Miniature Bacon Explosion (Smoked Bacon Wrapped Fatty)

The smoked “bacon explosion” has been around for a while and it is probably one of the best smoking recipes around.

For those not in the know, a smoked bacon wrapped fatty is simply a pound of sausage, rolled out flat, stuffed with cheese, veggies, other meats, whatever the mind can think up, and then wrapped in a blanket of bacon that has been weaved together carefully. It is then smoked for three hours and the end result makes your eyes roll back in your head when you taste it.

This miniature smoked bacon wrapped fatty is the bomb diggety and I think you'll readily agree once you've tried them. It's perfect for parties, get togethers, holiday events, the list is endless.

Important Information
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: About 12-14 pieces
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Smoker Temp: 275°F (135°C)
  • Meat Finish Temp: 160°F (71°C)
  • Recommended Wood: Mesquite
What You'll Need
Prepare the Fillings

For the full size bacon explosion or “fatty” as some folks call it, you would just layer on lots of ingredients such as cheese, onions, jalapeños, pulled pork, ham, barbecue sauce, etc. but since we are working with miniatures, it's generally better to use fewer ingredients while still maintaining a theme (pizza for instance).

I have provided several ideas for filling combinations below but don't feel constrained by the ingredients. Let your imagination run wild.

Reuben Filling

  • Pastrami, chopped or torn into small pieces
  • Sauer kraut
  • Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1000 Island dressing

Ham and Cheddar

Hawaiian Pulled Pork

Buffalo Chicken

  • Chicken, diced or shredded
  • Cheddar, shredded or cubed
  • Frank's Original Red Hot sauce

Asian Pulled Pork

  • Pulled pork, shredded into small pieces
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Hellman's REAL mayonnaise

Pizza

  • Pepperoni, miniature or diced
  • Red onions, chopped
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Frank's Original Red Hot sauce

Surf n' Turf

  • Raw* sirloin (or other tender steak), chopped into small pieces
  • Shrimp cut into small pieces
  • Green peppers/onions diced and cooked until al dente
  • Worcestershire sauce

*The steak will reach at least medium during the cooking process. If you are worried about it, you can always cook/grill it first.

ABT

  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Mixed cheese, grated (Mexican blend, 4 cheese blend, etc.)
  • Jalapeño, cleaned, deseeded and chopped (pickled jalapeño might also work fine)
  • Jeff's barbecue sauce (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled sauce)

By the way, if you come up with different variations, post them in the comments area below for everyone to enjoy!

Prepare and Fill the Sausage/Chuck

Combine the ½ lb of sausage and the 1 lb of ground chuck together in a large bowl with your hands but it's best to not over mix.

Note: you can use ground sausage only however, it can be a little rich and I think the ground chuck does a great job of toning it down to the perfect flavor.

How I made the FIRST SIX of them (not the easiest way)

When I first started messing with these, I made the meat balls then pressed all of them flat on a piece of wax paper.

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I then placed the filling in the center of the meat patty.

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I then carefully removed the patty from the wax paper by working my hand under it all the way around and folded it over and around the filling sealing the edges by pinching it.

It worked but it was a little time consuming and the ground meat was sticking to the wax paper and making me mad.

New plan!

The BETTER WAY

I then discovered that I could simply make the meat into a ball then flatten it into a boat right there in my hand.

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It was also easy to stuff with the filling right there in my hand.

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With no need to work it off the wax paper, it was fairly quick and easy to fold it over like a taco and pinch the edges together to seal it closed.

Form into shape by rolling in your hand and pressing in on both ends just a little bit.

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Wrap in a single strip of bacon..

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Roll in a plate of Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) if you so desire. You can also just apply the rub to them after they are wrapped and that will work just fine.

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And Voila!

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Just to give you an idea of the size of these.. I'll compare it to a normal sized jalapeño pepper.

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I made several variations and in order to keep them separate, I placed each individual kind in a separate plate with a small label on the edge of each plate notating what the filling was.

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I also made myself a diagram showing where they would be located on the smoker grate so I could keep them straight.

