These smoked jalapeño cheddar turkey bombs are made from turkey cutlets and they are such a great way to use turkey in a fun way during the Thanksgiving holiday season.

Thanks to my friend Josh Plummer for the great idea!

Helpful Information
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Smoker temperature: 240°F
  • Meat finish temperature: 160°F
  • Recommended wood: Pecan

What You'll Need

Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats-- you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

What are turkey cutlets anyway?

These are just thinner cuts from the turkey breast and/or the turkey tenderloin underneath usually about the size of a chicken breast.

You can normally get about 5-6 cutlets from one turkey breast side. In this recipe, each cutlet is butterflied so it can be stuffed. Mine came from the store this way but you can do this yourself if necessary using a sharp knife.

Step 1: Brine the Turkey Cutlets

Make about ½ gallon of brine to cover the turkey cutlets.

Basic Brine:

  • ½ gallon of cold water
  • ½ cup of coarse kosher salt
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar (optional)

To this recipe you can add fruit juice, beer, wine, hot sauce, marinade, seasoning, almost anything and the flavor will make it's way deep into the meat.

I also have some other turkey brine recipes HERE if you want to do something a little different.

To make the brine: Start by adding ½ gallon of water to a large pitcher. Pour in the salt and stir until the salt is dissolved into the water. Add the sugar and stir once again until it is dissolved.

Add any other ingredients you like and give it one last stir to combine. The brining solution is now ready to use.

Place the turkey cutlets into a bowl or even a zip top bag and pour enough brine over the meat to cover.

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Seal it up and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours for best results.

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Once the brining is complete, you will want to discard the brining solution and rinse the turkey cutlets with cold water to remove any excess salt.

Step 2: Season and Stuff

Lay the turkey cutlets on a cutting board or into a foil pan and coat the top and bottom sides with my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub).

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Place about a tablespoon of diced jalapeño onto one half of the cutlet.

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A tablespoon of shredded cheddar as well.

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Fold the cutlet over to finish the stuffing process.

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Step 3: Wrap in Bacon

Pick up the stuffed turkey carefully with one hand and wrap bacon around the stuffed turkey cutlet so as to hold in the cheese and the jalapeños.

I wrapped mine tight with 2 pieces.

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Give them another good sprinkle of original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) on the outside and they are ready to cook.

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Step 4: Prepare Smoker

Setup your smoker/cooker for cooking at about 240°F with indirect heat for about 2 hours.

If your smoker has a water pan, use it.

Make sure you have enough smoking wood for at least 1 hour but it is ok to keep a light smoke going for the entire cooking time of 2 hours or so.

Once the smoker is preheated and everything is ready to go, the cooking/smoking process can commence.

Step 5: Smoke the Turkey Bombs

Pans with racks or something similar is a great way to transport these and almost anything you cook to and from the smoker.

Place the rack in the smoker or you can lay the wrapped turkey bombs directly on the smoker grate.

Maintain 225-240°F for the entire time and keep a light smoke flowing.

Monitor the temperature of the turkey by using a leave in digital meat thermometer such as the Smoke by ThermoWorks.

You can also check the temperature now and then using a Thermapen. Since these read so quickly, you can open the door/lid, check the temperature and close the door/lid in less than 8 seconds without a significant loss of heat.

When they reach 160°F, they are perfectly done and ready to be taken out of the smoker. It is not uncommon for me to remove them a degree or two early since I know the temperature will continue to rise even after they come out of the smoker due to residual heat.

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Let them rest covered loosely with foil for about 5 minutes before serving.

Step 6: Serve

After the resting is complete, serve a smoked jalapeño cheddar turkey bomb to each diner with plenty of tasty sides and you'll have a meal to remember.

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Tips/Suggestions

Consider a teaspoon of cranberry relish in the stuffing as well.. a very good addition to give it just a little more Thanksgiving holiday flavor.

