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Texas Twinkies -Jalapeños Stuffed with Smoked Brisket

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These “Texas twinkies” were named and made famous by Hutchins BBQ in McKinney, TX. Many of us have been stuffing peppers with cheese and meat and wrapping them in bacon for as long as we can remember but this version uses whole extra large peppers stuffed full with delicious smoked brisket, wrapped with a thick slice of bacon and smoked until perfect.

As usual, I've put my own spin on these but I will go over the exact way that they make them in McKinney, TX so you can duplicate that at your house if you're so inclined.

Remember that Wooster brisket I cooked a while back (hopefully you've had a chance to try it too)? I had a couple of pounds of bits and pieces from the fatty point of that smoked brisket and that's what I used for this recipe.

Let's get to stuffin' and wrappin'!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F (107°C)
  • Meat Finish Temp: n/a
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan
What You'll Need
  • 12-14 jalapenos, extra large
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 lb smoked brisket
  • 1 lb chorizo, precooked (optional)
  • 2 cups smoked gouda, shredded
  • Jeff's original rub
  • 12-14 slices bacon, thick sliced
  • Jeff's original sauce
Step 1: Purchase and Prepare the Jalapenos

When acquiring the peppers, it's important that you hunt around and find the largest jalapenos you can find. I happen to know that my local grocery store always has large ones so that's where I went and I was not disappointed. These peppers where super-sized!

Caution: If you are not accustomed to handling raw peppers, it is advisable to wear gloves for this exercise. If you choose to not wear gloves, don't touch your eyes, nose or any sensitive part of your body until you have washed your hands several times and you are sure that the oils have been removed.

To prepare the peppers, I cut a “T” in them to give me ample access while reducing the ability for them to leak cheese during the cooking process. The pictures will explain what I mean:

Cut halfway through right below the stem.

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Then cut a slit from the top of the “T” to the point or bottom of the pepper.

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Use a thin, sharp knife to get in there and remove the seeds and veins while carefully prying the pepper open with your fingers. This is harder than it looks at first but once you've done a couple you'll get into a rhythm and it's not as painstaking as you might assume.

Remove as much as you can and then just simply give them a rinse under cold water to get rid of the remaining seeds.

Step 2: Un-Hot the Peppers (optional)

Take a little nibble on a couple of the pepper edges to see what the heat level is. If they are hotter than what you like, simply soak them in sprite or 7-up or a generic version of these for several hours to remove some of the capsaicin. About 2 hours is usually sufficient.

This also makes them more child friendly.

Step 3: Prepare the Cheese and Brisket Mixture

Grate about 2 cups of the smoked gouda

Heat up the meat in a skillet.

Place 8 ounces of the softened cream cheese along with 1 cup of the grated cheese, 1 cup of meat and ¼ cup of Jeff's original rub into a bowl and mix together.

I made a batch of smoked brisket mixture along with a batch of chorizo mixture.

FYI: I placed the chorizo in an iron skillet and cooked it until brown before using it.

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After a good mixing..

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If you choose to do only a brisket mixture, then you'll need to mix 16 ounces of cream cheese, 2 cups of grated cheese, 2 cups of meat and ½ cup of Jeff's original rub into a large mixing bowl.

How much of this mixture you'll need depends entirely on the size of the peppers you find.

Step 4: Stuff  and Wrap

Fill the peppers as full as possible with the meat/cream cheese mixture.

See that pepper in the front that does not have a stem end? I accidentally snapped it off and will need to wrap it differently to make sure I don't lose any of the cheese.

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You'll need a thick slice of bacon for every pepper that you have stuffed.

Stretch the bacon to extend it and make sure it is long enough to wrap the pepper as much as possible

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Wrap the bacon around the pepper beginning at one end and working your way to the other. It is important that you cover the cut areas on the pepper as much as possible to reduce the possibility of the cream cheese mixture escaping during the cooking process.

Use a toothpick to secure the bacon.

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All done and ready for the smoker!

