These Smoked Texas Twinkies are just the perfect balance of smoky and creamy goodness with a kick from the jalapeños. Make these for your next game day or BBQ party and your guests will be raving about it all night!
Otherwise called Texas Torpedo, these bacon-wrapped brisket jalapeno poppers take you to flavor town.
Invented by Hutchins BBQ in McKinney, Texas, this smoked appetizer quickly became one of the best-selling items on the menu. We’re not surprised! You get a little bit of everything in one bite, so what’s not to love?
🍽️ Why This Works
Smoked Texas Twinkies hit all the flavor profiles. You get the spiciness from the jalapeños, the creaminess from the cream cheese, the smokiness from the brisket meat and bacon, and the sweetness from the BBQ sauce.
📝 Ingredient Notes
Cream Cheese – I used the Kirkland brand cream cheese, which I find to be a great value. Make sure the cream cheese is close to room temperature so it’s easier to work with!
Hot Sauce – I have been getting into Branford’s Crazy Mango Hot Sauce, which is great on its own and also for recipes like this. It’s not overly spicy, which I like for this recipe since you’re already getting some heat from the jalapeños.
Brisket – I used the leftover brisket that I made the night before using my super easy smoked brisket recipe. Make sure that it is chilled and finely shredded before putting it in the filling mix.
Cheese – The cheese in this recipe is mainly to mend all the ingredients together and add flavor. Therefore, you are free to choose a block or shredded cheese of your choice. I used cheddar cheese because it is sharp and a great flavor enhancer.
Jalapeño – Pick a jalapeño that is anywhere between 3 to 5 inches long. Anything smaller than that, you won’t be able to fit the fillings in. Try to pick the biggest jalapeños in store, or look for jumbo jalapeños in your order. These are more abundant during the summer months.
Bacon – The thickness of the bacon doesn’t matter that much as it will end up rendering anyway. I went for a thinner cut of bacon so that the jalapeños could be cooked through. You want to make sure you have two slices of bacon for every jalapeño you are planning to use.
BBQ Sauce – I used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce for the final glazing.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
BBQ Brush – You will need a BBQ or pastry brush to slather the BBQ sauce when these are done. I recommend this set of two BBQ brushes.
Cutting Board – You will need to have a cutting board on hand to prepare the jalapeños. You might want to wear gloves when cutting the jalapeños and wash your cutting board afterward so that you don’t burn your eyes accidentally from cross-contamination.
Cheese Grater – This is optional but if your cheese isn’t pre-shredded, you will need a cheese grater.
Smoker – I am using my Big Green Egg, but you can use any type of smoker you want!
Aluminum Pan – You don’t want to put the jalapeños straight on the grill grates, so invest in a flat aluminum pan. This way, you will get an even sear on all sides and cleanup is easy!
Knife – Use a sharp and small knife as you will be cutting into jalapeños.
Large Mixing Bowl – You can use any mixing bowl that’s big enough to hold the ingredients. I recommend this set of Pyrex bowls.
Prepare the Jalapeños
Step One: Wash and dry the jalapeños, then place them on the cutting board. Using a sharp paring knife, slice a long vertical line through the middle and one horizontal line right below the stem, creating a T-shape.
Step Two: Open up the jalapeño using your finger and take out the seeds. Rinse the inside or place the jalapeños in an ice bowl to get rid of the spicy oil.
Important tip: Wear food prep gloves like this or wash your hands very well after handling these spicy peppers! You do not want to get these near your eyes or sensitive body parts.
♨️Prepare the Filling and Smoke
Step One: Combine the ingredients (cream cheese, shredded or chopped brisket, and cheese) and the optional hot sauce in a large mixing bowl.
Step Two: Take a jalapeño and fill it to the brim with the cream cheese mixture. Take a slice of bacon and wrap it around the jalapeño tightly. I found that two slices work best for one jalapeño, but you are welcome to cut the bacon to your liking.
Step Three: Line the Twinkies on an aluminum pan with non-stick spray. Place the aluminum pan on the grill and smoke for about 90 minutes. Towards the end of the smoking period, brush BBQ sauce on top of the Twinkies.
You can also bake Texas Twinkies in the oven. They will still have some smoky flavor from the bacon and the smoked brisket.
The main difference is you’ll need a baking sheet with a wire rack instead of an aluminum pan.
This will allow the bacon to crisp up and the extra grease to drip off.
- Prepare the Twinkies just like for smoking. Place on a baking sheet with a wire rack.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the bacon is done to your liking.
- Brush BBQ sauce for the last minutes of baking. For this step, you can turn on the broiler which will help the sauce caramelize faster.
