Smoked Pig Shots: A Delicious 6-Step Recipe

May 30, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

Smoked pig shots are a cheese-filled, meaty shot glass made of bacon, smoked sausage, and cream cheese. Imagine the rich flavor of bacon and sausages paired with the creaminess of a cheese filling in one small package. Sounds yummy, right? I’ve been making this delicious appetizer at cookouts, and they are always a showstopper.

Furthermore, these bacon-wrapped pork shots cook in about an hour, so you can prepare and enjoy them in no time. The ingredients and preparation techniques featured in this recipe are partly inspired by my time in culinary school, and I added an extra twist to improve the overall flavor and simplicity.

Bear in mind that this dish requires some effort, but after you have prepared a couple, you will quickly get the hang of it. That said, follow me as I show you how to make flavorful smoked pig shots.

Smoked Pig Shots

How to Make Smoked Pig Shots?


Here’s what you’ll need to make these delicious pig shots.

  • 1 packet of smoked sausage or kielbasa sausage: Smoked sausage slices serve as the base for your bacon shots. Polish kielbasa also works excellently with this recipe, so make your pick. Use thicker sausages, as they’ll provide a firmer base for the cheese mixture.
  • 1 packet of thick-cut bacon: Use only thick-cut bacon strips. Thinly cut bacon will be too pliable and unable to support the unique shape of the pork shot.
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese: When combined with the bacon and sausage, softened cream cheese produces a delicious, creamy flavor. Remember to remove the cream cheese from the fridge at least half an hour before using it to allow it to soften.
  • 4 ounces of cheddar cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese gives the pork shots a nice tanginess. You can use either block or shredded cheese for the cream cheese mixture. However, if you want more spiciness, use Monterey Jack cheese instead.
  • ¼ cup of jalapeño peppers: Jalapenos are a must in this recipe. Aside from the sweet spiciness they offer, they also add a unique flavor to the cream cheese mixture.
  • 4 ounces of sour cream: You can’t go wrong with sour cream. The more creaminess, the better.
  • 4 tablespoons of BBQ sauce: BBQ sauce gives the pig shots just that extra kick and juiciness. You can use any barbecue sauce for this recipe. That said, you can’t go wrong with Stubb’s original BBQ sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 4 green onions
Smoked Sausages and Cheese


Step 1: Prepare the Sauce

First, mix the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, and honey in a bowl and set aside. This honey-bbq sauce mixture will come in handy later.

Step 2: Make the Pork Cups

Start by slicing the smoked sausage into even pieces. Some people cut their sausages about 1/4″ thick. However, I prefer cutting my sausages to 1/2″ thickness.

I was able to get around 15 slices from a whole smoked sausage. The pig shots will be more stable with thicker sausage bases. Afterward, cut the bacon strips in half.

Next, lay the sausage slice on a cutting board and wrap the thick-cut bacon strip around it. Don’t wrap the bacon too tightly because the pork strip will shrink a bit while you smoke it.

If you do, the pig shots could split from the sausage bases, and lose their shape. It’s a good idea to have some overlap because it will keep the smoked pig shots stable.

Lastly, use a toothpick to attach the thick-cut bacon to the sausage base. To keep the bacon cool and firm before cooking, put together a few pig shots and store them in the refrigerator while you complete the others.

Step 3: Prepare the Cream Cheese Filling

Now it’s time to mix the tasty cream cheese filling. Combine sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and sliced green onions.

Ensure that you thoroughly mix all these ingredients. Afterward, pour the cream cheese mixture into a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, cut off a small corner of a zip-lock bag and use it to fill the cups.

Step 4: Fill the Pork Cups

Remove your glass-sized bacon cups from the refrigerator and add a slice of jalapeño to each cup. Next, slather the honey mixture on each cup. Bacon cups taste considerably better if you put 1-2 slices of jalapeño at the bottom of each cup.

Next, fill the cups with the cream cheese mixture. I don’t advise filling the cups to the brim because the cream cheese filling expands while cooking and may leave a mess in the pan. Put the pig shots back in the refrigerator immediately after you’re done filling and keep them there until you’re ready to smoke.

