Can you smoke fruit? | Yes, here’s how [+lots of recipes!]

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  April 26, 2022

Always the latest smoking tips & tricks?

Subscribe to THE ESSENTIAL newsletter for aspiring pitmasters

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

When you think of popular smoked foods, I think you think of brisket and sausage rather than fruit.

Smoked fruit may seem like a crazy idea at first. But in actual fact, there are many different benefits to your health, and of course, your taste buds to using this technique.

Can you smoke fruit? | Yes, here's how [+lots of recipes!]

Smoking fruit can be used for preserving it so it can last longer. Additionally, it can also add a unique flavor that will add a new dimension to the fruits you serve this summer.

This is perhaps why smoked fruit is becoming such a popular foodie trend!

Read on to learn more about smoking fruit and the many benefits of this ancient technique.

In this post we'll cover:

A quick history lesson on smoking fruit

Smoked fruit is not just a foodie trend. It’s been practiced since ancient times and has many uses.

Ancient cultures actually used smoking fruit as a way to preserve food. This is because the smoke from the fire would help keep away insects and other pests.

How to buy a bbq smoker video
How to buy a bbq smoker video

The heat from the smoke would also help to seal the freshness of the fruit.

This method was actually quite effective and helped to keep food fresh and nutritious for long periods of time.

What are the benefits of smoking fruit?

As weird as it may sound, smoking fruit actually has many culinary uses and benefits.

Here are a few:

Smoking can help to preserve fruit

Smoking helps to keep fruit fresher for longer. This is because the process of smoking seals in the fruit’s natural sugars and flavors.

When smoking fruit, you’re essentially drying out the water content in the fruit. This makes it less susceptible to bacteria and mold growth.

The smoke from the wood chips actually creates a barrier around the fruit that prevents oxygen and bacteria from getting in.

So, if you’re looking for a way to extend the shelf life of your fruit, then smoking is a great option.

Smoking fruit can add a unique smoky flavor

Smoking fruit can add a unique smoky flavor that can’t be replicated with any other cooking technique. This is because the smoke penetrates the fruit.

It also caramelizes the sugars on the surface of the fruit, creating a delicious flavor.

Some common smoking options include cherries, strawberries, and apples. However, you can smoke just about any fruit–though some are better than others!

Did you know that when you smoke fruit it tastes sweeter? The heat makes the fruit taste amazing!

Smoking fruit is a healthy cooking method

As it doesn’t require the use of any oils or fats, smoking fruit is actually a relatively healthy cooking method.

This is because when you smoke fruit, you’re not exposed to the harmful chemicals that are released when fat or oil is burned.

So not only is smoking fruit healthy, but it’s also a great way to extend the shelf life of your favorite fruits!

Are there any health benefits to smoking fruit?

If you’re looking for a way to improve your overall health and wellbeing, smoking fruit is a great place to start.

Smoked fruit is high in nutrition

Smoking fruit actually helps to preserve the nutritional value of the fruit.

This is because the process of smoking fruit seals in the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

For those unaware of what an antioxidant is, they’re important nutrients that help to protect the body against damage from free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage cells in the body).

This means that you’re getting all of the health benefits of the fruit, without having to worry about them going bad.

Smoked fruit is high in dietary fiber

Smoking fruit also increases the dietary fiber content. Fiber is an important nutrient that helps to keep you regular and can also lower cholesterol levels.

Fiber is also known to promote a healthy gut, which is essential for overall health and wellbeing.

So if you’re looking for a way to boost your fiber intake, smoking fruit is a great option.

Do you need to prepare fruit before smoking?

Most fruit can be smoked without any preparation. However, some fruits, such as apples and pears, benefit from a little bit of prep work.

To prepare apples and pears for smoking, simply slice them in half and remove the seeds. Then, soak the fruit in a mixture of water and vinegar for 30 minutes.

This will help to remove any unwanted waxes or pesticides that may be on the surface of the fruit.

After 30 minutes, drain the fruit and pat it dry with a paper towel. Then, you’re ready to smoke!

Peaches, apricots, and plums can also be prepared in this way. However, you don’t need to soak them for as long – 10 minutes should suffice.

You can also blanch the fruit first to help remove the skin. To do this, simply place the fruit in a pan of boiling water for 30 seconds. Then, transfer it to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

After a few minutes, the skin should peel right off.

