Smoked Pig Shots: Big Cheddar and Onion

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 Smoked Pig Shots: Big Cheddar and Onion

I posted some smoked pig shots earlier this year (here they are) and they were as delicious as the day is long but I wanted to change them up and, the cool thing is, like a lot of other things that we do on the smoker or grill, there's a ton of variations. The limit to what you can do with these is directly proportional to your vivid imagination.

This batch has a big ol' hunk of cheddar in the bottom, surrounded by cream cheese and topped with diced onions and my original rub. Oh yeah!

Helpful Information
What You'll Need
  • 1 lb of thick sliced bacon (about 10-12 slices per pound)
  • 1 link of smoked sausage, kielbasa, etc.
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 block of cheddar cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • Jeff's original rub recipe (purchase recipes here)
  • Toothpicks
Step 1: Cut the Sausage and Bacon

I purchased a package of smoked sausage which contains (2) links. One of them I'll use and the other will get saved for later. If you cut the sausage about ½ inch thick, you can easily get 20-22 pieces.

The bacon must be thick for these to work correctly. the thin stuff is too wimpy and just doesn't hold the “cup” shape very well. You'll just end up frustrated if you try to use that stuff. I recommend getting several packages of bacon and if you find that one is too wimpy, put it back in the fridge and save it for breakfast.

The thick cut bacon needs to be cut in half. There were 11 slices in the package that I picked out and after cutting them in half, that's enough for 22 pig shots. Perfect!

Step 2: Make the Cream Cheese Filling

Leave the cream cheese sitting on the counter for about an hour, longer is ok, so it's nice and soft.

When you're ready to make the cream cheese filling, unwrap the cream cheese and place it into a small mixing bowl with about 3 tablespoons of my original rub (purchase recipes here).

Mix it up well.

Place the mixture into a quart sized zip top bag and then snip a small bit of the corner from the bag so you can do some “piping”.

Step 3: Cube the Cheddar Cheese

Full disclosure, I purchased some cheddar already cubed up but you can easily purchase a block or you may already have some in the fridge and cube it yourself.

In the past, I have mixed cheddar or another grated cheese mixture into the cream cheese and, while this is good, I wanted a big gush of melted cheddar when I bit into the pig shots. This method gives you that.

Step 4: Make the Cups

Wrap a half slice of thick bacon around a piece of the sausage and secure it all the way through with a toothpick. This will get easier after you've done a couple.

Step 5: Fill with Cheddar, Cream Cheese, Onion and Rub

Place a cube of cheddar down in the cup

Pipe it almost full with the cream cheese filling.

Spoon in about a half teaspoon or more of diced onions

Sprinkle on some of my original rub (purchase recipes here) to complete.

Step 6: Get the Smoker Ready

You can literally use any smoker or even a grill for these as long as you can set it up for indirect cooking at about 250°F. If your smoker won't cook that hot, you can maintain a lower temperature but they will take longer to finish.

If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.

Once the smoker is preheated and ready to go, we can start cooking these babies!

Step 7: Smoke Time

Place the tray of pig shots in the smoker and let them smoke with apple wood for about 1.5 hours or until the bacon has a good eating texture and the cheese is melted.

Step 8: Serve them Up

This is one of the few things that we cook that require no resting time. Just as soon as you pull them out of the smoker, they are ready to eat.

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Printable Recipe

Smoked Pig Shots: Big Cheddar and Onion
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs

This batch of smoked pig shots has a big ol' hunk of cheddar in the bottom, surrounded by cream cheese and topped with diced onions and my original rub. Oh yeah!

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Barbecue, Hot Smoking
Keyword(s): Bacon Wrapped, Pig Shots
Servings: 6
What You'll Need
  • 1 lb of thick sliced bacon (about 10-12 slices per pound)
  • 1 link of smoked sausage , kielbasa, etc.
  • 8 oz cream cheese , softened
  • 1 block of cheddar cheese , cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ¼ onion , diced
  • Jeff's original rub recipe (purchase recipes here)
  • Toothpicks
  1. Cut the link of smoked sausage into ½ inch pieces.

  2. Cut the slab of bacon in half.

  3. Combine the cream cheese with 3 TBS of Jeff's original rub and spoon into a quart sized zip to bag. Snip off a small corner at the bottom for piping the cream cheese into the "cups".

  4. Wrap a half slice of bacon around a piece of smoked sausage and secure all the way through with a toothpick.

  5. Place a cube of cheddar cheese into the bacon cup

  6. Pipe cream cheese filling into the cup until it's just below the top of the bacon.

  7. Spoon in about ½ teaspoon of diced onions and sprinkle more of Jeff's original rub on top.

  8. Setup your smoker for cooking at about 250°F with indirect heat and apple wood for smoke. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.

  9. Place the pig shots on a Weber grill pan, Bradley rack or even a cooling rack and place that into the smoker for about 90 minutes or until the bacon has a good eating texture and the cheese is melted.

  10. Remove the pig shots from the smoker and serve immediately.

2018-07-19T03:22:21+00:00 By |10 Comments

About the Author:

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!


  1. Joe September 4, 2018 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Made these this weekend they were awesome, added jalapenos but didn’t do the extra cheddar.
    Glad about the introduction of the peppers wish I had done the cheddar. Thanks!

  2. Robert Pointer August 24, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    The pig shots were a big hit. They started “sampling ” them on the way to the kitchen. I made another batch with thin sliced bacon to get a more done texture. A little more trouble but worth it.

  3. BARBARA August 15, 2018 at 11:19 am - Reply

    I don’t have a smoker, can they just be cooked in the oven?

    • Jeff Phillips August 20, 2018 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      Absolutely! And they’ll still be delicious too 😉

  4. Andrew July 23, 2018 at 7:21 am - Reply

    I was a bit hesitant to make these beauts because I haven’t had the best luck with bacon in the smoker. Well I’m glad I decided to give them a try. I doubled the recipe and wish I had quadrupled it. Everyone loved them, and I knew this by the seconds, thirds and fourths taken. Thanks for all the great recipes.

  5. Sandy Chernich July 19, 2018 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    So where do you use the kielbasa? I don’t see any mention of it after you cut it?

    • Jeff Phillips July 20, 2018 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Step 4.. the sausage is the bottom of the “cup”. You wrap the bacon around a piece of sausage and secure it with a toothpick.

  6. Terry Hoey July 19, 2018 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Love making Pig Shots and it’s one of my crowd of friends favorites too. You are right about the options for the filling being only limited by your own creativity. I used baby (salad) shrimp one time, and sliced jalapeños for another. My favorite was mixing some fine diced Pulled Pork in the filling. I usually dot the top with some Stubb’s BBQ sauce. I tell my friends to not be dainty with these. Shove the whole thing in your mouth and chew. This way you get a little of everything.

  7. Jodi July 19, 2018 at 7:46 am - Reply

    I love you and don’t care if my husband knows! The only thing that could make me happier than this recipe would be a self cleaning smoker 🙂

    • Jeff Phillips July 27, 2018 at 8:46 am - Reply


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