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How to Make Smoked Green Beans

Learn everything you need to know about how to make smoked green beans!

We smoke our green beans low and slow in a cast iron skillet with lots of butter and seasoning for a delicious side dish.

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 green beans in a cast iron skillet

 

How to Prepare Green Beans for Smoking

Smoked Green Beans are so much better when you buy fresh green beans rather than using frozen or canned.

But you will need to prep them a little before putting them on the grill or smoker.

a pile of raw green beans on a cutting board

 

Wash and Trim the Ends

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

washing green beans

Next you will need to trim off the ends.

trimming green beans

The easiest way to do this is to line the green beans all up by one end, about one handful at a time, and just cut the tips of each green bean with a good carving knife.

Then line them up by the other ends and repeat on the other side.

trimming green beans

Continue doing this until all the ends are cut off of each green bean.

 

Get a Cast Iron Skillet

In order to make really great smoked green beans (and lots of other great BBQ dishes as well) in your grill or smoker, you will preferably need a 12 inch cast iron skillet.

smoked green beans in a cast iron skillet

When it comes to using cast iron, like we do for everything from our our smoked baked beans to smoked queso, to even our famous smoked peach cobbler, we like most of the products from Lodge, such as this Lodge 12 inch skillet for smoked green.

You may also recognize this Lodge skillet from our smoked mac and cheese as well as our smoked chicken enchiladas, so there is plenty you can do with a good cast iton skillet.

It’s already pre-seasoned and has nice high sides to keep all those green beans contained.

The best part is you can bring it right from the grill or smoker to the table and serve directly from the cast iron skillet for a great rustic presentation!

 

Best Seasonings for Smoked Green Beans

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?!

We like to smoke our green beans in the cast iron skillet with olive oil, butter, and one of our favorite BBQ seasonings, Three Little Pigs Kansas City Championship Rub.

smoked green bean ingredients butter oil and bbq rub

It’s a great savory BBQ rub with enough salt to season the green beans and lots of great garlic and onion flavors that pair wonderfully with smoked vegetables.

drizzling olive oil on green beans

First lay your trimmed green beans out in the cast iron pan and drizzle with some olive oil.  We prefer regular olive oil to extra virgin when cooking with olive oil because it has a higher smoke point.

sprinkling bbq rub on green beans

Next sprinkle on some Three Little Pigs (or your favorite BBQ rub) and then toss with tongs to coat all the green beans in the oil and seasoning.

tossing seasoned green beans

Finally, take about 4 Tbsp of salted butter, cut into small cubes, and evenly distribute the butter on top of the seasoned green beans so that it can melt over them as they cook.

pieces of butter placed on top of a cast iron skillet full of green beans

Now your cast iron skillet is ready to go in the grill or smoker!

 

Best Woods for Smoked Green Beans

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

bear mountain gourmet blend pellets

If you want a more distinctive smokey flavor, hickory pairs wonderfully with green beans.

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

Because green beans are a heartier, 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 Green Beans

putting green beans in a smoker to smoke

 

What Temperature Should you Smoke Green Beans?

Green Beans really don’t take that long to cook, so in order to maximize their time on the grill and get the most smoky flavor possible, we chose to smoke them “low and slow.”

So we set up our smoker for 225°F with INDIRECT heat.

a pit boss pellet grill set to 220 or 225 degrees

If you are pressed for time, you can absolutely raise the temperature to 250*F or even 275°F.

If using a rub with sugar in it, stay at or below 300°F for any extended period of time to prevent burning the rub in the cast iron skillet.

 

How Long Does it Take to Smoke Green Beans?

At 225°F, the green beans will take about one hour to cook.

Unlike a lot of our meat recipes where we use an instant read thermometer to tell us when our food is finished cooking, with smoked green beans, you will need to eyeball them and check by taste as you get closer to the one hour mark.

tossing smoked green beans

Ideally you want the green beans to soften but not turn mushy.

Stir and toss the smoked green beans every 10-15 minutes to make sure they cook evenly, and start checking and sampling after about 40 minutes of cooking.

Once they taste how you like them, take them off the grill or smoker.

smoked green beans in a cast iron skillet

Keep in mind if you leave them in cast iron skillet after removing, they will continue cooking a little bit due to the residual heat from the skillet.

 

Setting up your Grill or Smoker for Smoked Green Beans

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 green beans so go ahead and skip down to the type you are using!

 

Smoked Green Beans 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 a quarter of the way with charcoal and wait about 15 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 200°F range.

