Spicy Texas Twinkies

Full Recipe for Spicy Texas Twinkies: Jalapeños Stuffed with Smoked Brisket


  • 12-16 extra-large jalapeños
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 lb smoked brisket, pulled
  • 1 lb chorizo (optional)
  • 2 cups smoked gouda, shredded
  • ½ cup Jeff’s original rub (or any BBQ rub of your choice)
  • 12-14 slices thick-cut bacon
  • Jeff’s original sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce)


  1. Prepare the Jalapeños:
    • Cut a “T” into each jalapeño by cutting halfway through the pepper just below the stem, then cutting a slit from the top of the “T” to the tip of the pepper.
    • Carefully pry open the pepper and deseed and devein the peppers with a thin, sharp knife. Rinse under cold water to remove any remaining seeds.
  2. Make the Stuffing:
    • In a bowl, combine the pulled brisket, softened cream cheese, shredded smoked gouda, and Jeff’s original rub. Mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  3. Stuff the Peppers:
    • Fill each jalapeño with the stuffing mixture, pressing it in gently but firmly.
  4. Wrap with Bacon:
    • Stretch thick slices of bacon and wrap a single piece around each stuffed pepper. Secure with a toothpick.
  5. Prepare the Smoker:
    • Set up your smoker for cooking at 225°F (107°C) with indirect heat. Use pecan wood for smoke, and if your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
  6. Cook the Peppers:
    • Place the peppers directly on the grate and cook for about 3 hours, or until the bacon has a good bite-through and the peppers are soft to your liking.
  7. Glaze and Finish:
    • When the peppers are ready to eat, glaze them with thinned barbecue sauce. Increase the heat to 350°F (175°C) and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Serve:
    • Serve the Texas Twinkies immediately while they’re still warm and the bacon is crisp.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 450 kcal
  • Servings: 12 servings

20 Secrets to Achieve the Perfect Texas Twinkies

  1. Choose Fresh Jalapeños:
    • Use fresh, firm jalapeños for the best texture and flavor.
  2. Control the Heat:
    • Remove all seeds and veins if you prefer a milder heat. Leave some seeds if you like it spicy.
  3. Use Quality Brisket:
    • Use high-quality smoked brisket for the best flavor. If possible, smoke your own for a more authentic taste.
  4. Soften the Cream Cheese:
    • Ensure the cream cheese is fully softened to make mixing easier and the filling smoother.
  5. Add Chorizo:
    • Adding cooked chorizo to the filling gives an extra layer of flavor and spiciness.
  6. Mix in Other Cheeses:
    • Combine smoked gouda with other cheeses like cheddar or Monterey Jack for a richer flavor.
  7. Proper Bacon Wrapping:
    • Stretch the bacon slightly before wrapping to ensure it stays secure during cooking.
  8. Use Toothpicks:
    • Secure the bacon with toothpicks to prevent it from unraveling while cooking.
  9. Pre-cook Bacon (Optional):
    • Par-cook the bacon for a few minutes to render some fat and help it crisp up better.
  10. Consistent Size:
    • Use jalapeños of similar size to ensure even cooking.
  11. Smoke Wood Choice:
    • Use pecan or hickory wood for a complementary smoky flavor.
  12. Keep the Heat Low:
    • Maintain a low and slow temperature of 225°F to allow flavors to meld and bacon to crisp perfectly.
  13. Water Pan in Smoker:
    • If your smoker has a water pan, fill it to keep the environment moist and prevent drying out.
  14. Don’t Overstuff:
    • Avoid overstuffing the peppers to prevent filling from oozing out.
  15. Rest the Peppers:
    • Allow the peppers to rest for a few minutes before serving to let the flavors set.
  16. Homemade BBQ Sauce:
    • Make your own BBQ sauce for glazing to control sweetness and spiciness.
  17. Glaze in Stages:
    • Apply BBQ sauce in stages during the last cooking phase to build layers of flavor.
  18. Use a Meat Thermometer:
    • Ensure the internal temperature of the filling reaches at least 165°F for food safety.
  19. Smoker Maintenance:
    • Keep your smoker clean and well-maintained for consistent cooking temperatures and smoke quality.
  20. Presentation:
    • Serve with a garnish of fresh herbs or extra BBQ sauce for a visually appealing and delicious finish.

