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posted August 09, 2022

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers are a classic appetizer or side dish perfect for any backyard BBQ. Cored jalapenos are filled with cream cheese, and cheddar, and wrapped in bacon. These poppers are the perfect bite!

Bacon wrapped grilled jalapeno poppers lined up on a serving dish with text overlay - Grilled Jalapeno Poppers.

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

There are several approaches to making jalapeno poppers. You’ll see them whole, cut in half, with stems, without stems, and honestly, it all comes down to personal preference. I like to make my poppers with jalapenos that are cut in half. Halving them means double the poppers as well as a better ratio of jalapeno to bacon.

The key to any good jalapeno popper is the bacon. I’ve tried all of the varieties from maple to peppered to applewood smoked and I’ve found that classic hickory smoked bacon at a regular thickness is the way to go. Thick-cut bacon never seems to cook through in time (rubbery bacon isn’t the best) and thinner slices fall apart instead of holding the popper together. If you are struggling to get the bacon to tuck in or stay wrapped, use toothpicks to secure it in place. Just remember to remove them before eating!

Cream cheese filling being spooned into a jalapeno half.

Jalapeno Poppers on the Grill

Jalapeno poppers can be difficult to grill because the fat rendering from the bacon can cause flare-ups. The best way I’ve found to cook poppers is over indirect heat. This can be done by creating two zones of heat where there is high heat/coals on one side of your grill and no or very low heat on the other. If you need a refresher on this process, take a look at my post for How to Cook with Two-Zone Grilling.

I like to keep things simple and slice the poppers with a paring knife then scrape the seeds with a spoon. There are fancy tools for de-seeding jalapeno poppers but they never clean the jalapeno out as well as a simple spoon does. Once your poppers are cleaned out, the filling is simple! Equal parts softened cream cheese and shredded cheddar. I do like to mix up my fillings from time to time, but this classic combo never disappoints.

Bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeno poppers being seasoned with Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub.

How to Grill Jalapeno Poppers

Once you have all your ingredients assembled, it’s time to get cooking! Here’s how to grill jalapeno poppers.

  1. Preheat. Fire up that grill and preheat it to 375-400 degrees F. Any grill will work with these grilled jalapeno poppers. Gas, charcoal, or even a pellet grill work nicely. Choose your own adventure here, or go with whatever you have on your back porch.
  2. Make the cheese filling. Combine the cream cheese and cheddar cheese in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Prep the jalapenos. Slice the jalapenos in half, and scrape out the seeds and ribs with a spoon. Cut the stem off or leave it on, this is totally up to you!
  4. Stuff. Scoop some of the cheese filling into a jalapeno (about 1 Tablespoon should do it here). Take care not to fill these to overflowing.
  5. Wrap. Once the jalapenos are stuffed with cheese filling, carefully wrap them in a half slice of bacon. Toothpicks come in handy here, just be sure to remove them before serving.
  6. Season. Finish these off by seasoning them with some Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub. You can make this yourself using my recipe for Best Sweet Rub for Pork and Chicken, or buy some premade from the Hey Grill Hey Store.
  7. Grill. Place the poppers on the preheated grill, close the lid, and cook for around 20-25 minutes. Once the bacon has rendered and is looking just right, slide them over to direct heat to crisp the bacon. This will only take a few minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your bacon.
  8. Dig in! Remove the jalapeno poppers from the grill, remove any toothpicks, and serve immediately. Take care! That cheese filling is going to be hot!

Jalapeno poppers on the grill.

How Long to Grill Jalapeno Poppers

It only takes about 25-30 minutes to grill jalapeno poppers.

This time may vary depending on the size of the poppers, the thickness of the bacon, and the consistency of the heat on your grill. Take a look at the poppers every so often to see how the bacon is cooking. Once the fat has rendered (melts)

Three grilled jalapeno poppers on a serving dish.

More Jalapeno Popper Recipes

Looking for more delicious jalapeno popper recipes to add to your recipe box? These are beyond amazing and make for great appetizers as well as main courses.

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

Making some epic BBQ should be easy, and Hey Grill Hey is here to help!  Join my members-only group The Grill Squad today for access to my master classes, podcasts, and so much more. It’s an amazing community of grillers that will help support you and increase your confidence in all things BBQ.

This post was originally published in August 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

Three grilled jalapeno poppers on a serving dish.

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)
Grilled Jalapeno Poppers are a classic appetizer or side dish perfect for any backyard BBQ. Cored jalapenos are filled with cream cheese, and cheddar, and wrapped in bacon. These poppers are the perfect bite!
3.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time : 25 mins
Cook Time : 30 mins
Total Time : 55 mins
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 478kcal

Video

Ingredients
 

  • 6 whole jalapenos
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 ounces medium cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub (recipe link in notes section)
  • 12 slices bacon

Instructions

  • Preheat. Preheat your grill to 375-400 degrees F using two-zone heat. That means one zone of your grill has the fire directly under the grates and the other does not.
  • Make the cheese filling. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Set aside. 
  • Prep the jalapenos. Prepare the jalapenos by slicing the jalapenos in half. If you don't mind having a little of the stem left, you can scrape the seeds and ribs out with a spoon at this point. If you prefer being able to eat the whole popper with no stem, cut the tops off of the popper before using the spoon to scrape out the jalapeno.
  • Fill. Spread about 1 Tablespoon of the cream cheese and cheddar filling into each jalapeno half.
  • Wrap in bacon. Wrap each stuffed jalapeno in half a slice of bacon. Tuck the ends of the bacon under or use a toothpick so they don't fall apart while grilling.
  • Season. Sprinkle the tops of the poppers liberally with the Sweet Rub.
  • Grill. Place the poppers on the indirect heat side of your grill and allow them to cook with the lid closed for 20-25 minutes. Once the poppers are cooked through and most of the fat is rendered from the bacon, move them over to the direct heat side of your grill for 2-3 minutes to crisp the bacon to your liking.
  • Enjoy. Remove from the grill and serve hot.

Notes

Sweet Rub

Nutrition

Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 658mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 978IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 331mg | Iron: 1mg
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