Preheat your smoker to 400°F degrees according to your specific smokers manufacturing instructions. You will need to load it up with enough wood for slightly over 1 hours smoking.
With a vegetable brush (or a new dish sponge) scrub the potatoes all over to remove any dirt. Once cleaned dab dry with kitchen towel. With a fork, prick each potato all over. This will ensure the potatoes don’t explode and the potatoes absorbed as much smoke as possible.
Brush the potato all over with bacon fat and season to taste with both salt & pepper.
Place the potatoes on your smoker rack. Be sure to space the potatoes evenly to get maximum flavor and a faster cook time.
Smoke until the skins are crispy and the center is tender. This should take around 1 hour. You will know when they are tender because you will be able to pierce the potato easily with a skewer.
While the potatoes are smoking, fry the bacon in a cold skillet over a medium heat until brown and crispy. Usually around 3 – 4 minutes. Drain the fat and save for your next batch of potatoes!
Once the potatoes are cooked, transfer to a cutting board to let cool. One cool cut in half length lengthwise. With a tablespoon scoop out most of the fluffy inside (leaving enough so the potato doesn’t tear through the skin) and place into a mixing bowl.
Add the scallions, diced bacon, 4 tablespoons of butter and the cheese to the bowl and mix gently to combine. Once well mixed stir in the sour cream and salt & pepper to taste. Stir gently to mix.
Spoon a generous helping of the mixture into each potato skin. Be sure to add in enough to have a nice healthy mound ontop! Top each potato with a sprinkling of cheese, paprika, and the remaining butter.
The potatoes can be made up to 24 hours in advance, store covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook.
When you are ready to cook, preheat your smoker to 400°F. You will need enough wood for a further 30 minutes of smoking once preheated. Smoke your potatoes for a further 15 – 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Make sure to re-smoke them on a tray because the cheese will melt and cause a mess!
If you don’t want to re-smoke them in your smoker, a preheated oven at 400°F will do the trick (but won’t be as flavorsome)
Note: Some smokers won’t get hotter than 275°F. In this case, increase the smoking time to 2 to 3 hours and the re-smoking time to 40 to 60 minutes.