How To Smoke Vegetables For Delicious Vegetarian Dishes

As more people turn to vegetarianism, smoked vegetables have become a popular alternative to traditional meat dishes.

Whether you’re an experienced smoker or new to the technique, you can create delicious, healthy vegetarian meals with a variety of smoked vegetables.

In this article, we’ll explore this topic in more depth and provide tips and recipes for smoking vegetables.

BBQ Smoked Vegetable Recipes

BBQ smoking is an excellent method of cooking vegetables with enhanced flavor and tenderness.

To create a BBQ smoked vegetable dish, start by selecting firm, fresh vegetables such as corn, bell peppers, and eggplant.

Grilled corn cobs with parmesan cheese
Grilled corn cobs with parmesan cheese

Preheat your smoker to 225°F, using hardwood chips of your choice such as hickory, pecan, or maple. Slice the vegetables into equal pieces, season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then smoke them for about 1-2 hours, depending on the desired smokiness.

Serve the smoked vegetables as a side dish, or use them as a base for a delicious vegetarian sandwich.

Tips for Smoking Vegetables Like a Pro

Smoking vegetables is a precise technique that requires proper preparation, cooking temperature, and appropriate smoking tools. To become an expert in smoking vegetables, start by selecting fresh produce that’s firm and not over-ripe. It’s also crucial to soak the wood chips for at least 30 minutes before smoking, and use a temperature probe to ensure consistent cooking temps throughout. Finally, select a durable smoker that will last you many satisfying cooking sessions.

Unique Ways to Smoke Vegetables for a Gourmet Touch

While typical smoking techniques for vegetables might be good enough, you can try experimenting with different ingredients and methods to create a gourmet smoked vegetable dish. One popular option involves creating a rub using herbs and spices like rosemary, thyme, garlic, and onion powder. Alternatively, consider creating a vegetable medley of small-sized vegetables like cherry tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms for more diverse flavor options.

Healthy Smoked Vegetable Options for Vegetarian Meals

Besides being delicious, smoked vegetables add immense nutritional value to a vegetarian diet. You can smoke a variety of vegetables, including carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, and green beans, which all come with differing nutritional benefits. Incorporating a variety of them in your meals can build a diverse nutritional profile of your diet, making your meals healthy and delicious.

Different Woods to Use for Smoking Vegetables

While some woods might have a stronger flavor profile, it’s all about personal preference when smoking vegetables. Hickory, mesquite, and oak are commonly used for traditional smokey flavors, while fruitwoods like apple and cherry impart a sweeter taste. If you want a smoky, but not too strong taste, consider using alderwood, which pairs well with vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, and eggplant.

Smoking Vegetables on a Charcoal Grill

A charcoal grill can also be used for smoking vegetables in a cost-effective and efficient way. To smoke vegetables on a charcoal grill, light the charcoal, then add your soaked wood chips or chunks on top, creating a thick smoke. Stack the vegetables in a smoker box and place them on top of the charcoal, then replace the lid, ensuring the vents are all the way open. Cook time may vary between 1-2 hours, dependent on the vegetable.

Easy Smoked Vegetable Recipes for Beginners

Suppose you’re new to smoking vegetables, don’t fret, as there are loads of easy recipes and tips to get you started. An easy recipe for smoked vegetables is smoking baby carrots in brown sugar and cinnamon with some orange zest for extra flavor. Smoking broccoli florets with kosher salt, black pepper, a dash of garlic powder, and some lemon juice is another easy-to-follow recipe.

How to Smoke Vegetables without a Smoker

No smoker, no problem – some alternative kitchen gadgets can simulate a smoker’s cooking environment. One option is a stovetop smoker, which cooks vegetables over wood chips on one of your burners. Another option is a smoker box, designed to be placed on the grill, bringing a smoky flavor to the vegetables.

Smoked Vegetable Side Dishes for Any Occasion

If you’re looking for a unique side dish that’s both delicious and healthy, consider adding smoked vegetables to your menu.

Smoked zucchini, seasoned with garlic and rosemary, for example, is an ideal complement to any dish whereas smoked onions, balsamic-glazed, can turn an ordinary meal to an extraordinary one.

One of my favorites, though, are smoked potatoes prepared with herbs like basil and thyme which bring that earthy flavor profile to the next level.

Smoked Vegetable Recipes for Meal Prep and Leftovers

Smoking vegetables is an excellent cooking method for preparing food in advance or for using up leftovers. It not only enhances their flavor but also adds a unique smoky aroma to the dish. If you’re looking for some smoked vegetable recipes for meal prep and leftovers, you’re in luck!

One great option is smoked sweet potatoes. Simply wash and scrub the potatoes, then pierce them with a fork a few times. Place them in the smoker for about 2 hours until they’re fully cooked and have absorbed the smoky flavor. Once they’re cool, you can store them in the fridge and use them as needed throughout the week.

Smoked vegetables in packages are another great option for meal prep. Cut up your desired vegetables (such as zucchini, squash, and bell peppers), then toss them with some olive oil and diced onions. Place the vegetables in a foil packet and smoke them for about 20-30 minutes until they’re cooked through. Once cooled, you can store the packets in airtight containers in the fridge for up to three days.

These smoked vegetables can be used in a variety of dishes throughout the week, such as salads, veggie burgers, or as a side dish for your main meal. They’re a healthy and flavorful addition to any meal prep routine and a great way to reduce food waste by using up leftover vegetables.



Smoking vegetables can turn ordinary vegetarian dishes into extraordinary culinary creations. Whether you’re using a smoker, grill, or stove-top smoker, there are various methods and recipes that can turn out fantastic and flavorful. By preparing fresh vegetables, soaking the right wood chips, and following the proper smoking procedure, you can have a great start in your smoked vegetable journey.


1. What type of vegetables should I smoke?
2. Is it necessary to soak the wood chips before smoking?
3. What’s the ideal smoking temperature range for vegetables?
4. Can I use any type of smoker?
5. Can I smoke frozen vegetables?

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