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How to Make Smoked Carrots

Learn everything you need to know about how to make smoked carrots! 

Whether you’ve got a gas grill, a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we’ve got you covered!

And they can easily be made Keto friendly!  Let’s Go!

smoked carrots with a honey balsamic glaze in a baking dish

 

Why Smoked Carrots?

So we all know vegetables like carrots don’t get a lot of love at most outdoor barbecues.

However, a true pit master knows they can take any food to the next level on the grill or smoker.

And we’ve recently done just that with our smoked broccoli, asparagus, and even smoked cauliflower!

We know that roasted carrots, when done right, are absolutely delicious.

So why not throw them on the smoker or grill along with a pork tenderloin, a chuck roast, or a whole chicken and have a delicious smokey side to go with your meat?

And if you want to really kick them up a notch, check out our recipe at the bottom of the article for Smoked Carrots with a Honey Balsamic Glaze!

smoked carrots with butter and honey balsamic glaze

 

Best Wood for Smoking Carrots

Cherry, Oak, Maple, and Apple are great wood choices that pair wonderfully with most vegetables, including smoked carrots.

wood chips and wood chunks for smoking

You can choose one or the other or mix them together!  These woods also work great on fish, chicken, turkey, pork butt, and ribs.

So no need to use different woods if you are smoking your carrots alongside your main protein.

You can impart A LOT of distinctive smoke flavor in a relatively short period of time.

 

How to Prepare Carrots for Smoking

Cleaning and Prepping

You have more freedom when using fresh carrots for how to slice them, and they usually have a bit more flavor than frozen.

Fresh carrots ona. cutting board

Make sure to give the carrots a good rinse and then peel off he skin with a peeler.

We like to smoke our carrots either whole or in 1-2 inch segments.  Don’t cut them up too small or they may cook too fast and get mushy.

slicing a carrot with a knife

 

Use a Grill Basket or Phat Mat

Because carrots are small and skinny and likely to fall through your grill or smoker grates, you may be more successful if you place them in a grill basket rather than directly on the grill grates of your grill or smoker.

Sure you can put them in a baking dish too but the solid dish will block a lot of the smoky flavor from penetrating the carrots, which is the whole point of doing this in the first place!

We are particular fans of the ORDORA Portable Grill Basket because it comes with its own handle, making it much easier to manage and move lots of delicate food, even shrimp, scallops, and asparagus around with one quick motion.

Another option is to use a grill mat, which are becoming increasingly popular in many BBQ circles, especially for delicate veggies and small seafood like oysters.

Our personal favorite is the PhatMat Non Stick Grill Mat.

Just throw it down on your grill to keep your smoked carrots (or any other food) from falling through.

It keeps your grates really clean, and when you are done, you just throw it right in the dishwasher!

 

Best Seasonings for Smoked Carrots

Like our smoked asparagus, you can go as big and bold or as simple as you want with seasoning your smoked carrots.

If you are trying to avoid sugar or following the Ketogenic Diet, we recommend Bad Byron’s Butt Rub.  We love using it on brisket and steak as well.

Make sure to toss the washed and peeled carrots in a little olive oil, or better yet, a higher smoke point oil like avocado oil first so that rub adheres well.

Another option we like is to simply season the carrots in salt and pepper and then finish them with a sweet glaze like in our recipe at the bottom of the page.

Honey and Balsamic pair wonderfully as do maple syrup and bourbon like in the video below.  Put a couple tabs on butter on as well to round out the glaze.

For an extra kick, throw in a pinch of cayenne!

 

Best Times and Temperatures for Smoking Carrots

Best Temperature to Smoke Carrots

When choosing what temperature to smoke the carrots, take into consideration what kind of seasoning you used.

a pit boss temperature gauge

If your seasoning has no sugar, you are good to go to smoke your carroys at higher temperatures for longer periods.

But because sugar begins to burn and develop a bitter flavor when cooked above 350°F,  you will want to keep your smoker temperature below 350°F, probably below 325°F to be safe, if you used a sugary BBQ rub or glazr.

(And by the way, this is true for ALL BBQ temperature selection when using sugary rubs.)

