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.
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.
I also did a whole extra rack of tomatoes to smoke. I prepared them the same way.
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.
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.
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.
For this smoke, I turned the vegetables into a Smoked Vegetable Soup with some chicken broth and a little cream.