Mouth-Watering Smoked Cabbage: A Savory Delight

Welcome to my smoked cabbage recipe article! As a BBQ chef, I have tried many recipes over the years and this one has become a personal favorite. Smoking cabbage might not seem like an obvious choice, but trust me, it is worth trying!

Smoked cabbage is a unique side dish that can be served with any main course, such as chicken or steak. This recipe adds depth and smoky flavor to the humble cabbage, transforming it into a delicious and satisfying dish.

Whether you are entertaining guests or cooking for your family, this smoked cabbage recipe is sure to impress. So, let’s get started and take our taste buds on a journey to experience the amazing flavors of my smoked cabbage recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Smoked Cabbage
Smoked Cabbage

Listen up, BBQ lovers! You’re in for a treat with this smoked cabbage recipe that will knock your socks off. This recipe is perfect for those who want to add a healthy option to their grilling menu or for those who are looking to switch it up and try something new.

The combination of ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and chili powder in this recipe adds a depth of flavor that you’ll be dreaming about for days. And let’s not forget the touch of sweetness from light brown sugar, which balances out the savory spices and creates a perfect harmony on your taste buds.

But what makes this recipe truly stand out is the smoking process. Smoking cabbage may seem unconventional, but hear me out: the end result is a tender and smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with any grilled meat or fish.

This recipe will undoubtedly impress your guests at any summer gathering, and it’s easy to prepare ahead of time so you can spend more time enjoying your company. Trust me, once you try this recipe, you won’t be able to imagine grilling without it!

Ingredient List

“Get ready to elevate your cabbage game with this delicious smoked recipe!”

Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to make this smoked cabbage recipe. Don’t worry, it is easy to find these items in your local grocery store.

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • Butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Spice Mix:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Other ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted

Keep in mind that if you’re allergic to any of these ingredients or there’s something else you don’t like, feel free to substitute them as well. Although, I highly recommend sticking with the main spices to create this smoky and tangy flavor that makes this dish so amazing.

The Recipe How-To

Preparing the Smoker

Before anything else, it is essential to preheat your smoker. Set it to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, as this will allow ample time (around 3 hours) for the cabbage to absorb that smoky goodness.

Cabbage Prep

Take your head of cabbage and slice off the stem at the bottom, then remove any damaged or unsightly outer leaves. Slice the cabbage in half and carefully cut each half into 1-inch slices (or “cabbage steaks”).

Butter Rub

Grab a mixing bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and kosher salt. Add in 1 teaspoon each of chili powder, paprika, and ground cumin. Then mix in 1/4 teaspoon of both fresh-cracked black pepper and light-brown sugar. Finally, add enough melted butter or margarine until it makes a thick paste.

Rub that Cabbage

Brush the butter rub heavily onto each cabbage slice (about 1/2 cup per side). Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty – rub deeply into every nook and cranny for maximum flavor.

Wrap That Cabbage

I recommend wrapping your seasoned cabbage tightly with aluminum foil. Leave no cracks or openings for that smoke to escape!

Smoking Time

Once wrapped up tight, place your cabbage wrap directly on the rack of that preheated smoker. If using a wood-fired smoker like a Z Grills or Pit Boss, use whatever wood pellet you prefer for category 1 – such as hickory or mesquite wood pellets – according to their recommendations. For electric smokers, use wood chips according to their smoking instructions.

Let those beautiful heads of cabbage smoke for about 2-2.5 hours. Afterward, take off the foil wrap and continue smoking for another 30 minutes or so until they reach that perfect tenderness we all desire.

Once done, pull out those whole smoked cabbages from the smoker and let them rest briefly while you clean up shop.

You can also make smoked cabbage slaw by thinly shredding smoked cabbage instead of boiling white on-head cabbage to achieve Southern-style flavored slaw!

Substitutions and Variations

“Smoked cabbage: the perfect side dish for any BBQ feast.”

Ahoy there! If you’re looking to add some flair to your smoked cabbage, then let me tell you, matey, that you’ve come to the right section. Here are some substitutions and variations that arr worth giving a try.