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
Adjust the Heat – The great thing about these jalapeño poppers is that you can make them as spicy as you want. I rinsed the leftover seeds and spicy oils with water, but you can skip this step if you want more heat. You can also control the heat with your choice of hot sauce.
Alternatively, you can take some extra steps to get rid of the spice. Soak the deseeded peppers in some vodka OR lemon-lime soda for a few hours. This will result in much milder peppers, which is great for spice-sensitive folks!
Toothpicks – I didn’t have any trouble wrapping the jalapeños with bacon. However, if the bacon doesn’t stay for some reason, feel free to use some toothpicks to secure them. You can take them out before serving.
Prep Ahead of Time – The great thing about these Texas Twinkies is that they can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days before it’s time to smoke them!
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
You can store the leftover Texas Twinkies in a food-safe container in the fridge for up to three days. I do not recommend storing these in the freezer as the texture won’t be the same.
When reheating, you can use the oven or air fryer to keep the bacon crispy. For both methods, heat for 10 minutes at 350°F or until the core is heated through.
🌶️Additions and Substitutions
Grilling Mat – If you don’t have an aluminum pan, you can also pop these on the grill using a grilling mat. I like these copper grilling mats because they are lightweight and versatile. The only thing is, you will need to place and take out the Twinkies directly on the grill using tongs.
Brisket – Beef brisket works best in my opinion, but depending on what you have at hand, you can substitute it with pork brisket, chorizo, or pulled chicken.
Cheese – It’s always fun switching to a different type of cheese. Pepper jack cheese is a wonderful alternative many people love but you can definitely try other varieties.
Jalapeño peppers – The jalapeno peppers make this recipe, but if you can’t use them, serrano peppers are the next alternative. Keep in mind, that serrano peppers are a lot spicier. If you are looking for a not-so-spicy alternative, bell peppers might do the trick, especially the thin narrow Cubanelle or Ausilio kind. Most grocery store chains in the US carry Cubanelle peppers.
BBQ Sauce – Besides the impressive number of store-bought options, there’s always the homemade alternative! For this particular recipe, a sweet barbecue sauce works best. Try it with our Whiskey BBQ sauce, smoked pumpkin bourbon BBQ sauce, homemade cherry bourbon BBQ sauce, or this sweet and spicy BBQ sauce if you want to add a little more heat.
Texas Twinkies are delicious on their own, and you can definitely devour some with a bowl of BBQ sauce or ranch dressing on the side.
If you want to get more use out of the briskets, you can also make brisket twice-baked potatoes, brisket grilled cheese, grilled brisket nachos, slow cooker Guinness brisket baked beans, or brisket chili in the slow cooker. For more inspiration, check out my 35+ game day recipes guide.
❓ Recipe FAQ
A Texas Torpedo, or a Texas Twinkie, is a yummy appetizer that consists of bacon-wrapped jalapeño filled with cream cheese and brisket filling. It originated in McKinney, TX.
You do not need to blanch the jalapeños before stuffing as we want them to have some structural integrity to hold the filling.
Out of the many different varieties of jalapeños, we recommend picking the Jedi or Goliath variety as they are the largest kind.
Make sure you cut in a T-shape – first down the middle and a halfway horizontal cut below the stem.
Make a straight horizontal cut right below the stem to remove it. This will reveal the seeds inside which you also need to remove.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
- 12 Jalapeños
- 24 slices Bacon thin
- 8 oz Cream Cheese softened
- 1 cup Cheese shredded,
- 1 cup BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup Brisket leftover finely shredded
- 2 drops Hot Sauce optional
Cutting the Jalapeño
- Using a sharp knife, hold the jalapeño in one hand and cut the jalapeno open lengthwise. Make a small cut near the stem to make a "T" opening. Using your fingers, open up the cut pepper, clean out the seeds and rinse. Doing this will gently open the pepper which will allow you to fill it in the next couple steps. Reference the photos in the post.
- Combine the cream cheese, brisket, shredded cheese and optional hot sauce in a mixing bowl until well combined.
- Fill each of the jalapeños with the filling and set aside.
- Using thin bacon, wrap the bacon around the filled jalapeño. It usually takes 2 pieces for each jalapeño to fully cover. Place all the Texas Twinkies in the aluminum pan that is sprayed with a nonstick spray.
Smoking Texas Twinkies
- Heat smoker up to 250°F, using wood of your choice. Always remember that hickory and mesquite will be the strongest. Fruit wood are the mildest.
- Place the aluminum pan full of the Texas Twinkies on the smoker and smoke for about 90 minutes or so. The bacon should be fully cooked when removing from the smoker. The last 7-10 minutes of smoking, brush on your favorite BBQ sauce.