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Best Smoked Vegetables

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While meat may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about smoking foods on your Traeger pellet grill, vegetables also benefit from the wood-fired flavor you get from low and slow cooking.

Smoking vegetables is something even beginner home cooks can do, especially with Traeger's set-it and forget-it control. Learn how to smoke vegetables like a pro and turn a basic ingredient into something worth bragging about.


What Are The Best Vegetables To Smoke?

There is no "best" vegetable for smoking as most become tender and flavorful when cooked over a wood fire.

Hearty root vegetables such as carrots, and beets are excellent choices if you want a wood-fired taste. Cooking these options on your Traeger will enhance the natural sweetness of these veggies that can be used in, or served on the side, of many different dishes.

Potatoes, mushrooms, onion, corn, and green beans make excellent choices as well if you're craving a caramelized flavor that adds depth to any dish you're looking for, including this smoked tomato salsa that showcases amazing wood-fired flavor.

With Traeger's high-quality pellets, you can throw just about any other vegetable into a smoker to create a big flavor.


How To Prepare Vegetables For Smoking

Before you smoke vegetables, you want to wash, trim, and peel your vegetables as needed. For vegetables with a thick skin, it's best to cut them (in half or in slices) to expose the flesh to the aromatic smoke as is done to make this Smoked Ratatouille.

Most vegetables cook best if coated in a little fat. Oil is most commonly used, but duck fat and melted butter are other possibilities. Season with your choice of rubs, salts, or spices.

Whether to smoke vegetables whole or in pieces depends on a few variables: how much time you have, how you are using the smoked vegetable, and whether you are cooking it on a baking sheet (or our veggie tray) or directly on the grill grates. If you prefer to place your vegetables directly on the grill grate though, you may want to leave to leave them whole.

If your vegetable recipe calls for smoking as the only cooking method (some recipes call for a finish over high heat), it's often wise to partly cook vegetables, esepcially very dense ones, before smoking them. This works best for hard squashes, beets, and similar vegetables, where you want them to be tender but have that “low and slow” smoke flavor added at the end. Beets, for example, can be boiled in a pot of water to make them fork-tender before smoking.

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How To Smoke Vegetables

Smoking vegetables on your Traeger is a unique experience. While grilling and roasting are also fantastic methods, they impart a milder wood-fired flavor while smoking results in a melt-in-your-mouth texture and additional flavor depth. If you know how to grill vegetables, you pretty much know how to smoke them. Just adjust the temperature and time to get your desired results.

To achieve that signature Traeger wood-fired flavor when smoking vegetables, aim for a low-temperature range between 180°F and 275°F degrees. You can smoke them directly on the grill grates or use a baking sheet for smaller veggies. It's all about letting that smoky essence infuse your ingredients to perfection. To get that nice char on the vegetables, remove the vegetables and turn up the smoker to 450°F. When the grate is hot, return the vegetables and grill just long enough to get grill marks, which usually takes just a few minutes. Avoid overcooking vegetables.

How hot should the grill be for vegetables?

As mentioned earlier, a low temperature, usually under 275°F, will create the most smoke, which then infuses the vegetables with its flavor. (Be sure to set your grill to 225°F or under if your grill has Super Smoke and you want to use it.)

If you want just a hint of wood-fired flavor, and vegetables that taste more grilled than smoked, increase the heat to around 450°F.

How long to smoke vegetables

The exact smoking time depends on a few factors:

  • Whether you par-cooked the vegetables (such as root veggies) ahead of time
  • How dense the vegetables are
  • How large the pieces are cut
  • How tender you prefer vegetables to be
  • Whether you cook at lower smoking temps or higher roasting temps

Each factor plays into the total smoking time, with uncooked, large, dense vegetables taking much longer – up to an hour or more at a low smoking temperature. Smaller, softer ingredients cooked at a higher temperature may take just minutes to get to the desired tenderness.

As an example, smoked beets need to smoke for about 30 minutes at 180°F, and that is after being boiled first. Roasted root vegetables, cooked at 450°F, will take about 45 minutes and will have a much less smoky flavor.

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Smoked Vegetable Recipes

Smoked vegetables are great on their own or as the perfect accompaniment to beef, chicken, pork, fish, and more. Explore our top flavorful smoked vegetable recipes, specially crafted for your Traeger experience.

Trade up your everyday coleslaw dish with something special. This Smoked Coleslaw smokes carrots and cabbage and then tosses the smoked veg with a creamy-tangy dresssing. Try it on your favorite pulled pork sandwich.

