Skip to main content

Smoked Elotes Salad On the Big Green Egg

It’s an obvious fact that any meat you choose will most likely taste better when cooked over glowing charcoal briquettes or in a pellet grill. There are some (but not all) vegetables that benefit in the same way; onions, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, bell peppers, artichokes, mushrooms, and of course corn! That’s where we’re starting today, with some fresh ears of corn as we show you how to turn it into a delicious, smoky side dish that will compliment nearly any grilled entrée.

Smoked Elotes Salad from the Big Green Egg Kamado Grill

One of the most popular street dishes in Mexico is Esquites, or “vasito de elotes” which literally means little corn-cup. Smoked corn is somewhat of a blank flavor profile that you can work over with your favorite spices, vegetables and cheese to make it your own. Some people prefer a lighter palette with just a bit of salt, lime and oil. Others will go kitchen sink and pair it with cream, cheeses, herbs, sauces and even some meat! The recipe we’re starting with today is a bit down the middle, with some fresh spices and vegetables and a small amount of creamy condiments to smooth things out.

Smoked Esquites Salad from the Big Green Egg

Before we get started, just remember: this dish is best served very fresh. You can store it for three to four days in an air-tight container in your refrigerator, but it doesn’t do well after being frozen and thawed. Make sure you are adjusting the amount of Elotes in this recipe for how many people will be eating it.

So let’s get started! Smoking the corn on the cob to get it ready for the salad couldn’t be easier. Here’s Chef Jason showing us how to make Smoked Elotes Salad from start to finish on a standard sized Big Green Egg.

Special note: if you like things on the spicier side, this dish goes great with an extra few shakes of your favorite hot sauce. Everything from wimpy to whoa can enhance this wonderful dish. Plus it can be served cold or hot, which makes it a great dish to take and make anywhere like on a picnic or while tailgating.

Smoked Elotes Salad Ingredients

  • 4 Ears of Fresh Corn
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper (you may also substitute a serrano or habanero pepper for more heat)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper, ground to preference
  • 2 Tbsp Mayo
  • 1 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 4 Tbsp Cotija Cheese, finely crumbled
  • ½ Cup Green Onion, sliced
  • ½ Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Tbsp 5280 Culinary Fire Salt

Prep Your Big Green Egg

Set up your Big Green Egg for direct heat cooking at 400F. Make sure you have your grill grate attachment in place over the charcoal.

Adjust your top and bottom vents to 3/4 open to maintain the fire at 400F.

Because this will be a short cook, if you want to add more smoky flavor to the corn, you want to use wood chips, rather than waste your larger, more expensive chunks of wood. Chips will bloom quickly and burn through in the same amount of time your corn and peppers will be done. If you are cooking something else like a meat dish on your Big Green Egg after you’re done with the Esquites, then wood chunks would be a good choice, as they will last much longer.

Prep and Cook Your Corn and Peppers

Set aside a large bowl of room temperature water.

Pull the husks off of your corn and pay close attention to getting as much of the silks off of it as possible, as they will instantly burn and might cause your corn to come away with a slightly bitter taste.

Place your corn cobs in the water as your Big Green Egg comes up to temperature. They should only need about 5 to 15 minutes.

After your corn has soaked, place the cobs directly on the grill. Watch closely to make sure the kernels aren’t burning, and do a quarter turn until thoroughly cooked. This should take about 12 minutes.

After grilling the corn for 6 minutes, put your pepper(s) on the grill. Keep a close eye on the peppers to avoid charring, and turn either a quarter or half over to avoid ruining the flavor. The peppers should be done anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

Prep your Smoked Elotes Salad

In your serving bowl, mix the sour cream, mayo, spices, Cotija cheese crumbles, chopped cilantro, garlic and lime juice.

On a cutting board, finely dice the jalapeno pepper. Then strip the kernels off of your corn then mix it with the jalapeno pepper. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the mix. Pour a TBSP of olive oil over it and mix quickly.

Slide the corn and pepper mix into the serving bowl with the other ingredients, then mix thoroughly with a spatula or slotted spoon.

Garnish with Fire Salt, cilantro and Cotija cheese to taste.

Serve immediately at temperature, or place serving bowl in refrigerator until chilled.

Click to Shop

Related Recipes


The Best Tools For Saving Money

Join Ace Rewards for exclusive offers and savings.