Smoked Cabbage – Move over coleslaw! Hit the road, sauerkraut! This tender, smokily flavorful take on cabbage is about to become your new favorite barbecue side dish. 🤩
If you haven’t tried smoked cabbage, you’ve been missing out. It tastes absolutely amazing. It gets perfectly tender and has some incredibly herby and smokey notes to die for. Plus, it pairs beautifully with just about anything. That’s a big reason this recipe has a spot in my smoker just about every week.
But wait, there’s more! This dish is practically effortless if you’ve already fired up the smoker for a main course. Just chop, sauce, and smoke. That’s literally it – because flavorful and easy is my jam. 😆
Smoked Cabbage and Remoulade Sauce
Ok, so this smoked cabbage tastes great as is, but it’s worth noting that there are a couple of ways to fancy it up and turn it into a total flavor bomb. First, always garnish for aesthetics and taste.
Bacon crumbles and parsley are my go-to toppings for this recipe. Second, I’ve included some instructions for a homemade remoulade sauce that, when drizzled over the smoked cabbage, is insanely good. Drizzle heartily and serve some extra on the side for best results. 😉
- Cabbage – Choose a bright green cabbage that is nice and heavy with no blemishes.
- Smoking Sauce – Before smoking, you’ll brush the cabbage with my secret sauce, which includes olive oil, minced garlic and thyme, Creole seasoning, and some S&P.
- Garnishes – Bacon crumbles, parsley, and even some lemon wedges all look and taste beautiful with these smoked cabbage wedges.
- Remoulade Sauce – For an out-of-this-world remoulade, you’ll need mayo, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, mustard, relish, Creole seasoning, green onion, and garlic. 😋
How to Smoke Cabbage
Make the Remoulade Sauce
- Combine – In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, relish, green onion, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning (if using), and salt. Mix all the ingredients well until thoroughly combined.
- Set Aside – Cover the bowl and refrigerate the sauce while you prepare the smoked cabbage.
Preparing the Cabbage
- Prep a Baking Sheet – Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil paper, preferably one designated for smoking. Set it aside.
- Cut the Cabbage – Place the cabbage on a cutting board. Remove the outer leaves and cut them in half from top to bottom. Further, cut each half into quarters by making another perpendicular cut. Transfer the cabbage quarters to the prepared baking sheet. (Photos 1-2)
- Preheat your smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, maintaining a temperature of 225-250°F/107-121℉.
- Saute the Seasonings – Heat olive oil in a small skillet, then add the garlic, thyme, salt, black pepper, and Creole seasoning (if using). Stir for about 30 seconds or more to allow the flavors to bloom. Remove from heat. (Photos 3-4)
- Brush the Cabbage – Brush the olive oil mixture evenly over the wedges, ensuring thorough coating. Let the cabbage marinate for approximately 15 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate.
Smoking the Cabbage
- Smoke – Place the baking sheet with the cabbage in the smoker and let it smoke for 1-1½ hours or until it reaches a tender texture with a light char on the edges. (Photo 5)
- Rotate – Cooking times may vary depending on cabbage thickness. Rotate the cabbage on all sides as needed for even cooking. (Photo 6)
- Transfer – Once the cabbage is done, remove it from the smoker and transfer it to a serving platter.
- Garnish – If desired, garnish the smoked cabbage with minced fresh parsley. Top the cabbage with crumbled bacon for added flavor.
- Serve – For a delightful experience, drizzle Remoulade sauce over the smoked cabbage, and serve extra sauce on the side.
- Keep it simple. I’ve turned up the flavors for this recipe, but you can go minimalist. Slather a head of cabbage in olive oil, S&P, and your favorite spice mix or smoker dry rub and smoke; no need to chop or make a sauce if you don’t feel like it. Just keep in mind cooking time is a lot longer if you leave the cabbage head whole.
- Bacon-wrapped wedges. If bacon crumbles aren’t enough, wrap the cabbage wedges in bacon strips before smoking. It’s delish, and bacon lovers will sing your praises. 😄
- Try stuffed, smoked cabbage. In this version of smoked cabbage, leave the head whole, but cut out the tough core. Then, fill the hole with a stick of butter and your favorite seasonings before smoking whole. Smoke until the head of cabbage gets tender, and you can easily pierce it with a knife or skewer.
- Experiment with flavors. For example, brushing the cabbage with barbeque sauce before smoking really gives it some added depth of flavor.
Tips and Tricks
- If you chop, stick to wedges. Wedges are easier to handle and don’t fall apart like cabbage steaks. And if you chop up your cabbage into anything smaller than wedges, you’ll probably need to smoke the pieces in an aluminum baking tray to keep it contained.
