Smoked Side Dish Ideas

Smoked Side Dishes

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When it comes to smoking food, many people will only think of the main meals that you can come up with during a BBQ or a smoked meal.

However, this isn’t the case. Sometimes side dishes can taste just as good, if not better, than the main meal itself when smoked properly.

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Of course, it can be a hard decision when trying to choose some tasty sides for your main course, so we’ve made a list of smoked side dishes to accompany your food.

Smoked Prawns

Prawns are an extremely popular and versatile variation of shellfish that features in too many different meals to count.

However, they’re also great because of their size. It’s rare that you’ll ever see fish as a side dish because they’re too big, however, prawns are the perfect size to be classed as finger food or a side dish at the very least.

Smoking prawns doesn’t take too long because of their size and they are easier to cook large quantities of them than other seafood.

With regards to what they can go with, we recommend that you smoke them and they prepare them on a small plate with garlic sauce. Combining the fishy flavors with the strong hints of garlic, you have yourself an explosively tasty accompaniment to your main dish.

On top of this, you can also add a sprinkle of chili flakes and some chili sauce to add an extra layer to the smoky, garlicky goodness.

Accompany this with some fresh rocket or cress and you can turn this small dish into a worthy starter for any barbecue. Don’t forget a slice of fresh lemon to squeeze the juice over your prawns!

Smoked Vegetables

When having a barbecue or some sort of little gathering, it’s always nice to have a balance of meats, carbs, and vegetables.

By placing smoked vegetables like peppers and tomatoes onto a skewer and smoking them, you’re able to add that extra crunch to any meal that will leave you wanting more. 

As previously mentioned, a lot of people will prefer to have finger food for their sides so they can eat easily without having to worry about looking rude or messy.

This makes vegetable skewers a perfect little feature to include in any barbecue, however, they can also be used as a topper or some sort of garnish for a good steak or chicken meal.

For vegetarians, smoked vegetables can be a good substitute for meat when having some sort of pasta dish or rice dish because of the vegetables’ crunchiness and added taste.

With regards to another way to implement these vegetables into a meal, you can always make a vegetable curry with some rice and fries. It’ll fill you up, that’s for sure!

Smoked Vegetables

Jalapeño Poppers

On a similar note, smoked jalapeño poppers are an all time classic when it comes to grilled and smoked side dishes.

The combination of pepper, cheesy goodness, and savory bacon make an unbelievable tasty combination.

The best part? Preparation isn’t hard at all and doesn’t take much time at all. From there, all you have to do is throw your poppers on the cooking grate and let your smoker do the work.

Check out our bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers recipe for more on this incredible side dish.

Smoked Meat Skewers

When it comes to having smoked meats as a side dish, you can always enjoy a bit of smoked beef, pork, and chicken on a skewer.

Skewers are a great way of eating easily without spilling all of the meat juices onto your clothes and allow you to eat without the added stress of making a mess. When a bit of smoked meat is prepared perfectly, it can be even better than the main meal!

These skewers can be any size you want, depending on the size of your appetite and how much meat you have at your disposal.

As previously mentioned, smoked vegetables also make a great skewered food and can be combined with the meat to make a very balanced presentation. You can also add in vegetables like smoked carrots and onions for that extra bit of flavor.

Smoked Mac & Cheese

Out of all the smoked side dish ideas on this list, smoked mac and cheese probably takes the most time and energy.

But, if you’re willing to make some mac and put it on the smoker, you’ll be rewarded with one of the tastiest and widely loved side dishes that can go with your BBQ.

The best part is, you can easily put your pan of mac and cheese inside your smoker right next to your meat – that way it can pick up some smokey flavor while your main course finishes cooking.

Smoked Chicken Bites

Chicken has to be one of the most versatile foods in the world, being used in food dishes all over the globe. In parts of Europe and Asia, people have been known to make a starter or side dish called chicken tikka, where the chicken is accompanied by various vegetables and some sauce.

Smoking this chicken combines the cloudy flavor of the smoker with the sweet and savory tones in the chicken tikka, making this dish something very unique. Add a bit of garnish and it looks great too!

Another way to have smoked chicken bites as a side dish is to accompany them with a dip. Breaded chicken strips work incredibly well with a BBQ dip or glaze, with sesame seeds. Seen in many popular food chains, you could always try and replicate your favorite restaurant sides at home, whilst adding a smoky twist!

On top of this, you could always make smoked chicken wraps. Making them small enough to be able to eat in a single bite is a great way to keep them as a side dish, rather than as the main focusing point of your meal.

This can be combined with smoked vegetables and some sort of spread like hummus or a garlic spread. An interesting combination of flavors, that’s for sure!

Smoked Beef Strips

When it comes to setting up a meal and giving people a taste of what’s to come, having smoked beef strips is the way to go. By having a few strips of succulent beef, you can set the stomach for the meal that’s yet to come.

With regards to how you cook these, the choice is all yours. By making some of these beef strips rare, you can have a softer, more tender set of sides that fall apart in your mouth.

Pairing steak strips or beef strips with a dip of peppercorn sauce or BBQ sauce can be a great way to ensure that your side dish isn’t too dry. Salt and pepper are always welcome too!

Burnt Ends

Brisket burnt ends are essentially delectable little bursts of BBQ. If you’re smoking an entire brisket for a main course, burnt ends are a great side dish choice to elevate the experience.

You can also make burnt ends with the brisket point section, or you could opt for poor man’s burnt ends which utilizes a smoked chuck roast for the bites instead of brisket.

Final Thoughts

Smoking food can be incredibly enjoyable and the list of foods available to you is endless. Whether you prefer the lighter meat of chicken, or the heavier but tender beef and steak, you can find a side dish that suits any occasion.

The best thing about side dishes is that a lot of them are small enough for you to eat with your hands or a small knife and fork.

Pairing some smoked meats with some juicy smoked vegetables is a great way to ensure that you’re getting a balance to settle the stomach before having a great meal. Try some different combinations! The choices are infinite!