Classic Dove Poppers

 Dove Popper

Eating Dove Poppers on Labor Day weekend is one of the biggest traditions hunters enjoy. Labor Day marks the opening day of dove season and is basically a state holiday here in Texas. Folks will go to school and work late to get that first hunt in. 

This recipe is what I consider the classic dove popper dove popper recipe. Dove, jalapeño and cheese wrapped in bacon and grilled directly over high heat. 

Be sure to also see our Jalapeño Dove Poppers recipe cooked on a pellet grill. 

Meat Church How To YouTube Video:


  • 12 dove breasts, de-boned
  • 1 package thinly sliced bacon, cut in half
  • 3 fresh jalapeños, thinly sliced (sub bell pepper)
  • 1/2 block monterey jack cheese, sliced to match the jalapeños
  • Meat Church Holy Cow seasoning
Dove Poppers

    Prepare the grill
    Prepare your grill or smoker for direct, high heat grilling. In this recipe we used a Mill Scale Yakitori II with lump charcoal. 

    De-bone the dove breast
    Using a sharp knife, slice along the length of the breast bone. Filet the breast back all the way to the edge of the keel.

    Dove Poppers

    Using your hands gently pull the meat off the keel leaving the 2 breasts connected. 

    Dove Popper

    Prepare the dove
    Lightly season the breast with Meat Church Holy Cow.

    Place one slice of jalapeño and cheese inside the breast.

    Dove Poppers

    Wrap with 1/2 slice of bacon. Use a toothpick to secure. Wrap with another slice of bacon the opposite direction making a ball shape. Use a toothpick to secure. 

    Season with Holy Cow. 

    Dove Poppers

    Grill the dove
    Place the dove poppers over the direct fire. Keep them high enough to avoid flare ups and to be able to grill this bacon without burning. 

    Dove Poppers

    Rotate the poppers constantly to cook on all sides. 

    Dove Poppers

    Using an instant read thermometer pull the poppers when the breast has hit 165 and the bacon looks just right. 

    Dove Poppers

    Remove from the grill and allow to cool. 

    Dove Poppers

    Enjoy the harvest from your hunt while you think back on the good time in the field!

    dove hunt



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