the smoker every 20 minutes. See this smoker and read reviews on Amazon.com
- Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5 Smoker – the king of charcoal water smokers. Add charcoal, water and wood and you're good to go for several hours. 3 dampers on the fire bowl allow you to dial in the air perfectly for maintaining perfect smoking temperatures. See this smoker and read reviews on Amazon.com
- Big Green Egg – Ceramic cooker that uses charcoal. Add lump charcoal, light it and add some wood.. set the top and bottom vent and you're good to go for hours on end due to the thick walls that hold heat incredibly well.
- Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain Propane Smoker – A propane smoker that works exceptionally well. I have had mine for more than 8 years and it still works great. See this smoker and read reviews on Amazon.com
- More smokers on the way..
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Smoked Chicken Cherry Bombs
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
- Mix up some special sauce for the cherry bombs using one part Jeff's original barbecue sauce and one part Franks Original RedHot sauce
Finish up and Serve
- Drizzle the sauce on the smoked chicken cherry bombs or serve on the side for dipping