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Smoked Corn Hummus

Wood-smoked corn on the grill creates a wonderfully savory twist on traditional hummus. Make this summer smoked corn hummus dip for your next party!

Smoked corn hummus in a bowl with a side of pita chips

It’s summer party time, and no gathering is complete without a tasty spread of snacks and appetizers. A savory, homemade hummus with lots of crunchy pita chips is always a great idea. I love how flexible hummus is, and how it can take on a variety of flavors to create a crowd-pleasing dip.

Roasted red pepper is always a favorite, but the second I added smoked corn to a fresh bowl of hummus, I knew a new favorite had been crowned.

A table spread featuring smoked corn hummus and pita chips

Smoked corn is one of my favorite summer treats. Buy some freshly picked local corn from the farmers’ market. Fire up the grill, add some wood chips, and get a nice smoky plume going. Then let the succulent ears soak up all the woody goodness.

It’s the easiest of things to smoke, and the result is crunchy corn kernels infused with the flavors of outdoor cooking. Add the kernels to your favorite summer salads. Or make a batch of smoked corn hummus for your next party or Netflix binge-fest.

How to peel chickpeas

How to Peel Chickpeas for Extra Smooth Smoked Corn Hummus

If you’ve never heard of peeling chickpeas before, you might have just done a double-take on that heading. Why on earth would you peel chickpeas? Can they even be peeled?

They can be peeled! And, I might be the world’s weirdest weirdo, but I love peeling chickpeas. If you’re a compulsive bubble wrap popper, you’ll probably like peeling chickpeas, too. As long as I’m not in a rush, I find it incredibly zen (I use the pinch method below for maximum serenity).

As to their peelability, cooked chickpeas — which, includes, of course, canned chickpeas — have a loose skin that’s entirely edible, but ever-so-slightly papery.

The reason why you peel chickpeas is that, when you remove the papery skins, the naked bean creates an incredibly smooth hummus. It’s very noticeable. Even if you have a powerful, high-speed blender, removing the skins makes a difference.

Doubters: but is it worth it, you ask with arched brow? Both ways are good, to be sure. But if you want a really creamy hummus, peeling the chickpeas will get you there. Here are my two tried and true methods:

The Towel Method of Peeling Chickpeas

  • This is by far the fastest of the two methods — it just takes a couple of minutes.
  • Drain the can of chickpeas; rinse and drain again.
  • Spread a kitchen towel flat in a rimmed baking sheet. Use a large towel so that there’s overhang.
  • Pour the chickpeas onto the towel.
  • Use the end of the towel to gently rub the chickpeas. You’ll see the skins begin to separate from the bean.
  • Pick the freed skins out of the pan and discard. You don’t need to get every last skin off. Just removing the majority will create the smooth hummus. Continue with your recipe
  • This method is a great way to get the kids involved without a lot of mess.

And now, the zen experience:

The Pinch Method of Peeling Chickpeas

  • Hold one chickpea between your thumb and forefinger.
  • Gently but firmly begin pinching the chickpea, applying pressure outward (to push the bean slightly forward).
  • The pressure will slide the chickpea out of its skin.
  • Sooooo, zen.

Close-up of a pita chip loaded up with Smoked Corn Hummus

Hummus is a party staple, and I love the surprising twist of the smoky savoriness that’s added with the corn. You can make it ahead of time — even the day before — to make party-day prep just a little bit easier.

I heartily recommend that you smoke a few extra ears of corn while you’re making this hummus. Remove the kernels and freeze them for later in a zipper bag. And don’t forget that the cobs are also wonderfully smoky — slice them into smaller pieces and use them to flavor broth for soup or rice, and enjoy the extra treat!

Oh, and hummus isn’t the only the use for wood-smoked corn! Try these recipes, too:

Smoky Hatch Chile Corn Chowder
Smoked Corn Aioli (for Tomato Sandwiches)
Instant Pot Smoked Corn Stock

Karen xo

Smoked Corn Hummus
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Smoked Corn Hummus

Smoked corn is wonderfully savory in this homemade hummus.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: smoked corn hummus
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 90kcal
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 2 ears corn
  • 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained (optional: remove the skins*)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • extra virgin olive oil, for garnish (optional)
  • smoked paprika for garnish


  • Wood chips soaked in water for an hour


To smoke the corn:

  • Gas grill: preheat one side of grill to high. Charcoal grill: pile hot coals on one of side grill.
  • Wrap drained wood chips in a flat foil packet, and use a knife to cut slits into the top side.
  • When grill is hot, place the foil packet over the flame side of the grill (gas grilor directly on the coals (charcoal grill).
  • When you see tendrils of smoke streaming from the slits in the foil packet, place 4 of the ears of corn on the unheated side of the grill. On a gas grill, close the lid. On a charcoal grill, open all the vents, and position the lid so that the smoke inside will flow over the corn and out the vent in the lid.
  • Let the corn smoke 20 to 30 minutes. Check periodically to ensure that flames are not reaching the ears and singeing the kernels. The smoking process is finished when the kernels are lightly burnished.
  • Remove from the grill and let cool. Remove the kernels from the cob.

To make the hummus:

  • Add the chickpeas, corn kernels, 3 tablespoons of water, lime juice, zest, garlic, and salt to the jar of a high-speed blender or bowl of food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
  • Add the remaining water if too thick (if still too thick, add more water by the tablespoon until the hummus reaches a smooth, dippable consistency).
  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired. Sprinkle a small amount of smoked paprika over the top of the hummus, and serve.


* Removing the papery skins from the chickpeas will result in a smoother hummus. To remove the skins, spread out on a towel-lined, rimmed baking sheet, and rub a paper towel over the chickpeas. The skins will loosen and separate. You don't have to remove every last one, but getting the majority will create a noticeable difference. For you bubble-wrap-poppers out there (me!), you can also pinch off the skins quite easily, one chickpea at a time, before your thumb and forefinger. Prepare for a zen moment.


Calories: 90kcal
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.

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