Our recipe below uses a sugary glaze, but only gets added for the last 15 minutes or so, so we don’t have to worry about burning our glaze.

 

How Long Does it Take to Smoke Carrots?

If you are using a grill, make sure to set it up for INDIRECT cooking with all the charcoal or burners lit on the opposite side of the carrots.

carrots in a smoker

Carrots GRILLED over direct heat are delicious too, but they won’t have time to absorb much smokey flavor.

Now, your smoked carrots will still come out delicious if cooked at a low temperature, especially if the meat you are cooking it alongside them requires a lower smoking temperature, it just takes longer.

Safety Tip: Make to sure to never position your smoked vegetables and sides UNDER any meat you are cooking in order to avoid dripping and possible salmonella contamination.

Sliced up carrots smoked at 350°F will take about 30-35 minutes total.  And you also risk burning a sugary glaze in that much time.

So we like to smoke our carrots low and slow at 225°F first for about 90-120 minutes.  They won’t FULLY cook in this amount of time but will absorb a lot of smokey flavor.

Then we finish them for about 10-15 minutes at 350°F with our honey balsamic glaze.

You end up with perfectly cooked and smoked carrots that aren’t mushy and without a burnt glaze.

If you are cooking something else on the smoker and can’t turn up the heat to 350°F, just finish the carrots in the oven.

 

How Can You Tell When Smoked Carrots are Finished Cooking?

Unlike many of the roasts we smoke around here, where you have to watch the internal temperature like a hawk, you have some pretty good leeway with smoking vegetables like carrots.

smoked carrots in a smoker

You don’t want to go TOO far and have them start to burn on the outside or get mushy on the inside, but you DO have a fair amount of leeway in how long they smoke.

Part way through cooking on the smoker or grill, use a fork or knife to poke a couple of the carrots.

If you feel a lot of resistance, they still need some more time.

If it slides in and out effortlessly, then your smoked carrots are likely done cooking.

 

Check out this AWESOME video for Smoked Carrot “Burnt Ends” from 0815BBQ:

 

Setting up your Grill or Smoker for Carrots

New to smoking?

Check out our Complete List of the Best Entry Level Smokers for Beginners Here.

Like we said, you are most likely setting up your smoker to cook a main dish for the smoked carots to accompany, and if so, make sure to follow THOSE instructions for setting up your smoker.

If, however, you are just in the mood for smoking some carrots by themselves, here are the best instructions for setting up different types of grills and smokers to do just that.

 

Smoked Carrots in a Vertical or Offset Charcoal Smoker

Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

Weber Smokey Mountain on Amazon

Fill your firebox or lower charcoal basin with about a chimney’s worth of unlit charcoal and create a small hollowed out depression in the center where you can add your lit briquets.

If your smoker comes with a water pan, like the Weber Smokey Mountain, don’t bother with filling it.

Light a charcoal chimney 1/4 with charcoal and wait about 10 minutes for it to fully ignite.

Once lit, add the briquets to the center depression you created.

Keep the dampers about 1/2 way to 3/4 open until the temperature is in the 225°F range.

Add 1 chunk of smoking wood once the smoker is up to temperature and put your seasoned carrots on.

Then slowly close down the top and bottom dampers to about 1/3- 1/4 open until you are maintaining a temperature of 225° F.

After about 90 minutes of smoking, open up the vents and move the carrots to a baking dish and add your butter and your honey and balsamic glaze (see recipe below).

Put the baking dish back in the smoker and let the temperature rise up to about 350°F and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes until the carrots are tender and the glaze has caramelized.

Want to see a list of our FAVORITE Vertical Smokers for 2021?  Check it out here!

 

Smoked Carrots in a Propane or Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler, 30 inch, Black
The Classic Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
See Masterbuilt Reviews on Amazon

Propane and electric options are some of the easiest smokers for beginners to start with.

Debating whether to buy a propane or electric smoker?  Check out our COMPLETE Comparison Guide HERE.

 

For Propane: Open your gas valve and light the bottom burner. Adjust it to keep the temperature constant at 225° F.

Need a refresher? Check our our Complete Guide to How to Use a Propane Smoker HERE.