I placed these on a Bradley rack to make it easy to transport these around. You can also use a Weber grill pan (which I absolutely love) or a pan with a rack like this one.

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Step 5: Smoke Time

These are so easy to cook and you can use ANY smoker for these. You can also use the grill or even the indoor oven if you haven't purchased a smoker yet.

Preheat your smoker to 225°F (107°C) using indirect heat and if your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.

I used pecan wood for these as it gives off a really delicious smoke but you can use whatever smoking wood you have available.

Once the smoker was heated and ready to go, I placed the bacon wrapped peppers directly on the smoker grate. I could also have left them on the rack and they would have done just fine.

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Let the smoke flow for the entire time and when the bacon has a good bite-thru and the peppers are soft to your liking, they are done. Mine took about 3 hours at 225°F (107°C).

You can also brush them with a little barbecue sauce if you like. I thinned some of my barbecue sauce down with a little of the sprite that I got from the soaked peppers and gave my peppers a good glazing with the heat cranked up to 350°F (177°C) for about 15 minutes.

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Step 6: Serve and Watch for Smiles

Just as soon as they are done, hide a few and then watch them disappear. If this don't bring smiles to the faces of those you cook for, then nothing else will!

This version of stuffed peppers is labor intensive but they are well worth it in the end. As always, the pepper with the cream cheese and the bacon along with the delicious smoked brisket added in just melted in my mouth and I could have eaten the whole batch by myself!

Make plenty!

Notes and Comments
  • For what it's worth, Hutchins BBQ does not mix the brisket and the cream cheese but rather places a bead of cream cheese on the bottom of the pepper then stuffs smoked brisket into the rest of the pepper. I felt that using the cream cheese as a binder would be a great solution but if you want to follow the authentic Hutchins method, go for it.
  • I guess you're wondering which version I liked best, the smoked brisket or the chorizo. Both were really good but the smoked brisket really took it up a notch in my opinion. I think you could also use sliced tri-tip, pieces of smoked ribeye, etc. to mix it up even further.
  • If you have a different way of making or preparing these, feel free to share ;-)
4.9 from 8 votes

Texas Twinkies -Jalapeños Stuffed with Smoked Brisket

Super-sized jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and brisket then wrapped in bacon and smoked until perfecly done. Named and made famous by Hutchins BBQ in McKinney, TX.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12-16 jalapenos (extra large)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 lb smoked brisket
  • 1 lb chorizo (optional)
  • 2 cups smoked gouda (shredded)
  • ½ cup Jeff's original rub
  • 12-14 slices bacon (thick sliced)
  • Jeff's original sauce

Instructions

  • Cut a "T" into each jalapeno pepper by cutting halfway through the pepper just below the stem then cutting a slit from the top of the "T" to the tip of the pepper.
  • Carefully pry open the pepper and deseed and devein the peppers with a thin, sharp knife then give them a good rinse under cold water to remove any remaining seeds.
  • Make the stuffing mixture using 2 cups of pulled brisket, 16 ounces of softened cream cheese, 2 cups of shredded smoked gouda, and 1/2 cup of Jeff's original rub. Mix well.
  • Stuff the peppers with the stuffing mixture.
  • Stretch thick slices of bacon then wrap a single piece around each pepper. Secure with a toothpick.
  • Setup smoker for cooking at 225 degrees with indirect heat. Use pecan wood for smoke and if your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
  • Cook peppers directly on the grate for about 3 hours or until the bacon has a good bite-through and the peppers are soft to your liking.
  • When the peppers are ready to eat, give them a good glazing with thinned barbecue sauce and crank up the heat to 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

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Recipe Rating




23 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for the recipe! I had these for the first time in Dallas when visiting some friends, and I am hooked! I made mine with chorizo and homemade pimento cheese. They’re the absolute perfect summertime appetizer.
    Thanks

  2. 5 stars
    Instead of cutting a “T” in the top of the peppers, I make a perpendicular cut at the top next to the stem approx. 3/8 inch long then make two cuts from the point of pepper to each end of top cut. I then remove the piece I just cut out and set aside. I then use a small baby feeding spoon, ( left over from baby sitting grandkids) to scrape seeds and membrane from inside peppers. Be sure to keep the cut out section of each pepper with the rest of that pepper to put back on top of the pepper it came off of so it fits. Then wrap with bacon. It is easy peasy as Recteq guys say.

