Beery Ears of Corn


Sublime Smoke

Published by Harvard Common Press

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Roasting corn in its husks is a time-honored tradition, usually done over charcoal or in the embers of a fire. Wood smoke adds another dimension to the taste, deepened here by soaking the ears in a beer bath and then slathering them with a spicy butter topping.


Cooking Methodsmoking


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturebuttery, garlicky, hot & spicy, savory, smoky, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishvegetable


  • 6 ears of corn, with husks
  • Two 12-ounce bottles or cans full-bodied beer
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground dried mild red chile, such as New Mexican or ancho, or commercial chili powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar


  1. Pull back the corn husks and remove the corn silks. Place the corn in a plastic bag or shallow dish large enough to submerge both the ears and the husks. Pour the beer and Worcestershire sauce over the corn, and soak it for 1 to 2 hours, turning it occasionally if needed to marinate evenly.

  2. In a small saucepan, warm all the butter ingredients together over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat but keep the mixture warm.

  3. Bring your smoker to its appropriate cooking temperature.

  4. Drain the corn. Brush each ear generously with the seasoned butter.

  5. Rearrange the husks in their original position. Tear one or two husks into strips and use them to tie around the tops of the ears to hold the other husks in place.

  6. Transfer the corn to the smoker and cook it until tender, about 55 to 65 minutes at a temperature of 225° F to 250° F. Remove the corn from the smoker and pull the husks back to make “handles” for the ears, or pull the husks off and discard them.

  7. Serve the corn hot, accompanied with a small bowl of the remaining butter, melted or at room temperature.


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