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posted October 12, 2023

Bacon Jalapeño Popper Chicken Bombs

These bacon jalapeño popper chicken bombs are packed with so much flavor, you might need to lie down after. We’re talking creamy cheese packed into a spicy jalapeño stuffed into a juicy chicken thigh wrapped in crispy bacon and smoked to perfection.

Bacon jalapeño popper chicken bomb sliced in half on cutting board.

How to Make Chicken Bombs

What’s inside:

  • Jalapeños. You’ll want smaller jalapeños that can fit easily into your chicken thighs. If you got too big, you’ll end up with oozy poppers.
  • Cream cheese. Make sure you let it soften before you start. This makes it much easier to work with, trust me.
  • Medium cheddar cheese. I prefer shredding my own to avoid the additives, but pre-shredded will work just fine.
  • Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub. You can purchase it here, or make your own following my recipe.

What’s outside:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs. These don’t cost much more than thighs with bones, and they’re ready to wrap.
  • Bacon. The bacon is like meat glue in this recipe, holding the chicken together and the popper inside. So sure to wrap tightly.
  • Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub. You can easily make these sugar free by substituting salt and pepper in place of the rub. Have fun with your flavors!
  • Hey Grill Hey Apple Jalapeno BBQ Sauce. Available for purchase here, or my easy recipe. But you can always use your favorite BBQ sauce.

Sweet rub, chicken thighs. hollowed jalapeños, and bacon on a baking sheet.

How Long to Cook Bacon Wrapped Chicken

The short answer is the cooking process takes about 2.5 hours. The reason for the extended cook time is two-fold. First, because the chicken thighs take some extra time to cook through. Second, the temperature for the cook is low and slow. This gives you perfectly rendered bacon and juicy chicken with a kiss of wood smoke flavor. But don’t worry, your prep time is still only about 20 minutes.

Bacon jalapeño popper chicken bombs on the grill.

How to Make Chicken Bombs

  1. Preheat your smoker (or oven). Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees F for indirect heat with mild wood like apple or hickory. You can also bake these in the oven at the same temperature, you’ll want to set the chicken bombs on a flat baking rack above a foil lined cookie sheet to prevent the bacon from getting soggy on the bottom.
  2. Seed the jalapeños. Hollow out your jalapeño peppers and remove all the seeds. I simply use the handle end of my spoon to get in the tight space.  
  3. Make the jalapeno poppers. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and 1 Tablespoon of my Sweet Rub. I find a rubber spatula does a great job of mixing up the ingredients. Spoon a tablespoon or so of filling into each hollowed out jalapeño.
  4. Prep and fill the chicken. Lay the chicken thighs flat on a work surface, smooth side down. Set one filled jalapeno in the center of each thigh. Roll the thighs around the filling. 
  5. Wrap in bacon. Wrap each chicken thigh with 2 slices of bacon. Secure the bacon ends with toothpicks, if necessary. If you do use toothpicks, ensure you remove all of them after cooking or warn your guests to watch out for them. Season the stuffed chicken on all sides with more of the sweet rub.
  6. Cook the chicken thigh bombs. Place the chicken thighs on the smoker, close the lid and cook until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F. This process usually takes an hour and a half.
  7. Sauce. Baste the chicken liberally with BBQ sauce, close the lid, and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. This usually takes another 30 minutes.
  8. Rest and serve. Remove the chicken to a cutting board or serving platter and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!

Pre-stuffed, stuffed, and wrapped chicken bombs on baking sheet.

More Jalapeño Popper Recipes

If appetizers with a little heat are your thing, be sure to check out some more of my favorite jalapeño popper recipes:

Bacon Jalapeño Popper Chicken Bomb Recipe

Remember you can find all this recipe (and hundreds more) anytime in the Hey Grill Hey App. Use it to throw together a meal plan and shopping list right in the grocery store, and access all my how-to videos to help you once you get home.

Bacon jalapeño popper chicken bomb sliced in half on cutting board.

Bacon jalapeño popper chicken bombs on a cutting board.

Bacon Jalapeño Popper Chicken Bombs

Susie Bulloch
Creamy cheese packed into a spicy jalapeño stuffed into a juicy chicken thigh wrapped in crispy bacon. It might be easier to list what isn’t in them.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time : 20 mins
Cook Time : 2 hrs
Resting Time : 10 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 793kcal

Ingredients
 

Jalapeño Popper Filling

  • 6 jalapeños (seeded)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 oz medium cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 Tbsp Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub

Instructions

  • Preheat your smoker (or oven). Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees F for indirect heat with mild wood like apple or hickory. You can also bake these in the oven at the same temperature.
  • Seed the jalapeños. Hollow out your jalapeño peppers and remove all the seeds.
    6 jalapeños
  • Make the jalapeno poppers. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and 1 Tablespoon of my Sweet Rub. Grab some here or follow my recipe to make your own. Spoon a tablespoon or so of filling into each hollowed out jalapeño.
    4 oz cream cheese, 4 oz medium cheddar cheese, 2 Tbsp Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub
  • Prep and fill the chicken. Lay the chicken thighs flat on a work surface, smooth side down. Set one filled jalapeno in the center of each thigh. Roll the thighs around the filling.
    6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Wrap in bacon. Wrap each chicken thigh with about 2 slices of bacon. Secure the bacon ends with toothpicks, if necessary. Season the stuffed chicken on all sides with more of the sweet rub.
    12 pieces bacon
  • Cook the chicken thigh bombs. Place the chicken thighs on the smoker, close the lid and cook until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F. This process usually takes an hour and a half.
  • Sauce. Baste the chicken liberally with BBQ sauce, close the lid, and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. This will take roughly 30 minutes.
    1/2 cup Hey Grill Hey Apple Jalapeño BBQ Sauce
  • Rest and serve. Remove the chicken to a cutting board or serving platter and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!

Nutrition

Calories: 793kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 262mg | Sodium: 1234mg | Potassium: 816mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1328IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 371mg | Iron: 6mg
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