Barbecued Cabbage Recipe

Barbecued Cabbage Recipe Courtesy of How to Grill by Steven Raichlen


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 4 slices bacon (or 8 slices if you love bacon like I do!), cut crosswise into ¼" slivers
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  • ¼ cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (we used Wicked Gourmet rib and chicken sauce and it was yummy!)
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups of wood chips soaked in cold water, then drained


Core the cabbage by angling your knife about 3" down toward the center and cut in a circle that is about 3" in diameter. The piece removed should look like a cone.

Prop the cabbage upright on an aluminum foil ring like the one above. If you do an aluminum foil ring, make sure it is very sturdy or you will have a 'wardrobe malfunction' like I did where the cabbage tipped over and had to quickly be replaced with an onion soup bowl... Even easier get one of Steven Raichlen's Stainless Steel Ring Stands.

Melt 1 tbsp of the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and onion and cook until just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Drain the bacon and onion in a strainer over a bowl and reserve the drippings.

Stir the barbecue sauce into the butter/bacon mixture and dice the remaining butter.

Place the bacon and onion mixture in the cavity and top with the diced butter.

Using a basting brush, paint the outside of the cabbage with bacon drippings.

Season the cabbage with salt and pepper. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in a smoker box or in a foil pouch and preheat until you see smoke.

When ready to cook, place the cabbage on its ring away from the direct heat. If using a charcoal grill, toss all the wood chips on the coals. Cover the grill.

Grill the cabbage until very tender (when done, it will be easy to pierce with a skewer), 1 to 1 ½ hours. To serve, peel off any dried-out or charred outside leaves and discard. Cut the cabbage into wedges and serve. This recipe is just about guaranteed to please. The cabbage is an able vehicle for the bacon and butter.


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