Bite into these snappy, smoky, and spicy Nashville Hot Bacon-Wrapped Pickles that will ignite your taste buds and have them dancing with the flavor and texture. These smoked pickles are as vibrant as Nashville’s famed Broadway Street and are guaranteed to quench any snack attack.
Bacon really does make everything better, including the favorite sidekick to every smoked burger. Crispy, juicy, briny, and totally crave-worthy, this simple munchie is an entire experience and an explosion of flavors in just a couple of bites. Make these spicy bacon-wrapped pickles for your next tailgate party, happy hour at home, or just because you made it through the week. But make them, and go ahead and share.
Why This Recipe Works
- Simple process. These smoked bacon-wrapped pickles come together in just three easy steps. Wrap, season, and smoke. Anyone level of griller can make these. They can also be prepared ahead of time up to the point of smoking making the process that much easier.
- Minimal ingredients. You only need three ingredients to make these smoked pickles. Fire these up for your next game day, and with the extra Nashville Hot Seasoning go ahead and throw in a side of Nashville Hot Grill-Fried Chicken Wings.
- Balance of flavors and textures. Some recipes for bacon-wrapped smoked pickles have you starting at a lower temperature. For this smoked pickle recipe you are smoking them at 300°F the entire time giving you that balance of crispy bacon, pickles that still have snap and aren’t dried out, and that magical ingredient of smoke that permeates every bite.
- With only three ingredients, the quality of each component matters. When it comes to the pickles reach for high-quality pickles that have smaller seeds, aren’t soggy, and ideally aren’t dayglo green like the bright neon of Nashville’s famed bars. There are great options when it comes to refrigerated pickles. They usually still have the crunch of fresh cucumber, contain fewer preservatives, and are made with more minimal ingredients.
- The sizing will vary for both the pickles and the bacon. Pick larger, fatter spears if possible, and skip the thick-cut bacon for this recipe. Thicker bacon will not only take longer to become crispy but by the time the bacon has crisped you risk the pickles being dehydrated and dry.
- When you’re making your Nashville Hot Seasoning for these bacon-wrapped smoked pickles, you can control the heat. Want it Nashville hot? Add additional cayenne and chipotle pepper. If you just want that slow, lingering whisper of a kick, go with the base recipe. You are in control.
- While the hot and spicy pickles are perfect on their own, they are begging to be dipped in a cooling sauce. Homemade ranch and Alabama white sauce are both excellent options. We won’t even judge if you double dip.
Step 1: Wrap the Pickles
Make sure your pickles are dry, patting them down with paper towels. This will help prevent the finished product from being soggy and give you that bite you crave. It also makes it easier for the bacon to cling to the pickles.
Lay out a strip of bacon and wrap it around a pickle spear for a quick measurement check. It should take half a strip of bacon per spear, but the sizes of both the bacon and pickles will vary. Proceed to cut your bacon and half and wrap each spear.
You can use a toothpick to secure the bacon if desired, but placing the bacon-wrapped pickles seam-side down helps to hold them together.
Proceed with the remaining pickles placing them on a wire rack. This rack will go on the smoker, making it easy to transfer the food in and out.
Step 2: Season the Bacon-Wrapped Pickles
Channel your inner Salt Bae. Sprinkle all sides of the wrapped pickles with the Nashville Hot Seasoning. You can do this step several hours in advance, allowing them to dry out on the wire rack fitted into a baking sheet.
Not only does this make them great for prepping ahead, but it also encourages the bacon to hold its new shape.
If by chance you want something less spicy, try the Signature Sweet & Smoky Rub.
Step 3: Time to Smoke
Preheat your smoker to 300°F degrees. Pick mild-flavored wood such as pecan, cherry, maple wood, or your favorite blend so the smoke doesn’t overpower the bright flavor of the pickles.
Transfer the rack with the spicy bacon-wrapped pickles into the smoker and close it up. Kick back and leave the smoked pickles alone for 45 minutes.
Cook Until Bacon is Crispy
After 45 minutes check on the bacon. It should be on its way to being crispy. You will notice that it is darker in color. Keep checking it every 15 minutes at this point until the bacon is done to your liking.
Depending on your smoker and the thickness of your bacon it should take between an hour to an hour and a half for them to be done.
Cool off before you bite! This is the most difficult part of the entire process. These pickles are going to be hot when they come off the smoker, but they will be beckoning you to take that big bite.
While we encourage you to let the Nashville hot bacon-wrapped pickles cool off a little so you don’t singe off a few taste buds, we know how tempting they are. Just remember the warning.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on both the sugar in the brine of the pickles and also the Nashville Hot Seasoning. Most pickles have some amount of sugar in the brine, and the Nashville Hot Seasoning used in this recipe has brown sugar. They are low-carb. You can make them keto by eliminating the sugar from the spice mix or using a different seasoning.
Yes you can! To make these in the air fryer, cook them at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Make sure to check on them to make sure they don’t burn because of the sugars in the seasoning mix.
Absolutely! We are equal-opportunity bacon-wrapped pickle snackers. You will use slightly less bacon per pickle chip, only about ⅓ a strip. The cooking time will be around the same. Check them after 45 minutes and they should be close to being done.
Neither the bacon nor the pickles themselves are spicy, only the seasoning that is used. You are in complete control of the heat level so they could range from an exciting little tinge to tantalize your taste buds to make you break out in a sweat. Season with your heart and how you like.
- 12 pickle spears, patted dry
- 6 slices bacon, regular thickness
- 1/4 cup Nashville Hot Seasoning
- Wrap the pickles. Pat the pickles dry and set them aside. Lay out the bacon and double-check the measurement by wrapping one around a pickle. It should take half of a strip of bacon, but pickles and bacon can vary. Slice the bacon in half, and proceed to wrap each pickle spear with the bacon. You may use a toothpick if needed, but if you place them seam-side down, it will help. Place them on a wire rack, which will go into the smoker.
- Season the bacon-wrapped pickles. Season all sides of the bacon with the Nashville Hot Seasoning mix. This step can be done a few hours ahead of time and stored in the fridge on the wire rack with a baking sheet. Doing so will also help the bacon firm up to its new shape.
- Smoke the pickles. Heat up your smoker to 300°F. Use a mild wood flavor, so it doesn’t overwhelm the taste of the pickles. Place the wire rack with the bacon-wrapped pickles in the smoker and allow them to cook for about 45 minutes before checking on them.
- Make sure the bacon is crispy. Check on the bacon, it should be much darker and on its way to being crispy. Keep checking every 15 minutes until it’s cooked to your liking. They will be done in just around 60-90 minutes.
- Cool off and bite. The pickles will be extremely hot inside if you dare eat them immediately. Which you will, because they are so tempting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
- Make sure you do not use thick cut bacon for this recipe.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Smoking
- Cuisine: Appetizer
Keywords: bacon-wrapped, smoked pickles, smoked bacon, Nashville hot seasoning, Nashville hot pickles, spicy bacon-wrapped pickles