Citrus fruits, such as lemons and oranges, don’t need to be soaked at all. Simply slice them in half and remove the seeds before smoking.

Do you need to cut it into pieces, slices, or wedges?

No, you don’t need to cut the fruit into pieces before smoking it.

However, if you’re smoking a large piece of fruit, such as a melon, it’s a good idea to slice it into smaller pieces so that it will smoke evenly.

So, while you don’t need to cut fruit into uniform pieces, it just looks nice and more aesthetically pleasing when serving.

How big can the pieces be?

The pieces can be any size you like. Just keep in mind that if the pieces are too large, they may not smoke evenly.

Can you marinate the fruit before smoking?

Yes! If you’re looking to add even more flavor to your smoked fruit, you can marinate it before smoking.

Simply soak the fruit in your desired marinade for 30 minutes to an hour. Then, drain the fruit and pat it dry with a paper towel before smoking.

Some great marinades for smoked fruit include:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves

How do you smoke fruit for the best flavor?

To smoke fruit, you will need a smoker, wood chips, and the fruit that you want to smoke. The whole process is similar to making smoked vegetables.

First, soak the wood chips in water for 30 minutes. The soaked wood chips will give the fruit more flavor.

Once the wood chips are soaked, drain them and add them to the smoker.

Then, turn on the smoker and set it to the desired temperature. We recommend smoking fruit at a temperature between 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Be sure the smoker temperature is at least 225 degrees F before placing the fruit on the rack.

Then, place the fruit on the racks in the smoker.

After you add the fruit to the smoker, let it smoke for 2-4 hours.

The longer the fruit smokes, the more intense the flavor will be. Also, the longer you smoke the more dehydrated the fruit becomes.

Once the fruit is done smoking, remove it from the smoker and allow it to cool.

The smoking process will take about 2 hours for most fruits.

Is the process the same for all fruits?

No, the process is not the same for all fruits. Each fruit has a different smoking time. For example, apples will take a shorter time to smoke than pears.

When you smoke peaches, nectarines, or apricots, you need to blanch them first. Blanching is when you briefly submerge the fruit in boiling water and then immediately place it in ice water.

This process helps to loosen the skin of the fruit so that the smoke can penetrate more easily.

If you’re smoking strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries, there’s no need to blanch them.

The type of wood you use will also affect the flavor of the smoked fruit. Different woods will impart different flavors to the fruit.

So if you’re looking for a specific flavor, you’ll need to experiment with different woods and smoking times.

How do you know when the fruit is fully smoked and ready to take out of the smoker?

The best way to tell if the fruit is fully smoked is by using a food thermometer. The internal temperature of the fruit should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can also tell if the fruit is fully smoked by its appearance. The skin of the fruit should be dry and slightly browned.

If you’re not sure if the fruit is fully smoked, it’s better to err on the side of caution and smoke it for a longer period of time.

When smoking fruit, it’s important to use a food thermometer to ensure that the fruit is cooked all the way through.

If the fruit is not fully smoked, it will lack that rich smokey flavor.

Does it matter what kind of smoker you use?

Yes, it does matter what kind of smoker you use. We recommend using an electric smoker for smoking fruit.

This is because electric smokers are more consistent in temperature, which is important when smoking fruit.

If you’re using a charcoal smoker, be sure to add more wood chips every 30 minutes to maintain the temperature.

You can also use a charcoal grill or gas grill to smoke fruit but you’ll need to purchase a smoke box.

A smokebox is a small metal container with holes in the bottom and sides.

You’ll place wood chips in the bottom of the smokebox and then place it on top of the grill grates.

This will allow the wood smoke to flavor the fruit without setting the fruit directly on the grates.

How do you store smoked fruit?

Once the fruit is cooled, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

You can also freeze smoked fruit for up to 6 months. Just be sure to thaw it before serving.

Just a heads up though, smoked fruit that’s been sitting in the freezer for a few days won’t be as flavorful as freshly smoked fruit because it loses some of the smoky aromas.

Can you dehydrate fruit in a smoker?

Short answer: yes you can!

The process of smoking fruit actually dehydrates the fruit as it removes the water content.

This makes the fruit less susceptible to bacteria and mold growth, as well as extends its shelf life.

So if you’re looking for a way to dehydrate fruit, smoking is a great option. Plus, it also adds a unique smoky flavor that you can’t get from any other cooking method.

