The prime season for corn has just come to an end and the last harvest of the year is hitting grocery stores as we write this blog post. Now is the perfect time to snap up a few bags of sweet white and yellow corn to make the ideal side to any barbecue or smoked meat dish.
While we love the classic methods of cooking corn, today we are going to share what we consider to be the ultimate way to enjoy this bountiful grain – smoked. In fact, smoked corn is so good that we even created our own seasoning just for this recipe. Our Bearded Butcher Butter Blend gives you the perfect combination of rich and creamy butter flavor with just enough kick.
How to Make Smoked Corn on the Cob
There are a few tricks you'll want to use to smoke corn the right way. Skipping these steps can leave you with hard, dried out corn kernels that are impossible to eat. There are lots of recipes out there for how to prepare corn for smoking, but most of them aren't very good. That's why we decided to share our favorite time-tested way to smoke whole corn on the cob.
Tips for Making Smoked Corn on the Cob
Let's start with the basics – picking out good quality corn on the cob. Corn is often delivered to the grocery store in big boxes which all get dumped together. Some of the corn is fresh, some of it is days or weeks old. This is how you can tell the difference and pick delicious and fresh corn on the cob.
Buy Husk-On Only
As tempting as it might be to grab a bag of already de-husked corn, you're better off walking right past them. As soon as the husk is removed, corn begins to lose moisture. Within a day or two, the corn has lost a substantial amount of weight and won't be nearly as tasty and delicious. Look for corn still in the husk with the corn silk still in place.
The color of the husk is one of the first things you'll want to look at. The husk should be bright green and tightly wrapped against the kernels and should be slightly damp feeling. Avoid corn that has brown edges on the husk, dry husks, or loose husks that are already falling off the cob. These are not fresh.
Also look for little brown pinholes particularly around the top of the corn. This is a sign of boring insects and indicates the corn is most likely ruined.
Look at the Stalk
You should look at the stalk end of the cob where the ear was cut from the plant. It should be green, slightly sticky, and moist. If it is dry, brown, or black, put that corn back. Those are all signs the corn is old.
Look at the Tassel
The tassel is the bit of corn silk sticking out the top. Avoid ears with this part cut off, that's often a sign that old corn is being disguised as fresh. The tassel should be light colored or golden and slightly sticky. It should smell sweet.
Avoid ears with dark brown or black tassels. A mushy feel and a musty smell are all indications of old ears of corn.
Pro-Tip: Don't Peel the Husk Back
We mentioned earlier that corn loses moisture when peeled. A common mistake people make is to peel a strip of husk back to check the kernels. Instead, simply squeeze the ear gently from the bottom to the top. you'll be able to feel the kernels through the husk. Avoid corn that has areas missing kernels or that feels mushy or soft. Those are signs of a bad ear of corn.
Smoked Corn on the Cob Recipe
Now that you've bought your corn, it's time to get to smoking. This is a simple recipe that doesn't require a lot of steps and doesn't take very long. Once you've learned our secrets for perfect smoked corn on the cob, you'll never want to grill or boil corn again.
- Corn on the cob, husks and tassel left on
- Bearded Butchers Blend Butter Seasoning
- A large pot of cool water
- Several tablespoons of melted butter
- Make sure that the husks are cleaned and free of dirt, dust, and debris. Immerse the ears in the pot of cool water and soak corn for about two hours. We recommend soaking the ears to hydrate and prevents the kernels from burning in the smoker.
- Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees.
- Remove corn from the water, drain and pat dry. Gently peel back the husks without removing them. Remove the corn silk from the ears and discard.
- In a small bowl, mix the seasoning and the melted butter. Using a brush or a basting mop, coat the kernels in the butter mixture.
- Gently pull the husks back into shape around the ear. If they are too loose or falling off, you can wrap a little butcher's twine around the ear to hold the husks in place.
- Place corn in a single layer on the grill grate of the smoker. Smoke corn for about one and a half hours. You can test corn doneness by piercing a kernel with the tip of a sharp knife. It should pop when the corn is cooked.
- When the corn is smoked, remove it from the smoker and place on a platter or plate. Carefully peel back the husks. Some people like to cut the husks off, others like to use a little butcher's twine to wrap the husk which makes for a convenient handle. Brush corn with a little melted butter and seasoning for extra flavor.
Tips for the Best Smoked Corn on the Cob
Soaking the corn on the cob before smoking makes a huge difference. Don't skip that step. If the husks fall off or if you are trying to smoke husk-less corn on the cob, be prepared for at least some of the kernels to dry out. You'll have the best success with husk-on corn.
The type of wood you choose makes a difference. Corn has a light, sweet flavor that is complimented best by nut woods like pecan or hardwoods like maple. Hickory and oak wood chips tend to be a little too strong and overpower the flavor.
Smokey & Buttery – With a Pop of Spice
This is the ultimate corn on the cob recipe. The smoky flavor of the wood chips gives the corn on the cob a delicate, smoky aroma and our butter blend seasoning gives each bite a delicious pop of just enough spices. This is a fun way to make corn on the cob that is totally different from what most people serve, but once you've tried it, you'll never forget how great it tastes.