If you’re looking to make smoked garlic on a Traeger grill or pellet smoker, you’re in the right place. And I do mean smoked garlic, not just roasted garlic.
This recipe smokes unwrapped garlic bulbs low and slow before wrapping in foil and cranking the temperature to finish roasting. You get sweet, caramelized garlic cloves with an extra layer of smoky complexity.
How to Make Smoked AND Roasted Garlic
Start by slicing the tops off of garlic bulbs, drizzling with oil, and seasoning with salt and pepper. The recipe calls for six bulbs, but you can make as much smoked garlic as your heart desires.
I recommend using a fine wire rack or mesh grill pan to prevent any slips and slides, but you can see in the photo below that larger bulbs should fit on the grill grates just fine.
You want to smoke the garlic at your grill’s lowest temperature setting to pick up as much smoke flavor as possible without cooking the garlic. We all know that overcooked garlic tastes bitter and is far from the sweet and smoky flavors we’re after.
Wrapping the smoked garlic bulbs in foil and increasing the temperature will finish the roasting process. You’re looking for soft, squeezable bulbs with golden caramelized cloves.
The recipe calls for increasing the temperature on the Traeger to 300ºF, but a wide range of temperatures will get the job done. See the notes about roasting garlic without smoking below for time ranges between 250ºF and 400ºF.
Take note in the photo below how the tops of the cloves will brown a bit more with the added smoke, oil, and seasoning. You can peel some of the bulb’s exterior if needed to make sure your garlic cloves have reached the golden color stage.
Making Traeger Roasted Garlic without Smoking
Simply slice the tops off a bulb of garlic, drizzle olive oil over the top, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Tightly wrap the bulb in foil and pop it on the grill. As for time and temperature, here’s a range I’ve used in other recipes to roast garlic:
- 250ºF for 2 hours
- 325ºF for 60-75 minutes
- 400ºF for 30-40 minutes
As you can see, there’s no right or wrong temperature as long as the garlic is wrapped in foil. I’ve taken the temperature as high as 450ºF for the roasted garlic in my Traeger twice baked potatoes.
What to Make with Smoked Garlic
Use your smoked garlic just like you’d use roasted garlic. Mix it into mashed potatoes, chicken salad, or smoked mac and cheese. Make aioli, spread it on grilled bread, make compound butter for smoked sweet potatoes, blend it into smoked salsa verde, or fold it in with beef and chorizo for Texas shotgun shells. The possibilities are endless.
I’d love to hear what you end up making with yours. Let me know in a comment or recipe review in the recipe card below. I hope you enjoy it!
- 6 Garlic Bulbs
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Preheat your smoker to 165ºF with the lid closed while you prepare the garlic.
- Slice the tops off the garlic bulbs to expose the tops of the individual cloves. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and season each with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place the garlic bulbs directly on the grill grates or on a wire or mesh rack if you're using smaller bulbs at risk of falling through the grates.
- Smoke for 2 hours, using super smoke or a similar function if your grill has it. After 2 hours, tightly wrap the garlic bulbs in foil and increase the grill temperature to 300ºF. Cook for an additional 30-60 minutes until the garlic cloves are golden brown and the bulb gives no resistance when squeezed.
- Let the bulbs cool briefly before removing the cloves. You can squeeze the bulbs from the bottom to easily remove the cloves and create a smoked garlic paste, or you can peel the cloves to preserve their shape (pictured here).
Store smoked garlic in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 to 2 weeks. You can freeze for up to a month. The garlic will stay fresh longer as whole cloves.
I used a Traeger Pro 575 with Signature Blend Pellets for testing. Sweeter woods like apple, cherry, or maple would be great for smoked garlic.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 bulb of garlic
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 45Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 53mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g