Football season is in full swing, from pro and college to high school and youth. And that means tailgating is in full swing. Before you treat your tailgating troupe to the main course, prime their palates with Pig Shots, the greatest tailgating appetizer in existence: bacon-wrapped kielbasa stuffed with jalapeños and cream/cheddar cheese.
Let’s get smoking. Of course, if you’re looking for more backyard grilling recipes from Outsider, check out our Best Damn Brisket, Spicy Spatchcock Chicken, Beef Short Ribs, Classic Cornbread, Reverse-Seared Pork Chops, Skillet S’mores, Blackened Salmon, or Chicken Quarters.
Pig Shots Ingredients
- 1 lb. kielbasa
- 1 lb. thick-cut bacon
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 4 oz. cheddar cheese
- 2 fresh jalapeños
- 2 tbsp. sweet BBQ dry rub
Cut the kielbasa into 1/2-inch pieces. Slice the bacon in half (always use thick-cut bacon). Slice the fresh jalapeños (you can use pickled jalapeños too, but fresh have a better kick).
Mix the cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl. Feel free to use your favorite shredded cheese in place of the cheddar (Colby, Monterey Jack, etc.).
Wrap each piece of kielbasa with one piece of bacon. Secure the bacon with a toothpick, so that it forms a virtual “shot glass,” hence the name Pig Shots.
Place one jalapeño slice inside the shot glass. Then fill each shot glass with the cream cheese/cheddar cheese mixture. Sprinkle sweet BBQ dry rub on top of each shot glass.
- Lump charcoal
- Oak wood chips
- Fireproof gloves
- Foil pan
Today, we’re using a Big Green Egg, but you can use any smoker, offset grill, or indirect grill for this tailgating recipe. Fill the Green Egg with lump charcoal and ignite. Wait for the Egg to get up to 500-600 degrees (usually takes about 20 minutes). Place a metal/foil pan directly on the charcoal (you’ll need fireproof gloves for this), filled with two cups of water and a couple handfuls of wood chips (I like oak or hickory for this recipe). Add a couple more handfuls of wood chips directly on the charcoal. Now you’re smoking!
Place the convEGGtor (indirect convection shield) on the Egg. Add the grate. Place the Pig Shots on the grate. Close the lid. Set temperature to 275 degrees. A fluctuation between 260-280 degrees is normal.
Cook the Pig Shots for about 1 hour. The bacon should be fully cooked and slightly crispy at this point. You can crank the Egg up to 300-350 degrees for the last 5 minutes to increase the bacon’s crispiness, depending on your preference.
Let the Pig Shots rest for 10 minutes before serving.
5 Step Pig Shots
- Wrap each 1/2-inch piece of kielbasa with a half-slice of thick-cut bacon.
- Secure with a toothpick to form a “shot glass.”
- Fill each shot glass with one slice of jalapeño and the cream cheese/cheddar cheese mixture.
- Sprinkle the top with sweet BBQ dry rub.
- Smoke at 275 degrees for one hour.