How to Smoke Vegetables

While the vast majority of food I smoke is meat, there are times that I do enjoy smoking other stuff. Cheese, nuts and even cream can be smoked and used for various recipes. I also love to smoke vegetables! Now, while I have not smoked many different types of vegetables, there are a few I do smoke and use in a number of various dishes.

Smoked tomatoes are absolutely incredible and perfect for creating a unique twist on salsa. Smoking vegetables is also great for soups, marinara sauces and more!

Here are some simple how-to instructions.

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In this photo, you can see that I smoked tomatoes, peppers, and onions. For the peppers and tomatoes, I simply cut them in half (I also cored and seeded the peppers). For the onions, after peeling them, I cut them into 1/2 inch slices. This ensured that they were cooked through and tender after the smoking time.

Lining the smoke racks with aluminum foil keeps the vegetables from dripping any liquid and prevents the onions from falling through as they start to shrivel up during the smoke.

Drizzle the vegetables with some oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top.

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I also did a whole extra rack of tomatoes to smoke. I prepared them the same way.

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I firmly believe that any time you are smoking, you should fill up and use all the racks! An empty rack is a wasted rack.

For this smoke, I used my Bradley Original Smoker and set the dial to high, and attempted to maintain a temperature around 250-275F. I placed the vegetables in the upper racks so that any juices from meat you may be cooking (in my case, a couple whole chickens and a rack of italian sausages) do not fall on the veggies.

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The time it takes to fully smoke the vegetables does vary on how much food is in the smoker, the ambient temperature and how well the smoker maintains the heat.

For me, it took a good 3-3 1/2 hours. I wanted to ensure that the vegetables are tender and the onions are shriveling and close to caramelizing.

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The tomatoes have really softened after the smoke, and while they are still fully intact, simply touching them can cause them to mush up. The skin peels off the tomatoes very easily.

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For this smoke, I turned the vegetables into a Smoked Vegetable Soup with some chicken broth and a little cream.

Delicious!!

About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.

10 comments

  1. I never knew how to smoke veggies and how lucky are you to have that smoker in the comfort of your home xoxo

  2. Hey Steve!! Hope you and your family had a wonderful summer. I just noticed I have not received a subscription email in a while… I am going to resign up.. These smoked veggies look great. 🙂

  3. Thank you for the great ideas. Looking forward to more tips!

  4. great idea and nice details, but still one question: What woods do you recommend for smoking vegetables? apple? maple?

  5. Our string green beans straight from the garden came out brown and shriveled… we were wondering if you have any ideas. They were pre-washed and ends cut off. Did not cut them in pieces and did no pre-cooking.

  6. i want to smoke home grown tomatoes to make a marinara sauce. thought that would be a very rich and tasty sauce for any thing pasta. if i just did tomatoes what temp and how long should i smoke them. a quick reply would be appreciated as i want to do them this weekend. summer is winding down and the tomatoes are ready. we have an electric smoker and want to use that. what wood would you recommend? thank you for any info you can give me

  7. As a vegan I think grilling or smoking some yummy veggies would be the ultimate show of talent. Cause seriously, I eat a lot of carrots and have grown to love them. I’m going to try smoking some like you do salmon. Brown sugar makes everything good.

    • Agreed! Smoked vegetables make amazing soup, salsa and pasta sauce. It adds such an incredible flavour. I like your idea of seasoning the veggies with the brown sugar rub similar to salmon. If you do try it, come back and let me know how it turned out.

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