Smoked Vegetables are a super versatile side dish. You can easily make them with any number of vegetables, at low or higher heat, and in a smoker or on a grill.
Why you should make smoked vegetables
- They’re healthy, of course. Minimal seasoning is needed because the vegetables themselves, and that infusion of smoky flavor, are the real stars.
- They’re unique. This is not the same old salad or casserole you’ve made and served hundreds of times. They make the perfect addition to your Backyard BBQ Menu (the post has full menu plans, timelines and tips).
- They can be cooked alongside the meat you’re smoking, whether it’s a Boston Butt for pulled pork or a Smoked Ham on the Big Green Egg. Hand over the veggies to the grill master and stay out of the kitchen.
- Versatility is the middle name of smoked vegetables. Use whatever you like or have on hand. Cook them quickly or slowly, depending on what else you’re cooking and the temperature needed for that.
- A fun presentation is smoked vegetable kebabs. Just thread on metal skewers or wooden ones that have been soaked.
- Prep time is minimal. Cut up the veggies and toss with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. That’s it!
Cook them on a grill or in a smoker
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Our favorite method is to put our veggies in a grill basket like this one and we cook them on indirect heat in our Big Green Egg during the last hour or so our meat is cooking. If you use another kind of smoker that would work fine too.
If you don’t have a grill basket you can use a cast iron skillet. They hold up well to the heat of a smoker or grill and you can get the smoke flavor throughout the veggies since you’ll stir them a couple of times during the cooking process.
If you use a gas grill you can still make smoked vegetables without a smoker! Just put your wood chips in a smoker box like this one.
Veggie foil packs on the grill like this recipe are certainly a fun, easy, and mess-free way to go. But, do keep in mind that these are not smoked vegetables since they are sealed up tightly in aluminum foil.
Still, if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to be bothered with using wood chips or pellets for smoke it’s a great alternative.
Vegetables can be smoked low and slow or hot and fast
You’ll have to keep an eye on them, especially if your grill or smoker is hot and you’re cooking the veggies quickly. For the best amount of smoke flavor we like to keep the temperature at about 225-250 and, for most vegetables, the cooking time will average 45 minutes to an hour, with a couple of stirs along the way.
Of course, the cooking time will also vary according to the actual vegetables you use. It will also vary with the way the veggies are cut up. Cutting them in different sized pieces is a good way to mix vegetables that cook more quickly with those that are slower.
We had these beautiful carrots and wanted to add some in with our squash and broccoli on the smoker. Since carrots cook a good bit more slowly than the others we just sliced them quite thinly.
What vegetables are best for smoking?
You can really use any kind you like or have on hand. Great options would be these:
- Yellow Squash
- Zucchini Squash
- Onions, especially firm larger ones
- Green bell pepper (or red or yellow)
- Brussels sprouts
- Green Beans
Use your imagination and try others. Drop us a comment if you try smoking different vegetables so others can benefit from your experience. We can all learn from each other.
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Smoked Vegetables on a Grill or Smoker
- 5-6 cups vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
- 1½-2 teaspoons salt can use seasoning salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Toss vegetables in a bowl with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Put vegetables in a grill basket or cast iron skillet and place on 225°-250° (see notes) pre-heated smoker or grill.
- Cook, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until desired degree of doneness, stirring at 15-20 minute intervals.*