Food & Swine

BBQ Pig Sticks & Tractor Ride

BBQ Pig Sticks & Tractor Ride

What do you get when you wrap strips of pork loin in bacon and glaze them with Whiskey Pear BBQ Sauce?  Pig Sticks.  Thanks to my daughter for dubbing this recipe appropriately.  She also helped me make dinner rolls today… always proud of her work.  This recipe name is one of the most original names we’ve ever come up with.  It suits the recipe well.


I have seen this concept used in a BBQ book (I can’t remember for the life of me which one) but these bad boys were smoked.  Well I didn’t have the time for 90 minutes on the smoker at 200 or 240 degrees.  So I sharpened the recipe a bit and baked them in the oven for 25 minutes instead and they turned out just right.  The meat was perfectly tender in the inside and moist, due to the friendly basting from the bacon wrap.

The BBQ sauce is just a combination of a few different condiments and some pear jelly I had canned last year.  We love a tangy yet sweet sauce with a little heat.  I really use less of the hot ingredients when the kids will be eating with us of course.

Today we went to my sister’s house and she babysat the kids while I was on “The Big Show” with Bob Quinn on WHO Radio (1040 AM) today, discussing my recipe for the upcoming Build a Better Burger National Burger Cook-off for Sutter Home Wines. It was a great interview and it is always fun to be on the radio… the kids and their Aunt hung out in the kitchen listening to the radio while I sat in a quiet room with my notes.  She was so nice to volunteer to help me out and the kids were so happy to go to her house because she has better ‘treats’ and snacks than we do here at home.  She is one cool Aunt.

The last time I was on the Big Show was with my best friend Molly (my former co-worker) talking about the “Great Iowa Tractor Ride“.  I miss that event so much!  It is really neat.  My husband and I used to work the event together.  So fun.

BBQ Pig Sticks & Tractor Ride

The people who participate are the BEST.  (Hi Daryl!)

BBQ Pig Sticks & Tractor Ride

And they always waved at me as I parked them at the ‘break’ locations.

BBQ Pig Sticks & Tractor Ride

My Molly and her husband.  Have I ever told you about her laugh… it is the best.  She’s the best.  I miss having an office next door to her.  A lot.

BBQ Pig Sticks & Tractor Ride

I’m telling you… these guys… just awesome.

BBQ Pig Sticks & Tractor Ride

Back to the food… (I swear I have the hardest time staying on task!)  Sorry.

I can’t wait to make these little Pig Sticks for our next tailgate or party.  They were so easy and fun to put together.  My Dad pushed back from the table and announced, “Dang, that was delicious”.  That’s all I needed to hear.  My husband followed with, “Heck yes and you could put that BBQ sauce on a shoe and it would taste good”.  So, I don’t recommend you eat shoes… but do try the sauce, it is used for a glaze for the nearly cooked Pig Sticks AND a dipping sauce once they are finished.

PS: Don’t ask my son to say “Pig Sticks”… S’s are D’s in his vocab.  Just a heads up!



BBQ Pig Sticks

*Step by Step Photos at the end of the post.

“Pig Sticks” (Pork Loin Wrapped in Bacon, Glazed with Whiskey Pear BBQ Sauce)

by Cristen

Makes 18-24 pig sticks, depending on actual size of the slices/weight of pork loin or chops

2 lbs. Boneless pork loin, or thick cut boneless pork chops cut into 1″ square strips that are 5″ long (*if you are going to buy the boneless thick cut chops, purchase 6 of them and slice them into thirds, lengthwise)

2 one pound packages of bacon (regular sliced, not thick)

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or other BBQ Seasoning of choice

1 recipe of Whiskey Pear BBQ Sauce *recipe follows

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F convection or 425 F conventional.  Place a wire rack over a baking sheet.  Season pork loin strips lightly with Lawry’s. Wrap bacon around strips of pork loin, secure ends with toothpick. Sprinkle bacon wrapped strips with additional seasoned salt or any BBQ rub of choice. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees (I used convection, if you don’t have convection simply bake at 425).  Remove baking sheet.  Glaze par cooked bacon covered pork loin with Whiskey Pear BBQ Sauce.  Return to oven for 5 minutes until glaze is thickened and shiny.  Serve warm with additional sauce on the side.

Whiskey Pear BBQ Sauce

by Cristen

1 1/4 C ketchup

1/3 C any kind of BBQ sauce from the store

1/4 C packed brown sugar

1/4 C pear jelly (feel free to sub honey, orange marmalade, peach jam etc. if you’d like)

2 TBSP whole grain mustard

2 TBSP whiskey (or apple juice)

1 TBSP vinegar (we like it tangy!)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp liquid smoke

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute.  Set aside.  Glaze over final product.

If I’d have had molasses I’d have added 1-2 TBSP.  I LOVE molasses.

Step by Step Photos:

See the strips… now sprinkle a bit of Lawry’s on each piece of pork loin.


Wrap with bacon like this.


Secure the ends with a toothpick.  Sprinkle on additional seasoning or other BBQ rub if desired.


Bake at 400/convection 425/regular oven temperature for 20 minutes


Meanwhile make the Whiskey Pear BBQ Sauce (see recipe)


Glaze the meat and return to the oven for 5 minutes for the glaze to set.


Serve warm with additional sauce for dipping.



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  • Reply Colleen April 5, 2014 at 3:48 am

    This sauce sounds delicious!

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