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Spicy Smoked Raptor Claws by Megan Day

Megan Day’s Spicy Smoked Raptor Claws

Our friend Megan Day is a big deal within the pro circuit pitmaster competitions. She has won lots of awards for many different dishes at just about every big BBQ competition around the country with her award-winning team, Burnt Finger BBQ. Sometimes she takes a break and cooks up something new in her home kitchen that she wants to share.

This time around, she wanted to share a fun and unique grilling recipe the family can make for dad on his special day.  It’s a real show-stopper and a great use for leftover BBQ meat!. These are whole jalapeños stuffed with a pulled pork and a cream cheese mixture. Each pepper is then capped with sausage and smoked, then served warm with BBQ sauce. If the young ones aren’t quite ready for the heat of a whole jalapeño, then just substitute those with some multicolored sweet peppers of the same size you can usually buy at a grocery store from spring until fall.

Spicy Raptor Claws Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Whole medium Jalapeños, cored and seeded
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup leftover meat, (shredded rib meat, pulled pork or chopped brisket)
  • 2 12 oz Pork Sausage Rolls
  • 1 Tbsp. Smokey KC Barbecue Rub
  • 2 Tbsp. Smokey KC Barbecue Sauce


Cooking Tools:

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Wire Rack
  • Oven or Smoker
  • Basting Brush

1. Pre-heat your oven or smoker to 300° F.

2. Mix together cream cheese, shredded cheese, BBQ rub, and shredded meat in a large bowl. Place in refrigerator to firm up.

3. Slice stem end of whole jalapeño and core out the inside of the pepper. Scrape out any remaining white pith and seeds.

4. Divide the chilled cream cheese mixture 6 to 8 sections and roll into skinny tubes. Stuff one tube down into the hollowed out whole pepper until fully stuffed. Repeat for remaining peppers.

5. Divide the tube of pork sausage into 3 oz sections. Roll each section into a ball. Use your thumb to create an indentation in the top center of the sausage ball.

6. Place the cut end of the stuffed pepper into the indentation and form the sausage around the top cut edge of the pepper.

7. Season the sausage with barbecue rub and place on a wire rack.

8. Place rack in smoker for 45 minutes.

9. Brush sausage with barbecue sauce and finish cooking. Pull once the sausage reaches an internal temperature of 160°.

Quick Tips:
If you plan to do a large batch, consider buying a pepper corer tool or a steel huller to twist down inside of the peppers. These tools make removing the pith and seeds much faster.

Get creative with the cream cheese stuffing! Add spices, meats and additional cheeses.

If you feel like watching Megan Day go through the steps in a video, watch that video right here!

The yield of this recipe will very depending on the size of your jalapeños. If all you can find are larger peppers, it may only yield 3 or 4 claws.


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