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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
Smoked Sweet Potatoes in an Electric Smoker
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.
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.
Smoked Sweet Potatoes on a Pellet Grill
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.
Gas or Charcoal Grill
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?
Great smoked food can be made right on your current gas or charcoal grill.
If you are unfamiliar with these gas grill smoking devices mentioned above, no worries, we have you covered!
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.
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.
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.
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 Prime Rib on a Pellet Grill
- Smoked Ribeye Roast
- Hot and Fast Smoked Beef Brisket
- Smoked London Broil
- Smoked Corned Beef
- Smoked and Reverse Seared Ribeye Steaks
- Pellet Grilled Steak
- Perfect Grilled Hamburgers
More Smoked Pork, Turkey, and Chicken
- Smoked Fresh Ham with Dark Rum Citrus Glaze
- Pellet Grilled Pork Chops
- Spatchcocked Chicken on a Pellet Grill
- Smoked Turkey Breast with Cajun Butter Injection
- Spiral Sliced Smoked Hot Dogs
- Smoked Bratwurst with Beer Braised Onions
- Gas Grilled Bratwurst
- Pellet Grilled Bratwurst
- Pellet Grill Turkey
- Honey Smoked Salmon
- Smoked Oysters in a Garlic White Wine Sauce
- Smoked Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce
- Smoked Lobster Tails
- Honey Smoked Tilapia
- Smoked Halibut with Garlic BBQ Rub
- Smoked Leg of Lamb with Guinness Marinade
- Smoked Lamb Chops with a Balsamic Butter Sauce
- Smoked Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary or Smoker
- Smoked and Pulled Lamb Shoulder with a Turkish Spice Rub
- Smoked Lamb Shanks
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
- 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
- 6 Medium Sweet Potatoes
- 1 stick Salted Butter
- Your Favorite Sweet BBQ Rub
- 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.
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"
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the tray from the grill or smoker using oven safe BBQ gloves and place somewhere to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.