Hey, backyard grilling master! I spy you there tending to the smoker. What’s on the menu? Got something special for us today?
Welcome to my foolproof guide on how to smoke corn on the cob. If you’re looking for a delicious side dish with an irresistible smoky flavor, this is it. In this article, I’ll show you how easy it is to achieve tender and juicy smoked corn cobs in 3 simple steps – plus a few expert tips from yours truly.
- How long does it take to smoke corn on the cob?
- The right kind of wood chips for smoking
- An easy recipe with sweet and salty ingredients
- How to serve your smoked corn cobs
- My favorite sides (which includes lots of cheese)
So gather your ingredients and come join me at the smoker – let’s get cooking!
Understanding the Process of Smoking Corn on the Cob
Smoking corn on the cob is a delightful way to prepare this all-time favorite summer treat.
It’s a process that produces corn with a unique texture and a subtle smoky flavor that’s difficult to resist.
The Science Behind Smoking Corn
When smoking corn on the cob, heat, smoke, and moisture interact in a magical way.
The heat gently cooks the kernels, converting their tough starches into sweet, juicy, and softer bites.
The smoke from the chosen wood chips or pellets — be it apple, peach, cherry, hickory, maple, or mesquite — permeates the kernels, imparting a distinct smoky flavor.
The moisture retained in the husks helps the kernels steam, preventing them from drying out and ensuring they stay juicy and tender.
This triad of heat, smoke, and moisture forms the science behind smoking corn.
Required Tools and Ingredients for Smoking Corn on the Cob
To smoke corn on the cob successfully, you’ll need a few essential tools and ingredients.
Essential Equipment for Smoking Corn
Naturally, the most crucial equipment for smoking is – you guessed it – a smoker!
Besides this, you’ll need a good pair of tongs for flipping the corn, a basting brush for applying butter seasoning, and some aluminum foil or plastic wrap for storage.
Choosing the Right Ingredients: Corn and Seasonings
As for the ingredients, fresh corn on the cob is the star of the show.
You’ll also need wood chips or pellets for the smoke; Pecan Bisquettes are a popular choice.
For seasoning, a simple mixture of salt, black pepper, hot paprika, and butter works wonders.
However, feel free to get creative with your seasonings, exploring options like cayenne, cilantro, ginger, pepper, chaat masala, or lemon zest.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Smoke Corn on the Cob
Now that you’re equipped with the right tools and ingredients, let’s walk you through the smoking process.
Preparing the Corn for Smoking
Before smoking, you need to prep the corn.
Start by removing the silk, but not the husks – they play a crucial role in steaming the corn.
Once done, soak the corn in water to add moisture to the husks, which will help in the cooking process.
Smoking Corn with Husks: A Detailed Guide
To smoke corn with husks, preheat the smoker to 225°F.
Place the corn inside and smoke for 2 hours.
After 25 minutes, flip the corn using tongs and brush it with your butter seasoning.
Continue to cook for another 20 minutes.
Smoking Corn without Husks: An Alternative Approach
If you’d rather smoke your corn without husks, that’s an option too!
Peel back and discard the husks, then put your corn directly on the smoker grates.
Without husks, the corn will take about one hour to smoke at 250 degrees F.
Factors Influencing How Long to Smoke Corn on the Cob
The smoking time for corn on the cob can be influenced by a couple of key factors.
The Role of Temperature in Smoking Corn
The temperature of your smoker plays a significant role in how long your corn will take to smoke.
At 250 degrees F, corn typically takes about an hour to smoke.
However, if you increase the temperature to 325 degrees F, the smoking time decreases to about 30-45 minutes.
How Corn Variety Affects Smoking Time
The variety of corn you choose can also affect the smoking time.
Some types of corn have thicker kernels that take longer to cook, while others are thinner and cook faster.
If you’re unsure about the variety of your corn, start checking for doneness around the 40-minute mark.
Additional Tips for Smoking Corn on the Cob
To enhance your smoking experience, here are a few additional tips.
Ideal Seasonings for Smoked Corn
While the classic salt and pepper mix is always a safe bet, don’t shy away from experimenting with other seasonings for your smoked corn.
A blend of fresh dill and tarragon pairs well with cumin-seasoned corn, while a mix of chaat masala and lemon zest can lend an intriguing Asian twist.
Troubleshooting Common Issues in Smoking Corn
One common issue when smoking corn is that it dries out.
To avoid this, keep the husks on and soak the corn before smoking to help it steam.
If the corn isn’t cooking evenly, try rotating it every 15 minutes for a more consistent cook.
How to Store and Reheat Smoked Corn on the Cob
If you have any leftover smoked corn, don’t worry – it stores and reheats beautifully!
Proper Storage Techniques
Store leftover corn tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil in the refrigerator.
This will keep it fresh and prevent it from drying out.
