Full disclosure. I’m in love with a vegan. I know that this sounds like blasphemy from a smoking pro, but what can I say? In the few years that we’ve been together, she’s turned me from a full-on carnivore to a bit of an omnivore, and I’ve begun smoking various vegetables. There are a wide variety of vegetables, which are wonderful smoked, including corn, cabbage, and potatoes. You’re limited only by your imagination. In this piece, I’ll share my method for smoking corn, which is perfect for the upcoming summer BBQ season.
Making Corn in a Smoker
Nothing defines a backyard side dish better than corn on the cob. A perfect compliment to barbeque ribs, chicken, and brisket, corn is a perfect vegetable choice for the smoker. The most difficult part of smoking corn is finding ideal ears. You’ll want to look for fresh corn (I find mine at a roadside vendor) with nice green husks and dark brown silks. The best corn can usually be found towards the end of summer, though imported corn works well in the spring.
To prepare the corn, you’ll want to peal each ear similar to a banana, without removing it completely. You want to be able to re-wrap the corn in the husks later. Next, you’ll remove as much of the silk as possible. Fill a large cauldron with cold water and soak the ears of corn for two hours, with the husk side up. Afterwards, you’ll want to spread a liberal layer of seasoned butter and salt on your corn before re-wrapping it in the husk.
To smoke corn, you’ll want to maintain a temperature between 235-250. With most vegetables, the type of wood you choose in your smoker is irrelevant, though I’ve had a good deal of luck with mesquite (which I’m usually using for my barbeque meats anyway). Once the smoker reaches the desired temperature, place the vegetables conservatively on your rack and allow the corn to smoke for about two hours.
Unlike meat, it’s okay to open your smoker to season your corn every so often. Every 30-45 minutes, I like to re-season my corn with a special mesquite barbeque butter that I’ve perfected over the years. To make the butter, simply microwave your butter until liquefied and add your favorite mesquite barbeque seasoning. Leave it out so that it can reform as a soft, orange-ish brown butter. Apply this very liberally at least once or twice an hour to your corn. Your guests will fall in love.
There are many non-traditional things that can be made in your smoker. Feel free to share ideas, and check back here for other smoking tips!
Be sure to see our YouTube channel for more information on http://TheSmokeHouse.com and if you are in the area be sure to stop by and see Smokin’ Man Mike to talk shop about smoking’ meats and to sample our large collection of sauces and smoking accessories.