Can you bake in a smoker? If you get the temperature right, yes!

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  May 17, 2022

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Most people think of smokers as only being for meat, fish, and the occasional vegetable but did you know that you can also use smokers to bake food?

Smoking food is a great way to add flavor, and it’s a cooking method that more people should experiment with. Who says you can’t do any baking in a smoker?

Can you bake in a smoker? If you get the temperature right, yes!

So, if you’re wondering if you can bake in your smoker:

The answer is yes, you can bake in a smoker and it’s a great way to add some extra flavor to your food. Smokers are often used for barbecuing, but they can also be used to bake food. You just need to adjust the temperature and cooking time to make sure your food comes out perfectly cooked.

So, if you’re looking for a new way to add some flavor to your cooking, consider smoking your next batch of baked goods.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to bake food in a smoker, share my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and include some tips and tricks for getting the best results.

Whether you’re a barbecue master or someone just starting out, you’ll find that smoking your food is an easy and delicious way to add flavor to any dish.

Can I bake in my smoker?

You can bake in a smoker, which is surprising at first thought. You can bake sweet desserts like cookies and pie or savory baked goods like salmon quiche or pizza.

If you’re looking to make simple cakes, rolls, and small desserts, you can skip the oven and use your smoker or smoke first and finish up in the oven.

Place your food in the smoker and heat it to the same temperature you’d use to bake it. To avoid an overpowering smoke flavor, you can skip using smoking wood chips.

Baking in a smoker takes about the same time as baking in an oven.

If you make chocolate chip cookies, it takes about 30 minutes of smoking, not 5 hours like it does to smoke beef brisket.

So, for those wondering “Can you use a smoker as an oven?”

Of course you can. Barbecue enthusiasts frequently repurpose their old food smokers as ovens.

Pizza and baked macaroni can be cooked in a food smoker with a few simple modifications. In comparison to cooking in an oven, the food will taste better.

What are the challenges of baking in the smoker?

The main challenge of baking in the smoker is regulating the temperature.

Most smokers don’t have a built-in thermometer, so you’ll need to use an oven thermometer to check the temperature.

Also, you cook at lower temperatures in the smoker compared to an oven. Some foods can’t be baked in the smoker because the heating element doesn’t provide enough heat.

Another challenge is that smoking can dry out food, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your baked goods and make sure they don’t overcook.

It’s kind of hard to get the same amount of heat as in the oven.

In your kitchen, you easily set the oven’s temperature but here it’s a bit harder because it’s harder to have exact temperature control with a charcoal smoker or pellet grill.

Also, if you use a regular cookie sheet the bottom of the pan might get hotter and overcook the bottom of your treats.

How to turn your smoker into an oven for baking

In order to turn your food smoker into an oven, follow these simple steps:

  • As with preheating an oven, the first step in using a food smoker is lighting a fire. This will aid in heating the cooking chamber. It should be at least as hot as a conventional oven if you want the same results.
  • Minimize the use of wood and wood chips: It’s important to keep an eye on how much wood you’re using. Keep in mind that if you use less wood, your smoker may not be able to produce the necessary heat. You don’t want an oven filled with smoke if you use too much wood or wood chips. Plus, the smoke flavors can become overwhelming.
  • To ensure that the food is cooked in clean smoke, keep the vent open during food smoking. Keep the vent completely open if you’re using your smoker as an oven, so that all of the smoke can be expelled from the chamber. Using this method will ensure that the food is cooked in the residual heat and that it will not have too smoky of a flavor to it.

You can start cooking your food in your oven and then continue cooking in the smoker to finish it off with a nice crust and “bark”.

This works well for foods like baked mac and cheese (recipe here).

Do you use flavored wood chips for baking in the smoker?

It’s up to you and depends on the type of food you bake.

If you smoke baked potatoes, for example, you can add flavored wood chips or pellets like hickory to give a meaty bacony flavor.

But for sweets and desserts like cookies, you can skip wood. In fact, if you bake a chocolate cake, you really don’t need that smokiness.

However, if you want a bit of wood smoke aroma, it’s best to use mild woods for smoking.

These will bring out the flavors in your dish without overpowering it. A good light wood to use is fruit wood like apple or cherry.

What kind of smoker can you bake in?

You might’ve heard that many people bake in their Traeger pellet grill and smoker.

You may add some flavored wood pellets but for sweets, it can give too much smoky flavor which just doesn’t taste as good.

But, you can bake in any smoker. It all depends on the temperature and the food that you’re cooking.

To get started with smoking baked goods, I recommend using a small reverse flow offset smoker or box style smoker.

You don’t need too much space and these models are designed to be easy to use for beginners.