To dehydrate food in your smoker, simply follow the same process as you would for smoking fruit. The only difference is that you will need to smoke the fruit for a longer period of time, about 4-6 hours.

The longer you smoke fruit, the more dehydrated and shriveled it becomes.

Now your smoked fruit is ready to enjoy!

What are the best fruits to smoke?

Many different fruits can be smoked. Some of the best and most popular options include:

  • pineapple
  • apples
  • pears
  • plums
  • apricots
  • nectarines
  • melons
  • cherries
  • strawberries
  • avocado
  • squash/pumpkin
  • seedless grapes
  • mango
  • jackfruit
  • oranges

Jackfruit is the delicious fruit smoking option that’s quickly growing in popularity! It seems like everyone is smoking jackfruit these days – that’s why I have a recipe for you down below.

The key is to experiment and find the fruits that you like the best, so don’t be afraid to try something new!

Fruits to avoid smoking

Some fruit doesn’t taste good when smoked or just becomes a mushy mess and tastes bland.

Here is the fruit to avoid smoking:

  • bananas (become too dry)
  • watermelon (gets way too mushy and watery)
  • grapefruit (it just doesn’t taste as good as oranges)

What are some recommended fruit smoking tips?

While pretty straightforward in most cases, there are a few tips and tips that I’ve found to be particularly helpful when smoking fruit.

Here are a few to help ensure that your smoking experience goes off without a hitch:

  • Choose ripe, but not overripe, fruit. This will help to ensure that your fruit doesn’t turn mushy during the smoking process.
  • Soak your wood chips in water for 30 minutes before adding them to the smoker. This will help to prevent them from burning too quickly.
  • Place the fruit on the racks in the smoker, close the door, and allow the fruit to smoke for 2 hours.
  • Remove the smoked fruit from the smoker and let it cool on a wire rack.
  • Once cooled, sit back and enjoy your fruit and the irresistible smoke fruit flavor!

Also check out the top 4 best wood for smoking almonds (+ 5 to avoid)

Does cold smoking work for fruit?

Yes, cold smoking can work for fruit as well. The process is the same as above, but you’ll need to smoke your fruit for a longer period of time (4-6 hours) to get the proper smoke flavor.

Cold smoking fruit will also result in a stronger smoky flavor, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to cold smoke your fruit.

Smoked jackfruit recipe

Savory smoked jackfruit recipe

Joost Nusselder
Jackfruit has such a delicious and fresh taste, but combine it with drying and the smoky taste and it will be irrisitable!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 jackfruit sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup wood chips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes.
  • Add wood chips to your smoker and preheat to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl, mix jackfruit strips, olive oil, red onion, bell peppers, jalapeño pepper, garlic, cumin powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano, and salt.
  • Transfer the mixture to the smoker and smoke for 2 hours.
  • In a small saucepan, mix tomato sauce and water.
  • Remove the smoked jackfruit from the smoker and let cool for 10 minutes before adding it to the tomato sauce mixture.
  • Serve on whole-wheat buns or tortillas and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What are some more good smoked fruit recipes?

After smoking your chosen fruits, you’ll likely be on the lookout for some good recipes to use them in.

Here are some great sweet and savory options you can try. They work as great additions to any upcoming BBQs, date nights, or even indulgent dinners-for-one.

Smoked apple pie recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
  • 6 cups of thinly sliced granny smith apples
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of wood chips

Instructions:

  1. Soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. In a large bowl, mix apples, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and lemon juice.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the smoker and smoke for 2 hours.
  5. Remove the smoked apple pie from the smoker and let cool.
  6. Add to your pie crust, serve and enjoy!

Smoked fruit salad recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of smoked fruit (try apples, pears, plums, apricots, or nectarines)
  • 1/2 cup of diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup of diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the smoked fruit, red onion, green bell pepper, celery, parsley, and basil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the white vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, and black pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss everything together.

Serve on its own for a tasty, flavor-packed lunch, or as a side dish at BBQs this summer.

Delicious smoked pizza recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite pizza dough or base
  • 1 cup of smoked fruit (try adding some granny smiths, or some other fruits like pears, plums, apricots, or nectarines)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of allspice

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roll out your pizza dough (or base if you’ve used one) and place it on a baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
  4. Spread the smoked fruit over the pizza dough or base.
  5. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top.
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the crust or base is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
  7. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Smoked papaya salsa recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of smoked papaya, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the smoked papaya, red onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, sugar, and lime juice.
  2. Stir everything together until it’s well combined.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so the flavors can meld together.
  4. Serve with chips, on tacos with some smoked, shredded meat like pulled pork, or just eat it straight up with a spoon!

