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How to Make Smoked Brussel Sprouts

Learn everything you need to know about how to make Smoked Brussel Sprouts!

Whether you are using a Traeger, Camp Chef, or Pit Boss pellet grill, an electric smoker like a Masterbuilt, or just a Weber propane grill, we’ve got you covered. 

smoked brussel sprouts

We love smoking vegetables like green beans, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, and even cauliflower because much like roasting in an oven, smoking just brings out some incredible depths of flavor on these sometimes obligatory sides.

So we took the same approach with our smoked brussel sprouts but decided to start them very “Low and Slow” to get tender and absorb a lot of smoky flavor without overcooking.

Then we turned up the heat to get them roasted and caramelized to finish.

You can do this easy two step smoking process on pretty much ANY grill or smoker as you’ll see below and come out with some deliciously smoked brussel sprouts.

Let’s go!

 

How to Prepare Brussel Sprouts for Smoking

raw brussel sprouts on a cutting board

You will need to prep your brussel sprouts a little bit before smoking them, but it won’t take long and is very easy to do.

 

Wash and Remove the Outer Skins

Give the brussel sprouts a good wash in a colander under cold running water and then dry them off with some paper towels on a cutting board.

Next you will need to remove any loose outer skins that are hanging off the brussel sprouts.

peeling outer layers off brussel sprouts before smoking

You don’t need to remove the entire outer layer of every single brussel sprout, but the ones that are already hanging off a little can burn in the smoker if you don;t take them off.

 

Slice the Brussel Sprouts

Next we want to get all the brussels sprouts about the same size by cutting the larger ones in thirds, the medium ones in half, and leaving the small ones whole.

Always cut top to bottom through the white stem.

Don’t cut off the bottom white stem or they will fall apart.

slicing a brussel sprout in half

If they are all about the same size, then just cut them all in half lengthwise.

halved brussel sprouts on a cutting board

We like them mostly cut in half rather than leaving whole as you get more surface area to absorb smoke and seasonings.

 

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Best Seasonings for Smoked Brussel Sprouts

salt pepper and olive oil for smoked brussel sprouts

You would never serve a ribeye roast or even some simple smoked chicken to a guest without any seasoning, so why do so many people neglect to season their veggies?!

Now, with some of our other smoked vegetables like our smoked green beans and smoked asparagus we used a conventional barbecue rub like Three Little Pigs.

It’s a great savory BBQ rub that pairs well with smoked vegetables, however, like most barbecue rubs it also contains a lot of sugar.

Since we are going to finish these in “Roasting” territory around 400°F, any sugar we use in our seasoning is going to burn.

So stayed away from any rubs with sugar in them and opt instead for simple olive oil, salt and pepper

If you really want to use a barbecue rub, we’d suggest our favorite NO-SUGAR store bought barbecue rub Bad Byron’s Butt Rub.

Its heavy on flavor but unlike most other off the shelf BBQ seasonings contains no sugar.

We love it on beef roasts and steaks, and it’s great for anyone watching their sugar intake who loves BBQ.

Spread your sliced brussel sprouts out in an aluminum foil pan and drizzle some olive oil on and then gently toss them around with your hands.

Use enough olive oil to fully coat all sides of each brussel sprout.

This layer of oil will also help keep them from burning during the final “hot and fast” portion of the cook.

putting olive oil on brussel sprouts to smoke

Next generously sprinkle your Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper on the oiled up brussel sprouts and mix gently around again to make sure to distribute some seasoning around all sides of each sprout.

seasoned raw brussel sprouts for smoking

 

Best Woods for Smoked Brussel Sprouts

Fruitwoods such as apple and cherry as well as oak will give you a subtle smoke flavor on your smoked brussel sprouts.

bear mountain gourmet blend pellets

If you want a more distinctive smoky flavor, hickory pairs wonderfully with brussel sprouts.

Or choose a mix of woods like we used with our go-to Bear Mountain Gourmet BBQ Blend.

Because brussel sprouts are a denser, fibrous vegetable, you don’t have worry as much about overpowering them with a stronger flavored wood as you might with a delicate fish filet or even chicken, so have some fun!

 

Best Times and Temperatures for Smoking Brussel Sprouts

smoking brussel sprouts in a smoker

 

What Temperature Should you Smoke Brussel Sprouts?

Conventionally, brussel sprouts are roasted in an oven around 400°F for about 30-40 minutes.

While you CAN cook them on the smoker this way, you likely won’t get much smoky flavor infused before they are done cooking.

