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The other day I asked my wife if there was anything special she wanted for dinner this week. She said cabbage rolls. I instantly thought smoked cabbage rolls. I didn’t necessarily run the ‘smoked’ part of the idea by her. But that’s what I made, and they came out tasting absolutely fantastic. Juicy, moist, flavorful stuffing, wrapped in tender steamed cabbage leaves, all in a simple but still yummy tomato sauce. Smoked for about an hour, these cabbage rolls combine the traditional with just a hint of smoky flavor. We both agree, these are fantastic and that it’s ok that I didn’t run the idea by her first!
You can also make these awesome cabbage rolls in the oven, baking them at 350 F. Smoking them does give them a different, unique, wonderful flavor, but they are still great in the oven. If you have a smoker, I definitely recommend the little bit of extra effort it takes to fire it up to make these rolls.
I prefer to use fruit or nut woods when I smoke unless I want a heavier smoke flavor. Pecan, apple or cherry are my favorites. For these rolls I went with apple. The results were amazing!
Also try my slow cooker stuffed cabbage rolls.
Smoked Cabbage Rolls
For the rolls
- Fire up your smoker for high heat (350 F) cooking. Use whatever wood you prefer. You can also cook the rolls in the oven at 350 F.
For the rolls
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the cabbage with the hole where the core was facing down.
- Cover and boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove the head from the water and let cool slightly. Gently remove 10 large leaves. You might need more or less depending on how large they are.
- Lay the leaves flat so that the stem side is up. Using a sharp knife, gently cut the stem section horizontally, removing as much of the stem as you can without cutting the leaves.
- Combine remaining roll ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Working in batches, form meat into a miniature log that is about 1″ or so in diameter, and about 2″ long.
- Place each log onto a leaf near the stem. Fold in the sides then roll up from the bottom (stem area), like you would a burrito.
- Place into a disposable aluminum pan, seam-side down.
For the sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Pour sauce over the rolls.
- Place onto smoker and smoke for 15-20 minutes.
- Cover pan tightly in foil and continue smoking for up to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the rolls reaches 160 F.
- Let cool slightly then serve.
Nutritional values are approximate.