This smoked sweet potato casserole is like no other with its salty and sweet flavor combinations. Its incredible flavor comes from smoked sweet potatoes and addition of salty bacon and sweet maple syrup.
While sweet potatoes are cooking, use the oven to cook the bacon until crispy. Dice or crumble all the bacon. Half will go into the casserole filling and half into the topping.(Or, you can dice cold, raw bacon into small pieces and cook them in a large cooking pan until the fat is all rendered. Drain off all excess bacon fat.)
To Smoke Sweet Potatoes:
Preheat the smoker to 375°, make sure the grill grate is clean, and place a drip pan underneath the grate to catch the drippings.
Wash sweet potatoes and pat them dry. Use a fork or a butter knife to poke a few holes all around each potato. Rub them with some olive oil and sprinkle coarse salt all around.
You can place sweet potatoes right on the grill grate or use a mesh vegetable grill basket to hold them.
Place sweet potatoes on the preheated smoker and cook them for about an hour. To test of they are done, stick a fork in each one, into the thickest part of the potato, to make sure they are completely tender.
Prepare Sweet Potato Casserole:
Get the smoker to 350° while you prepare the casserole.
Wait until the potatoes are cooled enough for you to peel first. Peel potatoes and add them to a large mixing bowl. Mash them with a potato masher until smooth.
Add butter, eggs, milk, dark brown sugar, maple syrup, and half of the bacon bits. Whisk until completely incorporated.
Rub a 10 inch cast iron skillet with butter all over the bottom and up the sides. Spread sweet potato mixture evenly in the skillet.
For the topping: Combine flour, brown sugar, bacon bits, and chopped pecans in a mixing bowl and mix until all evenly incorporated. Pour in melted butter while stirring with a fork. Continue to cut and stir with a fork until coarse crumbs form. The topping should look like crumbs, not paste.
Spread the pecan topping over sweet potatoes and on to the smoker it goes!