For this reason we decided to start them “Low and Slow” around 180°F for 90 minutes before cranking the heat to finish them off.

So first set up your smoker for 180°F with INDIRECT heat.

More on how exactly to do this on various grills and smokers below.

a pit boss pellet grill set to 180 degrees smoke setting

 

How Long Does it Take to Smoke Brussel Sprouts?

After about 90 minutes at 180°F, the brussel sprouts will develop some color and be a little more tender than when they started, but they won’t be anywhere near “done.”

brussel sprouts smoking in a smoker

Stir and toss the smoked brussel sprouts every 10-15 minutes to make sure they are absorning smoke and cooking evenly in the foil pan, especially if your grill or smoker has hotter spots than others.

tossing smoked brussel sprouts as they cook with tongs

After those first 90 minutes, you can crank the heat up to 400°F and they will take about another 20-30 minutes to finish cooking.

pit boss pellet grill smoker set to 400 degrees

Make sure to check and stir them around more frequently during this phase so they don’t accidentally burn, possibly every 5 minutes or so.

smoked brussel sprouts in a tray

You may find your brussel sprouts only need an additional 15 minutes depending how fast your grill to smoker increases in temperature.

For example, a gas or charcoal grill will rise in temperature MUCH faster than a pellet grill like a Traeger or Pit Boss.

Once the smoked brussel sprouts look nice and browned you can sample one and see if it tastes tender enough for you to remove them all.

smoked brussel sprouts

 

Setting up your Grill or Smoker for Smoked Brussel Sprouts

New to smoking?

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

You’ll need to set up your grill or smoker a little different depending on whether you are using a grill, smoker, or a pellet grill like a Traeger or Pit Boss.

Here are the best instructions for setting up different types of grills and smokers to make smoked brussel sprouts so go ahead and skip down to the type you are using!

 

Smoked Brussel Sprouts 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 half 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 with just a handful of briquets and wait about 15 minutes for them 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 150°F range.

Add 1 chunk of smoking wood once the smoker is up to temperature, put the pan of brussel sprouts  in the smoker.

Then slowly close down the top and bottom dampers to about 1/3-1/4 open until you are maintaining a temperature of 180-200°F.

After 90 minutes, fully open the vents up on the top and bottom of the smoker.

Use a fireplace poker to stir the charcoal around and get more oxygen flow to the briquets.

Watch as the temperature rises to around 350-375°F and then start closing the vents down again back to 1/2 way open (or os open as needed) until maintaining a temperature of 400°F in the smoker.

Want to see a list of our FAVORITE Vertical Smokers for 2022?  Check it out here!

 

Smoked Brussel Sprouts in Propane and Electric Smokers

Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30 inch, Black

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker 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 180° F.

Add wood chips to your smoking wood tray and once the smoker is up to temperature, put the pan of brussel sprouts in the smoker.

Adjust the propane valve to continue maintaining a temperature of 180-200°F.

After 90 minutes, open up the valve and increase the temperature to 400°F, or as high as your propane smoker will go if it will not go that high.

Finish the brussel sprouts as described above.

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

 

For Electric:  Unfortunately, most electric smokers such as Masterbuilts will not go higher than about 275°F so it will be difficult to perform the second stage of high heat smoking in the electric smoker itself.

However, you can certainly start the brussel sprouts out in the electric smoker at 180°F for the first 90 minutes and then move them to a preheated oven set to 400°F just to finish them off.

They will still have the same smoky flavor and be delicious.

Plug your electric smoker in, open the vents, and turn the temperature to 180° F.

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

Place your pan of brussel sprouts on the uppermost rack and close the door.

You will need to refill the wood chips every 30 minutes or so as they smolder out in the chip loader, which will end up being about 3 times during the 90 minute first phase of the cook.

Refilling wood chips is one of the major drawbacks, besides cooking area and temperature range, 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 Brussel Sprouts on a Pellet Grill

a pit boss pellet grill smoking with white smoke

Fill the pellet hopper with your choice of smoking wood pellets.

Plug in the pellet grill, let it run through its start up process, and then turn the temperature to 180°F, or if there is a “Smoke” like on many Pit Bosses and Treasures, set it on that setting.

Make sure you have the flame broiler CLOSED so that the pellet grill is set up for INDIRECT cooking.

For instance, on Pit Boss and Camp Chef pellet grills there is a special lever to pull to switch from DIRECT to INDIRECT heat.

the direct heat flame on a pit boss pellet grill

You want the flame broiler CLOSED for INDIRECT heat.

