12 Best Smoked Appetizers for Your Backyard BBQ or Tailgate Party

May 3, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

Over the years, I’ve experimented with various smoked appetizer recipes. From classic favorites like smoked chicken wings and pork belly burnt ends to unique and delicious twists like smoked cream cheese and jalapeno poppers. There are endless options when looking for the best smoked appetizers. 

I’ve tried my hand at smoked pulled pork potato skins, smoked salmon quesadillas, and much more. With every recipe I try, I learn something new about the art of smoked appetizers. I’ve learned a lot through trial and error, and I’m confident that I have a better understanding of what it takes to make a fantastic smoked appetizer.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover the most amazing and mouth-watering smoked appetizers for your BBQ parties.

best smoked appetizers

Best Smoked Cream Cheese Appetizers

If you love cream cheese and all things smoked, you should try these delicious appetizers. From spicy smoked jalapeno poppers to savory stuffed mushrooms, here are three amazingly delicious recipes that feature the unbeatable combination of smoked cream cheese.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Cream Cheese

1. Smoked Cream Cheese-stuffed Jalapeño Poppers Recipe


  • 8 jalapeño peppers, halved and seeded
  • 8 oz smoked cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat the smoker to 250°F and prep the jalapeño peppers by cutting off the tops and removing the seeds.
  • Combine the cream cheese, cooked bacon bits, cheddar cheese, and garlic powder in a bowl.
  • Spoon the mixture into each jalapeño half and wrap with a slice of bacon.
  • Smoke the jalapeño poppers for 1-2 hours or until the bacon is crispy and the cheese melts.

2. Smoked Cream Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe


  • 24 medium-sized mushrooms
  • 8 oz smoked and softened cream cheese
  • 4 strips of cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic 
  • Salt and pepper 


  • Heat your smoker or pellet grill to 250°F and remove the mushroom stems.
  • In a skillet, cook the bacon until it turns crispy, and chop it into small pieces.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine your smoked cheese cream, cooked bacon, parmesan cheese, and green onions.
  • Spoon the mixture into each mushroom cap and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  • Smoke the stuffed mushrooms for 45-60 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese melts up.

Best Smoked Chicken Appetizers

From crispy wings to loaded nachos and cheesy recipes for the ultimate party dip, these recipes are at the top of my smoked chicken appetizer collection. Check them out!

Juicy Barbecued Chicken Wings

3. Smoked Chicken Wings with Garlic Butter Recipe


  • 2 lbs of chicken wings
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • Salt to taste


  • Mix the olive oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper in a bowl.
  • Add your chicken wings to the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
  • Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Arrange the chicken wings on the smoker grates and smoke for 2 to 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • While the wings are smoking, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Season with salt to taste.
  • Once the wings are done smoking, remove them from the smoker and brush them with the garlic butter mixture. Serve it hot.

4. Smoked Queso Dip With Chicken Recipe


  • 2 cups smoked chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup smoked queso, grated
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • Tortilla chips for serving


  • Start by preheating the smoker to 250°F. Place the shredded chicken in an aluminum foil pan and smoke for 1 hour.
  • Heat the hot sauce and barbecue sauce over low heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the smoked queso and cheddar cheese, and stir until they melt and become smooth.
  • Add the chicken and sour cream to the cheese mixture, and stir to combine.
  • Transfer the smoked queso dip to a serving bowl and serve hot with tortilla chips.

Best Smoked Pork Appetizers

Who doesn’t love tender, juicy smoked pork? From crispy pork belly burnt ends to loaded pork nachos, these smoked appetizers will surely be a hit at your next BBQ party.

Slow Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends

5. Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe


  • 3 lbs pork belly with skin removed
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ rub
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup of apple juice
  • 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce


  • Heat your smoker to 250°F and add your favorite smoking wood.
  • Cut the pork belly into 1-inch cubes and coat them with BBQ rub.
  • Smoke the pork belly cubes for 3 hours, remove from the smoker, and place them in a disposable aluminum pan.
  • Add brown sugar, honey, and apple juice to the pan and stir to combine.
  • Cover the pan with foil and return to the smoker for 2 hours.
  • Remove the foil, add BBQ sauce to the pan, and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the pork belly caramelizes.

