I’ve always make this Traeger duck popper recipe for parties and cookouts! They’re one of those appetizers that have always impressed my jalapeno-loving friends because this recipe has a twist, I’ve added duck and bacon.
Who would love peppers, stuffed with duck and cheese and wrapped with crispy bacon! Then you add the delicious smoke! No wonder these are one of the first appetizers to always run out at my parties! They are can tricky to make the first time, so make sure you follow my instructions below.
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Traeger Duck Jalapeño Poppers
You’ll love this duck jalapeno popper recipe because it’s so different from the basic smoked jalapeno poppers that are just filled with cheese. Plus they are by far one of the easiest smoked sides to make and work well with mains, or apart of other sides/ appetizers.
What You’ll Need
Whole Jalapeno Peppers / bell peppers
Traeger Duck Jalapeño Poppers Recipe
Step 1: Preparing the Jalapeños
Slice the peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds. Don’t cut the tops off because the jalapeño shape creates the boat in which the cream cheese will melt in.
Make sure you wear gloves so that the peppers don’t burn your hands.
Step 2: Preparing the Duck
Slice the duck breast into short strips, ensuring they’re sized to cover the pepper. Season both sides with your bbq rub, marinate, or choice of seasoning.
You want them so they can stack on top nicely. They should be about 1.5 – 2 cm thick.
Note: Some people like to add a marinade to the duck breast at this point, before smoking them. I don’t see the need because I think the poppers taste great as they are.
Step 3: Making the Filling
If you want to add a few different types cheeses into your mixture you can! Grab a mixing bowl and throw in your cream cheese and then add the cheese if you want to add in some extra flavor.
Step 4: Assembling the Peppers
Place a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture into the jalapeños using a spoon. Place a seasoned duck slice on top, then wrap with bacon and secure using a toothpick.
Step 5: Cooking the Poppers
Arrange the peppers onto a wire tray. Using a wire tray helps prevent any bits falling through the grill gaps on your Traeger and also makes it easier to transport them.
Position the peppers on a wire tray, using a wire tray helps prevent any bits falling through the grill gaps on your Traeger and also makes it easier to transport them . Set the tray onto your Traeger smoker at 300°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the bacon becomes crispy. About halfway through, rotate the tray for uniform cooking.
Allow the poppers to cool on a tray before serving.
How Long to Smoke Duck Poppers on Your Traeger
You want to smoke the duck poppers for 45 minutes to an hour. The bacon should be crispy and the duck should be dark brown.
If you’re cooking them in the oven, 25 to 30 minutes at 425F or until the bacon is crispy.
What to Serve With Duck Poppers
Here are some of my favorite sides or appetizers to serve alongside the duck poppers
How to Store Leftover Duck Poppers
To store leftover duck your duck poppers, cool them to room temperature then place them into an airtight container. They can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.
What Temperature to Smoke Duck Poppers At
The duck poppers need to be smoked at 300F. You’ll know the jalapeno poppers are done when the skin turns a maroon/brown/burgundy color.
What Internal Temperature You Need to Reach for Duck Poppers
The internal temperature of cooked duck meat (as with all poultry) needs to be at 165F.
What Are the Best Wood Chips to Use for Duck Poppers?
For smoking dark meat like duck meat, I recommend using fruity flavored would chips like maple, hickory, apple, cherry, or pecan.
I like to combine hickory and cherry. I find they add a sweet flavor to the meat.
Can I Experiment With Different Cheeses?
You can experiment with different cheeses in the poppers. I’ve found ricotta and bocconcini are great for adding texture, and cheddar adds extra taste.
Cream cheese is a standard filling, I use, only because it’s a wonderful mixing agent that won’t melt outside of the jalepeño in the smoker.
It’s slightly risky using stringy cheeses, like mozzarella, only because you run the risk of having the cheese melt out of the pepper. Just make sure you don’t overload the pepper because it will melt.
You can also mix cheeses. Grating cheese into the cream cheese, or sprinkling a little bit on top of the filling is another way to go in making your popper your own. This is totally up to your preference or degree of hankering for experimentation.
But if you secure the cheese into the jalapeño and wrap the bacon around firmly, the cheese should stay melted inside.
Another option, is mixing grated cheeses into the cream cheese, or sprinkling a little bit on top of the filling. This is totally up to your preference or degree of hankering for experimentation.
What Are the Best Jalapeños to Use?
In my experience, the best jalapenos to use for duck poppers are large poppers with medium heat. I go for goliath or jalora jalapeños. if you wanted something hotter, go for the jalafeugo jalapeños. For something low heat, you can go for the TAM jalapeño.
My recommendation is to go for what’s in season. There are so many jalapenos on the market now, that there’s something for everyone.
Bite-sized extra spicy jalapeños for your poppers are also a thing. If you’re looking for something like that, I’d recommend a yellow jalapeño or a pumpkin spice jalapeño.
Should You Smoke or Grill Your Duck Jalepeño Poppers?
Whether you’re smoking your poppers, or grilling them, the poppers still come out delicious and crispy. This just comes down to time and your preference.
In my experience, grilling is definitely the more fun option because I like to watch the food as it cooks, and I like keeping an eye on them. But smoking adds flavor that you can’t get from grilling, and it’s always worth smoking your food if you have the time.
Traeger Duck Jalepeño Poppers
- Pellet smoker
- 1 lb Duck breast
- 10 whole Jalapenos / bell peppers
- 250 grams Cream cheese
- 20 slices Bacon slices
- Slice the peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds. Don’t cut the tops off because the jalapeño shape creates the boat in which the cream cheese will melt in.
- You can wear gloves to avoid spicy hands.
- Prepare the duck breast by slicing it into short strips, big enough to cover the pepper. Season both sides with your bbq rub, marinate, or choice of seasoning.
- If you want to add different cheeses into your mixture, add these to a bowl and mix the cream cheese and cheese so they combine firmly. If you’re using plain old cream cheese, go to step 3!
- Spoon out a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture into the jalapeño. Add the slice of seasoned duck. Wrap with a slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick.
- Arrange the peppers onto a wire tray. Using a wire tray helps prevent any bits falling through the grill gaps on your Traeger and also makes it easier to transport them.
- Place the tray directly onto your Traeger smoker at 300F for 45min to 1 hour until the bacon crisps up. Turn your tray about halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- Cool the poppers on a tray before serving.
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).
I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!
You can read more about me on our About Us page.
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