Smoked Corn on the Cob (With or Without a Smoker)

Smoked corn on the cob is the perfect side dish when grilling or barbecuing protein in your backyard. Once you’ve started smoking, you’ll never go back. The smoky flavor of this corn is  addicting!

Summertime means cookouts and BBQs, and what’s better than freshly smoked corn on the cob? Smoking makes it even more delicious! It’s straightforward to do. All you need is a smoker, creativity, and a killer appetite. Keep reading for instructions on how to smoke your corn on the cob.

Don’t have a smoker? No worries! We’ll also cover how to smoke corn without a traditional smoker.

How to Smoke Corn on the Cob

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 ears sweet corn
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • Sprinkle of paprika
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Lime juice to squeeze over the top (optional)

Instructions

  1. First, you want to heat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Then, husk your corn ears.
  3. In a small bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, parmesan cheese, and softened butter.
  4. Spread half of your mixture onto the ears of corn on one side.
  5. When your smoker is hot, add your corn to the smoker and let smoke for 25 minutes.
  6. Flip your corn and brush the remaining amount of butter mixture onto the other side.
  7. Smoke for another 20 minutes. Remove from the smoker and let cool before eating. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice and enjoy!
close up of smoked corn on the cob
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Smoked Corn on the Cob

Nothing says summertime like corn on the cob. The only thing better is when corn on the cob has an intense smokey flavor.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled corn, smoked corn on the cob
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 131kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Smoker

Ingredients

  • 6 ears sweet corn
  • cup butter
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • tsp ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • paprika sprinkle
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • lime juice optional

Instructions

  • First, you want to heat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Then, husk your corn ears.
  • In a small bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, parmesan cheese, and softened butter.
  • Spread half of your mixture onto the ears of corn on one side.
  • When your smoker is hot, add your corn to the smoker and let smoke for 25 minutes.
  • Flip your corn and brush the remaining amount of butter mixture onto the other side.
  • Smoke for another 20 minutes. Remove from the smoker and let cool before eating. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 423IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

Is soaking the corn earns necessary?

If you’re husking your ears of corn, then soaking them before you smoke them isn’t necessary. Somehow over the years, this has become an old wive’s tale.

I think it probably came about because you should soak your corn before grilling it. But that is only if you are grilling them in the husk. The reason for this is that you don’t want the corn husk or the silks of the corn cob to catch fire. Besides that, there is no reason to soak your corn before smoking.

How to tell When Smoked Corn on the Cob is Done

Great question. But the answer to this is easy enough. You can tell when your corn is done when the kernels are tender and easy to pierce with a fork or knife.

The good news is that you can always throw your corn cobs back on the smoker if you don’t think it’s done. But remember, you can’t do the opposite. You don’t want to over-smoke your corn because it could become dry and shriveled. And nobody wants dry (or popped!) corn.

How to Smoke Corn with a Smoker

You can definitely smoke corn without a smoker. Actually, you can smoke most veggies and proteins without one as well. It will take a little more planning and effort, but it’s doable! See below for how to smoke your corn on the cob without a smoker:

What you’ll need:

  • Stove
  • Aluminum foil
  • Large pot
  • Wood chips for smoking (hickory, maple or cherry are all good choices)

Preparing Your Smoker

Line your large pot with quality aluminum foil. Or line it with two layers. The purpose is that you don’t want to damage the pot you use. 

Scatter a handful of smoking chips at the bottom of the pot. Since regular smoking chips are larger, you can either use smaller chips that come in a regular bag or purchase chips specifically for smoking on a stovetop

Next, take another layer of aluminum foil and place it on top of the chips. Make sure there is some space around the foil for the smoke to escape. You need the smoke to be able to circulate around your corn to smoke it.

Layer Your Food

Butter your corn on all sides. Now layer your corn on top of the foil. Don’t overlap the corn or let individual ears touch others. You need the smoke to be able to circulate.

Smoke Your Corn

Seal your pot next. Cover your pot with more tin foil and then place the lid of the pot on top. 

Time to smoke some corn! Place the pot on medium-high heat. Your corn should start smoking within about ten minutes. Once you start to smell smoke, reduce the temperature to low. Smoke your corn for 45 minutes like in the recipe above. 

What to Serve with Smoked Corn on the Cob Recipe

The possibilities of this are endless. It depends on what you’re in the mood for when you choose your main dish. Smoked corn on the cob goes well with any protein. From Chicken to steak, to fish and smoked burgers. Below are a few fan faves that go perfectly with this veggie side dish.

Teriyaki Turkey Burger

Sliders for a Crowd

Copycat Texas Roadhouse Steak

Easy Salmon

Oven Baked Barbecue Ribs

Sizzle Steak

What kind of smoker should you use?

There are a variety of smokers out there on the market. So it depends on what exactly you are looking for and what your price point is. In general, smokers fall into a few different categories:

  • Propane/gas smoker
  • Charcoal smoker
  • Offset smoker
  • Pellet grill
  • Electric smoker
  • Kamado smoker
  • Kettle grill

As I mentioned above, smokers can vary in price drastically. But if you can budget between $200 to $500, you should be able to find a quality smoker that fits your needs.

Smoke Corn on the Cob Butter Variations

The butter mixture you’re making is pretty much what you’d call compound butter. In short, compound butter is softened butter that is mixed with herbs, spices, and other flavors.

When you’re smoking your corn on the cob, get creative with what you want to put on your corn. Below are a few creative compound butter recipes we recommend.

Mexican Spiced Compound Butter

Avocado Butter

Korean Compound Butter

Sweet and Savory Compound Butter

Storage of leftovers is easy. Your corn will last a few days in the refrigerator if stored in an air-tight container. Enjoy!

Smoked-Corn-on-the-Cob-pinterest-pin-image

Have questions or suggestions? Leave them in the comments below. Until next time: Stay salty, and sweet 😉

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