While the bacon tastes great, it's main purpose is to hold everything together and to prevent all the goodness from leaking out. As one comedian says, bacon is the duct tape of the food world. I initially considered using cooking twine to hold it together but then twine doesn't taste good and doesn't look as appetizing.

If you are trying to be health conscience (a good thing in my opinion) use fat free cheese and turkey bacon and it will still taste amazing with a lot less fat. You can also use uncured, lower sodium bacon to reduce your salt intake for this recipe.

Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

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Printable Recipe

Smoked Jalapeno Cheddar Turkey Bombs

This recipe uses turkey cutlets stuffed and wrapped in bacon to make delicious smoked jalapeno cheddar turkey bombs
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Jeff Phillips

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of thin or original sliced bacon
  • Turkey cutlets
  • Brine solution
  • ¼ to ½ cup jalapeno , diced
  • ¼ to ½ cup shredded cheddar
  • Jeff's original rub

Instructions

Step 1: Brine the Turkey Cutlets

  • Make about ½ gallon of brine or whatever is required to cover the turkey cutlets.
  • Basic Brine: ½ gallon of cold water, ½ cup of coarse kosher salt, ½ cup dark brown sugar (optional)
  • To this recipe you can add fruit juice, beer, wine, hot sauce, marinade, seasoning, almost anything and the flavor will make it's way deep into the meat.
  • To make the brine: Start by adding ½ gallon of water to a large pitcher. Pour in the salt and stir until the salt is dissolved into the water. Add the sugar and stir once again until it is dissolved.
  • Add any other ingredients you like and give it one last stir to combine. The brining solution is now ready to use.
  • Place the turkey cutlets into a bowl or even a zip top bag and pour enough brine over the meat to cover. Seal it up and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours for best results.
  • Once the brining is complete, you will want to discard the brining solution and rinse the turkey cutlets with cold water to remove any excess salt.

Step 2: Season and Stuff

  • Lay the turkey cutlets on a cutting board or into a foil pan and coat the top and bottom sides with my original rub (purchase recipes here).
  • Place about a tablespoon of diced jalapeño and a tablespoon of shredded cheddar onto one half of the cutlet.
  • Fold the cutlet over to finish the stuffing process.

Step 3: Wrap in Bacon

  • Pick up the stuffed turkey carefully with one hand and wrap bacon around the stuffed turkey cutlet so as to hold in the cheese and the jalapeños.
  • I wrapped mine tight with 2 pieces.
  • Give them another good sprinkle of rub (purchase recipes here) on the outside and they are ready to cook.

Step 4: Prepare Smoker

  • Setup your smoker/cooker for cooking at about 240°F with indirect heat for about 2 hours.
  • If your smoker has a water pan, use it.
  • Make sure you have enough dry smoking wood for at least 1 hour but it is ok to keep a light smoke going for the entire cooking time of 2 hours or so.
  • Once the smoker is preheated and everything is ready to go, the cooking smoking process can commence.

Step 5: Smoke the Turkey Bombs

  • Bradley racks or something similar is a great way to transport these and almost anything you cook to and from the smoker.
  • Place the rack in the smoker or you can lay the wrapped turkey bombs directly on the smoker grate.
  • Maintain 225-240°F for the entire time and keep a light smoke flowing.
  • Monitor the temperature of the turkey by using a leave in digital meat thermometer such as the Maverick ET-733 or Maverick ET-735.
  • You can also check the temperature now and then using a Thermapen. Since these read so quickly, you can open the door/lid, check the temperature and close the door/lid in less than 8 seconds without a significant loss of heat.
  • When they reach 160°F, they are perfectly done and ready to be taken out of the smoker. It is not uncommon for me to remove them a degree or two early since I know the temperature will continue to rise even after they come out of the smoker due to residual heat.
  • Let them rest covered loosely with foil for about 5 minutes before serving.

Step 6: Serve

  • After the resting is complete, serve a smoked jalapeño cheddar turkey bomb to each diner with plenty of tasty sides and you'll have a meal to remember.

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