Smoked Corn on the Cob is a delicious and popular summer dish that can be enjoyed as a snack or a side dish at any outdoor gathering.
If you’re looking to add a little extra flair to your corn on the cob this summer, I’d suggest you throw it on the smoker. A pellet grill or electric smoker can really transform the flavor of corn, making it truly irresistible.
Whenever we’re making something on the smoker, like chicken wings, that cook fairly quickly, we’ll throw on some corn on the cob as well. You don’t want to waste the space when you’re using the pellet grill. Take advantage of the smoke!
Why Smoke Corn on the Cob?
We’ve all had our fair share of grilled corn on the cob, and it’s super flavorful, so I’m not knocking it, but there’s something extra magical that happens when you smoke corn on the cob. It adds a smoky flavor to the corn that really enhances its sweetness.
We love smoking corn on the cob, even though it takes quite a bit longer than the usual grilled corn. It can be done alongside other dishes on the smoker, like smoked chicken breast or smoked pork tenderloin, making it a great addition to any outdoor gathering.
The ingredients needed for grilled corn on the cob are simple and easy to find.
- Corn on the cob – Look for super fresh corn that’s either whole ears or already trimmed.
- Butter – The butter makes the corn exterior moist, which helps it soak up the smoke flavor and aroma better. Try this herb garlic compound butter to jazz it up.
- Salt & pepper – This is really all you need to bring out the delicious flavor of the corn.
- Garlic powder – If you’re a garlic fan, you can’t go wrong adding a little garlic powder to the mix.
- Cotija cheese – This crumbly salty cheese is a great as a condiment for corn.
- Cilantro – This is optional, but I like to add a bit of fresh cilantrol from the garden to the corn.
You can also add other seasonings, such as paprika or chili powder, depending on your preferences.
- Smoker – I use a Z Grills 700 series smoker for most of my smoking, though I also have a Traeger grill. You can use whatever smoker you have – they all work the same.
- Wood pellets – There are many types of pellets available. If you’ve already got pellets in your smoker, use whatever you have.
- Meat thermometer – Many smokers have a thermometer built in, but if yours doesn’t, get an instant-read thermometer. I love this Thermapen.
What Pellets to Use for the Smoker?
You’ll also need pellets for your smoker, if you’ve got a pellet grill like we do. Pellets come in many different types that you can choose from. I like to use hickory wood, or cherry wood pellets for mine. They also have a bourbon wood pellet that’s very good. My friend Todd swears by the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey pellets.
Temperature and Timing
Smoked corn on the cob can be smoked at just about any temperature, though the lower you go, the more time it will have to soak up the smoke flavor. I like to cook it at whatever temperature I’m using for the other things on the smoker (usually meat like chicken or brisket), and for me that is usually 225° F.
At 225° F, the corn will take about 45 minutes to cook and assume maximum smokiness. If you choose to smoke at 250° F, that’s fine too. You can then cut down the smoke time to about 35 to 40 minutes.
How to Smoke Corn on the Cob
Preheat your smoker to 225° F (or 250° F, if you wish). Don’t forget to stock the hopper with your preferred wood pellets (we like hickory wood pellets for corn).
Mix together the butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. Baste the corn with the butter mixture. This will make the corn surface moist, which helps it soak up the smoke flavor.
Place the corn on the smoker and cook, without raising the lid, for 25 minutes.
Turn the corn over and baste it again. Continue smoking for 20 more minutes.
Remove the corn from the smoker and rest it for 5 minutes before garnishing with the cotija cheese and cilantro.
What Smokers We Use
Did you know that Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill? The Pro Series 22 is the one most people choose because it’s compact, yet has plenty of space for cooking. You can use any type of wood pellets you like. See the Traeger Series 22 Grill on Amazon.
Tips for Smoking Corn
- There’s no need to soak the corn before smoking it. You might do this if you were leaving the husks on the corn, but for this recipe we remove the husks. This allows for the most surface area that can soak up smoke flavor.
- Try to find corn that is nice and crisp, so it doesn’t become soggy while smoking.
- Keep the lid of the smoker closed as much as possible during the cooking, so you don’t allow too much smoke to pour out.
How to Store and Reheat Grilled Corn
If you have leftover corn, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, you can either microwave it for 1-2 minutes, or wrap it in foil and reheat on the grill for a few minutes.
What to Serve It With
This side dish goes great with all kinds of grilling favorites. Here are a few of our go-to main dishes to serve with this:
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does corn need to be on the smoker?
It takes corn longer to cook on a smoker because the heat is lower than on a gas or charcoal grill. Corn on the cob will need to be on the smoker for about 45 minutes at 225 degrees F.
Can you smoke corn on the cob in the husk?
You can smoke corn on the cob in the husks, if you prefer. You will want to pull back the husks and silk so you can butter the corn, but then you can pull it back over the corn. There will still be gaps in order for the smoke to infiltrate. I personally prefer not to cook it with the husks because it limits the smoke flavor.
What is the best wood for smoking corn?
A mild wood like maple, alder, or pecan is great for smoking corn on the cob because it doesn’t overpower the sweetness of the corn itself, however you can also use a more robust hickory or mesquite if you like full smoke flavor.
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Smoked Corn on the Cob
- 4 ears of corn shucked
- 1/4 cup (57 g) butter melted
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g) garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons (34 g) cotija cheese
- 1 tablespoon (0.4 g) cilantro fresh chopped
- Preheat smoker to 225° F. Don’t forget to stock the hopper with your preferred pellets (we like hickory wood pellets for corn).
- Mix together the butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. Baste the corn with the butter mixture.
- Place the corn on the smoker and cook for 25 minutes.
- Turn the corn over and baste again. Continue smoking for 20 more minutes.
- Remove from the smoker and rest for 5 minutes before garnishing with the cotija cheese and cilantro.
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Laura is a passionate home cook and grill enthusiast who has spent years perfecting her culinary skills, with a particular focus on grilling techniques and flavor combinations. Her fascination with the grill, smoke, and the mouthwatering results they produce has led her on an exciting journey to discover the best methods for grilling delicious and unforgettable meals.