- There are lots of ways to use smoked cabbage as a side dish. Chop up leftovers and toss them in salads, wraps, sandwiches, stir-fries, pasta dishes, or anything else you can think of. Smoked cabbage is extraordinarily versatile.
- Cut the cabbage into similar-sized wedges for an even cook time.
- Don’t overcook the cabbage. Keep an eye on it when it’s getting close to done because nobody likes mushy cabbage. 😝
You can make the remoulade sauce and prep the garnishes the night before, storing them separately in an airtight container in the fridge. This dish is best fresh off the grill, so if you’re serving it as a side dish, plan on making it the day of your meal.
If you plan to repurpose smoked cabbage in other dishes, making it ahead is totally an option. Simply store the wedges in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll keep for 3-5 days.
Serving and Storage Instructions
Serve smoked cabbage hot off the smoker, drizzled with remoulade sauce, and sprinkled with tasty garnishes. Store leftovers for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
To reheat smoked cabbage, pop it in the oven set to 350℉/177℃ or even your air fryer for a few minutes until it’s heated through.
Yes, give your cabbage a good rinse and remove a leave or two from the outer layer. This will get rid of any bugs or dirt that might be hiding under those surface layers.
When properly prepared, it is moist and tender, not dried out. It also doesn’t have an overpowering smoky flavor. Instead, it should still taste like cabbage but with subtle smokey notes that give it flavorful, roasted undertones.
You may have overcooked it. Cabbage smoking times depend on the size and cut of your cabbage and your particular smoker. You’ll want to keep an eye on the cabbage the first few times and take it off the smoker as soon as it’s tender enough to pierce with a skewer or knife without too much resistance.
What Goes With Smoked Cabbage
What doesn’t go with smoked cabbage is a better question. 😜 I love serving this with any kind of meat, but while the smoker is hot, a few of my favorite pairings include smoked flank steak and smoked turkey wings.
As for other sides, I’d recommend smoked baked potatoes or a heaping scoop of Southern baked mac and cheese, a family favorite around here. Oh, and don’t forget to wash all that down with a tall glass of homemade sweet iced tea.
More Show-Stopping Side Dishes to Try
Never in the history of smoked sides has there been an easier and more flavor-packed recipe than this delightful smoked cabbage with remoulade sauce. Have you tried it yet? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Let me know how it turned out for you!
- 1 Smoker
- 1 2-2½-pound head green cabbage, sliced into wedges vertically about ¾ to 1-inch thick
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon thyme, minced
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- salt to taste
- black pepper, freshly ground to taste
- Fresh parsley, (for garnish, optional)
- Lemon wedges or crumbled bacon (optional for serving)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon relish
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine the mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, relish, green onion, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning (if using), and salt.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate the sauce while you prepare the smoked cabbage.
- Line your baking sheet (an old one or the one you use for smoking) with aluminum foil paper. Set aside.
- Place the cabbage on a cutting board, remove the outer leaves, and cut it in half from top to bottom. Next, cut each half into quarters by making another cut perpendicular to the first one. Transfer to the baking sheet.
- Preheat your smoker according to the manufacturer's instructions, targeting a temperature of 225-250°F/107-121℉.
- Heat olive oil in a small skillet, then add the minced garlic, thyme, salt, black pepper, and Creole seasoning. Stir for 30 seconds or more for the flavors to bloom. Remove from the stove.
- Brush the seasoned olive oil mixture over the cabbage wedges, making sure every inch is well coated.
- Let the cabbage marinate for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate. Place the sheet in the smoker.
Smoking the Cabbage
- Close the smoker and let the cabbage smoke for approximately 1-1½ hours or until the cabbage is tender and lightly charred on the edges. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the cabbage. Be sure to rotate cabbage on all its sides as needed for even cooking.
- Cooking times may vary depending on cabbage thickness. Rotate the cabbage on all sides as needed for even cooking.
- Once the cabbage is done, remove it from the smoker and transfer it to a serving platter.
- Garnish the smoked cabbage with minced fresh parsley, if desired. Top with crumbled bacon.
- And for a delightful experience, drizzle with remoulade and serve with extra sauce on the side.
- The remoulade sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Smoked cabbage can be served as a flavorful side dish or used in various recipes. You can chop it up and add it to salads, use it as a filling in wraps or sandwiches, or incorporate it into stir-fries and pasta dishes.
- You can also experiment with different spices and seasonings to suit your taste buds. For added depth of flavor, brush it with BBQ sauce.
- Please remember that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.