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How to Make Smoked Sweet Potatoes

Learn everything you need to know about how to make smoked sweet potatoes!  Whether you’ve got a Weber kettle, a Traeger pellet grill, or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we’ve got you covered!

We fan them out for maximum flavor and smoke absorption, then baste with butter and your favorite sweet BBQ rub or brown sugar until smoked to perfection.

Let’s Go!

smoked sweet potatoes

 

Why Smoked Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are a fun side dish to throw on the smoker alongside your thanksgiving turkey or standing ribeye roast, especially around the holidays.

raw sweet potatoes

Or you can just smoke your sweet potatoes them by themselves to accompany literally ANY other meat.

They absorb some great smoke flavor without getting overpowered, and are finished in just about an hour if you fan them out like we do and cook them with some high heat!

 

Best Wood for Smoking Sweet Potatoes

Hickory, Maple, and Apple are great wood choices that pair wonderfully with sweet potatoes.

wood chips and wood chunks for smoking

You can choose one or the other or mix them together!  These two woods also work great on chicken, turkey, and most beef, lamb, and holiday meats.

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

 

How to Prepare Sweet Potatoes for Smoking

Our favorite way to prepare smoked sweet potatoes is by fanning them out and basting them with butter and BBQ rub while they cook.

This works best, and is easiest to clean up afterwards, if you use a good silicone basting brush like these ones.

basting butter mixture on sweet potatoes

You get the MAXIMUM surface area of flavor and smoke absorption vs. cooking them whole or just punching them with forks.  You’ll also finish them in about 1/2 the time!

You end up with a sticky, tasty, glaze and lots and lots of smoke flavor throughout the whole sweet potato.

You can eat them just like this or remove the skins and mash them up into asmoked sweet potato casserole if you wish.

 

Best Times and Temperatures for Smoking Sweet Potatoes

Best Temperature to Smoke Sweet Potatoes

We are going to set the temperature of the pellet grill or smoker to 375°F.

a pelet grill set to 375 degrees

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 sweet potatoes.

Now you CAN smoke them at a lower temperature, especially if the meat you are cooking them alongside requires a lower smoking temperature.

Just realize they WILL take quite a bit longer to cook so get them on the grill or smoker early!

 

How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Sweet Potato?

Fanned out at 375°F, your smoked sweet potatoes will take about 60 minutes to fully cook.

sweet potatoes on the smoker

If you’re cooking them at 275°F because of the meat, plan on them taking closer to 2 hours.

On the low end of the BBQ spectrum, down at 225°F, you may be better off getting some smoke on them initially and then finishing them in the oven so that the butter/rub mixture gets a nice caramelization as they cook.  This will be tough to make happen all the way down at 225°F.

 

How Can You Tell When Smoked Sweet Potatoes are Finished Cooking?

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

checking doneness of the cooked and smoked sweet potatoes

Give them about an hour on the smoker or grill, and when they poke through effortlessly with a knife or fork, you know they are done!

 

 

Setting up your Smoker for Sweet Potatoes

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 sweet potatoes 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 sweet potatoes by themselves, here are the best instructions for setting up different types of grills and smokers to do just that.

 

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 three 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 all the way with charcoal and wait about 20 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 325-350°F range.

Add 1-2 chunks of smoking wood once the smoker is up to temperature and put your sweet potatoes on, preferably in a foil lined pan to catch the melting butter.

Then slowly close down the top and bottom dampers to about 1/3- 1/4 open until you are maintaining a temperature of 375° F.

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

 

Smoked Sweet Potatoes in an Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30 inch, Black

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker on Amazon

Plug your electric smoker in and turn the temperature to 375°F.  If it does not go this high, set it for its maximum temperature

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

Place your sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking tray and place them in the smoker.

a tray of smoked sweet potatoes

You can cook them completely in the electric smoker if the temperature goes high enough, or finish them in the oven after they absorb some smokey flavor if you are crunched for time.

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

 

Smoked Sweet Potatoes 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 375°F.

Let the pellet grill run through its start up process. When the pellet grill has come up to temperature, place your sweet potatoes on the grill, preferably on a foil lined baking tray to catch the melting butter for basting during the cook..

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

 

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 Smoker Boxes here, and see a selection of our Favorite Pellet Tube Smokers here.