Step 5: Smoke the Pig Shot

Toss wood chips into the loader of your smoker. My preferred smoker is the Traeger Pro 575. I love how consistently it cooks my meals. I use cherry wood chips for this recipe. Cherry gives the bacon a deep, rich crimson hue.

Hickory and pecan are also excellent alternatives. Now, place the pig shots on a cooling rack that fits into your smoker. The rack will make it easier to remove the cups from the smoker without them falling apart.

The ideal smoking temperature for the pig shot is between 275 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature produces a smoky, and crispy mouthfeel. Smoke the meat at this temperature for about 60 minutes. Pay attention as the meat cooks and remove it once the bacon is crispy and the filling looks golden brown. 

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

When the shots are done, gently pull them out of the smoker. Be careful when pulling out the shots from the rack because the cream cheese filling can get quite hot. Allow the pig shot to rest for 10 minutes, then enjoy it with your favorite sauces. 

Smoked Pig Shots on the Grill

Extra Smoking Tips

  • If you’re using a gas or charcoal smoker, place the pork cups on the opposite side of the heat to prevent the meat from burning.
  • Insert a toothpick or two vertically to help the bacon stand if it is soft.
  • If your bacon is wide, think about cutting the sausage thicker to give the shots more structure.
  • For extra crispy bacon, raise the smoker’s temperature to 400°F for 5 minutes before you switch the grill off.
  • If you’re using an air fryer, put the shots in the basket and cook for about 10 minutes at 375°F. Make sure to check on them periodically to avoid overcooking.

How to Store Smoked Pig Shots?

You can store your tasty pig shots in a refrigerator or freezer, depending on how soon you’ll be eating them. These pork shots can last in the fridge for 3–4 days.

Remember to put them in an airtight container before placing them in the fridge. If you won’t be eating them within that time frame, store them in the freezer. You can store the cooked or uncooked pork shots in the freezer.

The meat should stay good in the freezer for about three months. Simply ensure you pack them in an airtight container and label them before putting them in your freezer.

How to Reheat Pig Shots?

In my experience, it’s best to eat smoked pig shots fresh off the smoker. That said, if you have some leftovers stored in the fridge or freezer, you can reheat them by letting them thaw, then cook them in a grill or oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Drizzle a dash of BBQ sauce for extra flavor after you remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Prepare Pig Shots Ahead of Time?

Luckily, bacon-wrapped pork shots hold up quite well and can be prepared ahead of time. Even though it’s best to prepare and cook these pork cups immediately, they also taste divine after spending a day or two in the fridge.

Simply ensure that you allow the meat to completely thaw. You can thaw this delicious appetizer by placing it in a zip-lock bag and dunking it in a bowl of cold water. Thawing it in the fridge overnight also works amazingly well.

2. Can Pig Shots Be Made in the Oven?

Sure! You could prepare your flavorful pork cups in the oven. You may miss out on the unique smoky taste, but the result will taste great regardless. Set your oven to 375 degrees and bake for roughly 45 minutes.

3. What Are the Best Dipping Sauces for Pig Shots?

Personally, I found honey mustard, sriracha sauce, and blue cheese dip to complement this snack best. Moreover, BBQ sauce also tastes great with this meaty delight.

4. What Happens if Pig Shots Aren’t Properly Reheated?

You must ensure you reheat your pig shots properly for the right amount of time (15 to 20 minutes) before eating them.

Generally, pork is prone to contamination by bacteria. So, if you don’t reheat it correctly, you expose yourself to severe food poisoning symptoms, including vomiting, fever, diarrhea, stomach cramps, etc.

Ensure you allow the shots to thaw completely before reheating them in the oven. Also, pay attention to the meat’s temperature. The pig shots should be sizzling hot and heated all the way through.

Bacon Wrapped Smoked Pig Shots Lined up on a Ceramic Plate


This pig shot recipe tastes amazing and is really easy to make. These tasty snacks are delicious as appetizers, or main courses. So, follow my recipe, fire up your smoker, and start smoking. If you don’t have a pellet smoker, don’t fret.

You can still make this mouth-watering delicacy with an air fryer or oven. Feel free to experiment with different condiments and cheese types and make a unique dish that suits your taste buds.

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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