– Spice things up: If you’re a fan of a bit of kick, then adding some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the seasoning is arrr recommended. You can also experiment with different types of chili powder for added depth.

– Bacon wrapped: For those who love bacon (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), you can wrap the cabbage in bacon strips and then smoke it for a heavenly combination of flavors.

– Grilled cabbage steaks: Slice the cabbage into steaks instead of wedges, brush them with oil or butter, and grill them over direct heat until they’re crisp-tender. You can even add some additional seasonings like garlic or onion powder.

– Stuffed cabbage rolls: Impress your guests with this show-stopper recipe. Cook ground beef, pork, or lamb in a skillet with onions and garlic, mix it with rice or quinoa, wrap each serving in a cabbage leaf and then smoke it until cooked through.

– Low-carb option: Swap out the brown sugar for a keto-friendly sweetener like monk fruit sugar or erythritol, and skip the butter to keep it dairy-free.

– Savory southern style: Cooked low and slow Southern-style fried cabbage will melt in your mouth like butter. Add chopped bacon or ham hocks along with sliced onions, garlic and cracked black pepper.

Remember mates – don’t be afraid to put yer own spin on this tasty dish!

Serving and Pairing

“The secret to the perfect smoky flavor? A slow and steady cook.”

Smoked cabbage is a savory and hearty dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Its smoky flavor pairs well with all types of meats, from pork chops to steak, making it the ideal side dish for your next barbecue or gathering.

To serve, ladle the smoked cabbage onto a serving dish and sprinkle with cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste. The tender and flavorful cabbage can be enjoyed on its own, but it also pairs well with a variety of other dishes.

For a complete meal, consider pairing the smoked cabbage with grilled chicken or steak. The smoky flavors of this dish make it a natural fit for other barbecue favorites like ribs or pulled pork as well. Smoked cabbage also complements Southern-style dishes such as cornbread, collard greens, and black-eyed peas.

If you’re looking to add some extra texture to your plate, you can top the smoked cabbage with bacon pieces or fried onions. For a lighter option, try pairing the smoked cabbage with a simple green salad or roasted vegetables.

Plus, the versatility of this dish makes it easy to customize and pair with others depending on your preference. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking for an easy weeknight side dish, smoked cabbage is certain to satisfy your tastebuds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Say goodbye to bland cabbage and hello to a burst of flavor with this recipe.”

Now, let’s talk about making ahead, storing, and reheating this smoked cabbage recipe. Although it is best consumed fresh out of the smoker, you can make it ahead of time and reheat it without losing its smoky flavor.

To make ahead, smoke the cabbage as instructed for 3 hours. Let it cool down then wrap it tightly in a plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container or zip-top bag. You can store the whole smoked cabbage in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

When you are ready to reheat the cabbage, unwrap it from the plastic wrap but keep the outer leaves on. Slice the cabbage into steaks and set your smoker or grill to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the smoker for about 30 minutes before placing the sliced cabbage on top of the grates. Smoke for another hour or until heated through.

If you don’t have access to a smoker, you can also reheat your smoked cabbage in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place your sliced smoked cabbage steaks on a baking sheet with small dollops of butter or margarine on top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until heated through.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy leftover smoked cabbage is to turn them into a coleslaw by slicing them thinly and tossing them with a simple vinaigrette dressing. You can also use them as toppings for sandwiches or wraps.

In conclusion, this recipe is versatile enough that you can make it ahead of time without sacrificing its smoky goodness. So go ahead and smoke that cabbage for your next BBQ event- you won’t be disappointed!

Tips for Perfect Results

“This smoky side dish will take your BBQ to the next level.”

When smoking cabbage, it’s important to follow some tips to ensure that the results are nothing less than perfect. Here are some tips to keep in mind during the process.

Firstly, make sure to remove any damaged or wilted leaves on the cabbage before smoking. They can create a bitter taste and impact the overall texture of the smoked cabbage.

Allowing the cabbage to smoke at a low temperature over a longer period of time will allow its natural sugars to soften and give it a unique flavor. Smoking for three hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal, but longer smoking times can provide more depth of flavor.

