Football Explosion

Football Explosion

Football Explosion

It’s time for football! And that means Football Food. I love great appetizers and meals you can cook out on the grill for a football party or tailgate. And this Football Explosion is a great one…

I’m calling it a Football Explosion. And it combines a bacon explosion and a jalapeño popper (cream cheese, jack cheese and fresh jalapeño peppers).

Football Explosion

First, I started with 8oz room temperature cream cheese. Then mixed in 8oz jack cheese and 3 diced fresh jalapeños. Once I got this mixed, I seasoned it with Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub.

Then I placed a piece of Saran Wrap on the table. I used it form the cream cheese mixture into a log. And this cream cheese log goes into the fridge for at least 15 minutes (but you could leave it overnight).

Next I laid out a piece of parchment paper and flattened out 2lbs of hot breakfast sausage. Once the sausage was even, I liberally seasoned it with Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub.

Then I took the cream cheese log out of the fridge. Using the Saran Wrap, I rolled it directly onto the middle of the sausage. The goal is to wrap the sausage all the way around the cream cheese log – even the ends. The parchment paper really makes this an easy job since you can use the edges to roll the sausage around.

Football Explosion bacon weave

Next it’s time for the best part – the bacon weave. I started with 2lbs of thick cut bacon (but I didn’t use the full 2lbs). I laid 7 pieces of bacon on a sheet of parchment paper. Then I pulled up every other piece of bacon – and laid another piece across. I just kept “weaving” the bacon pieces until I had a complete “bacon mat”. I used a total of 7 pieces x 9 pieces.

Then the sausage log goes right in the middle of the bacon weave. The parchment paper can really help you out – so use it to roll the bacon. I covered the sausage completely. Once it’s nice and tucked in, I seasoned the outside of my Football Explosion with another good dose of Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub.

Football Explosion bacon weave

Using my UDS Smoker, I got the cooker up to 300 degrees. Then I placed the Football Explosion right on the rack.

After 30 minutes of smoke, I checked the Football Explosion and it had a great color. This is when it’s time to start keeping an eye on the internals. I placed my Chef Alarm in the center to monitor the internal temps. You need to take it to at least 165 to make sure the ground meat is completely cooked.

But when the Football Explosion hit 150-155, I heated some Killer Hogs The BBQ Sauce. I poured it into my Yeti Rambler to keep it warm. Then I went out to the smoker and brushed the warm sauce all on the outside of the Football Explosion.

Football Explosion on smoker

This allowed the sauce to glaze on the Football Explosion for the last 10 degrees – without it burning the sauce.

One my Chef Alarm went off, I knew the internal temp was at least 165. I took the Football Explosion off the smoker and let it rest. The cheese and everything inside was really hot and I didn’t want it to run everywhere. So I let it rest for a full 15-20 minutes.

Football Explosion

Then I sliced this bad boy into 1″ slices… and dug in!

You have got to try this Football Explosion for your next football party. It has the smoked bacon, the sausage and the jalapeño popper inside – so it’s a real crowd pleaser.

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Football Explosion
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Football Explosion



  1. Soften the cream cheese by sitting it on counter for 1 hour. Seed and dice the jalapenos.
  2. Place the cream cheese, Monterrey Jack, and jalapenos in a large bowl. Season with a little The BBQ Rub and stir to combine.
  3. Place the cream cheese mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. This can be done the day before to save time.
  4. Flatten the sausage on a sheet of parchment paper into a rectangle shape. It should be about ½” thick. Season lightly with The BBQ Rub. Unroll the cream cheese mixture and place in the center of the sausage. Use the parchment paper to gently lift the sausage up and over the cream cheese. Press the seams together so all the cheese is covered.
  5. Lay out the bacon strips on a sheet of parchment paper and fold every other piece weaving strips across into a “basket weave” pattern.
  6. Place the sausage on the bacon and gently roll the sausage into a log shape. The Bacon should completely cover the sausage. Season with the remaining The BBQ Rub.
  7. Start a charcoal fire in smoker and bring temperature to 300⁰ use cherry wood for smoke flavor.
  8. Place the Football Explosion on the grate and cook until internal temperature hits 155⁰.
  9. Heat the bbq sauce until warm and brush on the outside of the Football Explosion.
  10. Continue to smoke until internal temperature hits 165⁰
  11. Rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Malcom Reed
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Comments 5

    1. Post
  1. Malcom, I really enjoy your web site and the amazing recipes. I am having a large group over and want to cook ribs; can I cook them the day before and reheat them to serve the day of the gathering. Thank you

    1. Post

      Yeah – We cook them until they are done, but don’t glaze. We pull them, let them cool and wrap them in foil. Then I’ll put them in the fridge. When it’s time to reheat, I’ll pull them out of the fridge and let them come up to room temp – for about 30min – 1 hour – while I fire up the smoker. I put them on the smoker and that is when I will apply the sauce and allow them to glaze while they warm. I hold the smoker at about 250 and let them come up to temp for about 30 minutes.

  2. This is GREAT, love your videos ! Clear & easy to understand. And you tell All I want to hear. The recap gives me time to write down what I need to. My husband wants to try the football explosion but wants to change it up a bit by adding another layer of meat( his favorite birthday meal is MEATLOAF) so we are gonna yours recipe then put in into ground beef/turkey then add the bacon weave 🤗wish us luck lol

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