Some like it really hot, and some don’t, so if you’re looking to meet everyone’s expectations, try this one out. It’s cheesy, smoky, bacony, salty, and spicy. Served as an appetizer, or grill-side snack, I’d say that the whole just may be greater than the sum of it’s parts (I’m sorry bacon, but while you’re great alone, sometimes, you’re better when you’re working in a team). When these flavors are put together, they create something truly magical. So magical, that I’d like to share it with you. Let’s tunu!
On the Scoville heat unit scale, Habaneros (Capsicum chinense) register in a range of 100,000 – 350,000 Scoville heat units (SHUs). What that means, is that the oil obtained from the extract of a habanero must be diluted at least 100,000 times before the heat is barely detectable. The Jalapeno stands anywhere between 2500-5000 SHUs and based on that, the oil would need to be diluted at most around 5000 times. From a spiciness standpoint, the heat from this pepper is nothing compared to that of the Habanero. Click on the image below to see where other peppers stand on the scale. What’s your favorite?
Consumer Advisory Notice
Remember: Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.
The food prepared in this blog is cooked to temperature and desired doneness (in the case of searing), so as with any food you may prepare at home or eat at an establishment, be sure to cook to temperature (not time), and maintain a clean area whenever preparing food to not only eat, but serve to guests.
When in doubt, you can refer to the USDA’s “Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart” for federally approved internal cooking temperatures.
Ingredients and Directions
So, just a little heads-up on the Habaneros – If you like the flavor of Habaneros, but don’t want any of the heat, check your local area to see if anyone has Habanadas, which is boasted as packing all the flavor of a Habanero, without any of the heat.
TIP: I wouldn’t recommend cutting the peppers in half the long way, because you may end up losing a lot of cheese when you put these on the grill. See the directions below for more detail.
For this recipe, I made 12 or 13 using each type of pepper, which made about enough for about 8 people. The nice thing about this recipe is that it scales pretty easily, because basically, the only thing you really need to “measure” is how much cheese it will take to fill each pepper.
This may take some time, so plan on at least a few hours for prep and cook.
- Fresh Habanero Peppers (as much of it as you like)
- Fresh Jalapeno Peppers (as much of it as you like)
- Enough of your favorite cheese to stuff each pepper. I used Beecher’s Flagship, which is an aged, semi-hard cow’s milk cheese. (They’re local to WA)
- Enough bacon to wrap each pepper
- (Optional) BBQ rub
- Paring knife (a pepper corer will work better)
- Cheese knife. If you don’t have one, any knife will work.
- Cutting Board
- 1 toothpick per pepper
- Optional, but I highly recommend: Pepper Rack <– This will allow you to cook the peppers upright.
It would be really helpful to use gloves when preparing this to avoid transferring any of the oils from the peppers to your skin, as it could cause irritation, or subsequently get transferred to your eyes or other body parts.
- Get your area cleaned and prepped.
- Rinse your peppers.
- Cut the tops off of the peppers, leaving the rest of them intact. Do not cut them in half the long way. As mentioned above, you may end up losing cheese this way.
- Using a paring knife, carefully remove the seeds by cutting out the placental tissue (white spongy part that holds the seeds). This tissue is known to carry large quantities of capsaicin (the spicy stuff). Once you’ve cut them out, discard the seeds and placental tissue, and repeat until they are all cleaned out.
- Slice your cheese so that you can easily stuff the peppers without having to stick your fingers into the peppers.
- Once all the cheese has been sliced, begin stuffing the peppers.
- Once all the peppers have been stuffed, wrap each one with a slice of bacon.
- Use the toothpick to secure the bacon to the pepper by sticking through the loose end of the bacon, and out the other side of the pepper.
- If you chose to use a rub, add your rub to the bacon.
- Put the racks on your grill, using indirect heat and cook until all the cheese has been melted, and the bacon is cooked (crispy if you like!).
If you give this a try and love it, please share! Don’t be afraid to experiment on your own. I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried something outside of what I’ve done and you recommend it as well!
Ta fañocho (Chamorro for “Let’s Eat!”)