How to make smoked pig shots (with maple bourbon glaze)

Smoked pig shots
Photos for this recipe are from Erin Hungsberg (IG: erin_hungsberg)

I’ve been making smoked pig shots for years and they are a great appetizer!  These bacon cups are filed with a cream cheese filling and topped with a jalapeño. Then they are smoked and glazed for one amazing bite after another! 

Ingredients you need for Smoked Pig Shots. 

Ingredients for smoked pig shots

Thick-cut bacon

Cream cheese 

Sour cream 

Smoked sausage or kielbasa 

Pickled or fresh jalapeños 

Colby Jack cheese 

Bbq dry rub 

For glaze: 



Maple syrup 

Choosing the right type of bacon. 

It is important to use thick cut bacon that is straight out of the fridge for best results. If the bacon is too thin, has too much fat or is too warm, it will not wrap around the sausage slice properly.

This is probably the most important part of the whole process. 

Make sure you get thick cut bacon and if you are still having trouble wrapping the bacon, place the bacon strips in your freezer for 30 minutes and then try again. This will help them stay upright without collapsing.

Then you can move on to filling each pig shot which will also help keep everything together. 

Making the shot glasses. 

The base of the pig shots are made with smoked sausage. Cut your sausage into 1/2 inch slices.

Then take a piece of bacon and carefully wrap each piece of sausage base. Place a toothpick through the sausage and bacon to hold everything together.

Then it’s time to move onto the filling.

Making the filling. 

In a medium bowl combine softened cream cheese, sour cream, Colby Jack cheese, and bbq seasoning. Stir all of that together to incorporate and fill a piping bag with the mix.

If you don’t have a piping bag, put the cream cheese filling into a zip lock sandwich bag and snip the bottom corner. You can use that to pipe the cheese mixture into each pig shot.

Be carefully not to overfill as the filling will expand as it cooks in the smoker. 

Filling pig shots

I like to take a fresh or pickled jalapeno and place one right on top of the filling for each one. The combination of the cream cheese and jalapeno slice balances really well and won’t be spicy at all. 

Smoking the pig shots. 

Smoking the pig shots are easy. Just line them up on your grill grates at smoke at 250°F for about an hour. The last 20-30 minutes I like to increase the temperature to 350°F to really crisp up the bacon.

If any of the filling expands and comes out of the pig shots, don’t worry it does happens. 

Making the glaze.  

Make a quick glaze by combining bourbon, honey and maple syrup together. Whisk that together to combine and brush the glaze onto each pig shot towards the end of the cook while they are still on the smoker.

If you are trying to avoid alcohol you can always opt for a little bbq sauce as the glaze. 

When are pig shots done? 

The pig shots are ready when the bacon is cooked through, crispy and the cheese filling is golden brown on top. Remove the tooth picks before servings and brush with a little more glaze right after plating.

These are best served warm and make a delicious appetizer. Serve them up with homemade pasta salad or easy homemade coleslaw.

Smoked pig shots

Storing and reheating pig shots. 

Although pig shots should be enjoyed the same day, you can refrigerate and store any extras in an airtight container. Reheat them in the microwave or air fryer (my favorite way). 

Tips and tricks: 

​This recipe is easy but there are a few things I’ve learned to help make this recipe a success! 

1. Use thick bacon for this recipe. Place the bacon in the freezer if needed for 30 minutes to keep it upright as you wrap around the sausage. 

2. For extra crispy bacon place the pig shots on a wire rack and then onto your smoker so there is better air circulation around each one. 

​3. To save on clean up place pig shots on 2nd rack with a foil pan underneath to catch any grease. 

4. Use room temperature cream cheese which will be soft enough to mix and pipe when ready. Cream cheese straight out of the fridge is hard to work with. You could also use whipped cream cheese if you prefer a softer texture. 

Try breakfast pig shots! 

Breakfast pig shots

If you love this pig shots recipe make sure to try my smoked breakfast pig shots. Sausage, bacon, egg and cheese all in one bite. How could you possibly go wrong? 

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How to make smoked pig shots (with maple bourbon glaze)

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 8 oz softened cream cheese 
  • 4 oz sour cream 
  • 1/4 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese 
  • 1.5 tablespoons sweet bbq rub 
  • 12 oz package of kielbasa (already cooked) 
  • 1 package thick cut bacon cut in half 
  • 20 pickled jalapeño slices 


  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 oz bourbon 
  • 2 tablespoons honey 


  1. Cut kielbasa into 1/2 inch slices and cut bacon in half. Wrap bacon around each kielbasa slice and secure together with a toothpick. Should form a cup or shot glass. 
  2. In a medium bowl combine softened cream cheese, sour cream, Colby Jack cheese and bbq rub. Stir well to combine. 
  3. Place the cream cheese filling into a piping bag or a sandwich bag (snip the bottom corner) and pipe filling into each pig shot about 3/4 of the way up. Add a pickled or fresh jalapeño slice to the top of each one. 
  4. Place pig shots on smoker at 250°F and smoke for an hour. Then increase smoker temp to 350°F and cook for an additional 30 minutes. The bacon should be crispy and the cheese filling puffed and golden brown.  Brush glaze on pig shots the last 5 minutes before you remove them from the smoker. 
  5. To make the glaze, combine bourbon, honey and maple syrup together and whisk. 
  6. Remove toothpicks from pig shots before serving. Brush glaze on one more time while pig shots are plated. 
  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Smoked
  • Cuisine: BBQ

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  1. In your video you mention other cooking methods besides a smoker. Could you let me know how to make these?

  2. My daughter sent me a reel of this recipe. I came here to the site and got all of the details and made these last weekend. Huge success, everyone loved them! I’m glad I made a double batch, next time it’ll be a triple.

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