You might think of carrots as being a bit boring and bland, but this recipe is going to change your mind! Plus, everything is better wrapped in bacon.
The sweet maple syrup, salty bacon, soft texture of the carrot, and the nice aroma of smoke are something you really need to experience.
If you want to change it up a little and try a fun recipe that will impress your family and friends, this is a good one! It is surprisingly easy to make yet unique and, most importantly, packed with flavor.
How to make Bacon Wrapped Carrots
1. Prep the carrots
I like to buy carrots with the tops still on them for presentation purposes. I’ll snip them leaving a few inches attached and save the leaves for plating later. This is not really necessary but it’s a good way to use all of the carrot and add some extra color to your plate.
The first step is to wash your carrots. Under room temperature water is fine, just rub them with your hands to remove any dirt/debris.
Then, grab a vegetable peeler or scrape and peel off the outer skin of the carrots from top to bottom.
2. To parboil or not?
Carrots, on average, are between 1-½” and 2” at the thickest part. The carrots I used for this recipe were about 1” at the thickest part, so I could skip the par-boiling step.
If your carrots are a bit thicker, it’s a good idea to parboil them for 3-5 minutes to help soften them up. Otherwise, you risk being left with a crunchy carrot which is not what you are looking for. The end product should be crispy bacon with a soft bite-through carrot on the inside.
When wrapping with bacon, I like to use a thin cut. I take one piece, stretch it out, and then wrap it as tight as I can from top to bottom. You should be able to cover each carrot with one strip of bacon.
Once your carrot is wrapped in bacon, you want to place it down with the ends of the bacon underneath.
After each carrot is wrapped tightly in bacon, you can season them with your favorite BBQ rub.
I used Honey Hog from Meat Church for this recipe, but you can use any pork or chicken rub that you prefer.
If you like to make your BBQ rubs at home, check out these 10 BBQ Dry Rubs You Can Make at Home.
The seasoning will help you get a better color as well as flavor. However, if you are watching your sodium intake, it’s ok to skip this step!
5. The cook
Heat your smoker to 250°F.
I used my Pitboss Pro 1150 and smoked with Bear Mountain BBQ Pecan Pellets. Cherry or applewood would also be a great choice for this recipe – you want to use a wood with a milder flavor profile so that you do not overwhelm the carrots with smoke flavor.
Carefully place each carrot on the grill and cook for about an hour.
After an hour, turn the temperature up to 350°F for the last 20-30 minutes to get the bacon crispier and the carrots cooked through.
Now take some maple syrup and brush it on the carrots. The maple glaze really gives these carrots a nice shine and of course, a sweet finish.
To check for doneness, you can take your instant-read thermometer and check for an internal temp of 195-200°F or use a toothpick and poke into the carrot to test if they are soft enough. If they are not fully tender, leave them on the smoker and check them every 10 minutes until you reach your desired tenderness.
What to serve your bacon wrapped carrots with
These are the perfect side dish for many different meals, but they really shine when combined with your holiday favorites!
Here are some great recipes that will pair perfectly with your bacon-wrapped carrots:
- Smoked Prime Rib Roast
- Smoked Turkey Recipe
- Grilled Porterhouse Steak
- Whole Smoked Chicken
- Smoked Duck Breast
Bacon Wrapped Carrots with Maple Glaze
- 12 carrots medium size
- 12 slices bacon thin
- 1 tbsp BBQ rub
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- Heat your smoker to 250°F.
- Clean and peel the carrots.
- If your carrots are thicker than 1” at the thickest part, parboil them for 3-4 minutes. If they are 1” thick or smaller, you can skip to Step 4.
- Wrap the bacon tightly around each carrot. Stretch the bacon to cover as much of the surface of the carrot as possible. Tuck the ends underneath.
- Season each carrot with BBQ rub.
- Place the carrots on the grill and smoke for 1 hour.
- Brush the maple syrup all over the exterior of the bacon-wrapped carrot and increase the temperature in your smoker to 350°F. Let them smoke for another 20 to 30 minutes.
- To test for doneness you can either take your instant read thermometer and check for an internal temp of 195-200°F or use a toothpick and poke into the carrot to test if they are soft enough. If they are not fully tender, leave them on the smoker and check them every 10 minutes until you reach your desired tenderness.