When the pellet grill has come up to temperature, place your tray of oiled and seasoned brussel sprouts in the cooking chamber and close the lid.

Toss the brussel sprouts every 15-20 minutes or so as described above for 90 minutes and then turn the temperature up to 400°F.

It may take 10-15 minutes for the pellet grill to rise in temperature this much.

Try to move the foil pan AWAY from the fire pot as much as possible to maintain INDIRECT heat.

Even with the flame broiler closed, at such a high temperature any smoked brussel sprouts in the pan directly above the fire pot could burn.

Cook at the 400°F level for 15-20 minutes as described above until the smoked brussel sprouts are done.

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 Brussel Sprouts on a Gas Grill

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

Check out this Weber Grill on Amazon

On a gas 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 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 brussel sprouts, we would opt for the pellet smoker tube since we need longer than the 30 minutes one batch of wood chips in a smoker box will last us.

This will save you the hassle of having to refill the smoker box multiple times while smoking the brussel sprouts.

Light up the end of your pellet smoker tube filled with pellets with a good butane torch (you can’t use a regular lighter for pellets) and place it in the grill as well to add smoky flavor while the brussel sprouts cook.

lighting a pellet smoker tube with a butane torch

Let the pellets ignite for about 5 minutes than blow out the flame and lay the pellet tube smoker down on the grates next to the tray of brussel sprouts and close the lid.

Then set up your gas grill for indirect cooking with a single burner lit on one side and plan for your brussel sprouts to be on the other side.

Light just one burner so the temperature stays low in the 180-200°F range.

Remember, we are smoking the brussel sprouts INDIRECTLY, like an oven, not DIRECTLY over the burners.

Once the temperature is up to 180°F, smoke your brussel sprouts as described above for about 90 minutes.

Then after that, turn up the currently lit far burner to HIGH and begin lighting and turning up additional burners  as necessary (dont light the ones directly underneath the pan), to bring the temperature up to 400°F INDIRECTLY.

After about 15-20 minutes, or once the the smoked brussel sprouts have browned and and are tender, remove the tray from the gas grill

 

Smoked Brussel Sprouts on a Charcoal Grill

Set up your charcoal grill for indirect cooking with a small mound of unlit briquets on one side and plan for your brussel sprouts to be on the other side.

Make a small depression in the mound of unlit briquets where you will dump the lit ones along with the smoking wood.

a charcoal grill set up for indirect smoking

Remember, we are smoking the brussel sprouts INDIRECTLY, like an oven, not DIRECTLY over the coals.

Light a charcoal chimney with just a handful of briquets and wait about 15 minutes for them 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 150-160°F range.

Add 1 chunk of smoking wood once the grill is up to temperature, put the pan of brussel sproutson the grill grates opposite of the charcoal.

Then slowly close down the top and bottom dampers to about 1/3-1/4 open until you are maintaining a temperature of 180-200°F.

After 90 minutes, fully open the vents up on the top and bottom of the smoker.

Use a fireplace poker to stir the charcoal around and get more oxygen flow to the briquets.

Watch as the temperature rises to around 350-375°F and then start closing the vents down again back to 1/2 way open (or os open as needed) until maintaining a temperature of 400°F in the smoker.

Stir the smoked brussel sprouts with tongs frequently and after about 15-20 minutes, or once the the smoked brussel sprouts have browned and and are tender, remove the tray from the grill.

 

Best Ways to Serve Smoked Brussel Sprouts

smoked brussel sprouts

You can serve your smoked brussel sprouts almost immediately as soon as they are finished cooking!

Check if they need more salt and optionally finish them with a simple squeeze of lemon if you want to add some acidity and brightness.

Smoked brussel sprouts are also great mixed in with some bacon or sprinkled with freshly shredded parmesan cheese.

Smoked Brussel Sprouts go great with a Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey, chicken, a holiday roast, ham, or even steak!

And if you are looking for some more great vegetable side dishes you can make on the grill or smoker, try our Smoked Green Beans, Smoked Broccoli, Smoked Asparagus, Smoked Carrots, and Smoked Cauliflower.

If you want something a little richer, check out our Smoked Mac and Cheese, Smoked Baked Potatoes, Smoked Baked Beans, or our Sweet and Sticky Smoked Sweet Potatoes!

Enjoy!

 

What Other Food Can I Smoke?

Looking for some more smoky inspiration?

a pit boss pellet grill making smoke

So glad you asked.

Check out some of our other great recipes of smoked and grilled food to try out at your next outdoor BBQ!

