Smoked Pig Shots: Big Cheddar and Onion

These smoked pig shots have a big ol' hunk of cheddar in the bottom, surrounded by cream cheese and topped with diced onions and my original rub then wrapped lovingly in thick bacon. Oh yeah! Smok'em up in about 3 hours and you'll be poppin' these in your mouth one after the other!

The limit to what you can do with these is directly proportional to your vivid imagination.

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Smoker Temp: 250°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: N/A
  • Recommended Wood: Apple
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 formula here | Purchase bottled rub)
  • Toothpicks
IMG 0492 1000x715Please 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.

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.

IMG 4934 2000x1333

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.

IMG 4936 2000x1333

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!

IMG 4957 2000x1333

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.

IMG 4951 2000x1333

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 formula here | Purchase bottled rub).

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”.

IMG 4971 2000x1333

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.

IMG 4939 2000x1333

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.

IMG 4966 2000x1333

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

Place a cube of cheddar down in the cup

IMG 4968 2000x1333

Pipe it almost full with the cream cheese filling.

IMG 4976 2000x1333

Spoon in about a half teaspoon or more of diced onions

IMG 4981 2000x1333

Sprinkle on some of my original rub to complete.

IMG 4995 2000x1333

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 the smoked pig shots out of the smoker, they are ready to eat.

Smoked Pig Shots

Get Almost Anything at Amazon

If you enjoy the newsletter and would like to do something helpful, then..

The next time you decide to order something at, use THIS LINK to get there and we’ll get a small commission off of what you purchase.

Thank you in advance for using our special link:

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 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

Order Jeff’s Rubs and Barbecue Sauce TODAY!
Jeff's Rubs and Sauce

✅ My rubs and sauce will be the best thing you’ve ever tasted and it’s a great way to support what we do!


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

Printable Recipe

IMG 5024 2000x1333 scaled
Print Recipe
4.08 from 14 votes

Smoked Pig Shots: Big Cheddar and Onion

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!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Servings: 6


  • 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


  • Cut the link of smoked sausage into ½ inch pieces.
  • Cut the slab of bacon in half.
  • 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".
  • Wrap a half slice of bacon around a piece of smoked sausage and secure all the way through with a toothpick.
  • Place a cube of cheddar cheese into the bacon cup
  • Pipe cream cheese filling into the cup until it's just below the top of the bacon.
  • Spoon in about ½ teaspoon of diced onions and sprinkle more of Jeff's original rub on top.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove the pig shots from the smoker and serve immediately.


  1. andrea taylor June 30, 2022 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Can you prepare these ahead of time?

  2. Eric September 12, 2021 at 6:34 am - Reply

    I am making them today for a football game gathering, but I am going to try cooking the bacon about 1/2 way before putting them together, also I’m putting a little finely chopped jalapeño in the cheese mixture

  3. Dawn Strunk April 28, 2021 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    These were delicious. I rolled them in brown sugar before cooking. It added a little crunch and a little sweet.

  4. Thomas March 21, 2021 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Can you use something other then cream cheese?

    • Bill Hinkel January 15, 2022 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      I enjoyed them a lot. Thank you for the recipe! I added my own twist by adding chopped jalapenos and drizzled maple syrup on them.

  5. Gail B January 1, 2021 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I put brown sugar on the outside before I smoked them. Absolutely delicious!

  6. Gina December 15, 2020 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Is it possible to cook in the oven?

    • Jeff Phillips December 18, 2020 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Yes.. and if you're doing them in the oven , you can turn the heat up a little higher to get the bacon more crisp. Higher heat means they will get done a little sooner. When the bacon is crisp enough for you, they are done.

  7. Shirley Casciola November 17, 2020 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I made these a few weeks ago and they were delicious. Plan on making them at Thanksgiving for appetizers.

  8. Tonk November 10, 2020 at 10:55 am - Reply

    5 stars
    Excellent. I have made them twice and they are a big hit at a party.

  9. Todd Bray October 9, 2020 at 11:51 am - Reply

    5 stars
    these were awesome!

