Score big at your next game day gathering with these mouthwatering Pig Shots! Perfectly combining savory and spicy flavors, this appetizer is a touchdown for your taste buds. Each bite delivers a perfect balance of meaty and cheesy, making them the ultimate crowd-pleaser for any sports event or casual gathering.
Keep reading to find out how to make Pig Shots either smoked in a smoker or baked in the oven.
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What Makes Smoked Pig Shots So Good?
Do you love smoky bacon, juicy sausages, gooey cheese, and spicy jalapenos? Who doesn't? These bite-sized appetizers pack a wallop when it comes to taste.
Think of them as a much meatier version of jalapeno poppers, and you have a good idea of the flavor profiles of these party snacks.
The crisp bacon wrapped around cheddar cream cheese filling and pork link sausage make these irresistible!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Smoked Pig Shots may not be the healthiest option, but they are definitely difficult to resist. Pig Shots taste amazing, go well with your favorite beer, and are a breeze to prepare in a smoker.
This recipe is ideal for someone just starting to use a smoker since it doesn't require much fussing to get right. No smoker? Pig Shots are almost as good when you bake them in the oven!
Smoked Pig Shots Ingredients
For this Pig Shots recipe, you'll need:
- Pickled jalapeno pepper slice
- Green onion
- Cream cheese, softened
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Worcestershire sauce
- Seasoned salt
- Cooked pork link sausage
- Thick-cut bacon
You can use any sausage style, but Andoullie has the ideal spice level for these appetizers.
Choose a bacon smoked with the same wood you want to use in your smoker.
Best Wood for Pig Shots
Hickory, pecan, or cherry are the best choices of wood or pellets for smoking these tasty pork shots.
How to Make Pig Shots in the Smoker or Oven
To prepare Smoked Pig shots:
- Preheat the wood smoker to 225°F. If you are using an oven, preheat the oven to 400°F degrees.
- Finely chop the pickled jalapeno pepper slices and the green onion. Keep separate for later.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped pickled jalapeno slices, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoned salt until you thoroughly distribute the ingredients.
- Gently fold the chopped green onion into the mixture, cover the bowl, and put it in the fridge.
- Cut the cooked sausage into half-inch thick rounds and lay them on your work surface.
- Cut the bacon strips in half and wrap each half slice of bacon around one sausage slice, creating a cup like a shot glass. Secure the bottom of the bacon cup with a toothpick. If you are baking the Pig Shots, it is easier to secure the bacon by building them in a mini muffin tin.
- Form a ball with about two teaspoons of the chilled cream cheese mixture. Place the cream cheese ball into each bacon cup and press down.
- Place the Pig Shots directly into the preheated smoker grate. If you use an oven, place the Pig Shots on a wire rack over a rimmed baking tray.
- Smoke the Pig Shots in the smoker for an hour, then crank up the temp to 350°F for an additional 20 minutes to crisp up the bacon. In the oven, bake for about 40 minutes or until the bacon browns.
- Serve warm.
This Pig Shots recipe is excellent as a template you can tweak to make the perfect tailgating snack based on your preferences. Changing the flavor is easy by swapping out the type of bacon or sausage you use.
If you are into sweet and savory combos, you will certainly want to experiment with using brown sugar-encrusted bacon or maple bacon as a wrapping.
To add a fruity touch, stir in ¼ cup of drained crushed pineapple into the cream cheese mixture.
For folks who can't get enough spice, try making the Pig Shots with chorizo, kielbasa, or hot Italian sausages.
Cheddar is a real crowd-pleaser, but you can use another type of cheese. Pepper Jack will add a bit of spice, and if you are baking the Pig Shots in an oven, a smoked cheese like Gouda or provolone is a nice addition.
Instead of seasoned salt, use your favorite BBQ rub for pork.
What to Serve With Pig Shots
A hoppy beer such as an IPA will go particularly well with this Smoked Pig Shots recipe. If you are not a beer drinker, prosecco or an off-dry Riesling would be a good option. For those not indulging in alcohol, tonic water with lime is a good match.
Try dipping Pig Shots in BBQ sauce, ranch, or blue cheese dressing.
How to Store Pig Shots
Allow the food to cool completely, then place the Pig Shots in an airtight container in the fridge. Cover and keep for up to three days.
Freezing cooked Smoked Pig Shots is not a good idea, but you can prepare them and freeze them uncooked for up to 30 days. Just defrost them in the fridge and cook them according to the recipe instructions.
What Is the Best Way to Reheat Pig Shots?
Air fryers are great for warming up the Pig Shots, but you can also use a standard oven:
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Bump the heat up to 400°F if you are using the oven.
- Stand the Pig Shots up in the air fryer or on a wire cooling rack over a rimmed baking tray in the oven.
- Air fry them for about 5 minutes or bake them for 8 to 10 minutes.
More Smoker Recipes
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
- ¼ cup finely chopped pickled jalapeño slices
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon finely sliced green onion
- 13 slices thick-cut bacon about 16 ounces
- 1 pound cooked sausage links such as andouille
- Preheat a wood smoker to 225°F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, shredded cheddar, pickled jalapeño, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoned salt. Stir to combine. Fold in the green onions.
- Cut the bacon slices in half and cut the sausages into a total of 26 slices, ½ inch thick.
- Wrap each slice of bacon around the base of each piece of sausage to form a cup. Fasten with a toothpick.
- Roll about 2 teaspoons of the cream cheese mixture into a ball and place it into the sauce and bacon cup. Repeat for each cup.
- Place the stuffed pig shots into the preheated smoker for about 1 hour.
- Turn the smoker up to 350°F and cook for about 20 minutes or until the bacon has crisped on the outside. Serve immediately.