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Smoked Shotgun Shells

Prep Time:

6 Hours

Cook Time:

2 Hours




1 lb ground beef

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded

2 tbsp Smoked Bros Knuckle Dragger

10 Manicotti shells uncooked

20 slices bacon

½ cup BBQ sauce


The Filling

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, Monterey Jack cheese, and Smoked Bros Knuckle Dragger, Sweet and Zesty Rub.

Feel free to experiment with different flavor profiles to create your own unique style.

Stuff and Wrap

The easiest way to stuff manicotti shells is to put the mixed filling into a plastic bag. You can use either a frosting piping bag or a gallon zip bag. Snip the corner, gather the top and squeeze the filling into the corner.  Or you can just use your hands to stuff the meat mixture into the shells using your smallest fingers to pack it in.

Once they are all stuffed, you’re just going to wrap each tube with 2 slices of bacon. We recommend using thick-cut bacon, it gives a little more texture when finished.

When they’re all wrapped, lightly coat the top with Smoked Bros Knuckle Dragger Rub. Then put them in the refridgerator for 4 or 5 hours.

Fire Up the Smoker

Fire up your smoker to 225°F to 250°F.  We prefer to use pecan wood or fruit wood with this recipe. Persimmon Tree carries these awesome Barkless Pecan Wood chunks!

Smoke the Shotgun Shells for about 90 minutes, then turn up the temperature to 350°F to crisp up that bacon.

Let them cook at 350°F for another 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, coat all the shotgun shells with BBQ Sauce and smoke for another 10 minutes to let the sauce set.  Add lots of suace to keep them moist.  

Once your bacon is at the level of crispiness you like, remove & enjoy.

Can you make these without a smoker?

Yes! Follow the outline for time and temperature.

You can make this recipe in the oven or in the air fryer  But you should cook them only about 60 minutes before adding  bbq sauce to them, and possibly put a pan of water in the oven while they bake to keep them moist.  

*Technical Note

We have done our homework on this and noticed on other recipes there are a lot of complaints about the pasta still being hard at the end of the smoke.

The technique to get perfectly cooked pasta is to leave the stuffed shells to sit in the fridge for about 6 hours before smoking them or If you are short on time, cook the pasta halfway before stuffing them.

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