Smoked Armadillo Eggs

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Laura Lynch
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These Smoked Armadillo Eggs are jalapeno poppers with a creamy, cheesy center, encased in sausage meat, then rolled in bacon and smoked to soak up all that classic wood flavor.

Smoked armadillo eggs cut in half

I didn’t really know what to think of these armadillo eggs when I first came across them. They seemed to be well loved, got rave reviews… I’m not going to turn up my nose to that! Let’s give it a try!

Okay so Smoked Armadillo Eggs are an amalgamation of many different flavors and textures. It all comes together to make an explosion of flavors. The spicy crunch of the jalapeno peppers stuffed with the creamy blend of cream cheese and cheddar cheese, the rich sausage and crispy bacon wrapping.

All I can say is that it works. Each bite is a tantalizing fusion of spicy, smoky, cheesy goodness. I’m a believer now. They’re a pretty darn good appetizer.

While they are fantastic on their own, you can add a dipping sauce, like BBQ sauce or ranch dressing, both are a tasty combination. When hosting a gathering, I always like to have a range of dips available so that guests can choose suited to their preferences. Most people eat it on its own, though.

Why Armadillo Eggs Are Great for the Smoker

Smoked armadillo eggs

The smoker adds a distinct smoky flavor that perfectly complements the ingredients of Armadillo Eggs. As they slow-cook in the smoker, they absorb the rich, smoky essence which tastes great.

Smoking Armadillo Eggs imparts a beautiful caramelization to the bacon wrapping. The slow cooking process allows the bacon to render its fat, crisping up the exterior while allowing the flavors to intensify.

What Are Armadillo Eggs?

Smoked Armadillo Eggs are a Texas BBQ staple. These flavor-packed bombs take the beloved jalapeno popper to a whole new level by enveloping it in a generous layer of ground pork sausage and encasing it all in a glorious bacon blanket and then smoked to perfection.

The name “armadillo egg” comes from the fact that the final product looks like a large egg, and the “smoked” part comes from the cooking process.

The origin of the smoked armadillo egg is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Texas. It is a popular dish at barbecues, tailgates, and other outdoor events, and has gained a following across the United States.

The dish is relatively easy to make, and many variations exist, with some recipes calling for different types of cheese or sausage.

» You might also like these Smoked Shotgun Shells.

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients for smoked armadillo eggs
  • Jalapeno Peppers – Try to buy large peppers because they’ll be easier to carve the insides out of without breaking open the pepper. It’s also best that they are all around the same size.
  • Cream Cheese – Always use full-fat cream cheese, and make sure to take it out 30 minutes before so it can soften.
  • Cheddar Cheese – I use any shredded cheese I have on hand – cheddar, mozzarella, Mexican blend – they all work fine.
  • Garlic Powder
  • All-Purpose Dry Rub – I use my homemade all-purpose dry rub (here’s the recipe), or you can use any dry rub you like.
  • Spicy Pork Sausage – I use Jimmy Dean hot breakfast sausage. One pound will cover 6 large jalapenos.
  • Bacon – Regular slices of bacon are fine. Don’t use center cut or thick cut, because it’ll be too hard to wrap. Longer skinny strips are best for coverage.
  • BBQ Sauce – This is optional. You can use it as a dipping sauce or baste the armadillo eggs in it if you want.

Equipment Needed

  • Smoker – I use a Z Grills 700 series smoker for most of my smoking, though I also have a Traeger grill. You can use whatever smoker you have – they all work the same.
  • Wood pellets – There are many types of pellets available. If you’ve already got pellets in your smoker, use whatever you have. I really like Hickory pellets.
  • Meat thermometer – Many smokers have a thermometer built in, but if yours doesn’t, get an instant-read thermometer. I love this Thermapen.

What Temperature Should Armadillo Eggs Be Smoked At?

Smoked armadillo eggs

To achieve the best results when smoking Armadillo Eggs, it is best to smoke them at a temperature of 250°F. This temperature range allows for slow cooking, ensuring that the flavors meld together and the ingredients are cooked evenly. If you’re smoking something else at the same time, it’s fine to do a range of anywhere from 225°F-275°F.

How Long Does It Take Smoke Armadillo Eggs?

Smoking Armadillo Eggs should take around 2 hours to cook through. It is best to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to be sure it’s done. The internal temperature should be 165°F.

What Smokers We Use

Traeger grills pro series 22 electric wood pellet grill and smoker, bronze, extra large

Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill & Smoker

Did you know that Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill? The Pro Series 22 is the one most people choose because it’s compact, yet has plenty of space for cooking. You can use any type of wood pellets you like. See the Traeger Series 22 Grill on Amazon.

