Episode 108: Hog Wild

Chorizo Barbecued Cabbage

Barbecued Cabbage

This Chorizo Barbecued Cabbage recipe takes a whole small cabbage and stuffs it with a flavorful mixture of browned chorizo sausage, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, and cheese. The cabbage halves get brushed with the sausage drippings before the filling is mounded on top along with a few pats of butter. Then the loaded cabbages go into a smoker for a low and slow cooking process that renders them fall-apart tender while infusing them with rich smoky flavor from the wood chips. After 3-4 hours of gentle smoking, the cabbage is incredibly savory and makes for a delicious smoky, spicy, meaty side dish or light main course.

Chorizo Barbecued Cabbage recipe


Chorizo Barbecued Cabbage

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • Method: Hot smoking
  • Equipment: Bradley digital smoker; hickory or pecan wood


  • 1 small green cabbage (about 1 pound)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 pound fresh chorizo, Italian sausage, or bratwurst
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers or 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (for a spicier topping, leave the seeds in)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup coarsely grated cheddar or pepper Jack cheese

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise (from stem to top), discarding any blemished leaves on the outside.

Step 2: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet. Add the chorizo, onion, jalapeños, and cilantro and cook over medium-high heat until the sausage and onion are browned, 5 to 8 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break up any large chunks of sausage. Drain the mixture in a strainer over a bowl. Paint the top and outside of the cabbage halves with the sausage fat, discarding any excess. Place the sausage mixture in the bowl and let cool to room temperature, then stir in the cheese. Mound this mixture atop the cabbage halves and top each with 2 tablespoons butter. The cabbage can be prepared several hours ahead to this stage and refrigerated.

Step 3: Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 250 degrees. Add the wood as specified by the manufacturer.

Step 4: Smoke the cabbage until browned on the outside and very tender, 3 to 4 hours. Use a slender metal skewer to test for doneness: it should pierce the cabbage easily. Transfer the cabbage to a platter and show it off, then cut each in half lengthwise for serving. Dig in.

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