Smoked VegetablesHello friends and welcome to this fine edition of the smoking meat newsletter. We almost always feature meats however, today we are going to look at some vegetable which work very well in the smoker and I am going to show you exactly how to smoke corn on the cob, how to smoke cabbage marinated in butter and seasoning and how to bake.. er.. I mean smoke potatoes in the smoker with olive oil and kosher salt.

I am not the inventor of smoking veggies as it turns out but I can assure you that I was smoking all of these before I even knew that other folks were doing the same thing. I think some things are just meant to happen and it happens naturally.

I have been using potatoes for ages to hold the probe on my digital probe meat thermometer on the grate without letting it touch the metal as this will short them out and render them useless. I just happened to taste of one of those smoked spuds one day and the rest is history.

I have been smoking whole ears of corn for years now and back when I first wrote about it, it was difficult to find anything about it online. Nowadays, it's all over the net with different variations and such.

Cabbage is something else that I sort of stumbled upon and it is quite delicious with a lot of butter mixed with my rub recipe.

So.. now that everyone's mouths are watering (including mine) let's get right into the main event and I am excited about showing you some of these rare smoked vegetable treats.

If you don't have them already, you're gonna want to order my recipes for this ..

My rub recipe mixed with butter is beyond amazing on these smoked vegetables and I really, really, want you to try it and experience the wonderful flavor. See the recipe below for how to make Barbecue Butter using my very own rub recipe.

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My Previous Newsletter:

Smoked Meatloaf

A favorite among smoking fanatics.. this traditional home cooked entree is even better when smoked and it is best summed up in the words of so many who have tried it for the first time, "I'll never eat oven baked meatloaf again".

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts


Preparing the Vegetables

Purchasing the Corn

I recommend finding ears of corn that are fresh, the husks are nice and green and the silks are dark brown as this indicates corn that has matured properly. Early spring is not the best time to buy corn from local markets but you can usually find decent corn that has been shipped in if you know where to go.

The corn that I found for this experiment was not the best I've seen but it tasted good and it worked to demonstrate the recipe.

Fresh Corn


Preparing the Corn for Smoking

These steps are very important so make sure you follow them: you want to pull the husks down one by one, layer by layer without tearing them as we are going to pull the husks back up around the corn later.

Once the husk is pulled down as far as possible to the bottom of the ear, remove the silks as best as you can.

Husks pulled down and silks removed


Prepare a large pot of cold water and as you pull down the husks and remove the silk, place the corn ear side first, down into the water with the husks sticking up.

Corn into water for soaking


Important: Soak the corn for about 2-3 hours before proceeding to the next steps.

Purchasing the Cabbage

Technically you could use almost any type of head cabbage and almost any size. The chinese cabbage heads are much smaller and may be more tender.. I opted to use the larger green cabbage which is what I am accustomed to. I look for nice large heads that are oblong and have a nice uniform light-green color all over.

Heads of Cabbage


Preparing the Cabbage

This is the fun part: you are going to want to cut a cap out of the cut end of the cabbage. I usually do this by angling my knife at about 45 degrees and cutting a circle the same size as the core. This gives me a nice little cap or plug that we will use later.

Cap cut out of cabbage head Cap fits


Next we want to use a sharp knife to completely notch out a deep hole so we can fill it with rub and butter. Be careful to not mess up the shape of the original notch so the cap will fit correctly.

Pieces cut out Deep hole notched into cabbage


Place about a tablespoon of my rub recipe into the hole, then fill the remaining space with softened butter. Be sure to use the real stuff if possible, this just isn't the right time to use margarine in my opinion.

Cabbage hole filled with rub Filled with real butter

Note: in retrospect, after I did this I was wishing that I had just went ahead and mixed the rub and butter together rather than leaving them separate. It works either way, but it just seems to make more sense to go ahead and mix it first.


Plug the hole with the cap we cut out earlier, wrap the cabbage in a piece of heavy duty foil and it's ready to go!

