Ever since I started BBQing, my favourite BBQ’d appetizer has definitely been Atomic Buffalo Turds (ABTs for short). They’re cored out jalapeño peppers, stuffed with cheese (and whatever else you want in them), then wrapped in bacon and smoked. They’re not as hot as you’d think, since the seeds and membranes are removed.
These have been a hit every time I’ve made them, and they’re one of those appetizers that you just can’t make enough of. If you don’t have a smoker, these can easily be done in the oven or a grill.
Atomic Buffalo Turds
- 15 medium sized jalapeño peppers
- 400 ml (1 3/4 cups) cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons of your favourite BBQ rub + more for dusting
- 15 strips of bacon
- whatever else you want to stuff inside – I used pulled pork this time, but you could also use little smokies, or whatever you can think of
Tip: Wear disposable gloves while you’re working with the jalapenos. The oils from them are spicy and will not wash off easily – I learned the hard way. (thanks to portablebiscuit on reddit for reminding me to include this.)
- Mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and rub together well. This is easier if the cream cheese has been left out to warm up a bit.Note: I used about half of the cream cheese mix for 30 ABTs – so you can cut that part in half, use it for something else, or just make more.
- Cut the bacon strips in half.
- Slice the stems off the jalapenos – I try to keep the top intact, but remove the hard part of the stem, so that when I cut these in half, it’ll be kind of like a hollow boat shape.
- Cut the jalapeños in half, then use a small spoon and remove all of the seeds and the membranes. Most of the heat is here, so make sure you get all of the seeds and membrane if you’re worried about them being too hot.
- Fill each jalapeño half with the cheese mixture so it’s level with the top, then place your stuffing on top of that. I had some pulled pork from a previous cook in the freezer, so I used little chunks of that.
- Take half a strip of bacon, and wrap it around the jalapeño trying to cover the entire exposed cheese surface. I never have a problem with these holding, but if you’re finding that the bacon won’t stay put, you can stick a toothpick through to help it out.
- Once all of the ABTs are prepped, dust them with some rub. Use whatever you want here – you could even just use a bit of brown sugar.
- Put them on a smoker at 225-250f for 1-2 hours. I never really precisely time these, I just look for the pepper to be softened and the bacon to be nicely cooked through.
These can also be done on a grill on indirect heat at 225-250f, or even in the oven at the same temperature. If you want to crisp the bacon up after, you can toss them on a grill over hot direct heat for a couple of minutes – just watch for flare ups!
There’s really no set way to make these – experiment with what you mix into the cheese and find your own favourite way to make them.
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