After about 90 minutes of smoking, increase the temperature to 350°F and move the carrots to a baking dish and add your butter and your honey and balsamic glaze (see recipe below).

Put the baking dish back in the smoker and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes until the carrots are tender and the glaze has caramelized.

 

For Electric: Plug your electric smoker in, open the vents, and turn the temperature to 225° F.

While it comes up to temperature, add smoking wood chips, not pellets, to the smoking wood tray.

Do not bother to fill the water tray if there is one.

Place your oiled and seasoned carrots either directly on the rack, or in a grill basket, or on a Phat Mat, and close the door.

After about 90 minutes of smoking, increase the temperature to 350°F and move the carrots to a baking dish and add your butter and your honey and balsamic glaze (see recipe below).

Put the baking dish back in the smoker and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes until the carrots are tender and the glaze has caramelized.

Refilling wood chips is one of the major drawbacks, besides tray size, of electric smokers compared to pellet grills like Traegers and Pit Bosses.

However, we recently found a great solution.

If you are tired of having to reload fresh wood chips into your electric smoker, especially on longer cooks like pork butt and brisket, then check out this Masterbuilt Automatic Slow Smoker Attachment.

It basically burns new fresh wood chips at a constant rate, much like how a pellet grill works, freeing you up to do other things while getting your food nice and smokey!

 

Smoked Carrots on a Pellet Grill

 

Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill & Smoker | Bronze, Gen I, 572 Sq. In. Capacity | TFB57PZBO model

Check out Traeger Pellet Grills on Amazon

Fill the pellet hopper with your choice of smoking wood pellets, preferably apple or hickory.

Plug in the pellet grill and turn the temperature to 225°F.  Make sure you have the pellet grill set up for INDIRECT cooking.

Let the pellet grill run through its start up process. When the pellet grill has come up to temperature, place your carrots on the grill, preferably in a grill basket, or on a Phat Mat, and close the lid.

After about 90 minutes of smoking, increase the temperature to 350°F and move the carrots to a baking dish and add your butter and your honey and balsamic glaze (see recipe below).

Put the baking dish back in the smoker and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes until the carrots are tender and the glaze has caramelized.

Never used a pellet grill before?  Read our Ultimate Guide to Pellet Grills to learn why they are so easy and how to set one up for success every time.

Here is also a list of our Favorite Pellet Grills Priced UNDER $500

 

Smoked Carrots on a Gas or Charcoal Grill

Weber 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Liquid Propane Grill, Black

Check out this Weber Grill on Amazon

On a gas or charcoal grill you will likely need to use a smoker box filled with wood chips, or a pellet tube smoker filled with wood pellets.

Think you need a fancy smoker to smoke food at home? 

Think again.

Great smoked food can be made right on your current gas or charcoal grill.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Smoking on a Gas Grill HERE.

If you are unfamiliar with these gas grill smoking devices mentioned above, no worries, we have you covered!

Read Everything You Need to Know about how to use Smoker Boxes here, and see a selection of our Favorite Pellet Tube Smokers here.

Or check out this handy comparison between smoker boxes and pellet tube smokers if you can’t decide which is right for you.

In the case of smoked carrots, we would opt for the smoker tube since we are smoking for longer than 30 minutes.

Set up your gas or charcoal grill for indirect cooking with the burners or a small amount of lit briquets on one side and plan for your carrots to be on the other side.

Remember, we are smoking the carrots INDIRECTLY, like an oven, not DIRECTLY over the burners or coals.

charcoal grill set up for indirect heat

Once the temperature of your grill is around 200°F, place your smoker box or pellet tube smoker over the lit burners or charcoal and once smoke begins coming out, place your carrots on the opposite side.

Continue bringing the temperature up to 225°F.

After about 90 minutes of smoking, turn up the burners or open the vents more and increase the temperature to 350°F.

While this is happening, move the carrots to a baking dish and add your butter and your honey and balsamic glaze (see recipe below).

Put the baking dish back in the grill and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes until the carrots are tender and the glaze has caramelized.

Check out our Favorite Gas Grills priced UNDER $200 Here.