Reheating Smoked Corn: Dos and Don’ts
When you’re ready to enjoy your leftover smoked corn, wrap each ear in aluminum foil with a teaspoon of water and place it in the oven to reheat.
Alternatively, you can boil it on the stovetop by heating salted water until boiling and adding the ears of corn.
Ensuring Food Safety While Smoking Corn
Food safety is crucial when smoking any food, including corn on the cob.
Always ensure your smoker is clean before use, and never reuse wood chips or pellets from a previous smoke.
It’s also critical to smoke your corn at the right temperature to ensure it’s cooked thoroughly.
Nutritional Value of Smoked Corn on the Cob
Not only is smoked corn on the cob incredibly tasty, but it’s also packed with nutrients.
Health Benefits and Potential Risks
Smoked corn is a good source of fiber and provides essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium.
However, like any food, it should be enjoyed in moderation.
Eating too much corn can contribute to a high intake of carbohydrates.
Variations and Substitutions in Smoking Corn on the Cob
Ready to get creative with your smoked corn recipes? Here are a few ideas.
Creative Variations for Smoked Corn Recipes
There’s no limit to the variations you can create with smoked corn.
Try smoking your corn with different types of wood, like cherry for a sweet flavor or hickory for a more robust, smoky taste.
Or, experiment with different seasonings, such as Cajun spice for a bit of heat or a sweet honey butter for a dessert-like treat.
Possible Ingredient Substitutions
There are also several ingredient substitutions you can make if needed.
For instance, if you’re out of butter, olive oil makes a great alternative for your seasoning mix.
Or, if you want a vegan option, you could use a dairy-free butter substitute.
Incorporating Smoked Corn in Other Recipes
Smoked corn on the cob isn’t just a fantastic side dish – it can also be incorporated into other recipes.
Leftover Smoked Corn on the Cob Ideas
You can slice the kernels off leftover smoked corn and add them to salads, salsas, or soups.
They would also make a fantastic topping for nachos or a tasty mix-in for cornbread or muffins.
Pairing Smoked Corn with Other Dishes
Smoked corn pairs beautifully with a variety of dishes.
Try serving it alongside grilled steak for a classic BBQ spread or with grilled shrimp for a delightful seafood feast.
Or, for a vegetarian option, try it with BBQ tofu or a hearty bean burger.
So, there you have it – a comprehensive guide to smoking corn on the cob.
With this knowledge in hand, you’re ready to impress your family and friends with this delightful BBQ side dish.
What is smoked corn?
Smoked Corn is a type of corn that has been cooked in a smoker with wood chips, giving it a smokey flavor. The typical ingredients for smoking corn include corn on the cob, butter mixture (melted butter and garlic powder), wood chips, and seasonings.
How should I prepare sweet corn before smoking?
Sweet corn should be husked and cleaned before smoking. If necessary, scrape off any remaining silk strands from the cob. A butter mixture can then be applied to give the smoked corn extra flavor.
What are some recipes that use leftover smoked Corn?
Leftover smoked Corn can be used in a variety of dishes such as grilled vegetable salad, Mexican street Corn soup, and creamy pasta salad with bacon bits. These recipes bring out the smokey flavor in the Corn and utilize its unique texture to create a flavorful dish.
What nutritional benefits does Traeger Smoked Corn have?
Traeger Smoked Corn is a healthy dish as it contains fewer calories than many other dishes made from fresh or canned Corn. It also provides essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese which are beneficial for your health overall.
How is a pellet grill used to create smoky flavor?
Pellet grills are fueled by wood pellets and provide a clean, flavorful smoke that creates a unique smoky flavor when cooking. The smoke produced from the pellets can be adjusted by controlling the temperature on the grill and provides an easy way to get consistent results.
What is one way to make Grilled Corn?
To make grilled corn you will need corn kernels, salted butter, chili powder, onion powder, lime juice and brush. Start by preheating your pellet grill to medium-high heat (400ºF). Remove the husks from each cob and pull off any remaining silk threads. In a small bowl combine melted butter, chili powder, onion powder and lime juice. Brush this mixture over each ear of corn, making sure all sides are coated evenly. Place on the preheated grill for about 15 minutes or until lightly charred all around. This method yields 4-6 servings with approximately 150 calories per serving.
What ingredients are essential for making Smoked Corn?
Essential ingredients for making smoked corn include corn kernels, salted butter, chili powder, onion powder, lime juice and brush (to coat). These ingredients will help create a flavorful smokey taste while grilling over high heat with a pellet grill.
What is the best recipe for making smoked corn?
One of the best recipes for making smoked corn involves preheating your pellet grill to 400ºF before removing husks from each cob of corn and brushing them with melted butter combined with chili powder, onion powder and lime juice before placing them onto the preheated grill for about 15 minutes or until lightly charred all around; yielding 4-6 servings with approximately 150 calories per serving.