Getting the Smoker Ready

Set up your smoker for cooking at about 275°F (135°C) (if you are able to) with plenty of smoking wood to last about 1 hour. The higher heat gives the bacon a better finish. It won't be crisp but it shouldn't be chewy either. Just a nice bite.

I recommend using mesquite for a good smoke flavor in a limited amount of time.

You can also cook them at 225°F (107°C) but they'll take about 2 hours total.. nothing wrong with that and more smoke time was never a bad thing.

If you're using a pellet smoker: Start them off in the special smoke setting which typically maintains around 180°F (82°C) and produces a lot of smoke. After 1 hour, turn them up to 275°F (135°C) and they'll be done in about 35-40 minutes after that.

Here's 9 of my best tips for using a pellet smoker

Smoking the Bacon Wrapped Fatties

Place them directly on the grate making sure, as I did, to notate the filling of each group.

Watch the temperature and when they reach 160°F (71°C) in the center, they are done.

About 10 minutes before they are finished, glaze on a little of my barbecue sauce (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled sauce) if you want to add another layer of flavor. I recommend it!

Serving the Smoked Bacon Wrapped Fatties

No need to do anything special with these like resting, just bring them in and let everyone dive right in while the cheese and filling is still bubbling.

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The ham and cheddar cheese cut open.. cheese oozing nicely even after it's been sitting for a few minutes.

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The reuben version was especially good but I felt like I wanted more sauer kraut taste. You'll have to see if you agree with me on that.

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And finally, the Hawaiian pulled pork was absolutely heavenly!

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You can also order the formulas for my rubs and sauce and make these yourself at home. Grab those HERE and download immediately.

Jeff’s Smoking Meat Books

smoking-meat-book-coverSmoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue – The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that “no smoker should be without this book”!

With more than 1000 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended and is a Bestseller in Barbecuing & Grilling books on Amazon.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | German Edition

smoke-wood-fire-book-coverSmoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.

It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.

Purchase at Amazon

Printable Recipe

smoked fatty mini
Print Recipe
4.5 from 2 votes

Miniature Bacon Explosion

Call it a bacon wrapped fatty or a bacon explosion but the bottom line is that these baby's are one of the best things since sliced bread. I have discovered that making them miniature sized just ups the ante on awesomeness!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • ½ lb ground breakfast sausage
  • 1 lb Ground chuck (80/20)
  • 1 lb Bacon (1 strip each)
  • 3 TBS Jeff’s original rub
  • 1/4 cup Jeff's barbecue sauce

Pizza Filling

  • 1 tsp Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • ¼ tsp Red onion (minced or diced)
  • 4 pieces Pepperoni, minis
  • 5 drops Franks Red Hot Original

Instructions

  • Combine the ½ lb of ground sausage with the 1 lb of ground chuck in a large bowl with your hands but don't over mix.
  • Make a 1.5 inch meat ball in your hand then flatten it into a sort of boat in your hand.
  • Place your filling ingredients into the boat. These work best if you don't overfill.
    Note: I used a pizza filling for these but you can fill them with any combination of cheeses, meat, vegetables, etc. to make your own themes. (more filling ideas in the full text instructions above)
  • Fold the ends of the boat together and pinch edges to seal
  • Form into shape by rolling the sausage in your hand
  • Wrap an entire piece of bacon around the filled sausage
  • Sprinkle the top and sides with Jeff's original rub
  • Smoke at 275°F for about 1 hour
  • You can also smoke them at 225°F but they will take approx. 2 hours.
  • When they reach 160°F, they are finished and ready to eat.
  • Serve immediately

14 Comments

  1. Denny May 9, 2022 at 9:14 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff! Been making your recipes for years, but somehow never did this one! I'm making these for an office lunch tomorrow – got them all prepped up and ready for the BGE, but….I'm smoking them tonight for lunch tomorrow. I don't want them to be all dried out tomorrow, so I thought I'd undercook them by a few degrees and then heat up in the air fryer at the office…maybe around 200 for a few minutes. Any thoughts on how to prepare ahead/reheat?

    Thanks!

