Atomic Buffalo Turds

Cooking up a barbecue feast for your friends and family can (and will) be an all day affair. Depending on the size of your cut, briskets and pork butts can take every bit of 18 hours to slow smoke to perfection. As much as I like starving myself all day in anticipation of the gluttony that’s soon to come, my willpower tends to falter somewhere around the noon hour. Since the smoker is already chugging away, there’s no need to power up the oven for that well deserved mid-day snack. Instead, I prefer to toss in a few stuffed jalapeno peppers…especially the ones dubbed “Atomic Buffalo Turds”!!!

Atomic Buffalo Turds

These smokey treats are really easy to prepare, and you may even have most of the ingredients already hanging out in your fridge:

12 fresh jalapeno peppers
12 slices of bacon
24 little smokies
1 package of cream cheese (room temperature)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Smokey Kansas City All-Purpose Barbecue Seasoning

To start the construction of the atomic buffalo turds, you’ll first want to wash and trim the jalapeno peppers. I highly recommend wearing food prep gloves during the trimming portion to keep the jalapeno juices from soaking into your skin, so proceed with caution if you choose not to heed my advice. Trimming these guys is a relatively simple task. Simply chop the stem off and slice the pepper lengthwise to expose the seeds and vein. Using a spoon, scrape out the white vein and rinse under water to wash away the seeds. The cream cheese will ultimately counteract the burn from the peppers, so leave a good amount of the inner membrane in tact if you want to feel the heat.

Atomic Buffalo Turds - Cored Peppers

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, paprika and cayenne pepper. Using a butter knife, or a pastry bag, fill each jalapeno half with a generous portion of the cream cheese mixture.

Atomic Buffalo Turds - Cream Cheese Filling

Top each one of the jalapeno “boats” with a little smokey.

Atomic Buffalo Turds - Little Smokies

Wrap each of the little smokey topped jalapenos with a half slice of bacon, making sure that the seam is directly on top of the little smokey. Secure the wrap by inserting a toothpick straight down through the overlapping edges of the bacon all the way through the little smokey. Stop just short of going through the pepper though, that way the cream cheese doesn’t leak out through the hole.

Next is to season each of the atomic buffalo turds with our Smokey Kansas City All-Purpose Barbecue Seasoning. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, a nice blend of brown sugar and cayenne pepper works great on these bad boys as well.

Atomic Buffalo Turds - Bacon Wrap

Cooking the atomic buffalo turds is a matter of getting the bacon done to your liking. My preference is smoke at 250 degrees for about an hour and a half. At this point the bacon isn’t overly crispy, but it’s definitely cooked enough to be bite through. If you prefer a crispier bacon, then I’d suggest kicking the temperature up to 300 degrees for about an hour. You’ll want to keep a close eye on the peppers though. If they overcook, then they’ll loose their stability and your turds will spill out all over your smoker.

Atomic Buffalo Turds - On The Grill

Once your atomic buffalo turds are cooked to your liking, remove them from the grill to cool down a bit before serving. Top them off with your favorite BBQ sauce before serving. I prefer to go with a sweeter sauce to compliment spice of the hot peppers. This particular batch was basted with Blues Hog Original Barbecue Sauce cut with a little cran-grape juice. The juice helps loosen up the thick sauce, and it also layers in a nice bright fruity flavor that goes well with the spice of the peppers. A spoonful of sauce on each turd and you can guarantee these tasty treats will disappear in no time flat!

Atomic Buffalo Turds

Used in this recipe

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60 comments on “Atomic Buffalo Turds

  1. Nice job, Jason!

    We tried these last week. They are definitely made for the smoker.

    We tried grilling them. #fail #1
    We used thick cut bacon. #fail #2

    Ha! Next time I’ll get it right. 🙂

    1. @Brian – Grilling anything that’s wrapped in bacon is going to be tough. The grease drips down onto the coals or burners and causes flare ups. It can be done, but requires constant attention!

  2. You can’t beat ABT’s for a snack while waiting for the ribs, butt and chicken to cook! Well, there are fatties. And Armadillo eggs. Let’s just call it a 3 way tie:)

  3. I was never a fan of ‘lil smokies’. I like to simply cut the top off of the pepper and then stuff it with cheese. Leave a seed or two in there for ‘effect’.