20 Most Popular Questions and Their Answers about Texas Twinkies

  1. Can I make Texas Twinkies without a smoker?
    • Yes, you can bake them in the oven at 225°F, but you’ll miss the smoky flavor.
  2. How spicy are Texas Twinkies?
    • The spice level depends on how well you deseed and devein the jalapeños.
  3. Can I use another type of cheese?
    • Yes, you can substitute smoked gouda with cheddar, Monterey Jack, or your favorite cheese.
  4. What’s the best type of bacon to use?
    • Thick-cut bacon works best for wrapping the peppers.
  5. Can I prepare them ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can stuff and wrap the jalapeños a day in advance and cook them the next day.
  6. Do I need to pre-cook the chorizo?
    • Yes, cook the chorizo before mixing it into the stuffing to ensure it’s fully cooked.
  7. How do I prevent the stuffing from leaking out?
    • Ensure the jalapeños are not overstuffed and wrap the bacon tightly around them.
  8. What type of wood is best for smoking?
    • Pecan or hickory wood is recommended for a complementary smoky flavor.
  9. How long do leftovers last?
    • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  10. Can I freeze Texas Twinkies?
    • Yes, you can freeze them before cooking and then thaw and cook as needed.
  11. Is it necessary to use a rub?
    • The rub adds flavor, but you can skip it or use your preferred seasoning.
  12. What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?
    • Reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through.
  13. Can I use ground beef instead of brisket?
    • Yes, ground beef can be used as a substitute for brisket.
  14. Do I need to use BBQ sauce?
    • BBQ sauce adds flavor, but you can omit it or use another sauce of your choice.
  15. How do I know when they’re done?
    • The bacon should be crisp, and the internal temperature should be at least 165°F.
  16. Can I add vegetables to the stuffing?
    • Yes, finely chopped onions or bell peppers can be added for extra flavor.
  17. What can I serve with Texas Twinkies?
    • Serve with ranch dressing, extra BBQ sauce, or a fresh salad.
  18. Are they suitable for a keto diet?
    • Yes, if you use a low-carb BBQ sauce and omit the chorizo if it contains carbs.
  19. Can I cook them on a grill?
    • Yes, cook over indirect heat on a grill with a lid to mimic a smoker.
  20. What’s the best way to handle the jalapeños?
    • Wear gloves when handling jalapeños to avoid irritation from the capsaicin.

These tips and answers will help you perfect your Texas Twinkies and address any questions you might have about making and enjoying this delicious dish.


Achieving the perfect Spicy Texas Twinkies requires attention to detail and some handy tips. Here are 20 secrets to help you create the best jalapeños stuffed with smoked brisket:

  1. Select Fresh Jalapeños:
    • Choose fresh, firm, and large jalapeños to ensure they hold the stuffing well and have the right texture.
  2. Properly Prepare Jalapeños:
    • Remove seeds and veins thoroughly to control the heat level. Rinse under cold water to remove any remaining seeds.
  3. Soften Cream Cheese:
    • Allow cream cheese to reach room temperature before mixing to ensure a smooth, creamy texture.
  4. Use Quality Brisket:
    • Use high-quality smoked brisket for the best flavor. If you smoke it yourself, use pecan or hickory wood for a rich taste.
  5. Incorporate Other Meats:
    • Add cooked chorizo to the stuffing for an extra layer of flavor and spice.
  6. Mix Cheeses:
    • Combine smoked gouda with other cheeses like cheddar or Monterey Jack for a richer, more complex flavor.
  7. Season the Stuffing:
    • Use a good BBQ rub, such as Jeff’s original rub, to add depth and enhance the flavor of the stuffing.
  8. Don’t Overstuff:
    • Avoid overstuffing the jalapeños to prevent the filling from oozing out during cooking.
  9. Wrap Bacon Properly:
    • Stretch thick-cut bacon slightly before wrapping it around the jalapeños to ensure a tight fit. Secure with toothpicks if necessary.
  10. Use a Smoker:
    • Smoke the stuffed jalapeños at 225°F (107°C) using pecan wood for the best smoky flavor.
  11. Maintain Moisture:
    • If your smoker has a water pan, fill it to keep the environment moist and prevent the peppers from drying out.
  12. Monitor Cooking Time:
    • Cook the peppers for about 3 hours, ensuring the bacon is crispy and the jalapeños are tender.
  13. Glaze Gradually:
    • Apply BBQ sauce in stages during the last cooking phase to build layers of flavor and create a beautiful glaze.
  14. Increase Heat for Crispy Bacon:
    • Raise the smoker temperature to 350°F (175°C) for the last 15 minutes to crisp up the bacon.
  15. Use a Meat Thermometer:
    • Check the internal temperature of the filling to ensure it reaches at least 165°F for food safety.
  16. Rest Before Serving:
    • Allow the jalapeños to rest for a few minutes after cooking to let the flavors meld and the juices settle.
  17. Serve Immediately:
    • Serve the Texas Twinkies warm for the best flavor and texture.
  18. Customize the Filling:
    • Experiment with adding ingredients like finely chopped onions, bell peppers, or different cheeses to the stuffing.
  19. Control the Heat:
    • For a milder version, soak the deseeded jalapeños in water with a little vinegar for 30 minutes before stuffing.
  20. Presentation:
    • Garnish with fresh herbs, extra BBQ sauce, or a sprinkle of smoked paprika for an attractive presentation.