6. Smoked Pulled Pork Potato Skins Recipe


  • 4 medium-sized russet potatoes
  • 1 lb smoked pulled pork
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Heat your smoker to 350°F.
  • Scrub the potatoes and pierce them all over with a fork. Rub them with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Smoke the potatoes for 1-2 hours or until they are tender when pierced with a knife.
  • Remove the potatoes from the smoker and let them cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a thin layer of potato in the skin.
  • Fill each potato skin with pulled pork, top with cheddar cheese, and return to the smoker for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Serve the grilled potato skins hot, topped with cream and green onions.

Best Smoked Salmon Appetizer Recipes 

Smoked salmon is a popular ingredient in many recipes and it’s a great appetizer idea. And these two easy-to-make dishes are perfect for entertaining guests or enjoying as a snack or appetizer.

Smoked Salmon with Stuffed Crepes

7. Smoked Salmon Tortilla Chips Recipe


  • 6-8 corn tortillas
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 oz smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pepper and salt to taste


  • Heat your oven to 375°F.
  • Brush both sides of the corn tortillas with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Cut the tortillas into wedges and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Bake the tortilla chips for 8-10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
  • In a small bowl, mix the smoked salmon, chives, cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined.
  • Serve and enjoy!

8. Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Dip Recipe


  • 8 oz cheese cream, softened
  • 4 oz finely chopped smoked salmon
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • Salt and pepper


  • Mix the cheese cream, smoked salmon, dill, lemon juice, horseradish, salt, and pepper until they combine well.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Serve the dip with crackers, bread, or vegetable sticks.

Other Smoked Appetizers to Try

Devilled Eggs with Bread and Mayonnaise

9. Bacon Wrapped Smoked Jalapeño Poppers Recipe


  • 12 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
  • 8 ounces of cheese cream, softened
  • 12 slices bacon, cut in half
  • Toothpicks


  • Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
  • In a bowl, add the cheese cream and each jalapeño half with the cheese mixture.
  • Wrap each stuffed jalapeño half with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  • Place the jalapeno poppers on the smoker rack and smoke for about 2 hours or till the bacon is crispy.

10. Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage Recipe


  • 16-20 baby bella mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat the pellet grill to medium-high heat.
  • In a skillet, sauté the sausage, onion, and bell pepper until the vegetables are tender and the sausage browns.
  • Stuff each mushroom with the sausage mixture and sprinkle with chopped parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the stuffed mushrooms on the grill grates and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is hot and bubbly.

11. Smoked Deviled Eggs with Bacon Recipe


  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Pepper and salt
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)


  • To make your smoked deviled eggs, cut all the hard boiled eggs in half and remove yolks to a mixing bowl.
  • Mash yolks with a fork and add mayonnaise, dijon mustard, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Mix until smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Smoke the egg whites for 30-40 minutes or until the whites take on a light brown color and have a slightly smoky flavor.
  • Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture and top with crumbled bacon and chopped parsley.
  • Serve your delicious smoked deviled eggs appetizer. This is perfect for any occasion.

12. Smoked Sausage and Cheese Dip Recipe


  • 1 lb smoked sliced sausage
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup of diced green bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and black pepper 
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  • In a large skillet, cook the sausage slices over medium-high heat until they brown and crispen.
  • Remove the sausage from the skillet and set it aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onions, bell peppers, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth.
  • Stir in the cooked sausage and chopped parsley.
  • Serve warm.


Smoked appetizers are the perfect way to kick off any backyard get-together. I think of it like a warm-up lap before the main event. Just like stretching before a workout, smoked appetizers help to get your taste buds ready for the main dish to come. They also go well as a side dish.

With up to 12 smoked appetizers up there, I’m sure I left you spoiled for choice. From smoked chicken wings to bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, there are a dozen options to choose from. It’s all up to you now to start making your perfect appetizer.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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