  4. I seen this recipe & just had to try it. The ABT were frick”n awesome. I smoked mine with apple and the last 15 min I spread on a little JD hickory BBQ sauce. They were out of this world. Next i will be trying the Bacon Explosion.

  5. the ABT’s at the BBQ Shack in Paola (which I assumed were the originals) use water chestnuts in place of the little smokies. I would love to try the smokies – but the chestnuts were very good in the recipe.

  6. I made this recipe over the weekend. That red raspberry BBQ sauce was amazing. It added an entirely different dimension to food and the entire recipe.

  7. I make something something very similar using shrimp instead. I use a piece of foil to limit the amount of direct heat/flame due to flair-up from the bacon. Constant attention and turning is still required, unless you like them extra crispy!!!!

  8. I used smoked paprika in the cream cheese. Adds a nice touch. It would also be nice if there was a link to print these articles that formats everything nicely. I love trying your recipes!

  9. Tried it with sliced water chestnuts and used a smoked cheddar instead of the cream cheese. Used Smokie Oakies BBQ sauce. (Added some raspberry compote) Also used chorizo instead of sausage. Smoked them for 10 minutes before I placed them over the grill. Great Idea. I’ll have fun with this one.

  10. I made these this weekend for the Eagles vs. Colts game at my friends house and slightly modified the recipe using a steak rub on thick maple-wood smoked bacon and instead of grilling them (which i wanted to do) i broiled them for 15 minutes in the oven. I also topped them off with a little fresh rosemary and minced garlic.

    Big hit at the little get-together they had!

    Next time i will be smoking these lil’smokies 🙂

    Big up on this recipe!

  11. Oh man, do those look good! I’ve been looking to try something new with our masterbuilt electric smoker and these Atomic Buffalo Turds look like they’ll fit the bill perfectly. We have some pretty adventurous kids so I’m sure they’ll give them a try. Do you think I’ll have a better chance at more of these little tasty treats if I tell them the name first? My son will definitely be all over them but the girls might shy away just long enough for me to swoop in for the kill. Awesome recipe Jason!

  12. I cannot cook at all to save my life, but I just tried these for Thanksgiving at my in-law’s house and they were everyone’s favorite. They are literaly idiot proof, no offense. The only changes I made was that I used “Everglades Heat” seasoning instead of your BBQ rub and I didn’t used the fruity BBQ sauce. Thank you very much for making it so easy!!!!

  13. I had these for the first time last year on a float trip with the guys in Arkansas. I’m going to be making them this weekend on our annual float trip. They’re an awesome appetizer while waiting for the main course. I’ll be mixing some cowtown all purpose rub into the cream cheese and then sprinkling some more on top of everything before smoking them. Should turn out great.

  14. I had these one year and they were phenomenal. I couldn’t find they raspberry sauce so I made my own.
    12 tbsp Raspberry preserve
    4 tbsp Honey BBQ Sauce
    4 tbsp Water
    1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
    1/2 tbsp tobasco sauce
    *Bring to a simmer/slight boil then store in fridge or use after it cools for 10min.

  15. Also I used thick cut bacon and slow cooked it at 250 deg for 3 hours with indirect heat. So a little time consuming but worth it. I was getting compliments all week on these.

  16. I made these last weekend, and they were great. I modified the recipe, since my family does not like the heat like I do. I used less cayenne in the cream cheese, and added a little Ancho & Chipotle chile powder. I used brown sugar, a little cayenne, & both chile powders for my rub.
    I also modified Eggman Charlie’s finishing sauce by microwaving until warm 1 pint of fresh rasberries, mashed them thru a strainer, and used that as my base. Then I added the BBQ sauce, cayenne, and hot sauce, but, omitted the water.

    I don’t have a smoker, so I put them in a pan, and cooked them on low on my grill, with wood chips.

    My kids loved them, and they will be at our tailgate parties this year.

  17. I made some changes to the raspberry sauce and removed the tobacco and cut the cayenne to two teaspoons since it was a little spicy for most people.

  18. Good one eggman!!!

    I received an e-mail with your post, and was wondering how I missed tobacco in the recipe when I read it-LOL You should give the fresh rasberries a try in the finishing sauce. Thanks for adding your sauce recipe to the ABT’s. It really makes a nice presentation, and finish on them.