If you don’t mind going with an electric smoker, I highly recommend it too.

A quality electric smoker like a Masterbuilt is easy to use because you simply set the temperature and leave it.

Electric smokers generally offer the best temperature control because you can set the desired temperature and bake a cake with minimal issues along the way.

Also check out my review of the best barbecue smoker electric fans and temperature controllers

What dishes do you use to bake in the smoker?

It’s best to use a heat-safe cooling rack to bake in the smoker, especially if you’re making cookies and cakes.

But if you’re making things like baked beans or you want to bake bread, you can use a baking pan and place it on the grill grates/smoker grates.

It really depends on the recipe and how much heat you need to smoke it.

Do I need to use foil when baking in a smoker?

No, you don’t need to use foil. In fact, using foil can actually trap in too much smoke and make your food taste bitter.

Baked recipes don’t necessarily need to be cooked in aluminum foil pans.

What temperature do you bake at in a smoker?

This all depends on what you’re baking.

For cookies, for example, you would set your smoker to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

And for other small dishes, you can cook at the same temperature as if you were going to bake them in the oven.

Just make sure that you bring the smoker to the temperature it needs to finish cooking your food.

Baking in a smoker requires a clean grill

If you just smoked a big rib rack or fatty fish like salmon, you’re going to have to clean the smoker thoroughly before you bake cookies or brownies.

First, let the grates cool completely, and then use a wire brush to scrape off any grease or food residue.

Then, close all the vents on your smoker so it gets completely cold and clean inside.

That way you can be sure there are no lingering flavors from smoking meat because they might affect your baked goods.

Food debris can accumulate and creosote can form on the grill grates. This can become quite obvious over time if not cleaned properly, and creosote must be removed.

In order to avoid a bad odor penetrating your baked goodies, the grease, and food products that are left behind must be cleaned up.

Even if you don’t notice the smell, it can alter the flavor of your food. Nobody wants smoked salmon flavors in their apple pie.

In general, you want to keep your smoker spotless, but if you’re baking, you really need to clean the grate.

Once you’ve perfected the grate cleaning process, be sure to empty your smoker of any remaining waste. In reality, this step isn’t as difficult as it first appears.

The bottom of your smoker can be easily cleaned with a shop vacuum or even a regular vacuum with a hose.

Your smoker will be ready to go after this procedure.

If you are smoking with an electric smoker, you’d also want to regularly clean the windows in the door

What can you bake in a smoker?

You can bake many sweet desserts or savory dishes just like you would in an oven.

Well, you can’t bake complex desserts like chocolate souffle or meringue in a smoker because the heat and smoke will cause them to collapse.

However, you can bake simple cakes, pies, cookies, and even bread in a smoker.

Here are some recipes to try:

  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Apple pie
  • Cherry pie
  • Blueberry pie
  • Smoked salmon quiche
  • Bacon-wrapped bratwurst
  • Smoked macaroni and cheese
  • Baked potato
  • Baked beans
  • Pizza
  • Mac and cheese
  • Bread

There are endless possibilities for baking in a smoker, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and food combinations.

You may be surprised at how delicious smoked baked goods can be!

When camping, you can try making apple crisp in your Dutch oven above the fire

Smoked chocolate chip cookies recipe

Smoked chocolate chip cookie recipe

Joost Nusselder
For this smoked cookie recipe, you don’t really need to use flavored woods to smoke. You can use mild applewood chips though if you want a bit of that smokiness.
No ratings yet
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat smoker to 300 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto a lightly greased cooling grate and place them inside the smoker. You don’t need to use parchment paper.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and cooked through. Use a probe thermometer to check if the cookies are cooked.
  • Allow your cookies to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

This is the kind of recipe you can easily tweak.
  • If you like nuts, you can smoke some walnuts beforehand and then chop them and add them to the cookie dough. Pecan nuts or hazelnuts are a good option too.
  • Some people also prefer to use raisins. It’s up to you what you want in your cookies.
  • Also, you can use any kind of chocolate chips including dark, semi-sweet, milk chocolate, or white chips.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Still looking for a good thermometer? I’ve reviewed the best BBQ smoker thermometers here (digital & analog)

Smoking vs baking: what’s the difference?

To bake in a smoker may appear to be an impossible task. But baking in a conventional oven or in the smoker is similar.

It may seem strange at first, but this method is nothing new and can be performed with relative ease if the proper recipes are used.

When it comes to sweets, a smoker has a lot more versatility than you might expect. If you give it a chance, it can do wonders.

Is there any difference between cooking something in the oven and smoking it?

