A tender smoked whole cauliflower with a crusty smoked layer and soft cauliflower flesh, perfect as a healthy low-carb side dish or light dinner.
Bonus, this smoked cauliflower recipe works with charcoal barbecue, electric barbecue, and even in your oven! It’s also vegan, gluten-free, and keto diet approved.
What’s Smoked Cauliflower?
It’s an entire cauliflower head rubbed with marinade and slowly cooked on a smoker or charcoal barbecue.
Roasted whole cauliflower has soft, tender cauliflower flesh with a crust or smoky marinade that tastes like tandoori meat.
If you don’t want a full cauliflower at once, you can also smoke and roast cauliflower florets.
How To Make Smoked Cauliflower
It’s very to make a smoked cauliflower at home. You only need a cauliflower head and a few spices to create a tasty, smoky marinade.
The ingredients you need to make this cauliflower recipe are:
- A cauliflower head – make sure you remove the leaves and keep them for a soup or another recipe. Cauliflower is a great low-carb vegetable.
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Tomato paste
- Yellow mustard
- Smoked paprika – this adds a lovely smoky flavor to the cauliflower
Combine all the marinade ingredients and rub onto the cauliflower head using a pastry brush or your hand. Then, cook the cauliflower choosing one of the options listed below.
Cooking Smoked Cauliflower
There are four ways to smoke cauliflower. Obviously, the best way to create a smoky cauliflower is with a smoker.
But since not everyone owns one, I provided options using a charcoal barbecue, an electric barbecue, or even your oven.
Below I listed all my tips to make this delicious smoked cauliflower recipe based on the option you have at home.
This is the best option for a delicious woody flavor!
Preheat your smoker to 220°F (105°C) load with one of the wood chips below. This cauliflower taste absolutely delicious with some of the below options:
Then, follow the instructions of the smoker manufacturer to cook the cauliflower on inverted heating.
Smoking Food On A Charcoal Barbecue
To use your charcoal barbecue to smoke food. Start a fire in your charcoal barbecue and let the fuel cook down. When the coal is white, it’s ready to smoke food.
Place your cauliflower on the side of the grill opposite the hot charcoal.
Close the lid and maintain the temperature inside the barbecue to 230°F-270°F (110°C-130°C).
If it’s too cold, add more cooked-down coals. If too hot, add a foil takeaway container filled with water and place directly onto the grill above the hot charcoal.
Don’t open the lid too often and let the cauliflower slowly cook for about 1 hour – if you insert a thermometer in the cauliflower, it should reach about 200°F (90°C).
Once cooked, remove from the barbecue and enjoy it as a side dish or meal with homemade tomato sauce or avocado dressing.
Smoking Food On An Electric Barbecue
Smoking food on an electric BBQ is possible, but it won’t add the same smokiness to your food. In fact, there is no combustion and therefore no smoke.
So let me teach you how to turn your electric grill into a smoker.
First, grab a small aluminum box – it can be a takeaway container, or you can shape a box-like shape with a piece of aluminum foil.
Fill with charcoal or pre-soaked wood. Next, preheat the electric grill to a low temperature of around 225°F (105°C).
Place that box inside the grill on the grate, cover the box with another piece of foil and punch holes with a skewer.
This box will create smoke – like a smoker box. The smoke will come out of the holes and gives a smoky flavor to your food.
After 15 minutes, add the cauliflower to the grill, as far away as possible from the heat source for an indirect heating effect.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I smoke cauliflower in the oven?
You can roast cauliflower in the oven, but you won’t have the same smoky flavor as you would get from charcoal or wood. However, it’s still a great technique if you don’t have an outdoor barbecue.
Place the rubbed cauliflower into a skillet covered with a piece of foil. Bake in preheated oven 220C for 40-55 minutes or until fork-tender.
Can I Speed Up The Process?
Yes, you can make this recipe a little bit faster by steaming, boiling, or microwaving the cauliflower head for 5 minutes before adding the marinade.
This reduces the smoking time by about 45 minutes.
This cauliflower is delicious as a main meal served with a squeeze of lemon juice, sriracha sauce, homemade tomato ketchup, or avocado dressing.
It’s also a great side dish to grilled meat marinated with my 3-Ingredient Steak Marinade.
More Cauliflower Recipes
I love to create recipes with cauliflower because they are low-carb, tasty, and rich in nutrients. Below I listed more cauliflower recipes for you to try:
Have you made this smoked cauliflower recipe? Try also my smoked mac and cheese and take a minute to share a comment below to let me know how it goes!
Want My Kitchen Equipment?
- 1 medium Head of Cauliflower about 22-22 oz
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Liquid Sweetener of Choice I used sugar-free maple syrup but if not keto you can use maple syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
- 2 teaspoons Tomato Paste
- Preheat your smoker, charcoal grill, or electric grill to 250°F (120°C) for indirect grilling – it means the food is heated far away from the heat source – follow your manufacturer instructions to use this technique based on the equipment you have at home or read my post above for detailed instructions if needed. For the oven method, read the post notes.
- Cut out the cauliflower leaves, keeping the cauliflower head whole and intact.
- Steam or boil or microwave the cauliflower head for 5 minutes – this is optional but speeds up the smoking process later on. Cool it down in a colander for 10 minutes until completely steamed out.
- Meanwhile, mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl until well blended and a paste forms.
- Rub the cauliflower head with the marinade using a pastry brush or your hands.
- Place the cauliflower on the grate, far away from the heat source, close the barbecue/smoker lid, and smoke the cauliflower for 60-90 minutes or until fork-tender. Don't open the lid often to keep the temperature around 120°C (250°F). If too hot, add a foil box filled with water onto the grate to decrease heat. If too cold, increase heat by adding more charcoal or increase burner heat.
- Serve with homemade tomato sauce, avocado dressing, or on the side of any dishes.
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I am trying to avoid use of the oven (to save on electriiy) so I bought an air fryer I am new to this gadget .and have no barbecue.will the smoke caulf work in air frying . if so what temp and how long? Iy looks tempting.t
I didn’t try that yet so I can’ recommend on temp and time I am sorry.
Hi, would this work on a pellet smoker?
Any smoker will do
can you use Air fryer
Probably but I didn’t try air frying a whole cauliflower so I am not sure how long it takes and what is the best temperature for this
I made this last night to take to a dinner party. It is delicious.
Thanks so much!
Tried this recipe yesterday and I will admit this was my first time trying to smoke anything on our electric grill. It came out good but I think next time I will keep it on the grill for two hours. The smoke flavor was minimal. Most of the smoke flavor tasted like it came from the smoked paprika.
Coukd you liquid smoke in the rub to get a smokey taste from the over
Sure, great idea!