There's nothing like taking a classic dish like three bean salad and putting a Traeger twist on it. Here, three kinds of beans, including fresh green beans, are smoked before getting tossed with a mustardy viniagrette.

Once you try this Smoked Guacamole recipe, you’ll never go back to standard guac. Smoked avocados meet fresh corn and charred peppers to create a mouthwatering combo. Whether you enjoy it on chips or slather it over your next burrito, it’s an experience to share with your closest friends.

Beets often get a bad rap, but the Smoked Beet Salad shown below may help you fall in love with them. The tender smoked beets pair perfectly with greens, goat cheese, and crunchy almonds.

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Smoked pumpkin gets pureed with aromatic spices and broth for a gorgeously colored soup bursting with wamrning flavors. Similarly, you can make a beautifully green springtime soup with smoked apsaragus.


What To Serve With Smoked Vegetables

Your Traeger smoked vegetables can be enjoyed alone or paired with other foods. Here are some delicious pairing possibilities to elevate your smoked vegetables.

Breads

If you plan to serve smoked vegetables as a main course, bread makes an excellent accompaniment. From this amazing garlic bread to this easy beer bread, there's no limit to the kinds of bread you can make in your Traeger, and all would go well with your Traeger smoked vegetables. Cornbread and quick dinner rolls are also a hit. Smoked vegetables are also a wonderful addition to sandwiches.

Dips

As with raw vegetables (aka crudite), many smoked vegetables are great for dipping and pack a bolder flavor punch, too. Smoked carrots and sliced smoked fennel make a great vehicle for this roasted red pepper dip. Other good dip contenders to try include queso and baba ghanoush, which is itself made from smoky eggplant.

Meats

There's nothing quite as classic as roasted meat and smoked veggies. If you want something smoky with something sweet, pair veggies like Brussels sprouts or carrots with the 3-2-1 Ribs. For a meal that's aromatic and succulent, pair the vegetables of your choice with the grilled Santa Maria tri-tip recipe.

Grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip

Most smoked vegetable recipe can be easily doubled or even tripled to feed a crowd, and you'll probably want to make even more to provide leftovers as many taste even better the next day.

If you haven't given smoked vegetables a try, now is the right time. And, when compared to meat, vegetables are incredibly affordable, too, which means stretching meals has never been easier, or tastier.

Smoked Ratatouille

by Traeger Kitchen

Prep Time

20 Min

Cook Time

1 Hr
10 Min

Serves

4

Pellets

Cherry

Looking for the perfect vegetarian dish? Look no further. Eggplant, tomatoes, squash, zucchini are all sliced thin and topped with delicious aromatics of parsley, basil, thyme, smoked and loaded with melted parmesan cheese for a salty, nutty finish.

Ingredients
main
2 TablespoonOlive oil
1 Mediumonion, diced
6 Clovegarlic, minced
2 red or green bell peppers, diced
To Tastekosher salt
To TastePepper
1 (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
4 Tablespoonfresh chopped basil
2 Eggplants, Sliced into 1/4" Rounds
6 Roma Tomatoes, sliced into 1/4" rounds
2 Yellow Squash, sliced into 1/4" rounds
2 Zucchinis, sliced into 1/4" rounds
2 Tablespoonparsley, chopped
2 Teaspoonchopped thyme
Parmesan cheese, grated
    Steps
  • 1

    Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron pan. Sauté onions, garlic, and bell peppers until soft. Season with salt and pepper, then add crushed tomatoes. Stir until ingredients are fully incorporated.

  • 2

    Turn off the heat, then add basil. Stir once more, then smooth the surface of the sauce with your spatula or spoon.

  • 3

    Arrange the sliced veggies in alternating pattern on top of the sauce from the outer edge to the inside of the pan. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the herbs over the top.

  • 4

    When ready to cook, set temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.

  • 5

    Place on grill and smoke for 10 minutes.

  • 6

    After 10 minutes, cover pan with foil and increase the grill temperature to 375℉ and cook for 40 minutes.

  • 7

    After 40 minutes, remove foil, grate a generous amount of fresh parmesan cheese on top and continue to cook for an additional 20 minutes or vegetables are soft and cheese is melted.

  • 8

    Remove from grill and grate more fresh parmesan cheese over top and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve immediately with your favorite sides such as bread, or salad. Enjoy!

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