Smoked pineapple chutney recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of smoked pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the smoked pineapple, red onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, sugar, and lime juice.
  2. Stir everything together until it’s well combined.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so release all of its smoky flavor into your dish.
  4. Serve with meat, like pork shoulder, chicken, or fish. It also pairs well with crackers or bread as an appetizer.

Smoked apple chutney recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of smoked apples, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the smoked apples, red onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, sugar, and lime juice.
  2. Stir everything together until it’s well combined.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so the flavors can meld together.
  4. Serve.

Smoked apple chutney works well with most meat options including smoked pork, chicken, and fish. Or serve with crackers or bread as a tasty appetizer.

Smoked pineapple salsa

This salsa is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, and it’s great for chips, tacos, or just eating straight up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of smoked pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the smoked pineapple, red onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, sugar, and lime juice.
  2. Stir everything together until it’s well combined.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so the flavors can meld together.
  4. Serve with chips, on tacos, or just enjoy by itself!

Smoked peach and prosciutto pizza recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 store-bought pizza crust
  • 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup of smoked peaches, diced
  • 4 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread the BBQ sauce on the pizza crust.
  3. Top with smoked peaches, prosciutto, basil, thinly sliced meat, and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  5. Slice and serve!

Smoked banana salsa recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of smoked bananas, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lime or lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the smoked bananas, red onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, sugar, and lime juice.
  2. Stir everything together until it’s well combined.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so the flavors can meld together.
  4. Serve with chips, on tacos, or just enjoy by itself!

What dishes can I add smoked fruit to? Meal ideas

We understand you won’t always have time on your side after smoking and storing your fruit.

So we’ve come up with a few more ideas that will add color and that oh-so-tasty smoke flavor to your everyday snacks and meals

Add it to a salad for an extra zing of flavor

Smoked fruit can add a delicious zing of smoke flavor to your salads.

Consider adding some smoked peach or apricot to a greens salad with goat cheese and roasted nuts for a special treat. Or even add some blue cheese if you’re feeling adventurous!

The smokey sweetness will complement the tartness of the cheese and the crunchiness of the nuts perfectly.

You can also serve the smoked fruit in a salad with smoked vegetables like smoked asparagus or smoked Brussel sprouts.

Add it to your morning oatmeal

Smoke some fruit and add it to your morning oatmeal for a delicious breakfast.

The sweet and smoke flavor will give your oatmeal a delicious boost of flavor that you’re sure to love. Plus, you’ll be getting a healthy dose of those antioxidants we spoke about earlier. Letting you start your day off right.

Add it to a smoothie

Smoked fruit can also be added to smoothies for a tasty and healthy treat. The sweet and smoky flavors will add a delicious boost of flavor to your smoothie.

Again, you’ll be packing your drink full of the antioxidants your body needs, helping protect it from free radicals at the same time.

Try making a smoked stone fruit jam

Smoked stone fruit jam is a delicious and easy way to add smoky flavor to your favorite foods.

Simply take your favorite stone fruit, smoke it using the method above, and then cook it down into a jam. It’s that easy!

Top your pizza with smoked fruit

Finally, you can also top your pizza with smoked fruit for a unique and delicious twist.

The sweetness of the fruit will complement the savory flavors of the pizza perfectly. Plus, it’ll add a beautiful pop of color to your pie.

Smoked pineapple is a great one to start with here, it will give pizza Hawaii a completely new dimension of flavor!

But smoked peaches or apples combined with a delightful cheese like camembert will go great on a pizza.

Especially if you also smoke the cheese!

Final thoughts

Smoking fruit is a great way to preserve the fruits for longer periods of time as well as add flavor. It’s also great for making sure the pitmaster gets all the nutrients from fruits too!

This cooking method has been used for centuries and continues to be a popular choice because of its many practical uses and benefits.

As shown in our blog post, you can use smoked fruit to cook with, on top of salads, or in smoothies with other foods.

If you don’t have much time in your day after smoking and storing your fruit then consider adding it to salads, oatmeal, or smoothies.

So go ahead and give it a try! Who knows, you may just find your new favorite recipe.

For more adventures with your smoker, why not check out some of these great electric smoker cookbooks?

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.