These Smoked Sweet Potato Dog Chews are a FANTASTIC alternative to traditional rawhide chews and provide a ton of health benefits to your pup! Last year, my dog Schatzie had a pretty rough few months with various stomach issues (she snuck one too many hot dogs from the scouts camping in our back yard). The only way we were able to resolve them was by switching her to a homemade food diet with lots of chicken and sweet potatoes. I had no idea that a dog would love sweet potatoes so much! I know this is a little detour from my normal BBQ posts, but if you are a dog owner, you are going to be thanking me for this one!
My girl goes nuts any time I even start up the smoker, and I saw these treats at the store and knew I could make them myself. It was basically dehydrated sweet potato jerky. I figured the same jerky process would apply to these sweet potato chews and that my doggy would LOVE the addition of the smoky flavor. If you don’t have a smoker, the same process works in an oven or food dehydrator.
I was right (it happens occasionally) and the smoked sweet potato chews are a huge hit with our furriest family member. And honestly, these are so easy. I plan to make a batch every time I make jerky now just so I have a bag on hand for our chubby puggle. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be the king of healthy homemade snacks for your dog and you’ll be saving yourself some coin from the pricey store bought versions.
STEP 1: The key to getting these sweet potatoes to dry properly is correct slicing. You want them to be about 1/3 of an inch thick, sliced lengthwise for the longer chews or sliced into rounds for smaller treats.
STEP 2: Start up your smoker and shoot for a temperature of 225 degrees F. If you don’t have a smoker, you can preheat your oven to 225 degrees or follow the instructions for preparing your dehydrator.
STEP 3: Lay the sweet potato strips directly on the grill grates, close the lid and smoke for 3-4 hours. If you are doing this in an oven, lay the sweet potato strips on a baking sheet and flip over halfway through the drying process. The sweet potatoes should have shrunk down by half, darkened in color and become pliable.
STEP 4: Allow your sweet potatoes to cool completely before placing in a zip-top bag for storage. These snacks will usually last up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator.