With a climate ideal for growing a variety of apple types, Wisconsin’s apple orchards play a significant role in both local agriculture and the culture of the region. From late summer through fall, these orchards bustle with activity as families gather to pick apples, savor fresh cider and indulge in apple-based treats.

Wisconsin apples, known for their exceptional flavor, range from tart Granny Smiths to sweet Honeycrisps, each bringing a unique taste to the table.

Apple picking in Wisconsin isn’t just about the fruit; it’s an experience connecting people with the generations of farmers who have nurtured the trees. Many orchards offer tours, tastings and events celebrating the harvest season, making it a festive time filled with the appreciation of fresh produce.

The American Tradition of Apple Pies and Crisps

In the broader American culture, apples hold a cherished place, particularly in desserts. Apple pie, often regarded as the quintessential American dessert, symbolizes comfort and home. The phrase “as American as apple pie” reflects its stake in our nation’s culinary history.

Apple crisps, while perhaps less heralded than pies, are equally beloved. This humble dessert, with its simple combination of baked apples and a crispy topping, showcases the versatility of apples in a comforting and approachable way. Unlike pies, which require a carefully crafted crust, crisps are more forgiving and can be quickly assembled, making them a favorite for home bakers.

Celebrating with Smoked Apple Crisp

One way to elevate the traditional apple crisp is by adding a smoky twist. Smoking the dessert as it bakes imparts a deep, rich flavor that transforms this classic dessert. The combination of sweet, tart apples with subtle smokiness creates a complex and satisfying dish.

For our smoked apple crisp recipe, we recommend trying a mix of Wisconsin’s finest apples. Granny Smiths provide a tartness that stands up well to the smoke, while Honeycrisps add a touch of sweetness. Pairing this smoked apple crisp with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream makes for an irresistible treat.

As you enjoy your smoked apple crisp, take a moment to appreciate the journey of the apples from the orchard to your table. Celebrate the rich traditions of Wisconsin apple orchards and the enduring legacy of apple-based desserts in American culture.

A fully cooked apple crisp in a cast iron skillet on a smoker grill.

Smoked Apple Crisp

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 6
Calories 496 kcal


  • Smoker
  • cast iron skillet
  • food processor



  • 3 lbs apples peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Crisp Topping

  • 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold and cut into slices
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Fire up your smoker and set to 350°.
  • In a medium bowl, mix apples, brown sugar and the juice from one lemon. Mix in cinnamon and nutmeg before pouring into your cast iron skillet.
  • In a food processor, add cubed unsalted butter, old fashioned oats and flour. Pulse on and off until it reaches a crumbly texture.
  • In a separate small bowl, pour in the oat mixture and add brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix well and pour evenly on top of your apple mixture.
  • Place the cast iron skillet into your smoker and cook for one hour until the crust has a nice crunch and the apples are cooked thoroughly.


This recipe is best enjoyed when served warm with vanilla ice cream on top.


Calories: 496kcalCarbohydrates: 90gProtein: 3gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 212mgPotassium: 370mgFiber: 7gSugar: 66gVitamin A: 600IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 2mg
Keyword apple, smoker recipes
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