Easy Way to Make Crunchy Smoked Vegetables

Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah is a content marketing specialist, with a passion for the food niche, she writes engaging content that celebrates the joy of food and its power to bring people together. Having worked on different projects. Her curiosity and creativity shines through in her writing.
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If you’re looking to add some flavor to your vegetable, it’s time to get smoking! Smoked vegetables might sound a bit unusual at first, but trust me, once you try smoked vegetables there’s no going back. The rich, deep smokiness they take makes the absolute difference.

They make an incredible side dish that pairs beautifully with all kinds of proteins. They’re versatile – you can smoke just about any vegetable.

In this article, I’ll cover all the essentials like what vegetables are good and can be smoked, how long to smoke them for, my go-to smoking method, and other tips to get you the desired result and make the process easy.

What Vegetables Can I Smoke?

The beauty of smoked vegetables is that the options are virtually endless when it comes to what you can smoke. With a few simple tricks, you can infuse just about any vegetable with deep, rich smokiness. That said, some vegetables do hold up better than others due to the low and slow smoking process.

In general, denser vegetables with a firm texture are ideal for smoking. Vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beets, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, eggplant, and winter squashes like butternut are all perfect for smoking. Their sturdy structure allows them to retain their texture without turning to mush.

You can smoke more delicate vegetables too – asparagus, zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers and more. Just be aware that you’ll need to smoke them for less time so they don’t completely fade up.

My recommendation is to go for a mix of firmer and more delicate veggies when assembling your smoking batch. The variety of textures makes for an awesome side dish. And also you could get creative.

How Long Should You Smoke Vegetables?

Smoking times for vegetables can vary quite a bit depending on the specific veggies, their size, and your personal texture preferences. In general, you’ll want to smoke most firmer vegetables for 1-2 hours at a low temperature of 200-250°F.

Denser veggies like potatoes, beets, carrots and the like will be perfect after 1.5-2 hours of smoking. Softer but still firm veggies like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and onions will likely be done after 1-1.5 hours. I’d check them at the 1 hour mark though as sizes can vary.

For delicate veggies like zucchini, summer squash, asparagus and peppers, you’re looking at a much shorter 30-60-minute smoke time. I’d start checking these at the 30-minute mark so you can pull them when they’ve developed that beautiful smoky flavor but still retain just a bit of crunch.

No matter what you’re smoking, the goal is to get that deep, rich smokiness without completely drying the veggies out into inedible strips. It may take a bit of experimentation to get the textures just right for your tastes.

How to Smoke Vegetables

There are two primary methods I use for smoking vegetables: the grill basket method and the sheet pan method. Both are super simple.

Grill Basket Method:

  • Toss your cut vegetables with a bit of olive oil or avocado oil and your desired seasonings (I love using smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper).
  • Place the seasoned vegetables into a grill basket or other raised smoker-safe container
  • Set up your smoker for indirect smoking between 200-250°F using wood chunks or pellets.
  • Once the smoker is up to temp, place the grill basket on the smoker grates.
  • Smoke for 1-2 hours, tossing the veggies occasionally, until they reach your desired smoky flavor and tender texture

The grill basket is my go-to because it allows the smoke to fully surround and infuse the vegetables. It also makes it super easy to toss and flip the vegetables during the smoke.

Sheet Pan Method:

  • Toss your cut veggies with oil and seasonings.
  • Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet or pan.
  • Set up your smoker for indirect smoking between 200-250°F.
  • Once hot, place the sheet pan as close to the heat source as possible while still allowing smoke flow.
  • Smoke for 1-2 hours, rotating the pan every 30 minutes so the veggies smoke evenly.

The sheet pan method works great too, especially if you’re smoking a larger volume of vegetables. Just be sure to rotate the pan frequently so the side nearest the heat doesn’t overcook.

For either method, I highly recommend spraying the vegetables with a little apple cider vinegar or wine about halfway through the smoke. It helps reduce any potential bitterness from the char and heightens that smoky aroma.

Tips and Tricks for Smoked Vegetables

By now you’re probably ready to start smoking your vegetables. But before you fire up that smoker, here are some bonus tips to ensure smoked vegetables perfection:

Cut Even: Try to cut your vegetables into relatively uniform sizes and shapes so they smoke at an even rate. Thick and thin pieces on the same tray will cook through very differently.

Oil Up: Don’t skip tossing your raw vegetables in a little neutral oil before smoking. It helps sink that smoky flavor right into the vegetables as they cook.

Seasoning Well: Speaking of tossing – be sure to season your vegetables well before smoking. My go-to is a simple mix of salt, pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika. But you can get creative with dried herbs, spices, and even glazes. The smoke will amplify those flavors beautifully.

Soak Your Wood: For an extra punch of smoke, rehydrate your wood chips or pellets before lighting the smoker. Soak them in water for 30 minutes, then drain the excess liquid. The smoldering wet wood produces a more heady smoked aroma.

Char Your Vegetables: Try a little charring or browning on your smoked vegetables – that’s an awesome flavor! But watch out for excessive blackening as that can lead to bitter off-flavors.

Once you get a taste of their rich, savory smokiness, I have a feeling that smoked vegetables will become a staple side in your household. They’re easy to make yet packed with so much incredible flavor.

Smoked Vegetables

Smoked Vegetables

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people


  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 white onion
  • 3  bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 3  carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp  garlic powder
  • 1 tsp  salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Prepare all the vegetables as listed and place them in a large bowl.
  • Spray the vegetables generously with olive oil spray until lightly coated.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the oiled vegetables and toss to coat evenly.
  • Follow the instructions for either the grill basket method or sheet pan method for smoking the seasoned vegetables at 200-250°F for 1-2 hours until they reach your desired smoky flavor and tender texture.
Keyword Smoked Vegetables
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah is a content marketing specialist, with a passion for the food niche, she writes engaging content that celebrates the joy of food and its power to bring people together. Having worked on different projects. Her curiosity and creativity shines through in her writing.

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