Add 1 chunk of smoking wood once the smoker is up to temperature, put the cast iron skillet with the seasoned green beans 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 225°F.

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

 

Smoked Green Beans in an Electric Smoker

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 225° F.

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

 

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.

Place your cast iron skillet directly 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 2 times during the 60 minute cook.

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 Green Beans 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 225°F.

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

For instance, on a 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 cast iron skillet in the cooking chamber and close the lid.

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 Green Beans 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 green beans, 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 green beans.

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 skillet of smoked green beans to be on the other side.

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

While the charcoal is igniting, or before you turn on the gas grill burners, light up the end of your pellet smoker tube 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 green beans 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 green beans and close the lid.

Continue bringing the temperature up to 225°F and smoke your green beans right in the cast iron skillet uncovered.

 

Best Ways to Serve Smoked Green Beans

You can serve your smoked green beans straight from the warm cast iron skillet for a fun and rustic presentation!

Finish them with a squeeze of lemon if you want to add some acidity and brightness.

smoked green beans on a plate

Smoked Green Beans go great with chicken, turkey, a holiday roast, 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 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!

 

smoked green beans PIN madbackyard.com

 

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 green beans in a cast iron skillet

Easy Smoked Green Beans

Learn everything you need to know about how to make smoked green beans!
We smoke our green beans low and slow in a cast iron skillet with lots of butter and seasoning for a delicious side dish.
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 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine American, Australian, BBQ, Mediterranean, Smoked
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 300 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
  • 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
  • Heat Resistant Grilling Gloves
  • BBQ Tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lbs Fresh Green Beans
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil regular, not extra virgin
  • 1 Tbsp Three LIttle Pigs BBQ Rub or your favorite BBQ seasoning
  • 4 Tbsp Salted Butter
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon optional, to finish

Instructions
 

Set up the Grill or Smoker

  • Light or turn on your smoker, grill or pellet grill and set up the temperature to 225°F. If using a grill, only light a medium amount of charcoal or light one or two burners on one side for indirect cooking
    a pit boss pellet grill set to 220 or 225 degrees
  • 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.

Wash and Trim the Green Beans

  • Give the green beans a good wash in a colander under cold running water and then dry them off with some paper towels on a cutting board.
    1.5 lbs Fresh Green Beans
    washing green beans
  • Line the green beans all up by one end, about one handful at a time, and cut the tips of each green bean off with a good carving knife.
    trimming green beans
  • Then line them up by the other ends and repeat on the other side. Continue doing this until all the ends are cut off of each green bean.
    trimming green beans

Season the Green Beans

  • Spread the trimmed green beans out in the cast iron pan and drizzle with the olive oil.
    2 Tbsp Olive Oil
    drizzling olive oil on green beans
  • Next sprinkle on some Three Little Pigs (or your favorite BBQ rub) and then toss with tongs to coat all the green beans in the oil and seasoning.
    1 Tbsp Three LIttle Pigs BBQ Rub
    sprinkling bbq rub on green beans
  • Cut the salted butter into small cubes and evenly distribute the butter on top of the seasoned green beans so that it can melt over them as they cook.
    4 Tbsp Salted Butter
    pieces of butter placed on top of a cast iron skillet full of green beans

Smoke the Green Beans

  • Once your grill or smoker is up to 225°F and making smoke, place the cast iron skillet inside. Place it on the opposite side of the heat if using a grill so it is cooking indirectly. Close the lid.
    putting green beans in a smoker to smoke
  • Rotate and toss the green beans occasionally with tongs to cook evenly.
    tossing smoked green beans
  • Smoke the green beans for roughly 45-60 minutes or until tender but not mushy.
    smoked green beans in a cast iron skillet

Remove and Finish

  • When the green beans appear done, remove the cast iron skillet from the grill or smoker.
    smoked green beans in a cast iron skillet
  • Optionally drizzle with some fresh squeezed lemon juice.
    Fresh Squeezed Lemon
  • Serve immediately.
    smoked green beans on a plate

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal
Keyword Camp Chef, electric smoker, electric smoker green beans, green beans in a smoker, grilled vegetables, Masterbuilt, pellet grill, pellet grill green beans, Pit Boss, pit boss green beans, Pit Boss Recipes, pit boss smoked green beans, smoked green beans, smoked vegetables, Smoker, smokey green beans, traeger, traeger green beans, Traeger Recipes, traeger smoked green beans, vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

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