In my day, we didn’t have the Internet. We used two cans tied together by a string. That’s the way it was, and we liked it!
Apologies to Dana Carvey
Back in the day, when I first started searching the Internet for grilling information, there wasn’t much out there. I had the Virtual Weber Bullet , the BBQ Forum…and that was about it. I scoured those message boards every day for new ideas, reading everything that was posted.
I’m still amazed that I could read everything posted on the Internet about barbecue and grilling. Nowadays? That would be like trying to drink Lake Erie by jumping in halfway to Canada with a straw.
One of the ideas that bubbled up in the forums was Dragon Turds – a smoked version of jalapeno poppers.
Yes, dragon turds. BBQ guys are a bunch of eight year old boys at heart, giggling about poop jokes. Me included. Hehehehe – he said turd.
Then some backyard genius invented the jalapeno roaster, a metal plate full of holes to hold the jalapenos vertically. The rest is history. Now everyone knows about stuffed jalapeno peppers, and there are jalapeno roasting kits in every shape you could want, from a jalapeno pepper, to an egg, or even the great state of Texas. I recommend a rectangular rack, because it is more space efficient on the grill.
I own a cute jalapeño pepper shaped rack. I couldn’t help myself.
Most jalapeño stuffings are mainly cream cheese. And, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I like stuffing my peppers with regular cheese. (Think mini Chile Rellenos.) The result overflows the peppers, leaving the edges crispy and blackened, and full of molten cheese goodness.
Recipe: Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
- Grill (I use a Weber Summit, which I love, but is massive overkill for this recipe)
- Jalapeno Pepper Rack
- 24 jalapeno peppers (or however many your rack holds)
- 8 ounces shredded cheese (shredded Mexican blend, cheddar, or Colby jack are the best options)
- 1 teaspoon ground ancho pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1. Stuff the peppers
Cut off the stem end of the peppers. Core the peppers, scraping out the seeds and ribs using a small measuring spoon. Toss the cheese, ancho pepper, garlic powder, and cumin in a medium bowl until the spices are evenly distributed. Pack the peppers with cheese, overflowing them slightly, setting each pepper in the pepper rack as you finish it.
2. Set the grill up for indirect high heat
Set the grill up for a two zone fire, with one zone set to high heat, and the other with no heat. For my Weber Summit, I preheat the grill with all burners on high for 15 minutes, brush the grill grates clean, then turn off all burners except for burners #1 and #2.
3. Cook the peppers over indirect heat
Put the rack of peppers on the grill over indirect heat, not directly over the flames. Close the lid, and grill until the cheese melts and browns, and the peppers soften, about 20 minutes.
Remove the rack from the grill (be careful – it will be very hot.) Set the rack on a heat safe surface and let the stuffed peppers cool for five minutes, then remove them from rack and serve.
- Wearing gloves: Normally, I don’t wear gloves when I’m dealing with hot peppers. I regret that if I forget and rub my eyes or nose later…but, usually, it’s not that big a deal. This recipe is an exception. I handle a lot of peppers in this one, cutting, coring, stuffing, and getting my hands all over the pepper. If you’re brave (or foolhardy), you can skip the gloves…but I’d recommend wearing a pair of powder free latex gloves while stuffing.
- Rack size: I like the rack I got because it has larger holes than usual…but I picked it up at a local store, and I can’t find its equivalent online. Check the size of your peppers against the size of your rack – smaller holes may not hold larger peppers, and smaller peppers will fall through the holes once they’ve softened in the grill for a while. Also, I’d get a rack that holds 18 to 24 peppers – most people can only handle two or three of these spicy peppers before they cry uncle; unless you’re feeding a huge crowd (or a dedicated group of chili heads), 18 peppers will be more than enough.
- No pepper roasting rack? No worries. Instead of cutting the stem end off of the peppers, cut them in half lengthwise. Then scrape, out the seeds and ribs using a small measuring spoon, leaving the stem end on – think “little jalapeno canoes”. Fill the pepper halves with cheese, then continue with the recipe, placing the peppers carefully on the grill grate over indirect heat, cheese side up.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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