Add zest to your side dishes this season with these BBQ Glazed Smoked Brussels Sprouts loaded with bacon and served with a quick homemade aioli. So good, you’ll watch everyone come back for seconds!
Brussels Sprouts. Everyone loves to hate them. But once you give them a chance, you can end up really enjoying them. As with most things, it’s all about how they are cooked.
Smoking sprouts keeps them tender without them getting mushy and infuses a serious blast of flavor from the bacon and barbecue sauce glaze. The cast iron gives the sprouts that golden crisp edge and makes clean up a breeze.
These smoked brussel sprouts with bacon have become a staple recipe for my family dinner parties now. They are both the perfect smoked side dish and an appetizer on their own with the zesty dipping aioli.
Can you smoke Brussel Sprouts?
Yes. And this bacon-loaded Brussels recipe will convert any skeptics and make bigger fans out of those who already love these mini-powerhouses.
Brussels sprouts take incredible well to the signature charcoal and wood flavors from the grill. Similar to roasting, they do well under the heat, and unlike boiling them, they don’t get mushy, which is what makes this recipe work so well.
The addition of a barbecue glaze at the end, along with the bacon, pops a bit of zing into the dish and livens it up.
What you need
To make this recipe, you will need
- Brussels sprouts, washed, dried, and cut in half. Remove any brown outer leaves if needed here and make sure to chop off the rough stem if protruding.
- BBQ Spice blend, like Head Country Sweet and Spicy seasoning
- Barbecue Sauce, like Head Coutnry Apple Habanero Bar-B-Que Sauce or try this low carb homemade keto bbq sauce.
- Sour Cream, crema, or creme fraiche
Chances are you have most of these ingredients in the pantry begging to be used.
How to Smoke Brussels Sprouts
Start by prepping your grill. If using a pellet grill (Pit Boss, GMG, Traeger, etc) place the grill on the sear setting and allow your cast iron to preheat.
If using a traditional smoker or gas grill, make a two-zone fire for indirect or direct heat, placing the cast iron on the hot side.
Start by crisping the bacon. Once it’s cooked remove it from the pan and carefully drain off any excess fat, leaving about 2 to 3 tablespoons in the pan.
Once the bacon is cooked, add your onion and Brussels sprouts to the pan and toss to coat in the bacon fat. This adds tons of flavor and helps prevent sticking.
Season your sprouts with your bbq seasoning of choice before you shut the lid to cook them on the grill.
When they are almost done cooking, toss them in barbecue sauce to glaze everything.
When the sprouts are done remove them from the grill and add the remaining bbq sauce and chopped bacon.
Whip up the spicy aioli by whisking the sour cream, mayo, a tablespoon of bbq sauce, and a teaspoon of bbq seasoning together in a bowl for additional dipping and flavor.
What temperature to smoke brussels sprouts
Aim for a temperature of 225-250 and about 1 to 1 1/2 hours to cook until fork tender.
The kind of smoker and temp you are running will change the cooking time. I used a Traeger pellet smoker for this recipe but it can be made on any type of grill or also in the oven if you don’t have a smoker.
See my guide on how to get BBQ flavor with wood chips on a gas grill here.
Tips, tricks, and notes for this recipe
You can cook brussels sprouts in the oven. Follow this recipe for roasted maple brussels sprouts as a guide for how to make these.
Find them in the bulk area of the produce department at your market. Frozen sprouts are not recommended and do not work the same for this recipe.
One that is too thin will get too brittle and crispy when frying in the cast iron. If you feel creative, pancetta or ham steak would be great substitutes for the bacon.
I love cast iron for cooking on the grill because it can handle the heat, but when working with cast iron over a grill, never leave it unattended for too long. Cast iron holds heat, and if things get too hot, you will char your veggies beyond repair.
How to store
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. and reheated in the oven. They will get softer as the days go on tho and are best served right off the grill.
Make sure to store the aioli in a separate container and use it within 3 days as well. Try it on all of your veggies, like roasted broccoli, a smoked baked potato, smoked cabbage, or green beans too!
What to serve grilled brussels sprouts
Brussels go well with most hearty proteins and this recipe is perfect as a Thanksgiving or holiday side dish with a Traeger smoked turkey, paired with grilled roast beef for Sunday supper. Or keep it simple and serve with pan-seared chicken thighs or sausages on busy weeknights.
The best part is, these are keto-friendly and you can choose whatever bbq sauce or spice blend is right for your dietary needs.
More side dish recipes
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BBQ Glazed Smoked Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- pellet smoker or grill
- Grilling Gloves
- 4 strip bacon
- 1 onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lbs brussels sprouts stems trimmed and cut in half
- 1 tbsp BBQ Spice Blend
- 1/2 cup Apple Habanero Bar-B-Que Sauce or other desired Barbecue sauce
For the Spicy Aioli
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tbsp mayo
- 1 tsp Barbecue Sauce
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp BBQ Spice Blend
Prep the GRill
- Preheat the smoker to high, or sear setting. Place a cast iron skillet over the hot area of the grill to preheat.
- Add the bacon to the pan, and cook until crisp.
- Remove from pan and drain, reserving the bacon fat in the pan.
Smoke the Brussels Sprouts
- Reduce the heat on your smoker to around 250°F.
- Place the cast iron skillet back on the grill.
- Add the onions, garlic, and brussels to the pan and toss to coat in the bacon drippings.
- Sprinkle the barbecue spice blend over top.
- Cover the lid of the grill and allow to smoke for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the sprouts are fork tender.
Glaze the sprouts
- For the last 20 minutes of smoking, toss the brussels sprouts in half of the barbecue sauce.
- Carefully, remove the cast iron pan from the smoker.
Mix in the cooked bacon
- Chop the bacon and add it and the remaining barbecue sauce to the pan of sprouts, tossing to coat.
- Serve hot.
Make the spicy aioli
- Whisk the sour cream, mayo and barbecue sauce together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle the barbecue spice blend over top and serve alongside the smoked brussels for dipping.