Cabbage filled, plugged and ready to smoke Cabbage wrapped in foil


Purchasing the Potatoes

I suppose you could use russets or whatever type of potato you like, I usually prefer the yukons. Look for potatoes that are clean, evenly sized if possible (so they'll all get done together) and free of bad spots.

Preparing the Potatoes for Smoking

I like to pour about 1/4 cup or so of olive oil into a shallow bowl with about 1 tbs of kosher salt. This makes for a great rub for the potatoes and the skins come out a lot crispier.

Olive oil and salt for smoking potatoes Oiled and salted potatoes



Finishing up the Corn

Once the corn has finished soaking for 2-3 hours, pull them out of the water and carefully pull the husks back up around the ears. They are now ready to smoke.

Smoking the Vegetables

For this newsletter, I smoked the corn, cabbage and potatoes alone in the smoker. Normally, these items would be smoked along with some type of meat or whenever you already have the smoker going.

Regardless of what type of smoker you use to smoke the veggies, I recommend that you maintain about 230-250 degrees for best results.

The vegetable do not require a heavy or strong smoke but it does not hurt them either. Almost any kind of wood smoke that is good with meat, will taste great on the vegetables.

Once the smoker is up to temperature and maintaining your goal temperature, place the vegetables in the smoker making sure to leave a little space between them for the smoke.

If you are not using an all-wood smoker, apply smoke for about 2 hours and after that, it's optional as to whether you continue adding smoke.

Most of the veggies are left alone while smoking however, I do recommend closing up the foil around the cabbage after a couple of hours to let it steam until it is tender.

I also like to rub some flavored butter on the corn about every 30 minutes or so while it smokes. To accomplish this, you simply lift up the husks, rub a little flavored butter (recipe below) on the kernels then replace the husk.

Here is how to make my barbecue butter using my rub recipe:

Barbecue Butter

Barbecue Butter (this stuff is soooo good!!)

1/4 lb (1 stick) Real salted butter
2 TBS of Jeff's rub recipe

Instructions: soften the butter by leaving it out in room temperature for several hours or by placing it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. You will get a creamier effect by using room temperature instead of the microwave.

Mix in the rub until smooth. Whip with a fork to remove lumps in the butter and to obtain a smooth, creamy texture.


When Is It Done?

Under normal circumstances, the corn should get done in about 2 hours. Start checking it at around the 2 hour mark and when it's tender enough, it's time to eat.

Finished smoking corn


The cabbage is highly dependent upon the size of the heads and the smoker temperature. I purchased really large cabbages so it took almost 6 hours for them to be tender enough and in my opinion, they could have went another hour to be as tender as I like it.

Finished head of cabbage Cabbage quarter with barbecue butter


The potatoes also take a while, around 4-6 hours to get as soft as I like them.

Finished smoked potato


Quick Recap – Corn

  1. Pull down husks
  2. Remove silks
  3. Soak in water for 2-3 hours
  4. Pull up husks around ear
  5. Smoke at 230 degrees for 2 hours or until tender
  6. Brush on barbecue butter every 30 minutes while cooking

Quick Recap – Cabbage

  1. Cut out cap
  2. Carve hole into cabbage
  3. Fill hole with butter/rub
  4. Place cap on cabbage
  5. Wrap cabbage in foil
  6. Smoke cabbage for 6-7 hours or until super tender

Quick Recap – Potatoes

  1. Mix olive oil with kosher salt
  2. Rub oil/salt mixture on potatoes liberally
  3. Smoke potatoes for 4-6 hours or until fork tender


My Recipes

Folks.. I never stop amazing myself at how good my rib rub recipe and sauce recipe is on various kinds of meat.

Whether it is ribs, brisket, pork shoulder or even something simple like chicken or chops, every time I use my rub and sauce I am blown away by the flavor all over AGAIN!

I always think to myself, "I sure hope everyone can try this.. it is too good to go through life never having experienced this!"

I am not being dramatic.. just try it and you will join the ranks of those who know if I'm lying then I'm dying! This stuff is Fan-flavor-tastic and you need it in a bad-bad way;-)

Here is a few testimonies from other folks who decided to go for it and are glad that they did. Be sure to send my your testimony once you try it and realize that you have just tasted of HEAVEN.

