At the Grilling Is Happiness tent at Naperville’s Ribfest, Perry will be grilling Dragon Claws which consist of baby bell peppers stuffed with a combination of Italian sausage and Spanish Chorizo, onions, and peppers, wrapped in bacon, grilled with smoke, then glazed with a honey butter barbecue sauce. Sticky sweet, spicy goodness with
just a breath of fire.

Burnin’ Love BBQ’s Dragon Claws Appetizer

Recipe adapted from MEAT FIRE GOOD: The Burnin’ Love BBQ Cookbook, by Perry P. Perkins

Ingredients List
40 whole baby bell peppers
20 slices thin sliced premium apple-smoked bacon
2 lb raw ground Spanish chorizo
2 lb hot Italian sausages, raw
2 sweet onion, diced
2 Tbs Tabasco’s Buffalo sauce
4 Tbs of seasoning rub (I like Lawhorn’s Original)
40 plain wood toothpicks, soaked

4 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
2 cup honey
1 lb butter, melted


Wash the bell peppers, slice off the stem ends, and core. Rinse again.
Mix the rest of the ingredients, except the bacon, glaze, and BBQ rub.

Stuff each pepper, packing it firmly.

Wrap each of the peppers with 1/2 slice of bacon, stretching it around the pepper moving toward the top. Pin with a toothpick. Sprinkle lightly with rub, and load into slider grill baskets.

Fire up your grill and prepare for indirect cooking over medium-high heat. Add some pre-soaked fruit-wood chips if you want.

Cook the Dragon Claws indirectly, for 15-20 minutes, turning about halfway through. Move to direct heat to crisp the bacon.

Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients and bring to a simmer, remove from heat and glaze each pepper, cook another 5 minutes. Flip, repeat, then cook another 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Perry Perkins is a Grilling is Happiness sponsored writer.