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Smoked Onions

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Smoked onions make an incredibly flavorful topping for a variety of meals! The smoker transforms sweet onions into golden brown and caramelized onions, vegetables with a deep smoke flavor. They’re the perfect topping to jazz up things like taco salads, hot dogs, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, roasted pork chops, ribeye steak, and more!

Golden brown slices of onions after being smoked on a pellet grill.

If you’ve never had smoked onions, you’re in for a treat!

They’re similar to caramelized onions or oven roasted onions but with a smoky flavor that is truly next-level. Add them to your favorite dishes for a rich flavor and a subtle touch of smokiness that will elevate the entire meal.

Why This Recipe Works

There’s so much to love about this easy smoked onions recipe.

When smoked at a low temperature until tender and golden brown, the humble onion becomes the topping of all toppings.

We use our Traeger, but you can use a similar pellet grill or smoker for this recipe. One great thing about it is if you’re already smoking meats like pork shoulder, turkey or chicken wings, you can make the most of the extra grill space by slicing up a few whole onions and tossing them on the grill.

Smoked onions are:

  • savory, smoky and delicious
  • tender and beautifully caramelized
  • simple to prepare with just a few ingredients required.

The Ingredient List

To make these tasty smoked onions, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Whole onions. You’ll need about medium 4-6 onions total, any variety.
  • Olive oil. A little bit of olive oil on the outside of the onions will help them caramelize in the pellet smoker.
  • Spices and seasonings. You’ll need a mix of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika and ground cumin. The combination gives the onions a delicious flavor that compliments the smokiness.
  • Butter. Adding 1-2 tablespoons of butter to the onions gives it an extra rich flavor you’ll love.

You can use any variety of onions, including white onions, yellow onions and red onions.

Spices, onions, and olive oil.

How to Smoke Onions

This easy smoked onion recipe is a breeze to prep! We’re sharing the steps below but be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to view the printable recipe card.

First, preheat the smoker or pellet grill to 225°F.

Peel the outer skin off the onions and slice them in half. Place the raw onion in a baking pan.

Dollops of butter on top of onions in a skillet.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cumin (or use your favorite rub). Top the onion halves with a pat of butter.

Onions in a Traeger pellet grill.

Smoke for 2-½ to 3 hours or until soft. They’ll be golden brown and caramelized on the bottom of the onion. Remove and enjoy!

Tips for Success

  • If you want both sides of the onions to get caramelized, you can flip them over after about 1-1/2 hours of smoke time.
  • The smoke time for the onions will depend on the size of the onions.
  • Store any leftover smoked onions in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Onion halves in a skillet after getting smoked.

What to Serve with Smoked Onions

The great thing about smoked onions is that you really can enjoy it with so many dishes. From barbecued meats to Mexican-inspired fare to homestyle cooking, smoked onions add a delicious yet subtle smoky flavor.

More Grilling Recipes

More Recipes You Will Love:

Our Beefy French Onion Soup is thick with caramelized onions in a rich, beef and wine broth. Each serving is topped with a slice of toasted bread and gooey melted Gruyère cheese for a rich, savory and comforting meal.

Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce is a mustard-based barbecue sauce with a sweet and tangy flavor. It’s super versatile and adds amazing flavor to your favorite barbecue dishes like pulled porkcountry style ribs, lemon pepper chicken wings, and beef brisket.

Our Fast and Easy French Onion Dip is creamy and savory and the perfect party dip for cut veggies or salty potato chips. Our version low sodium, gluten free, and a whole lot healthier than a store-bought homemade onion soup mix.

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Golden brown slices of smoked onions.

Traeger Smoked Onions

These smoked onions are great for sandwiches and salads, because they add a subtle smoky flavor to any dish. They can also be used as a topping for pizza or burgers and taste great served alongside a juicy steak.
4.93 from 13 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 59kcal
Author: Dahn Boquist


  • 4 to 6 medium onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter


  • Preheat the smoker or pellet grill to 225°F.
  • Peel the onions and slice them in half. Place the onions in a baking pan.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cumin (or use your favorite rub). 
  • Top the onion halves with a dollop of butter
  • Smoke for 2-½ to 3 hours or until soft. The onions will get golden brown and caramelized on the bottom. If you want both sides of the onions to get caramelized, turn them over after 1-½ hours into the cooking time. 


Smoke time will vary depending on the size of the onions. 


Serving: 1 | Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandchildren or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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