I would like to Thank You for the Rib Rub Recipe, I made this for my family and the results were unanimous, everyone said that the ribs were the BEST they ever tasted, and the meat was very tender and moist. I haven't tried the BBQ sauce recipe yet, but I will in the near future. ~ Jerome
Jeff, You truly are the man. Bought your rib rub and your sakes alive sauce and love them both. Keep up the good work helping people like me learn to cook good BBQ with smoke. ~ Matt
Jeff, I was smoking a Boston butt Saturday night for dinner Sunday and decided to try your bbq sauce. I have to say this is hands down the best sauce I've ever had and I've tried a lot of them. Its very easy to make, inexpensive and taste excellent. I will be using this recipe for a long time. ~ Doug
Love your newsletter each month. LOVE you BBQ sauce and rub even better!!!! ~ Kawal


I cooked some burgers on the grill the other night and put your rub on liberally on both sides. Man, those were the best burgers I ever cooked. My wife loved them. The recipes are great. Well worth the money charged. Thanks. ~ Gordon

You deserve the very best and is is completely within your grasp! Only $18.95 and worth every penny. Not only do you get the best rub and sauce recipe available, you are supporting this website and helping to make sure the bills get paid so we can keep on doing what we do to teach thousands and thousands of people across the world the art of smoking meat.

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My system is automated which means you should get a download email within MINUTES of ordering.. check your spam/junk folder first then contact me to get the recipes sent to you as an attachment.


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What's more.. it's absolutely free and it's just a quick registration away. Once you've registered, don't forget to stop by the "Roll Call" area to introduce yourself and tell us a little about you, what smoker you are using (if any), what kind of work you do, and anything else you want to tell us.

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In Closing

Thank you for being a part of the smoking meat family which includes the newsletter, the forum, the website and many other resources that we try to provide to help you and countless others learn this great art.

A HUGE thank you to all of you who support the site by purchasing the recipes and other products that we sell.

Until next time.. keep smoking and God Bless.

Jeff Phillips

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

8 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Rodney November 1, 2015 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    For those of adventurous soul, try smoke roasted tomatoes for Pasta sauce. Been doing this for about 5 years and it makes an awesome taste sensation and memorable sauce. I halve my Roma tomatoes, scoop out the seeds and stem. Line them up single level and smoke at about 220f with 3 to 4 hours of mild smoke (Hickory, Apple, Cherry or Oak). If you have shelves, you will want to rotate your shelves every hour for the full 4 hours they are in the smoker. Then sauce and season as you would a normal Pasta sauce.

    To Trish; there are two different peppers raised for Chipotles. While they are technically Jalapeno’s, they are different. I tried smoking and drying garden Jalapeno’s one year and there was comparison to the real thing. There are Morita and Meco peppers used for Chipotles. The Morita is by far the most common and appears red or dark red. The Meco is my favorite and is brown and commonly called the “Little Cigar” because it is stubby and brown. The Meco has a milder heat and more flavor compounds.

  2. Bobbi June 6, 2015 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Why would you not season the corn before smoking? Love the article. You gave such great ideas.

  3. Trish October 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Has anyone smoked jalapeño peppers for chipotle powder?

  4. jerry exline August 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Meatloaf is awsome thanks !

    • ken wichner August 29, 2013 at 9:48 am - Reply

      do you have a recipe for any thing smoked low or no sodium? thanks ken. I have your recipes for the rub and sauce.

    • Mona Baragary July 18, 2015 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      can I make the meat loaf like I always do and then some it

      • Mona Baragary July 18, 2015 at 6:08 pm - Reply

        forgot the post

  5. ed minturn June 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    HI, Just tried your rub on my third recipe and I can't say how happy I'am with how this works for so many things, We did the ribeyes lkst night and they were over the top in how they tasted. I'm just finishing up a turkey for tonight and it looks just awsome. Thank you again fo rtghe great rub and recipes.   ed minturn

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