Pork

 

Beef

 

Seafood

 

Poultry

 

Lamb

 

Sides and Desserts

smoked brussel sprouts

Smoked Brussel Sprouts

Learn everything you need to know about how to make Smoked Brussel Sprouts!
We start them “Low and Slow” to get tender and absorb a lot of smoky flavor without overcooking. Then we turn up the heat to get them roasted and caramelized to finish.
Whether you are using a Traeger, Camp Chef, or Pit Boss pellet grill, an electric smoker like a Masterbuilt, or just a Weber propane grill, we’ve got you covered. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine American, Australian, BBQ, Mediterranean, Smoked, Vegetarian
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 200 kcal

Equipment

  • Gas Grill with Smoker Box or Pellet Tube Smoker -OR-
  • Charcoal Grill -OR-
  • Smoker (charcoal, propane, electric, or pellet)
  • Smoking wood chips, chunks, or pellets, preferably mesquite or hickory
  • Colander
  • Paper Towels
  • Carving Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Large Aluminum Foil Tray
  • Heat Resistant Grilling Gloves
  • BBQ Tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs Fresh Brussel Sprouts
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil regular, not extra virgin, use more as needed
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Black Pepper
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon optional, to finish

Instructions
 

Wash and Halve the Brussel Sprouts

  • Give the brussel sprouts a good wash in a colander under cold running water and then dry them off with some paper towels on a cutting board.
    2 lbs Fresh Brussel Sprouts
    raw brussel sprouts on a cutting board
  • Next, remove any loose outer skins that are hanging off the brussel sprouts so they don't burn.
    peeling outer layers off brussel sprouts before smoking
  • Next, get all the brussels sprouts about the same size by cutting the larger ones in thirds, the medium ones in half, and leaving the small ones whole. Always cut top to bottom through the white stem. Don’t cut off the bottom white stem or they will fall apart.
    halved brussel sprouts on a cutting board

Set up the Grill or Smoker

  • Light or turn on your smoker, grill or pellet grill and set up the temperature to 180°F. If using a grill, only light a small amount of charcoal or light one or two burners on one side for indirect cooking
    a pit boss pellet grill set to 180 degrees smoke setting
  • Add your wood chunks directly to the firebox of a smoker, or use chips in a smoker box, or pellets in a tube smoker or pellet grill.
    pouring pellets into a pit boss pellet grill hopper

Season the Brussel Sprouts

  • Spread your sliced brussel sprouts out in an aluminum foil pan and drizzle some olive oil on and then gently toss them around with your hands. Use enough olive oil to fully coat all sides of each brussel sprout.
    4 Tbsp Olive Oil
    putting olive oil on brussel sprouts to smoke
  • Next generously sprinkle some Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper on the oiled up brussel sprouts and mix gently around again to make sure to distribute some seasoning around all sides of each sprout.
    Kosher Salt, Fresh Black Pepper
    seasoned raw brussel sprouts for smoking

Smoke the Brussel Sprouts

  • Once your grill or smoker is up to 180°F and making smoke, place the aluminum tray in the smoker. Place it on the opposite side of the heat if using a grill so it is cooking indirectly. Close the lid.
    smoking brussel sprouts in a smoker
  • Rotate and toss the brussel sprouts occasionally with tongs to cook evenly.
    tossing smoked brussel sprouts as they cook with tongs
  • Smoke the brussel sprouts for roughly 90 minutes.
  • Then increase the heat of your grill or smoker to 400° and continue cooking INDIRECTLY.
    pit boss pellet grill smoker set to 400 degrees
  • Toss and stir the brussel sprouts frequently so they do not burn and after about 15-25 minutes until they are browned and tender.
    smoked brussel sprouts in a tray

Finish and Serve the Smoked Brussel Sprouts

  • Remove the tray of smoked brussel sprouts from the grill or smoker and set aside to cool slightly before serving.
    smoked brussel sprouts
  • Taste for salt and optionally drizzle with some fresh squeezed lemon juice.
    Fresh Squeezed Lemon
  • Serve and enjoy!
    smoked brussel sprouts

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal
Keyword brussel sprouts in a smoker, Camp Chef, electric smoker, electric smoker brussel sprouts, grilled vegetables, Masterbuilt, pellet grill, pellet grill brussel sprouts, Pit Boss, pit boss brussel sprouts, Pit Boss Recipes, pit boss smoked brussel sprouts, smoked brussel sprouts, smoked vegetables, Smoker, smoky brussel sprouts, traeger, traeger brussel sprouts, Traeger Recipes, traeger smoked brussel sprouts, vegetable
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