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Summer BBQ: Tasty Treats and Timely Tips

 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (June 14, 2022) – Summer is here which means BBQ and outdoor entertaining season is in full swing. To ensure your next gathering brings smiles to hungry faces and less stress for the host, Westlake Ace Hardware offers this tasty, new BBQ recipe and tips to make sure your grill is in top condition for the months ahead.

Megan Day, BBQ champion and co-owner of Burnt Finger BBQ sauces and rubs, is a rising star in the world of BBQ. She and Westlake Ace offer a dish that captures all the irresistible tastiness of bacon, potatoes and cheese – Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuff Tots.

Perfect as an appetizer – or as an affordable entrée for a hungry crowd – these smokey and cheesy morsels will help make next party a big hit.

Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Tots


  • 28 Tater Tots, slightly thawed
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon
  • 1 block of cream cheese, cold
  • BBQ Sauce
  • 28 Toothpicks


  • Pre-heat your smoker to 275 degrees F
  • Dust the tots with your favorite barbecue rub
  • Cut each slice of bacon in half to make 28 strips.
  • Pull cream cheese out of the refrigerator and cut into 7 equal slices. Lay each slice down and cut into 4 equal rectangle pieces. Cut each rectangle into even squares – which should give you 28 squares of cream cheese.
  • Turn tot horizontal and wrap the seasoned tot in bacon. Secure with a toothpick. There should be enough room above the tot to now tuck in a rectangle of cream cheese. Sprinkle top of cream cheese with rub.
  • Place the appetizer on a rack over indirect heat and let them smoke for one and a half hours. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Tot Tips

  • The tots should be cold, but not frozen. If the toothpick will not go through, give them a few more minutes to thaw out.
  • There are approximately 14 strips of bacon in a one-pound package of thick-cut bacon. Count your slices and plan accordingly. One block of cream cheese can be cut into 28 perfect chunks for this recipe.
  • When wrapping the bacon around the tot, lay the tot horizontally on the cutting board and wrap the slice around so the ends of the bacon slightly overlap. This will leave enough room to then place the chunk of cream cheese on top of the tot, but still within the walls of the bacon wrap.
  • If using a charcoal grill, create a two-zone fire and add wood chunks on the direct coals. The cook will take place on the cooler side of the grill. If using a propane grill, only turn on one or two burners. The cook will take place on the cooler side of the grill. If using a pellet grill or smoker, set your temperature to 275 degrees F. If using a smoker, adjust the vents and fire to run the pit at 275 degrees F.

Get “Grill-Ready” for Summer

To get your grill cleaned and ready for summertime entertaining, follow these simple tips:

  • Remove the grates and let them soak in warm soapy water before scrubbing with a brush.
  • Scrape any charred drippings from the grate and burners and vacuum the inside of the grill with a shop vac.
  • Clean the grill’s exterior with a mixture of dish soap and warm water and use a stainless-steel cleaner to bring back the shine.
  • Clean out or replace the grease trap and replace the propane canister.
  • Replace your grill brush every year. These practical and often-used tools are usually neglected and left exposed to the weather, and they often lose bristles that can end up in your food. Consider making the switch this year to a bristle-free model such as Grill Rescue. Developed by a firefighter, Grill Rescue brushes use steam to clean grill grates and do not require forceful bushing.
Media Contact:

Tom Mentzer
Mentzer PR Group (for Westlake Ace Hardware)
(913) 626-9066

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