    • Jeff Phillips May 9, 2022 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Denny, I don't think you'll have to worry about them drying out too much due to the bacon wrap on the outside. You can safely cook them to 155°F and hold that temperature for at least 15 seconds which is equivalent to the USDA recommended 160°F.

      As far as reheating, the air fryer will work good but I'm not entirely sure about the temperature setting/time. I am thinking you'd be better off going hotter for less time since the air movement in the air fryer does have a drying effect of it's own. I would probably try 275-300°F for maybe 10 minutes and see where they are at that point. You can then make a determination if they need to go longer. You're really just reheating them to a good eating temperature. The higher heat will also help to re-crisp the bacon.

  2. Amy Lottes December 16, 2021 at 9:32 am - Reply

    The recipe calls for 1/2 pound of sausage and 1 pound of ground beef, but in the prep description, it says to divide 1 pound of sausage into portions. Do you mix the sausage and beef together? If so that adds up to 1.5 pounds. Just want to make sure I am getting the proportions right before diving in. Looks delicious!

    • Jeff Phillips December 16, 2021 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      We have corrected the recipe to make it less confusing.. it had a few issues this morning. The ½ lb of sausage and 1 lb of chuck is mixed together first.

      Take another look at it and let me know if you need further help.

  3. Kirk October 3, 2017 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Don't pay the $18.95 for his rub and BBQ sauce recipes. I did and all I got was the one rub recipe. Total rip-off.

    • Jeff Phillips October 3, 2017 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      Kirk, I am happy to help with this. I offer (3) recipes and with the link provided you should have had access to download ALL of the recipes. I am emailing PDF copies of the recipes to you right away and you can let me know if you need further help with this =) Have a great evening!

    • John December 17, 2021 at 8:04 am - Reply

      Why not reach out to Jeff before being a tool?

  4. Cameron Roberts May 25, 2015 at 11:48 am - Reply

    These things are a little cumbersome to put together but well worth it. I used Jimmy Dean maple bacon, stuffed with Feta cheese, carmalized onions, and diced pickled Jalapenos, wrapped in hickory smoked bacon. Little suckers were the bomb.com. Party pleaser to say the least.

  5. Tolmie July 13, 2014 at 1:02 am - Reply

    I made about 60 of these stuffed with blue cheese and they vanished in 10 min between about 15 people and some people were mad that they did not even get to try one. A true party pleaser. I have made them a few times since and find that generally 3 is a good count per person. Pretty much the best thing you can put in your mouth!

  6. Sue June 29, 2014 at 7:16 am - Reply

    I sauted small dice peppers and onions and jalepenos (just for a little kick), soft scrambled eggs and cheese. Wrapped that in breakfast sausage and maple bacon. Did this the day before when smoking a tri-tip. The next morning, took thawed shredded hash browns packed around the little fatties and deep fat fried them- just till the hash browns browned and the fatties heated through–1 or 2 minutes. The best!! Thanks

  7. Scott May 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Gave these a try over the weekend. Used cheddar, Swiss cheese and ham. Came out very tasty and will give them a try again. Thanks!

  8. John May 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    I prepared these the night before…(3 kids under the age of 3 do not let me have fun while they aren't sleeping!)…and swore I wouldn't make them again…after tasting these little things…I take it back! They are heavenly! I used ham and pepper jack in mine…sooooo good! Thanks Jeff!

  9. mikelisab March 24, 2014 at 6:26 am - Reply

    Jeff,
    We tried the fattys with a twist. Don't care that much for saugage, but wondered what your recipe would be like with hamburger. “IT WAS AWESOME”. Did everything exactly the same only used hamburger, stuffed some with ham and cheese, some with ham cheese and sliced jalapeno, and some with ham, cheese and mushroom.
    Used your rub and BBQ sauce, all turned out well.

  10. Peter Meissner March 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Jeff – Kind of after the fact this being 3/2, but I wanted to tell you I smoked your pork crown roast for 20 people on Xmas day , served it with individual cheese and prosciutto souffles. True to your prediction, the pork was simply awesome! My wife and I figured we would have some for the next day – no way – it was picked clean….Thanks so much for your site. I find the smoking process one of the few things that enables me to relax in an otherwise hectic world. Take care – PM

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