This smoked cauliflower rubbed with a flavorful garlic butter rub and fresh parmesan is SO incredibly delicious, it has become my absolute favorite way to cook cauliflower! Smoky, garlicky with the most perfect tender texture! If you own a smoker you must try this recipe!
Why This Recipe Works
- This smoked cauliflower is SO delicious I kid you not! The smokiness flavor is so unique and incredible! The cauliflower has a mouthwatering garlic butter rub and is topped with freshly grated parmesan and parsley. I tested the cooking process multiple times to achieve the ideal soft texture but still with a perfect bite consistency.
- It's easy to make! It does require a couple steps, but the cauliflower stays whole, no chopping needed, no mess!
- Everyone will love it! Kids, adults, this is such a great way to cook cauliflower and add a vegetable to your menu for your next gathering or barbecue.
How to Make Smoked Cauliflower
- First you'll put together the garlic butter by mixing softened butter, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, and onion powder. Let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes, or freezer for 10 minutes to harden.
- Then trim down the cauliflower's stalks and leaves down a bit.
- Preheat the smoker set on high, about 400 to 450° Fahrenheit. Every smoker is different so check temperature setting.
- Bring the water and broth to a boil, add the whole vegetable to blanch it for 10 minutes. Carefully drain, and place on a few paper towels to cool.
- Then you'll cut the harden butter in pieces, rub the butter all over the cauliflower, making sure you get some in all the nooks and crannies.
- Place the seasoned cauliflower on foil and add it to your hot smoker. I use a Traeger smoker which will be set on high for this recipe. It'll take about 30 minutes, and your perfectly smoked cauliflower will be ready to be devoured!
Put together the garlic butter, then place in fridge or freezer to harden.
Blanch cauliflower for 10 minutes by adding to to boiling water and broth.
Rub garlic butter all over, adding pieces in nooks and crannies.
Place on hot smoker and smoke for 30 minutes. Remove when ready and sprinkle with parmesan.
More Delicious Recipes to Try
- Mediterranean Cucumber Salad
- Grilled Vegetable Medley
- Beet and Cucumber Salad with Goat Cheese
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Parmesan
Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
- I highly recommend blanching the cauliflower in stock or broth in addition to water. It'll add a lot of flavor. I used chicken broth but you can absolutely use vegetable broth to keep this recipe vegetarian.
- Be careful not to trim the cauliflower stalk and leaves too too much as you want the cauliflower to stay whole.
- Use a good quality fresh Parmigiano Reggiano if possible. I buy a big block I find at Costco and it lasts for months in the fridge and I love it so much! When freshly grated, it's very thin and melts beautifully, adding a wonderful saltiness to the dish!
- What if i want to try this recipe but I don't have a smoker? This recipe is specifically designed for a smoker BUT you can absolutely do the same process in the oven. It won't have that flavor from the smoker but it'll still be delicious. Add a little smoked paprika, about 1 teaspoon, to the butter mix to add some smokiness. Bake in the oven at about 415 degrees Fahrenheit after blanching and rubbing with the butter mix for 25-30 minutes or until fully cooked and lightly golden brown.
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free as well as keto friendly and can be Whole30 compatible by simply swapping the butter with ghee.
- small bowl
- large pot
- strainer spatula
- paper towels
- 1 cauliflower large, whole
- 1 quart broth chicken or vegetable
- 3-4 quarts water or until pot is ⅔ full *see notes
- Put together garlic butter. In bowl add softened butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder and mix well. Place in freezer for 10 minutes to harden a bit (or fridge for 20 minutes).
- Preheat smoker on high or about 450° Fahrenheit.
- Trim leaves and some of stalk of cauliflower, but keep some stalk at bottom cut flat so cauliflower can sit up flat.
- In large pot, add broth and water and bring to boil. Carefully add whole cauliflower and cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove cauliflower with strainer spatula and place on cutting board lined with paper towels, and let cool for a few minutes.
- Cut butter in strips and start sticking them in between cauliflower florets that opened up. Rub rest of butter all over top.
- Place cauliflower on foil or on baking pan, then add to smoker. Cook for 30 minutes, cover closed. When ready and cauliflower is tender when poked with fork, carefully remove from smoker, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and fresh parsley. Enjoy!
- The amount of water to be added is going to depend on the size of the pot. A good visual would be to fill the pot to about ⅔rd full before adding the cauliflower which should be covered in liquid but it'll most likely float a bit and that's normal.
- I highly recommend using good quality fresh Parmigiano Reggiano if possible.
- The servings size will depends on the size of the cauliflower which could be 2 to 4 servings.