If you’ve been asking whether or not you can throw some corn in your smoker, the answer is a resounding yes! It works beautifully. An easy, delicious side dish that plays up the contrast between the sweetness of the corn and the tanginess of smoke, our smoked corn on the cob recipe is perfect for every summer meal.
🍽️ Why This Works
Fast and Easy. You de-silk the corn and put it right back in its husk, smoke it for one hour while you move on to grill your meat and serve it hot right out of the smoker. That makes it an easy, no-stress side dish.
Perfect Results. Keeping the husks on protects the corn from drying out or burning and results in that perfectly roasted juicy corn texture you crave. The incredible combination of smokey sweetness will make your mouth water.
Impressive and Fun. There is something very special about presenting your guests with a pile of corn cooked right in the husk and bursting with flavor. They will be asking for the recipe!
📝 Ingredient Notes
Corn – You will need corn in the husk for this smoked corn on the cob recipe so that the kernels don’t dry out as it cooks.
Seasoning – Salt and Pepper. We keep it nice and simple for this one but you can get more fancy if you prefer.
Butter – You can also use a butter substitute, or a compound butter blended with herbs and spices, or sweetened with honey or brown sugar.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Smoker or Grill | Although we used our Big Green Egg, pellet smokers like the Traeger, Masterbuilt or Camp Chef all work great with this recipe. An electric smoker works fine. You can also set up a grill with wood to smoke and indirect heat.
Grill Tongs | These have a longer reach than typical kitchen tongs and allow you to grab the corn off the heat without getting burned.
Measuring Cup | A glass measuring cup makes it super easy to melt the butter in the microwave.
Pastry Brush | For applying butter to the corn. The silicone ones are so nice since they last forever and are easy to clean!
Step One: Preheat the smoker to 250°F and set it up for indirect heating. Use your favorite smoking wood. I chose Apple.
Step Two: Carefully peel back the corn husks one by one. Do not remove them from the ear.
Step Three: Remove the corn silk (the hairs). A stiff vegetable brush can help with this chore.
Step Four: Melt butter and brush it liberally on the corn. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper.
Step Five: Fold the corn husks back up over the ear and pinch them at the tip to keep them closed.
Step Six: Add the ears of corn to the smoker and let it smoke for one hour.
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
If the husks just don’t want to stay around the cob when you try to put them back, use a little bit of butcher’s twine to tie a knot around each one to hold the husks in place.
It is sometimes recommended to soak the corn in the husk for an hour or two before smoking it. This gives the corn more of a steamed finish and does help prevent it from drying out. After soaking the corn, pat it dry before putting it in the smoker.
If your corn is already a few days old when you remember it in the refrigerator, soaking it might be the thing to do. Just remember to add an extra thirty minutes or so to the cook time. If your corn is fresh from the farmer’s market you can skip this step. We did not find soaking necessary.
At the market, look for corn that is firm, plump, bright in color, and with clean, crisp, green husks. If the husks look dry, moldy, or limp or the kernels look dry, wrinkly, or discolored don’t buy the corn. Corn on the cob should be refrigerated and used within a few days so that it doesn’t dry out.
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
Leftover corn on the cob is best kept by cutting it off of the cob. Place the kernels in an airtight container or freezer-quality bag in the refrigerator to use later in the week. It can be added to lunches for work as a side dish, used in soups, stir fries, or added to salads and rice bowls. Freeze the corn for up to six months.
If you want to keep the corn on the cob, (rather than cutting it off), place it in a freezer safe bag in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat it in a pot of boiling water for one to two minutes. Freeze corn on the cob for up to three months.
Off the cob, you can reheat corn it in the microwave with a little butter for thirty seconds to one minute and enjoy delicious corn with your lunch.
Additions and Substitutions
Want to bump up the flavor a little? Try adding different seasonings! Here are a few you can try.
- Old Bay. The time tested classic.
- Sweet and Spicy Dry Rub. The Dizzy Pig Pineapple Head rub is a good choice.
- Chili Salt and Lime. The Spiceology Margarita blend is perfect.
- Smoked Paprika.
Addicted to cheese? Try adding a sprinkling of parmesan to the corn while it is still hot. You can use grated or shredded parmesan.
Can’t find corn in the husk? Wrap your corn in a loose blanket of foil with a little room for steam to escape from the ends just like it would with the husk. It’s not the most ideal, but it works.
This tender corn is perfect for any summer grill or smoker day as soon as you can find good corn on the cob. In some areas you can get good corn and use your outdoor kitchen all year round! Serve smoked corn on the cob alongside Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters, or smoke it while your brisket rests. Add it to buddha bowls, soups, stews, salads, quesadillas, or tacos.
❓ Recipe FAQ
Yes. Season first, then wrap the frozen cobs in foil with a slight opening to allow steam to escape. Plan on extra time since the corn will need to thaw before it cooks.
One hour is just right to infuse the corn with smoke without overwhelming it. If you soak the corn first, add thirty minutes to the smoking time. If your corn is out of the husk and unwrapped, reduce the smoking time by thirty minutes and baste it halfway through with extra butter.
Apple wood was our choice. Any mild or fruity wood such as pecan, alder, cherry, or maple should work for smoking corn. I’ve heard that peach wood is also lovely.
225ºF worked perfectly for us.
No. The smoker does all the work for you. It takes longer than boiled corn, but tastes significantly better so very much worth the effort.
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Smoked Corn on the Cob
- 4 ears Corn ears with husks on
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F-250°F and set it up for indirect heating. Use your favorite smoking wood.
- Carefully peel back the corn husks. Be careful to not tear them off. You just want to fold the leaves back.
- Remove the corn silk (the hairs).
- Melt butter and brush it liberally on the corn. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper.
- Fold the corn husks back up over the ear and pinch them at the tip to keep them closed.
- Add the ears of corn to the smoker and let it cook for one hour.
- The husks will darken and dry. Remove and serve warm!