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 Smoked Pig Shots: Big Cheddar and Onion

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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

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
  • 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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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”.

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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.

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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.

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

Place a cube of cheddar down in the cup

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Pipe it almost full with the cream cheese filling.

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Spoon in about a half teaspoon or more of diced onions

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Sprinkle on some of my original rub to complete.

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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
4.5 from 27 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 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours
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
  • 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 top 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, or a pan with a 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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These are always a crowd pleaser whenever I make them. I’m looking forward to making them again now that I have a smoker with thermostatic control. Also, I just returned from Texas with 3 lbs of H-E-B Churro bacon (cinnamon/brown sugar infused) that I think will work well with this recipe.

  2. 1 star
    Made these and was very disappointed. The sausage slice over powered the bacon and the cheese/ cream cheese. Will NOT make these again

  3. 5 stars
    I made these this weekend and WoW! They didn’t last long, and everyone wants more. This recipe will be a must have for all parties and holiday meals appetizers.

    The only change I made was making half with pepper jack cheese and the other half, with cheddar cheese.

  4. Try a chunk of pineapple instead of the cheese block! Also roll ’em in brown sugar and, lastly a generous drop of bourbon! Flavor explosion!

  5. 5 stars
    Made these using red onion, jalapenos, and minced garlic. When they were finished I added cheese crisps and then bbq sauce. Awesome.

  6. Sounds excellent! My only concern is getting the bacon crisp. When cooking with this method, does the bacon end up rubbery?

  7. 5 stars
    I have made this many times and I’m never disappointed by the outcome. They are delicious and never any leftovers. Thanks, Jeff.

  8. 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

  9. 5 stars
    These were delicious. I rolled them in brown sugar before cooking. It added a little crunch and a little sweet.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 5 stars
    I made these a few weeks ago and they were delicious. Plan on making them at Thanksgiving for appetizers.

  11. 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

    1. 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.

    1. 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!!

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

  13. 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!

    1. Terri,

      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.

      1. 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

  14. 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?

    1. 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–

  15. 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!)

    1. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 :)

    1. 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.

      1. 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.