Bacon Wrapped Armadillo Eggs are like a jalapeno popper meatball mashup. Filling enough to be a main dish, but portable enough to make as appetizers, snacks, or tailgating munchies.
Bacon Wrapped Armadillo Eggs
Armadillo eggs are a classic Texas BBQ staple. Filled jalapenos are wrapped in pork sausage and smoked low over oak. Each pitmaster has their own secrets, of course. The jalapeno filling may have a special blend of cheeses, the sausage may be seasoned with a secret blend of spices, and they may or may not be brushed with BBQ sauce during the smoking process. I had to take my own liberties with the recipe, of course, and added a little more pork to the party by making mine bacon wrapped armadillo eggs.
Smoked Armadillo Eggs
Since we are making smoked armadillo eggs, the temperature is going to be hovering right around 250 degrees F and these will take a couple of hours to cook. This will allow the smoke to really penetrate that layer of sausage and soften the jalapeno. There are a couple of things to note with this style of cooking:
-The jalapeno will retain a little crunch. Not like a raw jalapeno, but like an al dente noodle. Soft, with a little texture. If you want completely soft jalapenos, I recommend roasting them for 4-5 minutes at 450 degrees F before seeding, stuffing, and using in this recipe.
-The bacon will be soft cooked bacon. Not soggy bacon, but not crispy either. The fat will be almost completely rendered because of the long cook time and you’ll just be able to bite right through the bacon. If you want crispy bacon, crank up the heat in your smoker to 400 degrees F for the last few minutes of cooking or place them under the broiler in your oven for 2-3 minutes.
-If you don’t have a smoker, these can be done in the oven. Place the armadillo eggs on an elevated rack above a baking sheet (I use a flat cooling rack) and follow the same time and temperature guidelines written in the recipe.
Armadillo Eggs Recipe
Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F. I used cherry wood for this recipe, but any other smoking hardwood would work (hickory, oak, maple, etc.)
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and 1 Tablespoon of the sweet BBQ seasoning.
Spoon some of the cream cheese mixture into each of the cored and seeded jalapenos. Use the back of the spoon to press the filling all of the way into the jalapeno.
Wrap each jalapeno with 1/6th of the pork sausage. Use your hands to ensure the sausage is covering the entire jalapeno and roll back and forth into an egg shape.
Wrap each sausage covered jalapeno with bacon. It will likely take two pieces per armadillo egg. Secure with toothpicks, if needed.
Place the bacon wrapped armadillo eggs on the smoker over indirect heat and close the lid. Smoke until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F. This usually takes around 2 hours, depending on the size of your armadillo eggs.
If you want soft, bite through bacon, brush the armadillo eggs with BBQ sauce and serve immediately. If you want crispy bacon, brush the eggs with BBQ sauce and then increase the heat to 400 degrees and cook for a few minutes or transfer the eggs to a baking sheet and place under your oven broiler for 1-2 minutes.
Serve hot and enjoy!