Smoked Sweet Potato Puree



Nearly everyone who eats this deep orange treat asks for the recipe, it is yet another dish that will convince even the anti-yam-ites to change sides and join my Orange-Love Camp.  The original recipe was from Scott’s family and has seen adaptations along the way, the most recent alteration being to smoke the yams to give it extra depth.  It is of course delicious without the smoking, but occasionally it’s fun to do something different.





I first peeled and boiled the yams, then gave them about 40 minutes on the grill.  The charcoal was pushed off to the sides for offset heat (typical with smoking and barbequeing) then I topped the briquettes with apple wood chips that had been soaked in water for an hour.  The outdoor temperatures were pretty chilly but the grilling worked fine.

I am discovering that you can smoke nearly anything: butter, vegetables, fruits, nuts, salt, meats—I’ve even read about smoking water then using it to cook pastas!  Learn more with Smoke & Spice by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison.  My cousin gave me this book and it quickly became my little smoking-bible.





This puree is yet another recipe that was featured in the Holiday edition of The IOWAN magazine.

I wanted to find as many Iowa-sourced ingredients as possible for the IOWAN story, and I was amazed how easy it is to find Iowa whiskey.  There are quite a few!  Who knew?  The owner of John’s Grocery in Iowa City recommended Cody Road bourbon whiskey, both for this dish and to use the leftovers for sipping.
It’s produced in Le Claire, Iowa which is also where Buffalo Bill Cody was born…thus the name.

I love the label.


So Embrace the Orange and try this delicacy for your Holiday dinner, with or without the smoke.

You won’t regret it!



Smoked Sweet Potato Puree

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes to cook the yams, 30-40 minutes bake the puree


yield: approx. 7 cups             This can be made up to two days ahead:


Peel and Boil, or Bake then Peel:

4# Orange Sweet Potatoes (American yams)


Optional Smoking-—If you’re feeling adventurous, try smoking the yams after they’re cooked but before pureed.

For a charcoal grill:  Soak 2 cups of small apple wood chips in water for an hour and prep a small amount of coals for grilling.  Push the ready coals to the side of the grill so the yams will not be directly over them.  Transfer the pieces of cooked yams into a vegetable grill basket or a cast iron pan. Set a few pieces of drained wood on the coals, place the top grill back in place, then set the yams so they are not over the coals.  Replace the lid and smoke for 30-40 minutes.  For a smokier flavor replenish the wood after 20 minutes.  For more on smoking see “Smoke & Spice” by Cheryl and Bill Jamison.

For a gas grill:  Soak the wood chips for an hour, then drain and transfer them to a ‘smoker box’ (a basket to hold the wood chips) or a small aluminum tray.  When the grill is still cool, remove the grate and place the box on the heat source off to one side.  Replace the grill then preheat to 225 degrees.  Smoke the yams for 30-40 minutes.


The Puree

Whip in a food processor:

the cooked Yams

1/3 cup Butter or Coconut Oil

1/3 cup Maple Syrup (or brown sugar)

1/3 Orange Juice

1/3 Bourbon Whiskey

Spread in a 9×13 pan 

Sprinkle with Black Walnuts or Walnuts 

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes



Another awesome plate by our friend and artist Elisabeth Maurland.  We stopped by for her Holiday studio sale, and ended up with presents for ourselves!  Check out more of her work on her Etsy page.







1 thought on “Smoked Sweet Potato Puree”

  • Will have to try smoking the jems next time… and maple syrup. All that’a missing is the bacon! Oh, aand Zaya Rum is a wonderful substitute for the burbon. This is an awesome ‘secret’ recipe gone public – a MUST try for any occasion!!!

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