In the case of sweet potatoes, we would opt for the smoker tube with wood pellets since the smoker box usually only lasts about 30 minutes.  This will save you the hassle of having the refill.

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 sweet potatoes to be on the other side.

Remember, we are cooking the sweet potatoes 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 325°F, place your smoker box or pellet tube smoker over the lit burners and once smoke begins coming out, place your potatoes on the opposite side.

Continue bringing the temperature up to 375°F.

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

Best Ways to Serve Smoked Sweet Potatoes

You can have fun with this recipe and add maple syrup, brown sugar, or even pumpkin pie spices in place of the BBQ rub, depending on the occasion and time of year.

finished smoked sweet potatoes

Like we mentioned, you can also remove the skins and mash up the smoked sweet potatoes into a mashed sweet potato casserole if you wish, or just serve them fanned ot as is.

They are usually a head tuner on the plate, enjoy!

 

What Other Foods Can I Smoke?

Looking for some more inspiration for things to smoke?

Check out some of our favorite recipes below that can easily be modified to be done on any grill or smoker.

Smoked Beef

 

More Smoked Pork, Turkey, and Chicken

 

Smoked Seafood

 

Smoked Lamb

 

Other Odds and Ends

Trash Can Turkey – OK, technically not made on a pellet grill or smoker but one of the most fun ways there is to cook a Turkey…at over 700 degrees in only 2 hours! 

You’ve got to check it out!

smoked sweet potatoes

Smoked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes fanned out and basted with butter and a sweet BBQ rub. Then smoked with high indirect heat until caramelized and tender on any grill, pellet grill, or smoker. Whether you've got a Weber kettle, a Traeger 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
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Potato, Side Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Smoked
Servings 6 people
Calories 450 kcal

Equipment

  • A Smoker or Pellet grill -OR-
  • A Gas or Charcoal Grill setup for indirect heat
  • A Foil Lined Baking Tray
  • A Knife
  • A Basting Brush
  • Hickory, Maple, and/or Apple pellets, woodchips, or chunks

Ingredients
  

  • 6 Medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 stick Salted Butter
  • Your Favorite Sweet BBQ Rub

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the smoker, or grill setup for indirect cooking, to 375°F. If using a pellet grill, load the hopper with your shosen pellets, turn on the grill, and set the temperature for 375°F.
    a pelet grill set to 375 degrees

Prepare the Sweet Potatoes

  • Slice the potatoes about ⅔ of the way through, every ⅛ of an inch from one end to the other, creating a "fan"
    fanning sweet potatoes to smoke
  • Soften the butter in the microwave but do not melt. Add a tbsp or 2 or your favorite sweeet BBQ rub and mix together with the softened butter.
  • Place the potatoes on a foil lined baking tray and baste them with the butter/rub mixture using a basting brush. Try and make sure to get the mixture in between every slice.
    basting butter mixture on sweet potatoes

Smoke the Sweet Potatoes

  • Once the grill or smoker is near its temperature, add your wood chips, wood chunks, or pellets into a pellet tube smoker and place over the direct heat and close the lid.
  • Once the grill or smoker is up to 375°F and producing smoke, place the entire baking tray with the sweet potatoes into the smoker, or on the cool side of the grill.
    sweet potatoes on the smoker
  • After 30 minutes, baste the smoked sweet potatoes with the butter that has melted and collected at the bottom of the pan. Make sure to get in between each slice. Then close the lid again.
    basting butter on smoking sweet potatoes while cooking
  • After another 30 minutes, or 60 minutes total, open the lid and baste the smoked sweet potatoes one last time in the same manner.
  • Check for doneness by piercing the potato with a knife or fork. It should pass through effortlessly when they are finished.
    checking doneness of the cooked and smoked sweet potatoes
  • Remove the tray from the grill or smoker using oven safe BBQ gloves and place somewhere to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
    finished smoked sweet potatoes

Video

Notes

Video courtesy of Grilla Grills
Keyword barbecue, bbq, Butter, Camp Chef, camp chef pellet grill, electric smoker, hickory, maple, Masterbuilt, pellet grill, Pit Boss, Propane, Smoked sweet potatoes, smoked vegetables, smoked yams, smokers, thanksgiving, traeger, Weber, Wood chips

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