When it comes to smoking, most people immediately think of meat – but I’m here to tell you, stick your favorite dessert on your smoker, and you might trade in your tongs for a rolling pin. Smoked desserts are a delicious, decadently sweet assault on your taste buds.
My friends, family, and I have an annual party called Smokefest, where we BBQ all the usual suspects – appetizers, spatchcock chicken, ribs, chicken wings, etc. But the star of the show is always dessert. My smoked pumpkin pie topped with a fluffy mound of whipped cream might change your life.
Your smoker is better than an oven. It holds temperatures just as well, so desserts are simple to pull off. Use your favorite recipe, then grace it with a dash of smoky goodness. Boom, your smoked dessert just went nuclear. I’m here to dish on all the smoked dishes I love.
Simply follow the cooking instructions for your favorite recipe, but use your smoker instead of your oven. So, If your favorite pecan pie recipe calls for the pie to bake for 1 1/2 hours at 300°F, follow those instructions. Simple as pie, right? Don’t have a favorite dessert recipe? I’ve got you – keep reading for a couple of slam-dunk recipes.
You’ll end up with a dessert that will tantalize your guests with that hint of delicious smoky flavor. It’s simple and creative – a better way to whip up dessert. Smoked desserts will give your loved ones a reason to keep coming back to your place again and again.
Here are a couple of my absolute favorite recipes that are tailor-made for the grill. Remember the golden rule: if it tastes good in the oven, it’ll taste better on the grill.
This is a quick and dirty recipe, but it’s a great crash course if you’re dipping your toes in the smoked dessert waters.
Skewer a bunch of your favorite fruits. Pineapple, strawberries, mango, whatever you’ve got. Stick the skewers on your smoker at 325° (use a fruitwood) for 20 minutes. Serve with melted chocolate sauce, salted caramel sauce, or whatever you like to dip your fruit into. Voila. You’ve smoked your first sweet dessert.
I’m nuts about this recipe. Get it? Nuts? It’s a creative recipe that’s incredibly easy to whip up. The almonds are jam-packed with sweet, salty, and smoky flavors. The red pepper packs a hot punch – scale it down if you don’t enjoy the fire. (I’m looking at you, my fellow Midwesterners. I wish I could help you.)
Cooked on a smoker, these delicious almonds won’t last long. They aren’t a classic “smoked dessert,” but my-oh-my, do people like to eat them. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Makes: 2 cups
Grill temp: 325°F (indirect grill)
Cook time: 20 minutes
Recommended wood: Oak or Hickory
Get your spoons ready. This peach cobbler recipe blows other recipes out of the water. Live coals and wood smoke pull out the delicious caramel flavors of the fruit, and the dry heat of the smoker makes the topping delightfully crispy. Make the peach cobbler when the fruit is in season where you live, and you’ll be blown away by how sweet and delicious the peaches are.
I know it’s difficult to imagine now, but until the 1900s, almost all food was cooked over fire and wood. Ovens are a modern invention. Experience the sweet bliss that is my grilled peach cobbler recipe. It might taste like a dish your great-great-great-grandparents ate. Summer never tasted so sweet.
Serves: Around 8 people
Grill temp: 325°F (indirect grill)
Cook time: 40-60 minutes
Recommended wood: Apple
Here’s my secret weapon: use a fruitwood. Fruitwood plus fruit is a perfect pairing. So, if you’re making an apple pie, blast it with some smoke from apple chunks, chips, or pellets.
Pecan pie reaches new heights when it’s smoked with pecan wood. It’s a natural marriage. Cherry pie, baked with a smoky blast of cherry wood, is an absolute show-stopper.
What about desserts that aren’t fruit-forward, like chocolate dishes or smoked pumpkin pie? While fruitwoods still work, I love to hit these dishes with oak or hickory. Oak and Hickory are all-time greats for smoking almost everything – give them a try.
Ready to learn another of my favorite tips? Use equipment built for the grill. Leave your nice pots and pans in the drawer.
Your cast iron skillet is exceptionally durable and can handle the smoke and heat from a live fire. Stick it directly on your grill grate.
Aluminum foil, disposable foil pans, and your Dutch oven are all great, grill-ready options. Serve your smoked dessert in the nicest serving ware you’ve got – transfer it when the smoking process is complete (if possible). But make sure it’s smoked in something that’s hardy enough to stand up to the grill.
Let’s say you’re preparing a smoked pumpkin pie or pecan pie. You’ve got one of your favorite recipes ready to go, but there’s one problem: it calls for baking the crust in the oven.
Scratch a line through the word “oven” and write “smoker” on the recipe card instead. Follow the instructions that your recipe lists for time and temperature. Just bake the pie crust on your smoker instead.
When it’s set, fill the crust with the pecan pie filling and put it back on the smoker per the recipe’s instructions. Boom, you’ve just double-smoked that pecan pie. The salt of the nuts, the sweet flavors of caramel, and the spice from the woodsmoke are next level. Delicious salty, sweet, smoky perfection.
Smoking your favorite dessert, whether that’s a smoked pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or a new favorite, like one of the recipes I’ve armed you with, is a delicious idea. These desserts are simple, and I urge you to find the time to try them. You’ll be chomping at the bit to bake some more once you do.
Remember, fruitwoods are a good choice for smoking, as are the classic oak and hickory. Use tools and pans that can withstand the fury of your smoker. From there, just follow the instructions on your favorite delicious recipe, and let your smoker do the rest of the work. I hope you create something that tastes amazing. Enjoy!
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