  19. Made these tonight by memory from a friends bbq last week. Stellar. Can’t wait to try some varieties! I grilled for about 20 min then stuck them in the stove for about 30 min on 380. Broiled for two min to get extra crispy.

    I didn’t have a wire rack so that is why they were started on the grill – crisped up the bottoms. I plan to buy one soon.

  20. I made these yesterday and by golly they were great! I changed a couple of ingredients for the lack of having them in my pantry. I substituted chipotle powder for cayenne and I used my cousin Karin’s recipe for sweet barbecue rub.
    I also cooked them in the oven because I was to lazy to fool with my smoker on Sunday after church.

    Karin’s Special Dry Rub:

    4 Tbs salt
    6 Tbs brown sugar
    3 Tsp cayenne pepper
    6 Tsp smoked paprika (must be smoked, not regular)
    3 Tsp garlic powder

  21. Hi All:

    I Have made these several times since I first saw the recipe, and I do not own a smoker, so I grill them with thick bacon, and have had no failures.

    I put them in an aluminum pan, put a foil packet filled with wood chips and pierced with holes in the bottom of the grill. Then just cook them on low and check often. I guarantee this will work.

    Merry Christmas to all.


  22. Hi All:

    Happy New Year!!

    I have made these many times since I saw the recipe, and a major hit every time.

    People were fighting over them at the tailgate party, and when I make them at home, as I did for the Giant-Green Bay game last Sunday, I have to guard them until I can finish and serve, because, my 16 year old son circles like a shark when they are cooking.

    I have been tailgating for over 20 years, did some catering, cook and eat a lot of different nationality foods, and I can say with confidence, this is one of the best appetizers I have ever had or made.

    My compliments and thanks to whomever came up with this recipe.

  23. these can be grilled, I made a make shift tray from aluminum foil and put a few small holes in it so it would drain slightly. Came out great!

  24. These are great made the for Superbowl tonight. Thanks for the Recipe. Also had the Bacon Explosion for the third year in a row.

  25. I made these with turkey little smokies and turkey bacon.

    Even with non-pork products, this recipe is amazing!

    I am not a huge fan of BBQ sauce, even my own that is fabulous IMO, but found these to be the best with BBQ sauce.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  26. These sound amazing! Unfortunately I do not have a smoker. Could a person bake them in the oven on a cooling rack that is placed inside a rimmed baking sheet? If so, at what temperature and how long would you recommend?

  27. Hey folks. I’ve been making these for several years, and here is the recipe I like best for those who don’t necessarily like/want a ‘BBQ flavor’ to them.

    jalapenos cut in half (lightly pre-roast and cool before stuffing)
    Cream cheese filling with chives and onion.
    Cheddar lil’smokies.
    regular cut applewood smoked bacon wrapped top to bottom.
    cook at 300 degrees or on bbq until bacon is to desired crispness.
    Glaze with Apricot Jamb and cook another 5 min.


  28. Josh, second that on the BBQ Shack’s ABTs! Those were some great grub. Many times I couldn’t finish my ‘queue because I filled up on those pups. Also, as good as the BBQ in KC is, the ‘queue at the Shack in Paola was better. We never regretted the drive, but we always regretted leaving!

    I’m making these for our New Year’s Eve party and can’t wait to nom one. My first try was a pathetic fail (all the cream cheese ended up on the charcoals), but now I know the trick: low heat, patience, and beer! Gawd, this is going to be gooood…

  29. These sound awesome! Just a note to help you with your spicy fingers after handling jalapeños. Did you ever hear of stainless steel soap? It gets rid of garlic, onion and hot pepper smells and taste. You can get one at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Home Goods and more. It’s just a piece of stainless steel in a soap shape. Run your hands under water rubbing the s.s. soap for 30 seconds. It won’t foam. It really works. I can put my contacts in right after handling habaneros. Good luck.

  30. I have good recipe for buffalo turds that are really good

    12 jalapenos halfed

    Smoked pulled pork

    1/2 brick cream cheese
    250 grams of smoked gouda
    1 tbsp of cajun seasoning
    1 chopped shallot

    Smoked proscuetto

    mix cream cheese, smoked gouda, cajun spice thoroughly.
    stuff cheese mixture. into peppers.
    top with pulled pork.
    wrap in proscuetto.

    grill for 15-20 minutes and enjoy.

    they are quite delicious.

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