Smoked Pig Shots: The Ultimate Tailgate Snack

These Smoked Pig Shots are shot glass sized bacon cups, filled with Kielbasa sausage, cheese and more cheese then smoked to crispy porky perfection.
smoked pig shots cooking on the grill

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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. 

smoked pig shot ingredients on a wooden chopping board
Make sure the jalapeños are diced small enough to go through the hole of the piping bag

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. 

Make a test shot before cutting the rest of the sausauge and bacon

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. 

pig shot ingredients in a glass bowl unmixed
The filling will be a lot easier to combine if the cream cheese is at room temperature

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. 

smoked pig shots at the end of cook time on a wooden board
Try a drizzle of maple syrup at the end of cooking to these golden nuggets

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 cooking on the grill

Smoked Pig Shots

Shot glass sized bacon cups, filled with Kielbasa sausage, cheese and more cheese then smoked to crispy porky perfection.
4.98 from 131 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 536kcal
Author: Jordan Hanger


  • 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!


Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 981mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 607IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is spot on!

  2. Made these for the first time today, used my own bbq rub. Had a little trouble lighting the grill (very windy in Wisconsin) but they are awesome! This will be made again!

  3. Great recipe! I love pigshots

  4. Brittany Bussey says:

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe! Tried these and they came out DELICIOUS!!!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipie is awesome. Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

  6. 5 stars
    These pig shots are the best!

  7. 5 stars
    freaking awesome! But next time I’ll have to make quadruple the amount, they were devoured in record time! Lol.

    1. How many does it make with the listed ingredients it says serves 6? Is that 2 per person?

      1. Should make 12-15 individual pig shots but will depend on how thick you cut the Kielbasa.

  8. Hello- can I prep these and assemble the day before and smoke the next day before serving?

  9. Is it possible to make a day ahead and reheat?

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      I don’t see why not!

  10. Do you think it would taste as good using pickled jalapenos?

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Yes that’s what I normally use!

    2. Candied jalapeños work well too. Adds a little sweetness…

  11. Jim Weaver says:

    post cancer so currently allowed the gas weber. can these be done on a gas grill or in the oven. they look great.

      1. Lindy wood says:

        I want to make & cook them the day before, how are they cold? I want to take them on the river

        1. They should be fine cold. I’ve never had them the next day, but I’ve eaten them when they’ve been sitting on the plate for awhile and were no longer hot and they still tasted good.

  12. Mary rivera says:

    5 stars
    They are supper great .tasty and easy to make

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Thanks for the feedback! Glad you enjoyed them!

  13. Jamie Leach says:

    5 stars
    Smoked these today on our Big Green Egg and they were phenomenal! Jordan delivered another great recipe that is easy to make and tastes so delicious!

  14. Scott Fletcher says:

    5 stars
    Outstanding. I can’t even begin to explain how good these taste. I have a hard time to not look for thick sliced bacon for an excuse to make these.

  15. This is probably a cardinal sin, but I don’t have any area to get a smoker in my place. Is there a way I could try this in the oven, if it’s even possible. Thank you

    1. 100% possible. You can use the same times in the recipes and will still taste great.

      1. 5 stars
        Made these on smoker while brisket cooking, took alot longer. Finished in oven. Delish. For comparison, made batch 100%in oven. Good, but no smoky goodness. So definitely better smoked. Next time I will mix cream cheese with bacon jam and maybe green chilies? The possibilities are just endless!!!

        1. Jordan Hanger says:

          That sounds delicious! Let us know if you do. Would love to hear the results.

    2. Jordan Hanger says:

      Oven or air fryer would work!

  16. We used an air fryer and they turned out delicious

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Happy to hear it!

    2. Gail Warawa says:

      How long in the air fryer?

  17. Do you put them on a pan in the smoker?

  18. Crystal Archey says:

    Never thought you could possibly make a jalapeño popper any better… So glad I was wrong🤣 This is amazing, thank you!!!

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Glad you thought so!

  19. Gonna try them for tha first time this Saturday at Florida/Tennessee vols game..Go GATORS

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      You won’t be disappointed!