In the end, the most important distinction is between what you put in your smoker and the temperature at which you cook it.

Smoking baked goods does not necessitate extensive preparations.

As long as you can get the internal temperature you need to cook your recipes in a convection oven with your smoker, you should have no problem.

The first few times you bake in your smoker, you must pay close attention to how the dishes react to the smoker.

It may take some getting used to. But if you experiment, you can find endless possibilities for smoking your favorite baked goods.

Keep an eye on your dish, adjust the heat as necessary, and allow extra time if it needs to be baked through or crusted.

In the end, you’ll find that your smoker is a powerful tool that serves a variety of purposes.

Baked meat, on the other hand, doesn’t take as long as slow-smoked meat. Meat, on the other hand, requires a lot more time and effort to prepare.

Your double chocolate cake will not take eight hours from start to finish in a smoker.

If you were to cook it in a conventional oven at home, the cooking time should be roughly the same. As a result, your cake takes less time to cook than meat in a smoker.

Tips for baking in a smoker

  • Make sure to choose the right wood chips or pellets. For sweet baked goods, it’s best to skip using smoking wood chips and opt for just regular wood pellets instead.
  • Start with simple foods like cookies, brownies, and cake so that you can get used to how your smoker works.
  • Baked goods can be made in any smoker, but electric smokers are the easiest to use because you simply set the temperature and leave it.
  • If you’re baking in a pellet grill or smoker, you may want to try using flavored wood pellets for added flavor to salty foods like baked beans or baked potatoes which taste good with a smoky flavor.
  • To avoid an overpowering smoky flavor, try not to leave your food in the smoker for too long. Just keep an eye on it and remove it once it’s cooked all the way through. Always check the internal temperature of the food to ensure it’s safe to eat.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of smoke flavors and cooking methods. You may be surprised at how delicious smoked baked goods can be!

FAQs

Can you bake bread in a smoker?

Yes, you can bake bread in a smoker. The smoky flavor that is imparted by the smoke from the burning wood adds a unique depth of flavor to your baked goods.

To successfully bake bread in a smoker, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your smoker according to the instructions for your particular model.
  2. Place your baking pan or stone on the smoker grates and close the lid.
  3. Bake your bread according to your recipe.
  4. Enjoy the unique flavor of your smoked bread!

Can you bake cakes in a smoker?

Yes, you can bake cakes in a smoker. In most cases, it will work fine but be aware that you can’t use the same cooking time as for a large smoked brisket, for example.

Therefore, you may need to experiment with the correct cooking time for your cakes in a smoker.

To bake cakes in a smoker, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your smoker according to the instructions for your particular model.
  2. Place your baking pan or cake tin on the grates of the smoker and close the lid.
  3. Bake your cake according to your recipe.
  4. Allow the cake to cool slightly before serving.
  5. Enjoy the unique flavor of your smoked cake!

Keep in mind that baking cakes in a smoker will impart a smoky flavor to your cake, so if you don’t want your cake to taste too smoky, you should not use wood chips.

Can you use an electric smoker as an oven?

Yes, an electric smoker is the best for baking because it has its own heating element that can easily be adjusted to the right temperature.

However, it may take a little bit of experimentation to get the right cooking time for your baked goods.

To use an electric smoker as an oven, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your electric smoker according to the instructions for your particular model.
  2. Place your baking pan, cooling racks, or cake tin on the grates of the smoker and close the lid.
  3. Bake your cake according to your recipe.

As with any baking, the cooking time will vary depending on the recipe, so be sure to check on your food regularly.

Can I bake in a Traeger?

Traeger pellet grills and smokers are excellent for baking foods like cookies, cakes, macaroni, and pizza.

However, you will need to experiment with the cooking time and temperature of your particular Traeger model in order to get the best results.

The Traeger works like a convection oven so you should get similar tasty results.

What do smoked cookies taste like?

Smoked cookies can have a smoky, savory flavor that is quite different from your typical sweet cookie.

Some people may find the taste of smoked cookies to be unusual or even off-putting at first, but many people actually enjoy the unique flavor and texture that comes from using a smoker for baking.

Takeaway

You can use your smoker as an oven and use baking pans or cooling grills to cook some of your favorite baked goods.

You no longer have to stick to baking in an oven and you can smoke more than just brisket or vegetables.

The key to good baking in a smoker is choosing the right type of wood chips or pellets (if needed) for your food, keeping an eye on the internal temperature, and experimenting with different flavors and cooking styles.

So don’t be afraid to try out some smoked baked goods-you may just find your new favorite treat!

Next, read my round-up of the best ways to smoke fruit (yes, fruit!) plus lots of recipe ideas

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.