  3. Can you prep either the filling or the entire thing and store in fridge for any amount of time? Trying to save on some of the prep time. Wondering how long you can leave prepped.

    Need to cook Saturday afternoon. Brisket will be done Thursday. Can I put the mixture together and store that in tupperware? Or can I even go as far as stuffing and wrapping in bacon and letting sit in fridge till smoke time a couple days later?

  4. Jeff,
    How do you do indirect cooking in a silo smoker that has a water pan? I know how you might do it in a barrel style charcoal cooker.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks.

    Paul

    1. Paul, most smokers, especially the ones with built-in water pans are designed from the factory to cook with indirect heat. The water pan forces the heat to come up the sides and then down to the meat instead of hitting the meat “directly”.

  5. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! But my gf doesnt eat beef. Yeah, I know, right?!?! but i made some smoked chicken with pecan… shredded that. She loved them! And I’ll say myself… its damn good too! You gotta try it!

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve been making these every time we have left over smoked pulled pork or smoked pulled chuck roast and we love them!! So do all of our friends. We already have our own pulled pork dry seasoning and that’s what I use. Homemade bacon too. I use a 1/8 teaspoon to scrape out the peppers. Works great!

  7. I had the opportunity to taste your peppers when I attended a homegoing in Carrollton Tx. My nieces and nephews introduced us to them. I care not to try and copy your recipe. I’m curious to know if, and when you’ll extend to the Killeen and Ft Hood area? 😊

  8. With the large peppers I use a cheese slicer to slice the cheese and then a knife too cut slices into 1/4”x1/4” PCs and just drop them in. Same with the chorizo. Then wrap. Have never used chorizo, I skin brats or other types of sausage and scrape it down the slot till full. I also add one other secret ingredient that will win any or all popper cook offs.? If interested PM me on FB.

  9. 5 stars
    This recipe is great, my wife and kids don’t do spicy and they loved it. I am a big smoker, follow a lot of your recipes. didn’t have any Brisket, so used smoked butt. Was just as good, It’s the smoke that makes everything so good. Thank you

  10. Hi Jeff 5 Stars! :-)

    1st time poster, long time newsletter reader :-)

    We made them tonight, but they were scarfed up before anyone could take a picture of them for ya, but they looked a lot like yours did… Thank you – I needed a fun recipe to enjoy after a another day of stressful work.

    Oh, as for the brisket part I didnt have any laying around or have the time to make it so we ran down to a neighborhood BBQ joint – they were happy to see us :-) we “accidentally” bought too much… like that’s even possible???

    Cheers n happy holiday weekend! :-)

  11. If I am cooking these in the oven at what temperature and for how long should I cook them?

    1. I haven’t done these in the oven but I figure you could get by with cooking them in the oven at about 300°F for maybe 1 to 1.5 hours or until the bacon gets done and to the right texture.

  12. 5 stars
    I made these New Years eve with some St Louis ribs. Both the ribs and these gems came out fantastic! One twist, I did not have any brisket, but I did have leftover prime rib from Christmas and I stripped the rib meat off the bone. When I tasted it, the meat didn’t have a ton of flavor, but once cooked and mixed with the filling, it was perfect. Even the wife thought it was the best app she’s ever had! I can only imagine if I had the brisket! Guess what I’m saying, you can stuff ANY meat, whatever you have leftover or even breakfast sausage, italian sausage, round beef, even chicken or turkey and it will come out great! Bet leftover turkey drums would be really good too! Great recipe, very easy if you are already smoking something.