  20. I saw where someone baked them at 400 degrees, but I can’t remember for how long? 20 minutes!

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Until the bacon is how you like it!

  21. I brushed a little bit of bbq sauce on them halfway through

  22. I saw a video you did on these and you topped them off with a maple syrup,honey, and I think bourbon. What did you use to make the glaze and what quantities

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Correct, it was maple syrup, honey and bourbon! I would do 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon each of honey and bourbon.

  23. Travis Fassnacht says:

    I’m making these for a NYE party. I plan to cook them in the oven today and then put them in a crockpot to heat and serve tomorrow. The party will last for about 6 hours, so I want to make sure they stay warm.

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Sorry for the late response. Hope it worked out for you!

  24. Guy Whitey says:

    5 stars
    Love these. I fill mine with loaded mashed potatoes though

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Sounds pretty tasty!

  25. Now, what if you can’t do jalapeños what else would taste good in the cream cheese

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Feel free to just leave them out. Maybe some chopped up pickles would be good!

  26. Great recipe , I use a sausage stuffer gun with a modified tip for these , and for my stuffed jalapenos , works great , Randy

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Thanks! A sausage stuffer gun is a great idea that I’ve never thought about.

  27. Ted Clayton says:

    They’re in the smoker now and looking awesome. On the instagram vid you mention sour cream with the cream cheese and other stuff for filling, however you don’t mention sour cream on the website instructions. Think better with or without? I went with 1/4 cup in the filling.

    1. Jordan Hanger says:

      Sorry for the delay but either way is delicious. How did they turn out?

  28. Joel Gerke says:

    3 stars
    Good concept but! Make sure you use extra thick sliced bacon from the butcher counter 1/4in. at least. Packaged store bought thick sliced bacon isn’t thick enough. It doesn’t make a good “shot glass” and falls over during cooking and the filling falls out before they’re cooked enough.

    1. Thanks for your comment Joel, I realize we mentioned to use thick cut in the description, but the actual ingredient list just says “bacon”. Updated to make it more clear. Cheers!

  29. Atyor Huas says:

    Very good! We had used pineapple with cream cheese and w_ber kickin chicken spice. So damn good. Butcher thick cut is king!

  30. Darryl Van Moorsel says:

    5 stars
    BEST RECIPE EVER!!!! Changed the recipe for 30 ppl (made about 55 pcs). OMG. Awesome flavour. Used the new Canadian Club pellets in the pit boss vertical smoker. Absolutely the best thing I have ever made in the smoker. Used a mixer to make the cheese filling. I can’t stress how good they are. Make sure if you have a vertical smoker you rotate and change heights of the racks. However, 3/4 in for the sausage is more enough. 1” is too thick in my opinion.

  31. Ray Jordan says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made these several times. They are always a hit. To save a little time, I use Palmetto cheese with jalapeños for the filling. I also add a touch of brown sugar and a dollop of bbq sauce in the cup before I pipe in the cheese. I top with my favorite rub and smoke at 300. I brush a little sauce on the just before I take them out. Delicious!

  32. Dee Frost says:

    5 stars
    So Good! I have made them 3 times now. Once for our New Years party 2024. All the guests loved them. Made a big deal about serving them directly from my Trager.

  33. 4 stars
    I made these for dinner tonight with a few slight modifications, first, I made then in the oven 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. My wife doesn’t like spicy so I omitted Peppers in half of them. I added S&P, and garlic and onion powder, and some Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning to the filling and chilli pepper powder and Jalapeno and Serrano Peppers to mine (I like spice) I also prepared the bacon slightly before wrapping the Kielbasa. They came out good with nice crispy bacon. I can’t add a photo here but they looked good with the piped in filling.

  34. Ed Barillaro says:

    I’ve used this recipe as is and it was great. I’m substituting crushed pineapple for the chopped jalapeños in the filling today. I’ll also top them with a little crushed pineapple. I learned it from a YouTube video so can’t take credit. I’m hoping it’s a winner for the folks who don’t enjoy jalapeños.

    1. That sounds like a delicious alternative for folks who don’t like too much spice, thanks for sharing!

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