Last Updated on October 18, 2023 by Carne Diem
Method: Grill or SmokerJump to Recipe
These Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are one of our favorite quick and easy Christmas appetizers. Crunchy whole water chestnuts are wrapped in smoky bacon and seasoned with your favorite BBQ rub. The grilled water chestnuts are then grilled up until the bacon is perfectly crispy, making or one of the best Christmas appetizers you will ever make.
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For more of our favorite Christmas recipes, be sure to check out our Bourbon Cinnamon Sugar Pecans, Beef Tallow and Herb Crusted Prime Rib, Twice Smoked Spiral Ham with Cajun Fruit Glaze and Cran-Merry Vodka Martini.
Making the Smoked Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
To make these smoked water chestnuts you will need 1-2 cans of whole water chestnuts, your favorite bacon, and your favorite BBQ rub. 1 can of water chestnuts typically contains about 15 water chestnuts, so you can adjust the recipe as needed, depending on the number of people you will be serving.
Drain the water chestnuts and then cut the bacon slices in half. You will use ½ slice of bacon per water chestnut.
What bacon works best for bacon wrapped water chestnuts?
We prefer a thick cut hickory smoked bacon for these grilled bacon wrapped water chestnuts. The water chestnuts remain crispy on the grill or smoker, giving the thick cut bacon time to fully cook. Of course you can use your favorite bacon for this recipe.
Wrap the Water Chestnuts in Bacon
Place a water chestnut in the center of a half slice of bacon then roll the bacon to cover the entire water chestnut. Use a toothpick to hold the bacon in place.
Seasoning the water chestnut appetizer
Next, liberally season the outside of the water chestnuts with your favorite BBQ rub. We used Meat Church Holy Voodoo to season these smoked appetizers because we like the little kick it adds to the grilled finger foods.
Cooking Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts on your Grill or Smoker
To cook the bacon wrapped water chestnuts on your grill or smoker, set up for indirect heat and preheat your grill to 250 degrees. We find it easiest to cook these grilled appetizers on a grill pan so you can rotate the water chestnuts all at the same time, instead of individually, but you can cook directly on the grill grates if desired. We cooked these Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts on our Yoder Pellet Smoker but any smoker works for the appetizer recipe.
Cook the water chestnut appetizers until the bacon reaches your desired doneness. This typically takes about 60-90 minutes but can vary depending on the thickness of bacon and how you like your bacon cooked. Be sure to rotate the bacon wrapped water chestnuts and flip them about every 30 minutes to ensure the bacon cooks evenly.
Once the smoked water chestnuts are done cooking, serve immediately while warm or you can place them in a small crock pot to stay warm.
Looking for more of the best appetizer recipes? Check you some of our favorites here:
- Spicy, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp: Bottle Rocket Shrimp
- Pulled Pork Lumpia
- BBQ Poutine With Smoked Brisket
- Pub Style Irish Nachos
- Asiago Cream Nachos with Blackened Chicken and Chorizo
- Smoked Dry Rubbed Chicken Wings
- Ahi Wonton Tacos With Wasabi Sauce
- Smoked Taco Dip
- Smoked Peanuts in the Shell
- Grilled Bacon Wrapped Dates: Devils On Horseback
Frequently Asked Questions
No water chestnuts are not in the nut family. They are an aquatic vegetable grown in dense mats of aquatic vegetation.
Yes, as long as the seasoning rub you choose is gluten free, the recipe contains no gluten or major allergens.
Leftover bacon wrapped water chestnuts can be reheated in a 350 degrees oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through. Leftovers should be refrigerated and discarded after 3 days.
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Grilled Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
- 1 can Whole Water Chestnuts
- 8 strips Bacon
- BBQ Rub
- Drain the water chestnuts.
- Halve the bacon slices. You will need ½ slice of bacon per water chestnut. Secure the bacon to the water chestnut with a toothpick.
- Sprinkle both sides of the appetizer with the BBQ rub.
- Prepare your grill or smoker for indirect heat at 250 degrees. Cook the bacon wrapped water chestnuts until the bacon reaches your desired doneness. This typically makes 60 to 90 minutes. Rotate and flip the water chestnuts about every 30 minutes.
- Serve warm.