I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t like peppers.” I wasn’t a fan until just recently. First, skip past the greens and go with yellow or at least orange ones. They cost a little more but they aren’t nearly as harsh as the green pepper. Also, with this recipe, if you don’t like peppers at all, scoop the gooey goodness out of the pepper and discard the rest.
Smoked Stuffed Pepper Ingredients:
3 yellow peppers
30 pepperoni slices
6 tbsp of cream cheese
9 slices of monterey jack cheese
1 package of cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
Yield: six servings
First, chop off the stem and slice the peppers in half:
Remove the seeds and any white flesh. That’s my wife helping out with the deseeding. I never wear black nail polish. I’m more for the reds:
Now put one tablespoon of cream cheese inside each pepper half and spread around with the back of a spoon:
Then fill each pepper half with quartered cherry or grape tomatoes:
Then layer five slices of pepperoni on top of each pepper half:
You can also do a couple slices of sweet coppa rather than pepperoni:
And then place the soon to be smoked stuffed peppers on the grill. Obviously I was grilling more than three peppers worth, but I wanted to cut it down to a more manageable size for the recipe:
The grill was set up for two zone grilling, with coals on one side and the peppers went opposite of that. I threw a couple chunks of sassafras wood on the coals and shut the lid. The internal temp of the grill was between 275-300.
At about 15 minutes, the sassafras is smelling great, so I checked on the peppers and saw that the coals were pretty ashed over so I wanted to shake the ash loose and I lifted up the leg of the grill an inch or two and let it slam back down to shake the cooking chamber. This is a good way to jostle the coals, but it also jostled the peppers. My 10 halves on the grill became 9 on the grill, and 1 under it:
At the 25 minute mark I checked the progress:
I rotated the smoked stuffed peppers around at this point. The peppers closest in this shot were cooking faster than the far ones so I switched them and moved each one 180 degrees so the side farthest from the coals was now the closest.
Here’s a closeup to show a little blackening from the pepperoni at the 25 minute mark. Don’t sweat that, just rotate it away from the fire like I did with these:
At 50 minutes the smoked stuffed peppers looked like this:
At this point I applied the cheese, a slice and a half per stuffed pepper half. I used monterey jack and muenster, both were delicious, although you could just as easily use mozzarella or havarti:
I closed the lid for 10 more minutes to melt the cheese and here are the smoked stuffed peppers covered with oozing cheese and ready to plate:
Now picking these things up is a little tricky as the peppers are really soft at this point. Instead of trying to grab the pepper on two sides with my tongs, I had to scoop them up from underneath:
Here’s a closeup of the tongs. Notice I don’t clamp them down on top, or the cheese will stick to the tongs and probably push the contents out the side:
Looking back, I would probably put the cheese on earlier. I was worried that it would all run over the sides, but with all the open space around the quartered tomatoes, it all sunk down into the middle. Adding it earlier would add a nice smokiness to the cheese as well.
The pepper is soft and sweet, the cream cheese is creamy and melded around the bottom of the tomatoes that are warm and tangy, the pepperoni is crispy around the edges and salty and spicy, the cheese on top laying over everything like a baby’s blanket, and all with the subtle sassafras smoke. Outstanding…
If you have any questions about the smoked stuffed peppers, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
If you would like other sides and appetizers, click here.
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- 3 yellow peppers
- 30 pepperoni slices
- 6 tbsp of cream cheese
- 9 slices of monterey jack cheese
- 1 package of cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- Chop off the stems, slice the peppers in half and remove the white flesh and seeds
- Put one tablespoon of cream cheese inside each pepper half and spread around with the back of a spoon
- Fill each pepper half with quartered tomatoes
- Cover each pepper with five slices of pepperoni
- Prepare the grill for two zone grilling: coals and smoke wood on the left, nothing on the right
- Target temperature is 275-300
- Place the peppers on the side of the grill with no coals and close the lid
- At about the 25-30 minute mark, rotate the peppers so the ones closest to the coals are the farthest and vice versa
- At the 50 minute mark, place a slice and a half of cheese on top of each pepper half
- Close the lid for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted
- Remove from the heat by scooping them up from the bottom (trust me)
- Allow to cool a little and serve