Smoked Pig Shots: The Ultimate Tailgate Snack
These little flavor bombs are sure to be a hit at your next tailgate or get together. Each bite is loaded with flavor and goes with just about anything! We are talking about bacon wrapped Kielbasa shots filled with cheese and diced jalapeños. How could you not like that?
This recipe does take a little work but once you get a few prepped you will get the hang of it really fast. I will show you step by step how to make these and the only thing you’ll wish is that you made double!
What you need to make Smoked Pig Shots
This is a nice simple recipe that doesn’t take long to cook.
The one crucial element is getting the right type of bacon.
When purchasing the bacon (or you could try making your own using our recipe for Smoking Your Own Bacon) make sure you get a thicker cut.
You will need the bacon to hold upright in the shape of a shot glass so you can fill it up with the cheese mixture. If you get long strips of bacon you can cut them in half and use both pieces.
You will also need some toothpicks to secure the bacon onto the Kielbasa. This will hold everything tightly together without having it fall apart and make a huge cheesy mess on your grill.
For the BBQ rub, I used our Pit Master’s Pick all-purpose rub. Using a sweeter rub helps balance the spice coming from the jalapeños.
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You could try our homemade Barbeque Pork Rub which is also a great option. It’s all about preference here.
Last but not least, if you have a piping bag at home feel free to use it, otherwise, a sandwich bag with the corner cut off will do the job (snip the corner off once the bag has been filled).
This is what I usually do, and the prep goes a lot faster versus scooping out the mixture with a spoon and into the shots.
When smoking these I use apple or pecan wood. The sweetness you get from these two kinds of wood works so well with the cheese and bacon.
Check out our guide to the best wood for smoking for more ideas.
How to make smoked pig shots
Because you want the bacon to go nice and crisp the first step is to get your smoker up to nice high temperature, around 350°F.
While your smoker is heating up, take your Kielbasa and cut them into one inch slices, depending on the size of the bacon you are using.
These are going to form the base of your pig shots so make sure the sausauge slices are smaller than the width of the bacon so you have plenty of room to pipe the filling.
Make sure to cut them nice and straight as well so they stand up properly.
Next, take your thick cut bacon and cut each slice right in half. Take one half and wrap it around the Kielbasa slice and then thread a toothpick to secure the bacon and Kielbasa together. It should look like a little shot glass.
To make the cheese filling. Put your softened cream cheese into a bowl and mix in the shredded cheddar, diced jalapeños, and bbq rub. Mix that all together until it’s nice and incorporated.
Spoon the cheese mixture into your piping or sandwich bag.
Gently fill each shot with the cheese mixture until it’s just below the top of the bacon. Be careful not to overfill because the cheese will rise during the cooking process. If you add too much it will overflow and cause a mess.
After each shot is filled, place them on the smoker and smoke them for 45 minutes to an hour.
The main thing here is to make sure the bacon is cooked thoroughly, and the cheesy filling is looking nice and puffy and golden. If the bacon cooks too fast, spritz it with some water to slow the cooking process.
When the bacon looks cooked and is nice and crispy, pull the pig shots off your smoker and let them rest for a few minutes so they cool down. When they are safe to touch, you can pull out the toothpicks. Since the bacon has cooked through it will retain its shape and will not fall apart.
Now the only thing left to do is enjoy your delicious pig shots. I’m telling you they are packed with flavor and always a crowd pleaser.
If you are looking for other great appetizer ideas check out our bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers, smoked shotgun shells, or our grilled buffalo chicken dip.
Smoked Pig Shots
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- ¼ cup jalapeños diced
- 2 tbsp Pitmaster's Pick All-Purpose Rub or your favorite sweet bbq rub
- 12 oz Kielbasa sausage or 1 packet
- 10 oz thick-cut bacon
- Setup your smoker to 350°F.
- Cut the Kielbasa into 1 inch pieces. Cut your bacon in half lengthways. Wrap your cut bacon around the Kielbasa so it forms a shot glass. Take a toothpick and skewer at the bottom, securing the bacon join and the sausage.
- Take the softened cream cheese, cheddar, diced jalapeños and the bbq rub and mix together in a bowl until well combine.
- Place the mixture into a piping bag or a sandwich bag (snip the corner off), pipe the mixture into the pig shot until it is just belwo the top of the bacon.
- Place the shots onto your smoker for about an 45 minutes to an hour until the bacon is fully cooked and the cheese filling is puffed and golden.
- Remove the pig shots from the smoker and let them cool for a few minutes before removing the toothpicks.
- Enjoy these shots with friends!