This recipe will teach you how to make perfectly smoked sweet potatoes on a Traeger grill along with a smoky chile and roasted garlic compound butter for serving. If you’re looking for a side dish to serve with reverse seared steaks or slow smoked proteins, you’re in the right place. It doesn’t get much better than baked sweet potatoes.
How to Make Smoked Sweet Potatoes on a Traeger
You want to choose a temperature that’s low enough to give the sweet potatoes time to pick up smoke but high enough to cook through in a reasonable timeframe.
I’ve found 250ºF is the sweet spot for eight ounce sweet potatoes. An eight ounce potato should reach an internal temperature of 205ºF in about two and a half to three hours at 250ºF on a Traeger grill.
I like to coat my sweet potatoes in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper after scrubbing them clean and drying. This way you can eat the whole potato if that’s your style. I mean, what’s the point of smoking sweet potatoes if you’re not eating the potato skins?
Best pellets for sweet potatoes?
Most people recommend woods like pecan, maple, or apple for sweet potatoes, but I think hickory is my personal favorite. It really packs the smoky flavor into a shorter cook.
Should I poke holes in my sweet potatoes before smoking?
While I’ve never had a potato explode from a lack of ventilation, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Poking a few holes around your potatoes with a fork will allow steam to escape and prevent any potato bombs from going off in your smoker.
Internal Temperature of Smoked Sweet Potatoes
Speaking of forks, you can tell your smoked sweet potatoes are ready to go when they’re easily pierced with a fork. Though I’m sure as a pit master, you have a food thermometer around to check the internal temperature.
Some sweet science occurs to sweet potatoes as they roast. According to America’s Test Kitchen, holding sweet potatoes at a temperature range of 200ºF to 212ºF for an hour makes the creamiest, sweetest sweet potatoes. Similar to big chunks of meat, some gelatinization occurs in this temperature range. Who knew?
A takeaway: If you have time, letting your sweet potatoes hang out on the smoker a bit longer once they come to temperature will create ultra soft and creamy smoked sweet potatoes. It’s also a good idea to tent the finished potatoes with foil and let them rest briefly before serving. Carryover cooking counts!
How to Make Traeger Roasted Garlic Compound Butter
Shifting gears, let’s talk about an easy sweet potato pairing you can make on the grill at the same time.
Everyone typically serves sweet potatoes with sweet fixin’s like maple syrup, cinnamon, brown sugar, or marshmallows. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’ve included an option for a spicy roasted garlic compound butter.
Roasted garlic on the Traeger is one of my favorite “hacks” to add big flavors to other dishes. You can throw it on the grill at a wide range of temperatures and mix it into everything from double smoked potatoes to smoked chili.
Just remove the top from a bulb of garlic to expose all the cloves, drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and tightly wrap in aluminum foil. Pop it on the smoker until the bulb has plenty of give when squeezed and the cloves are a golden caramelized color.
In this recipe, the garlic should be roasted about an hour before the sweet potatoes are finished cooking. That gives you plenty of time to mix with butter, chile flakes, and dried or fresh herbs to make a quick compound butter. It’s perfect for serving inside your baked sweet potatoes, over steaks, or on grilled bread.
What to Serve with Traeger Sweet Potatoes
I always try to leave you with a few recipes and potential pairings that cook at the same temperature. Since these potatoes cook at 250ºF, that’s a pretty common temperature for most big proteins like smoked chuck roast or even brisket style tri tip.
Just throw your potatoes on near the end of your big cooks, and you’ll be ready to rock!
You can also make baked sweet potatoes on the grill alongside something like Traeger’s reverse seared ribeyes. Cook them low and slow with the ribeyes and leave them on the grill as you crank the temperature up to sear the steaks. The increased temperature should be plenty hot to finish cooking the potatoes.
Update: Check out my ribeyes with sweet potatoes and grilled broccolini.
All right, let me know if you have any questions about the recipe card below in the comments. And if you make these Traeger sweet potatoes and love ’em, I always appreciate recipe reviews!
- 8 Sweet Potatoes (about 8 oz each)*
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
For the Roasted Garlic Butter
- 1 bulb Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
- 2 sticks Cold Unsalted Butter
- 1 teaspoon Chile Flakes (I used a blend of chipotle, ancho, and habanero)
- 1 teaspoon Ranch Seasoning (or dried herbs)
- Preheat your smoker to 250ºF with the lid closed.
- Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Use a fork to poke holes around the potatoes before rubbing with olive oil and seasoning all over with salt and pepper.
- Place the sweet potatoes directly on the grill grates. Cook for 2.5 to 3 hours until the potatoes are fork tender or reach an internal temperature of 205ºF at their thickest point. Tent with foil and rest briefly before serving.
Making the Butter
- To make the roasted garlic, slice the top off of the bulb of garlic. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the exposed cloves and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Tightly wrap in aluminum foil and place on the grill alongside the sweet potatoes.
- Remove the garlic from the grill around the 2-hour mark once it's soft to the touch and the cloves are golden.
- To make the compound butter, remove the roasted garlic cloves from the bulb and place in a food processor with the butter, chile flakes, and ranch seasoning. Pulse until smooth.
- Transfer to plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll into a log. Tightly wrap and refrigerate while the potatoes finish cooking. Slice into rounds to serve inside the sweet potatoes.
*If you're using larger sweet potatoes, you'll need to extend the cook time, increase the temperature on the grill after a couple hours (400ºF to 450ºF), or wrap the potatoes in foil to finish the cook.
You can make proper smoked garlic for the butter by starting the garlic unwrapped on the smoker at 165ºF for a couple hours before wrapping to finish roasting. See my smoked garlic recipe for tips on making it in bulk, storing, and ways to use it.
Nutrition facts are for sweet potatoes only, no added butter.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 sweet potato
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 13gCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 6gProtein: 3g