It seems like everyone is smoking everything this summer. Recipes for beef, pork, chicken and fish are being reinvented on home smokers — totally understandable since smoke is awesome! But it’s time to think beyond protein when it comes to smoking. Let’s head to the veggie patch!
One of my favourite smoked vegetables is corn on the cob. It’s such a natural fit since corn is often paired with smoky BBQ foods, but is rarely the subject of smoking itself (To wit: Check out our cornbread in a can recipe). Once you try it, I think you’ll agree that corn and other summertime vegetables can be stars of the smoker, great for throwing on the smoker once you’ve finished cooking larger items but still have some residual heat and smoke built up. If you don’t have an actual smoker (like me…ahem), I’ve included an easy 1,2,3 on how to transform your gas BBQ into a smoker. So lets get smokin’!
To make your gas grill a smoker you’ll need a small smoker box, available at any outdoor or hardware store and a medium bag of wood chips. Chips come in a variety of ‘flavours’ such as applewood, cedar, mesquite and are also available in hardware stores.
1. Soak two to four cups of wood (two for smaller items, four for larger items such as cuts of meat) chips for at least six hours, and up to overnight.
2. Prepare your grill for indirect cooking. To do this, light only one burner. Fill your smoker box 1/2 full with soaked chips. Place a few dry chips on top of the wet, leaving space in the tray. Place on the grill, on top of the heat source. Close the lid and with the heat on medium low, let it reach between 225F and 250F.
3. Place the items you would like to smoke on the portion of the grill away from the heat. If you are cooking fatty foods, make sure to place a drip tray under the food to catch any drippings.
*The key to smoking is low, steady heat. Avoid opening the lid of the BBQ except when you need to flip food.
Smoked corn on the cob with chili-lime butter
Prep: 15 min
Total: 3 hours
6 ears freshest possible corn on the cob with husks
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 batch chili-lime butter
PEEL the husks of the corn back, leaving them attached at the stem but revealing the kernels. Then remove all the fine hairs.
SOAK the ears in a large bucket of water or sink for two hours, until well saturated. Remove from water and pat dry.
PREPARE smoker or grill (see instructions above) for smoking.
RUB corn with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Pull the husks back up over the corn. The husks will be loose but that’s okay.
PLACE corn on the grill, positioned over indirect heat. Close the lid and cook for 45 minutes.
MAKE a batch of Chatelaine Kitchen’s chili lime butter.
OPEN grill after 45 minutes. If smoking has subsided, add a few dry chips to the smoker box. Turn cobs over, then close lid and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes or until corn is very tender.
REMOVE to a platter and serve with chili lime butter.