Texas twinkies barbecue is the invention of Hutchins barbecue in McKinney, Texas. In essence, it’s a whole jalapeno pepper filled with cream cheese and chopped leftover brisket. It’s one of their best selling items on the menu.
You have to admit that an ordinary jalapeno popper is quite boring. It’s overwhelmed with cheese, that is unless it’s a popper stuffed with turkey stuffing and cheese. Texas twinkie, on the other hand, is anything but boring. The smoky meat combined with cream cheese makes a delightful filling that is soft, creamy, smoky, and meaty at the same time. I could eat a bowl of this filling alone.
I don’t season my twinkies barbecue with salt and pepper and I also skip the sweet barbecue sauce and the grilling at the end. Frankly, I see very little purpose for it. My smoked jalapeno poppers and Texas Twinkies always come out perfectly flavorful, moist on the inside, and crispy on the outside.
The only reason I see for a glaze and for crisping up Twinkies is when you make them ahead and need to freshen them up before serving to customers. This makes perfect sense as in a commercial environment smoking anything to order is just not feasible. And pre-made Twinkies sitting in a warming box lose their luster and crispiness. That said, there is no harm in trying if you want to.
1 lb chopped brisket meat from the fatty side (the point), or store-bought
1 1/2 T. salt
1 1/2 T. black pepper
1 t. cumin
1 c. pepper jack cheese, freshly grated
8 oz. cream cheese
2 packages of bacon (about 24 strips)
14 extra-large jalapeno peppers
Sweet Barbecue Sauce Of Your Choice
Special Tools: Toothpicks
Step 1: Purchase and Prepare the Jalapenos
When acquiring the peppers, it’s important that you hunt around and find the largest jalapenos you can find. I happen to know that my local grocery store always has large ones so that’s where I went and I was not disappointed. These peppers were super-sized!
Caution: If you are not accustomed to handling raw peppers, it is advisable to wear gloves for this exercise. If you choose to not wear gloves, don’t touch your eyes, nose, or any sensitive part of your body until you have washed your hands several times and you are sure that the oils have been removed.
To prepare the peppers, I cut a “T” in them to give me ample access while reducing the ability for them to leak cheese during the cooking process. The pictures will explain what I mean:
Cut halfway through right below the stem.
Step 2: Un-Hot the Peppers (optional)
Take a little nibble on a couple of the pepper edges to see what the heat level is. If they are hotter than what you like, simply soak them in sprite or 7-up or a generic version of these for several hours to remove some of the capsaicin. About 2 hours is usually sufficient.
This also makes them more child friendly.
Step 3: Prepare the Cheese and Brisket Mixture
Grate about 2 cups of the smoked gouda
Heat up the meat in a skillet.
Place 8 ounces of the softened cream cheese along with 1 cup of the grated cheese, 1 cup of meat, and ¼ cup of Jeff’s original rub into a bowl and mix together.
I made a batch of smoked brisket mixture along with a batch of chorizo mixture.
If you choose to do only a brisket mixture, then you’ll need to mix 16 ounces of cream cheese, 2 cups of grated cheese, 2 cups of meat, and ½ cup of Jeff’s original rub into a large mixing bowl.
How much of this mixture you’ll need depends entirely on the size of the peppers you find.
Step 4: Stuff and Wrap
Fill the peppers as full as likely with the meat/cream cheese mixture.
See that pepper in the front that does not have a stem end? I accidentally snapped it off and will need to wrap it differently to make sure I don’t lose any of the cheese.
You’ll need a thick part of bacon for every pepper that you have stuffed.
Stretch the bacon to extend it and make sure it is long enough to wrap the pepper as much as possible
Wrap the bacon around the pepper beginning at one end and working your way to the other. It is important that you cover the cut areas on the pepper as much as possible to reduce the possibility of the cream cheese mixture escaping during the cooking process.
Use a toothpick to secure the bacon.
Step 5: Smoke Time
These are so easy to cook and you can use ANY smoker for these. You can also use the grill or even the indoor oven if you haven’t purchased a smoker yet.
Preheat your smoker to 225°F using indirect heat and if your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
I used pecan wood for these as it gives off a really delicious smoke but you can use whatever smoking wood you have available.
Once the smoker was heated and ready to go, I placed the bacon-wrapped peppers directly on the smoker grate. I could also have left them on the rack and they would have done just fine.
Step 6: Serve and Watch for Smiles
Just as soon as they are done, hide a few and then watch them disappear. If this doesn’t bring smiles to the faces of those you cook for, then nothing else will!
This version of stuffed peppers is VERY labor intensive but they are well worth it in the end. As always, the pepper with the cream cheese and the bacon along with the delicious smoked brisket added in just melted in my mouth and I could have eaten the whole batch by myself!