The picosecond optical Kerr gate is an effective method for the separation of long-lived laser induced interference from instantaneous Raman scattering. In this paper, an application of the Kerr-gated Raman spectroscopy in combustion environment was demonstrated. The fast gating provided by a Kerr effect based optical shutter extends Raman spectroscopy measurements to sooty flames and flames rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The optical setup of the Kerr gate is described in detail and the gating time, efficiency and spatial uniformity of the ultrafast shutter are reported. To demonstrate the concept, the Kerr-gated Raman spectroscopy was applied in a laminar CH4/air diffusion flame to evaluate the capability to extract a Raman spectrum under different interference levels. In the region deemed inaccessible with µs-gated Raman spectroscopy, the laser induced interference was effectively suppressed by the Kerr gate. A test was also conducted in a C2H4/air premixed flame to explore the limitation of the Kerr-gated Raman technique. The result shows that after combining with polarization separation, Raman spectra can be extracted from locations with 65 ppb soot volume fraction.