Throw Your Green Beans On The Smoker And Thank Us Later

Seasoned green beans on plate
Seasoned green beans on plate - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

One of the main benefits of cooking green beans is that their mild flavor makes them a natural accompaniment to any richly flavored main dish. While many people enjoy their inherently subtle taste, that understatedness is also why they're the perfect canvas for culinary experimentation. There are lots of different ways to upgrade the versatile vegetable, which is probably why green beans in a bag are having a moment on Tiktok. To transform them into a particularly delicious and complex side dish, try tossing them on your smoker.

If you smoke your green beans just right, they'll have a savory, campfire-like flavor with a tender yet lightly snappy texture. You can also season them in ways that pair especially well with their smokiness. Using a smoker to cook green beans is a simple, fun, and creative way to approach the staple vegetable. By imbuing them with fiery, woodsy notes, the typically subdued vegetables will punch way above their weight.

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

Tips For Smoking Green Beans

Seasoned green beans in grill basket
Seasoned green beans in grill basket - BluesBBQNY/X, formerly Twitter

There are loads of green bean cooking tips you should know, but a particularly handy one when throwing fresh beans on the smoker is to blanch them first. Blanching is the process of boiling the veggies to soften them slightly before shocking them in ice water. (For snappier beans, leave them unblanched.)

Seasoning before cooking is also beneficial since the smoke will help lock in those flavors (including olive oil and any other fat with a decent smoke point). Simple additions like red pepper flakes and garlic powder can go a long way, but you're free to be as innovative as you like. When it comes to wood chips, you have several options depending on your preferences. Fruit tree woods like applewood and cherrywood are subtler; if you favor a more intense smokiness, opt for hickory or pecan wood.

When you're ready to put your green beans on the smoker, you'll want to reach for a perforated grill basket to allow the smoky air to circulate efficiently. Cooking low and slow (as slow as four hours and as low as 225 degrees Fahrenheit) is an option, or you can increase the intensity to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which only requires around 20 minutes to a half hour. If you prefer a softer bean, simply let them sit in the smoker a bit longer or trade the grill basket for an oven-safe skillet, casserole dish, or pot and cover the beans in your favorite broth.

More Ways To Give Smoky Green Beans A Boost

Green beans in wooden dish
Green beans in wooden dish - from my point of view/Shutterstock

While fresh green beans are great for smoking, the canned kind take just as well to the cooking technique. Regardless of whether they're canned or snapped right off the vine, there are a number of ways to amp up the flavor of smoked green beans and even more depth to your veggies.

Brown sugar or butter (or both) will accentuate the beans' sweetness, while a touch of apple cider vinegar in the bottom of the pan will layer on a sugary sourness. Or, to really enrich the dish, try different porky add-ins. Mix uncooked bacon into a pot of green beans before they hit the smoker. As everything cooks together, the cured pork will imbue the beans with a profound meatiness, not to mention extra smokiness. Similarly, you could add smoked ham hocks or even leftover pulled pork. Smoked poultry and beef products are also fair game.

For an even more layered smoked green bean dish, start with your favorite easy green bean casserole recipe and improve it with a few extra favorite ingredients (such as cheese and onions). Load it all into a skillet for a profoundly wood-fired family-style side dish. With a smoker and some green beans, there's plenty to be thankful for.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.