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Smoked Cauliflower

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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.

The Best Smoked Cauliflower

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
  • Cumin
  • Pepper
  • Tomato paste
  • Yellow mustard
  • Smoked paprika – this adds a lovely smoky flavor to the cauliflower
  • Salt

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.

The Best Smoked Cauliflower

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:

  • Oak
  • Hickory
  • Maple
  • Applewood

Then, follow the instructions of the smoker manufacturer to cook the cauliflower on inverted heating.

Barbecue Cauliflower

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.

How to make Smoked Cauliflower

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.

How to make Smoke Box

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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.

Oven-Roasted CauliflowerOven-Roasted Cauliflower

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.

Smoked Cauliflower Vegan


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.

Smoked Cauliflower Roasted

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!

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Smoked Cauliflower Recipe

Smoked Cauliflower

3.7gNet Carbs
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. This smoked cauliflower recipe works with charcoal barbecues, electric barbecues, and even in your oven! It's also vegan, gluten-free, and keto-approved.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1 serving (4 oz)
4.92 from 250 votes



This recipe may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


  • 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.


Oven roasting – this won’t add a smoky flavor to the cauliflower, but it’s 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.

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Nutrition1 serving (4 oz)
Yield: 6 servings


Serving: 1 serving (4 oz)Calories: 93.6 kcal (5%)Carbohydrates: 6.2 g (2%)Fiber: 2.5 g (10%)Net Carbs: 3.7 gProtein: 2.2 g (4%)Fat: 7.5 g (12%)Saturated Fat: 1.1 g (7%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9 gMonounsaturated Fat: 5.2 gSodium: 249.5 mg (11%)Potassium: 344.7 mg (10%)Sugar: 2.2 g (2%)Vitamin A: 610.4 IU (12%)Vitamin C: 46.7 mg (57%)Calcium: 28.8 mg (3%)Iron: 1 mg (6%)Magnesium: 19.3 mg (5%)Zinc: 0.4 mg (3%)
Carine Claudepierre

About The Author

Carine Claudepierre

Hi, I'm Carine, the food blogger, author, recipe developer, published author of a cookbook and many ebooks, and founder of Sweet As Honey.

I have an Accredited Certificate in Nutrition and Wellness obtained in 2014 from Well College Global (formerly Cadence Health). I'm passionate about sharing all my easy and tasty recipes that are both delicious and healthy. My expertise in the field comes from my background in chemistry and years of following a keto low-carb diet. But I'm also well versed in vegetarian and vegan cooking since my husband is vegan.

I now eat a more balanced diet where I alternate between keto and a Mediterranean Diet

Cooking and Baking is my true passion. In fact, I only share a small portion of my recipes on Sweet As Honey. Most of them are eaten by my husband and my two kids before I have time to take any pictures!

All my recipes are at least triple tested to make sure they work and I take pride in keeping them as accurate as possible.

Browse all my recipes with my Recipe Index.

I hope that you too find the recipes you love on Sweet As Honey!

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    11 Thoughts On Smoked Cauliflower
  1. 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

  2. 4 stars
    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.


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