  10. Bill June 15, 2020 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    3 stars
    Temp wasn’t even close used hornet black label thick cut bacon did an hour and half at recommend temperature then moved to oven at same temperature for half hour then kicked it up to 300 finally done another half hour later
    Taste was pretty good after just wish it didn’t take so long

  11. Dava February 12, 2020 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Do you go up with the bacon cuz just going around one time did not allow room for cube cheese much less the mixture?

    • Jeff Phillips February 18, 2020 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      The bacon I used was thick and wide and worked really well.. sounds like you may have used some that was more narrow. Look for craft bacon labeled as “thick” cut and is wider than average and I think you'll find it works much better for this purpose.

  12. Everett June 2, 2019 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Well Jeff I made those pig shots they were guuuud thank you for recipe

    • Stevo1944 March 7, 2020 at 3:39 pm - Reply

      Jeff. ALL of your stuff & info is awesome!! & YES!! Thermopens & their leave-in probes. I use the DOT on just bout everything! One good hack on the pig shots is to use the cream cheese w/jalapeño in it! Good eats! Keep smoking Brother!!

      • Ron March 8, 2021 at 4:00 am - Reply

        0h my goodness these are Awesome

  13. CUSE April 30, 2019 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Jeff, I have made these twice and the bacon stay's almost un-cooked, how do I crisp it up without overcooking (smoking)?

  14. Terri April 26, 2019 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    how long and at what temp to cook in an oven? currently in an apartment and don't have a smoker… will be in the house next month, but don't think I can wait that long to try these!

    • Jeff Phillips April 26, 2019 at 7:55 pm - Reply


      I recommend following the same temperature and time recommendations for the oven as you would in the smoker. the lower temperature keeps the cream cheese a little more intact. 250°F for about 90 minutes should do the trick.

      • Terri April 28, 2019 at 3:46 am - Reply

        Followed your directions but ended up cooking for 2 hrs, turned 1/2 after an hour; not quite brown enough after 90 min. So yummy! I posted a pic on your Pinterest recipe

  15. Jeremy Thomas DeVos March 2, 2019 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    All my cheese and sour cream melted through the sides of the “cup”…what did I do wrong. I had the bacon pinned on tight. Suggestions?

    • Jeff Phillips March 6, 2019 at 9:04 am - Reply

      I'm not sure what might have caused this.. usually the cream cheese and fillings stay intact in the cup. I assume you were cooking with indirect heat and kept the temperature at 250°F or below–

  16. Sam February 26, 2019 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    I made these and they turned out awesome. I will be making these for parties and picnics.

  17. Krisby February 1, 2019 at 8:41 am - Reply

    For some reason I read the title as “Smoked Pig Snouts”! and the picture seemed to reinforce it. HA! Don't care what you call'em, I call'em DELICIOUS.
    (BTW, I agree with Jodi. A self-cleaning smoker would be this girl's dream!)

  18. John Mal December 1, 2018 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Can these be made ahead of time and cooked the next day? What is the best way to reheat these? Thanks

    • Jeff Phillips December 3, 2018 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      I haven't tried this, John but I'm thinking it would work. I would be a little concerned about the bacon not being as crisp. You could try reheating them covered with a little foil to prevent them drying out and then hit them with some heat from the broiler for a minute or two. Watch them carefully to make sure they don't burn. If you have success with this, let me know how it goes.

  19. jandefrontpage November 16, 2018 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Great idea, can't wait to try!

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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 ;-)

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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


    • Roger Biever June 15, 2019 at 1:24 pm - Reply

      These sound delicious! Before I order could you describe basically your rub? More on the bbq side, hot or herbs and spice. The treason is that I'm too wimpy for hot. Thanks.

      • Jeff Phillips June 16, 2019 at 12:38 am - Reply

        The original rub is a sweet and spicy rub however it’s not overly sweet or overly spicy. I’m pretty wimpy myself when it comes to heat. The Texas style rub is a good balance of salt and pepper, garlic, onion, and a small amount of heat from cayenne.

Leave A Comment

Recipe Rating