close up of caramelized cauliflower

Guide to Smoking Cauliflower

Your outdoor smoker isn’t only meant for meats. You can both please the vegetable lovers at your dinner party and convince the meat eaters to get their fill of fresh produce by cooking cauliflower this way as well. A generous heaping of smoky cauliflower can be served as a tasty standalone dish or complement the rest of the barbecued proteins gracing your menu. 

Even better, there’s a range of spices you can choose to flavor it with — think a hotter Schug recipe, a homemade Za’atar, or your aunt’s favorite cajun spice mix. And that means this heaping of vegetables won’t easily be forgotten when offered alongside juicy ribs and tender chicken wings.

Even when it’s dressed simply in a seasoned garlic butter bath, smoked cauliflower can be garnished as you please to suit the palates of those at your table. When drizzled with barbecue sauce or a thin ribbon of balsamic glaze, this smoky veggie will help guarantee that your next backyard cookout gets a serious upgrade. 

No one will struggle to eat their vegetables at your barbecue

roasted cauliflower head with spices

To cook cauliflower this way, prepare your smoker as you might before smoking meat or fish: Place your choice of wood chips into the heated-up compartment. Also, be sure the cauliflower is generously coated with olive oil and seasoned before you set it onto the rack. Higher temperatures can help you create that perfectly crispy and golden finish, so crank up your smoker to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (just check the settings, as recommended temperatures can vary by model). 

While smoked cauliflower isn’t a recipe that is quick to make — you’ll need to plan for the veggie to smoke, anywhere from 30 minutes to up to two hours — but your patience will pay off as you slice into the first tender, smoky piece. 

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Top smoked cauliflower heads with extra flavors, like a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, or add some heat with a sriracha mix-in, or steer your dish into a sweeter territory with a spoonful of molasses or brown sugar added to a sauce. The options are truly endless.

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