Delicious apple crisp in your smoker? You bet! In the smoker, this crisp picks up some subtle extra flavors that pair wonderfully with the apples. Caramel-y, apply, smoky, a little salty and so satisfying. A super-simple yet super-flavorful dish that is perfect for fall or any time of year.
The crispy, golden-brown topping contrasts perfectly with the sweet and juicy apples. Served warm or cold, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, apple crisp is a comforting and satisfying dessert sure to please any apple lover.
If you are already firing up your smoker, there's no reason not to make your dessert in there too! It's fall (or early winter) -- apple season -- and you're outside as the leaves fall with the smell of wood smoke in the air.
Apple crisp has always had a special place around here. Much simpler than apple pie because the crumble topping comes together in one quick step. You can go from start to finish in around an hour, which makes for a great for last-minute dessert for family or guests. You can even make individual portions by using mini cast iron skillets.
- Crisp Topping - Flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt. You can add also chopped pecans if you prefer.
- Apple Filling - Apples, sugar, corn starch, salt, lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla and bourbon (optional)
Jump to the recipe card for quantities.
The best apples for a crisp are firm and crisp varieties with a little tartness, such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady. Avoid soft or mealy apples, such as Red or Golden Delicious, as they will not hold up well when baked. It's fun to experiment with multiple varieties in the same crisp.
Tools & Equipment Used
- Smoker - A smoker, grill, or even your oven will work great for the recipe.
- Cast iron skillet - Using a cast iron skillet makes for easy cleanup when cooking inside the smoker, which can leave a residue on the pan. Either a 10 or 12" pan will work great. The smaller pan will have a higher fill. You can also make individual portions by using multiple smaller 6" skillets. The cook time will likely be a little shorter.
- Apple corer & peeler - If you peel and core apples more than once a year, one of these tools saves so much time during apple prep and gives perfect results. In about 5 seconds, it will peel, slice and core your apples while you simply turn the hand crank. It is available in a counter suction mount or a clamp mount version.
- Probe Thermometer - Checking the temperature of the apples is the best way to know exactly when they're cooked.
How to Make Apple Crisp in the Smoker
Here's how to make a delicious apple crisp outside in your smoker.
- Preheat your smoker to 375° F. If it's a pellet smoker, use apple wood pellets. If you are using a charcoal smoker, you can add some apple wood chips, or just let the charcoal add some flavor to the crisp.
2. Make the Filling
Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl.
Tip: Don't skip the cornstarch. It will help thicken the water that comes out of the apples as they cook.
3. Make the Topping
Combine all of the topping ingredients to a bowl, except the butter. Fully combine with a fork, then add the cubed better. Use the fork, a pastry cutter or your fingers (my preferred tool) to cut the butter into the flour until it is in pea-size chunks.
Grease a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet. Arrange the apples, and evenly distribute the topping.
5. Smoke the Crisp
Place the crisp in the smoker away from the direct heat. Bake until the top is golden and the interior reaches between 150° F and 160° F (check with a probe thermometer) for optimal texture.
Depending on where it is in your smoker, it might cook quicker or slower. I prefer not to turn the apples to apple sauce with overcooking. While it still tastes delicious, some crunchy texture is great. And the contrast of the smoky apple crisp with refreshing ice cream or whipped cream is just perfect.
Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Tips for Success
- Evenly slice the apples for even cooking.
- If the top is brown before the filling is cooked through, simply loosely cover with aluminum foil so the filling can cook without burning the top.
More Delicious Recipes
Smoked Apple Crisp Recipe
- 6 cups Granny Smith apples (about 4 large apples) Peeled, cored and sliced.
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon bourbon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup quick-cook rolled oats or granola
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into ½" cubes
- Preheat your smoker to 375° F for indirect heat
- Make the apple filling by combining the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Make the crisp topping by combining the topping ingredients except for the butter in a medium bowl, mixing with a fork to combine. Add the butter cubes and continue to stir with a fork, cutting the butter until it is in pea size. *It can be easier to just get in there and use your fingers to pinch the butter.
- Assemble the crisp by greasing a 10 or 12" cast iron skillet, then add the filling and sprinkle the crumble on top.
- Place the crisp in the smoker away from the direct heat and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crumble turns golden and the apples are cooked. until the internal temp reaches 150° to 160°.
- Let cool slightly then serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and caramel sauce if desired.
- Granny Smith, Pink Lady or Honecrisp are the best varieties for apple crisp.
- Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your container, the thickness of the apple slices and your individual smoker.