Vegan smoked brisket dish for plant-based BBQ guide.

5 min read

Mireya Stracke, Vegetable Food Senior Writer


Cookout enthusiasts, rejoice! The quest for the perfect meat-free smoked brisket ends here. A smoked veggie brisket not only caters to plant-based preferences but also invites a whole new profile of flavors to your barbecue repertoire. Whether youโ€™ve decided to eat less meat or simply love vegetables, this guide is your ticket to creating an unbeatable veggie smoked brisket.

The Rise of Veggie Smoked Brisket: Satisfy Your BBQ Cravings

In a world where plant-based diets are becoming more popular, the demand for unique and satisfying alternatives to traditional meat dishes has skyrocketed. Veggie smoked brisket brings a smoky, savory element to the table, proving that vegetables can indeed become the star of the show.

Why Choose a Veggie Brisket

  • Health Benefits: Vegetables offer a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber with fewer calories.
  • Environmental Impact: Plant-based meals are associated with a lower carbon footprint.
  • Inclusivity: Catering to vegetarians and vegans at a BBQ has never been easier.

Crafting the Perfect Veggie Smoked Brisket

What makes the perfect smoked veggie brisket isnโ€™t just the act of smoking; itโ€™s the combination of the right ingredients, techniques, and dedication to the process. Below, we delve into the crafting secrets that elevate your brisket to legendary status.

Selecting Your Vegetables: The Brisket Base

Choosing the right vegetables is like picking the ideal cut of meat. For a robust and hearty base, look for vegetables that can withstand prolonged cooking times and absorb flavors well.

  • Jackfruit: With its meaty texture, unripe jackfruit is a prime candidate.
  • Mushrooms: Portobellos, in particular, offer a rich umami flavor and satisfying chew.
  • Root Vegetables: Think carrots, beets, and parsnips for their earthy taste.

Marinade Matters: Infusing Bold Flavors

A marinade is essential in achieving that cherished barbecue taste. An effective marinade not only seasons the surface but penetrates to infuse every bite with bold, smoky flavors.

  • Acids: Vinegars and citrus juices help tenderize and flavor your veggies.
  • Fats: Oils aid in transferring fat-soluble flavors and retaining moisture.
  • Spices and Herbs: Smoked paprika, garlic, onion, and thyme bring depth to your marinade.
  • Sweeteners: A hint of maple syrup or brown sugar balances the smokiness.

The Art of Smoking Vegetables

Smoking vegetables is a dance between maintaining the perfect temperature and ensuring just enough exposure to smoke. Hereโ€™s how you can achieve that succulent, smokey allure.

  • Wood Choices: Hickory, oak, or maple add a traditional smoked taste.
  • Temperature: Keep your smoker or grill at a steady 225-250ยฐF for optimal results.
  • Smoke Duration: Unlike meat, vegetables require less time. Aim for 1-3 hours depending on the thickness.
  • Monitoring: Use a reliable thermometer and keep an eye on the veggies to prevent overcooking.

Recipe Time: The Ultimate Veggie Smoked Brisket

Now, letโ€™s get to the heart of the matter: crafting your smoked veggie brisket. Step by step, we will guide you through the process, ensuring a result that is sure to impress even the most die-hard barbecue fans.


  • 2 large cans of young jackfruit in brine
  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (vegan)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 hefty wood chips or chunks (hickory, oak, or maple)

Preparing the Marinade

Combine the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup, minced garlic, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk until all ingredients are blended.

Prepping the Vegetables

  1. Drain and rinse the jackfruit, cut off the core, and shred the flesh to mimic brisket threads.
  2. Clean the mushrooms and slice them into about 1/2-inch thick strips.
  3. Place both in a large dish and pour the marinade over them, ensuring they are well coated.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

The Smoking Process

  1. Preheat your smoker to a steady 225-250ยฐF.
  2. Soak your wood chips if required by your smokerโ€™s instructions.
  3. Place the marinated vegetables in a single layer on the smoker rack.
  4. Smoke for about 1 to 1.5 hours for mushrooms and up to 3 hours for jackfruit, checking periodically.

After the Smoke Clears: Serving Your Veggie Brisket

After removing your deliciously smoked veggies from the smoker, itโ€™s time to serve them up. Pile them high on a platter or create an awe-inspiring sandwich complete with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Perfect Pairings: Serve up a Feast

A veggie smoked brisket is just the beginning. Enhance your barbecue with side dishes that complement its rich and smoky flavor. Consider these classics:

  • Coleslaw: A crispy, creamy contrast to your smoked veggies.
  • Cornbread: Sweet, buttery cornbread to sop up any sauce or juices.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Additional smokiness through grilled corn, peppers, or zucchini.
  • Potato Salad: A staple side that never fails to please.

Mastering the Smoke: Tips and Tricks

Developing skills in smoking vegetables can become an art form. Letโ€™s dive into the nitty-gritty details that can take your brisket from great to sublime.

Consistent Temperature Control

Managing the heat is crucial. Use vents, dampers, or even electronic controls to maintain a steady temperature during the smoke.

Wood Selection

Different woods impart distinct flavors. Match your wood to your preferred taste profile for a custom-blend of smokiness.

Measuring Doneness

Vegetables donโ€™t come with an internal temperature target like meats, but they should be tender and infused with flavor. The exterior should be nicely caramelized but not burnt.

Conclusion: Join the Veggie BBQ Revolution

The days when veggies were just an afterthought at a cookout are long gone. With this smoked veggie brisket recipe, you create a mouthwatering, meat-free centerpiece that could convert even the most dedicated carnivores. Innovative, delicious, and undeniably satisfying, this dish is guaranteed to become the highlight of your next barbecue.

Embrace the change, ignite the smoker, and let the veggie smoked brisket adventure begin!

Mireya Stracke, Vegetable Food Senior Writer
Mireya Stracke

About the Author - Mireya Stracke Mission Statement Mireya Stracke, a Vegetable Food Senior Writer, is dedicated to promoting and