 

Best Ways to Serve Smoked Carrots

We like to finish with a sweet glaze like the honey balsamic glaze in the recipe below.

However you can also use flavors like maple and bourbon (like we did with our smoked pineapple), or do a fresh citrus glaze if you prefer.

But it all depends on the protein you are serving the smoked carrots alongside and trying to compliment those flavors.

pouring honey balsamic glaze on smoked carrots

 

What Other Foods Can I Smoke?

Looking for some more smoky inspiration?

You’ve come to right place!

Pork

 

Beef

 

Seafood

 

Poultry

 

Lamb

 

Other Odds and Ends

smoked carrots with a honey balsamic glaze in a baking dish

Smoked Carrots with Honey Balsamic Glaze

Smoked carrots smoked low and slow and then finished with higher heat with butter and a honey balsamic glaze until caramelized and tender.
These smoked carrots can be made on any grill, pellet grill, or smoker.
Whether you've got a Weber kettle, a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we've got you covered!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 50 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack, Vegetable
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Holiday, Mediterranean, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian
Servings 4 people
Calories 300 kcal

Equipment

  • Smoker or Pellet grill -OR-
  • Gas or Charcoal Grill setup for indirect heat
  • Knife
  • Peeler
  • Whisk
  • Small Bowl
  • Pyrex Baking Dish or Baking Tray
  • Hickory, Maple, and/or Apple pellets, woodchips, or chunks

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs Carrots Washed, peeled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper

Honey Balsamic Glaze

  • 3 Tbsp Salted Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Instructions
 

Prepare the Carrots

  • Preheat the smoker, or grill setup for indirect cooking, to 225°F. If using a pellet grill, load the hopper with your chosen pellets, turn on the grill, and set the temperature for 225°F.
    setting the traeger pellet grill to 225 degrees F
  • Wash and peel the carrots. Cut off and discard the tops. Cut the carrots into 1-2 inch long pieces.
    slicing a carrot with a knife
  • Toss the carrot pieces with the olive oil and the salt and pepper.

Smoke the Carrots

  • Once the grill or smoker is near its temperature, add your wood chips, wood chunks, or pellets into a pellet tube smoker and place it over the direct heat and close the lid.
    loading wood chips in an electric smoker
  • Once the grill or smoker is up to 225°F and producing smoke, place the carrots into the smoker, or on the cool side of the grill. Use a grill basket or grill mat if needed or put the carrots into a baking tray.
    carrots smoking in a smoker
  • Smoke at 225°F for 90 minutes.
    carrots smoking on a smoker

Roast with Butter and Honey Balsamic Glaze

  • While the carrots are smoking, whisk the honey and balsamic vinegar together well in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  • After the carrots have smoked for 90 minutes, take them off and move them to a glass Pyrex baking dish or baking tray and turn the temperature of your grill or smoker up to 350°F.
  • Pour the honey balsamic mixture on the carrots and stir well to coat all sides. Spread back out into the baking dish.
    pouring honey balsamic glaze on smoked carrots
  • Add three 1 Tbsp pieces of salted butter to the top of the carrots.
    butter on carrots in a dish smoking
  • Once the grill or smoker is up to 350*F, place the baking dish of carrots, glaze and butter back in the grill or smoker.
    putting carrots in smoker in a dish with butter
  • Monitor the carrots for about 15-20 minutes as the butter melts and the glaze caramelizes. Be careful not to burn the glaze or the carrots.
  • Check for doneness by piercing a carrot with a knife or fork. It should pass through fairly easily but not be mushy when they are finished.
  • Remove the tray of carrots from the grill or smoker using oven safe BBQ gloves and place somewhere to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
    smoked carrots in a smoker
  • Stir one last time to incorporate the butter and glaze and serve warm. Add more salt and pepper as needed.
    smoked carrots with butter and honey balsamic glaze

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal
Keyword Balsamic, bbq, bbq carrots, bbq vegetables, Butter, Camp Chef, carrots, grilled carrots, grilled vegetables, honey, Masterbuilt, Pit Boss, smoked carrots, smoked vegetables, traeger, vegetarian, veggies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

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