For added flavor, try wrapping cabbage slices in bacon or lightly seasoning with garlic, onion powder, and chili powder before smoking. This will add complexity to the dish without sacrificing the integrity of the smoked cabbage itself.

Before placing the cabbage in smoker, apply a light butter rub all over so that it doesn’t dry out during smoking. A sprinkle of salt pepper and cumin powder can amplify its overall taste.

It’s also important to allow time for the smoked cabbage to rest once removed from the smoker and before slicing into it. This will allows its juices to settle down and give enough time for flavors to blend in.

A good alternative for slow smoking is using pellet grills like Z Grills or Pit Boss as this makes it easy to maintain temperature at 250 degrees Fahrenheit throughout cooking.

By following these simple tips you’ll guarantee perfect results every time whether you’re making Southern-style whole smoked cabbage recipe, smoked cabbage slaw, grilled cabbage steaks or stuffed cabbage rolls.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, smoked cabbage is a delightful and unique way to enjoy this classic vegetable. With its tender texture and irresistibly smoky flavor, this recipe will make your taste buds dance with joy. Whether you’re a seasoned BBQ master or a beginner, this recipe is easy to follow and will wow your guests.

So why not give it a try? Impress your family and friends with this delicious dish at your next backyard cookout. And don’t forget to experiment with different variations and substitutions to find the perfect flavor for you. From bacon-wrapped cabbage to grilled cabbage steaks, the possibilities are endless.

So fire up your smoker, preheat your grill, or heat up your oven and get cooking. With just a little bit of patience and some basic ingredients, you can make a whole smoked cabbage that will have everyone begging for seconds. Trust me when I say, once you try this recipe, you’ll wonder why you never made smoked cabbage before.

Smoked Cabbage

Smoked Cabbage Recipe

What a way to fix cabbage in a smoker.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 181 kcal


  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, divided
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dry rub seasonings (Spicy Rub)


  • 1/4 cup paprika, shopping list (try using half regular paprika and half smoked paprika)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, shopping list
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, shopping list
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, shopping list
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper, shopping list
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons granulated garlic, shopping list
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons granulated onions, shopping list
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin


  • Clean the head of cabbage and core out the center. Put 1⁄2 of the stick of butter/margarine in the cored out cabbage.
  • Slice jalapeño pepper and put in cabbage center. Add 1 tablespoon Texas Rib Rangers Spicy Rub to cabbage center. Rub the remaining butter around the outside of the cabbage.In a small bowl combine the ingredients.
  • Press the rub into both sides of the meat and refrigerate for 1 hour prior to grilling to intensify flavors.
  • Wrap cabbage in heavy foil and place in smoker or grill. Cook until cabbage is soft to touch (about 2 to 3 hours depending of size of cabbage).
  • Remove from heat and check for tenderness. If not tender put back on heat and let it finish cooking. If tender remove and serve immediately.



Serving: 151gCalories: 181kcalCarbohydrates: 18.2gProtein: 2.7gFat: 12.5gSaturated Fat: 7.5gCholesterol: 30.5mgSodium: 1904.5mgFiber: 5.3gSugar: 11g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy, Vegetable, Weeknight
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

You’ll Love These Delicious BBQ Recipes

Smoked Vegetables

Flavorful and Healthy Smoked Vegetables Dish

Are you looking for a unique way to enjoy your vegetables? Look no further than this smoked vegetables recipe. With the addition of smoky flavor, your vegetables will be elevated…
Smoked Lamb Roast (Without a Smoker)

Smoked Lamb Roast (Without a Smoker) Recipe

Attention, BBQ enthusiasts! Get ready to experience an explosion of flavors with my Smoked Lamb Roast recipe. In this article, I’m going to show you how to create succulent and…
Macaroni and Cheese (Dinosaur BBQ)

Macaroni and Cheese (Dinosaur BBQ) Recipe

If you’re a fan of comfort food like me, you’ll love this tantalizingly delicious and easy-to-make macaroni and cheese recipe from Dinosaur BBQ. With its creamy texture, tender elbow macaroni,…


Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.