Z grills 2023 newest pellet grill smoker with pid 2. 0 controller, meat probes, rain cover, 450e

Z Grills 7002C2E Pellet Grill & Smoker

We use the 7002C2E, which has dual temperature probes, a huge pellet hopper and pellet viewing window, with a large grill space and streamlined design. See this grill and more on the Z Grills site.

How to Smoke Armadillo Eggs

Remove as much of the seeds and core of the peppers as possible.

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of the dry rub, until well combined.

Cheese stuffing mixture

Put the filling in a piping bag with a circle tip or plastic storage bag with the corner cut off. Pipe the filling into each of the peppers.

Stuffed jalapenos

Fully encase each pepper in pork sausage, making sure it’s even and not too thick.

Wrapping the stuffed jalapeno with sausage

Wrap the peppers with bacon (it might take 2 slices per pepper). Sprinkle more dry rub on the outside.

Armadillo eggs covered in dry rub ready to go on the smoker

When you’re ready to smoke them, preheat the smoker to 250° F. Don’t forget to fill the hopper with pellets. I used Bear Mountain Gourmet Blend for mine.

What Pellets to Use for the Smoker?

You’ll also need pellets for your smoker, if you’ve got a pellet grill like we do. Pellets come in many different types that you can choose from. I like to use the Bear Mountain Gourmet Blend, hickory wood, or cherry wood pellets for mine. They also have a bourbon wood pellet that’s very good. My friend Todd swears by the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey pellets.

Place the armadillo eggs directly on the smoker and smoke until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F. This usually takes 2 hours. Near the end of cooking, baste with BBQ sauce, if desired.

Armadillo eggs on the smoker

Recipe Notes

Storing Options

Refrigerator: If you plan to consume them within a few days, store them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator. This will help maintain their freshness and prevent any spoilage.

Freezer: If you want to extend the storage life of the Armadillo Eggs, you can freeze them. Wrap each egg individually in plastic wrap or foil, then place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag. Properly stored, they can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months.

Smoked armadillo eggs cut in half

How to Reheat

Oven: Preheat your oven to around 325°F.. Place the Armadillo Eggs on a baking sheet and reheat them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. This method helps maintain the texture and crispness of the bacon.

Smoker: You can reheat the Armadillo Eggs in the smoker at a low temperature of around 225°F for 15-20 minutes.

Microwave: If you’re looking for a quick and convenient option, you can use the microwave. Place the Armadillo Eggs on a microwave-safe plate and reheat them in 30-second intervals until they are heated through.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are armadillo eggs?

Smoked Armadillo Eggs are a Texas BBQ staple. These flavor-packed bombs take the beloved jalapeno popper to a whole new level by enveloping it in a generous layer of ground pork sausage and encasing it all in a glorious bacon blanket and then smoked to perfection.

What is the filling in armadillo eggs?

The filling is a creamy blend of cream cheese and cheddar cheese, mixed with garlic powder and all purpose dry rub for added flavor.

How long does it take to smoke armadillo eggs?

Smoking Armadillo Eggs should take around 2 hours to cook through. It is best to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to be sure it’s done. The internal temperature should be 165°F.

Can armadillo eggs be cooked in the oven instead of smoked?

Sure. They won’t have the delicious smoky flavor but you can cook them in the oven. Place them on a baking sheet covered with foil, parchment paper, or silicon mat and bake at 350° F for an hour or until the internal temperature gets to 165° F.

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Smoked armadillo eggs

Smoked Armadillo Eggs

These Smoked Armadillo Eggs are jalapeno poppers with a creamy, cheesy center, encased in sausage meat, then rolled in bacon and smoked to soak up all that classic wood flavor.
5 from 61 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Calories: 604kcal
Author: Laura Lynch

Ingredients

  • 6 jalapeno peppers hollowed out
  • 4 ounces (113 g) cream cheese softened
  • 4 ounces (113 g) cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g) garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon (4 g) all-purpose dry rub divided
  • 1 pound (454 g) spicy pork sausage
  • 12 slices (12 slices) bacon
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) BBQ sauce optional

Instructions

  • Remove as much of the seeds and core of the peppers as possible.
  • In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of the dry rub, until well combined.
  • Put the filling in a piping bag with a circle tip or plastic storage bag with the corner cut off. Pipe the filling into each of the peppers.
  • Fully encase each pepper in pork sausage, making sure it’s even and not too thick.
  • Wrap the peppers with bacon (it might take 2 slices per pepper).
  • When you’re ready to smoke them, preheat the smoker to 250° F. Don’t forget to fill the hopper with pellets. I used Bear Mountain Gourmet Blend for mine.
  • Place the armadillo eggs directly on the smoker and smoke until the internal temperature reads 165° F. This usually takes 2 hours. Near the end of cooking, baste with bbq sauce, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 1201mg | Potassium: 412mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 738IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 2mg

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