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How to Make Grilled Corn on the Cob

Updated on March 06, 2015

Grilled Corn on the Cob - a Summer Treat

Corn on the cob is a favorite summer recipe. But wouldn't you rather be out of the kitchen enjoying your backyard or patio?

Step away from the hot stovetop!

Grilled corn on the cob is very easy and can be cooked right next to your main course. Whether you cook the corn right in the husks, or wrapped in foil, its so easy to make you may never go back to boiled corn again.

We'll review how to pick the perfect ear of corn and how to prepare it for grilling. Just as there are a number of ways to grill corn, there are many recipes as well. From the simple, butter-basted kernels to recipes that call for herbs and other seasonings, you are sure to find grilled corn on the cob that's perfect for your taste.

Fire up the BBQ!

Smoky tasting grilled corn on the cob (image from yomi955 on Flickr)
Smoky tasting grilled corn on the cob (image from yomi955 on Flickr)

Pick Your Corn for Grilling

For the best results in cooking, you need the freshest, best ingredients!

Now, I suggest you get your corn from a local farmers market, and choose organically grown produce. Pesticides don't taste very good charbroiled. Organic fruits and vegetables are often higher in nutrients and flavor, too.

Regardless of where you buy your corn, you'll want to choose ears that are bright green, with the husks firmly wrapped around the corn. Silks at the top should feel moist to the touch and be a golden brown color. Many people inspect the corn kernels by pulling back the top of the husk. This will cause the corn to lose moisture and freshness, however. Certainly do not choose corn that has already been "previewed" by another shopper.

Unless you are picking a specialty corn, kernels should be bright yellow or white and shine like pearls.

Fresh sweet corn - ready for the grill (image from jspatchwork on Flickr)
Fresh sweet corn - ready for the grill (image from jspatchwork on Flickr)

Grilling Corn on the Cob in Foil

Cook Time for Grilled Corn on the Cob

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 25 min
  • Yields: 1 serving per ear of corn prepared
Grilling corn on the cob in their husks (image from El Biffster on Flickr)
Grilling corn on the cob in their husks (image from El Biffster on Flickr)

Easy Grilled Corn on the Cob

There are several basic ways to prepare grilled corn on the cob: directly on the grill, wrapped in foil, or grilled in their husks. No matter which method you select, you'll need to prepare the corn first.

If you are going with grilled corn in their husks, you'll basically need to husk the corn first. Peel the husks down 3/4 of the length of the corn (not all the way!) and remove the silk threads. Soak in a bowl of water for 15 minutes prior to grilling. The bath will allow the corn to retain sweetness and moisture while cooking - similar tips for grilling fruit!

Remove the corn from water. Using a pastry brush, paint the cob all the way around with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and any seasonings or herbs you desire (for example - paprika, garlic, Parmesan cheese, fresh thyme) and then close up the husks again.

The process is similar if you are preparing corn on the cob in foil, or corn that you'll place directly on the grill. Clean off the corn, brush with melted butter and season as desired.

BBQ Corn on the Cob - Prepared in Husk

How do you like Grilled Corn on the Cob?

4.7 stars from 3 ratings of Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilling Corn on the Cob

Many people - yours truly included - believe that cooking corn on the cob in their husks results in the best tasting grilled corn. The husks (unlike tin foil) also absorb water during the soaking process. While over heat, the corn is literally steamed.

Whichever technique you use for grilling corn, you'll want to be sure not to overcook or char the cobs. Preheat your gas grill to 350 degrees, or prepare your charcoal 10-15 minutes prior to starting the barbecue. Allow the coals to turn light grey ash.

On a gas grill, place the corn 1-2 inches apart. Keep a close eye on the grill as it cooks; you'll need to turn the corn every 5-10 minutes. Charcoal allow you a bit more time - 10-15 minutes or so on each side. Total cooking time is about 20-25 minutes. Slow and easy does it.

If you're cooking the corn in its husk, watch carefully. When you start to see the silhouette of the kernels on the outside, its done! If you overcook the corn, it will become mushy. Not the crisp, juicy corn on the cob that you've been longing for!

Remove the corn from the grill using tongs. Using a dish towel or hot pads, hold the corn while you remove the husks, peeling from the top. If any charcoal or char gets on the corn, simply run under warm water.

Can you believe how easy it is to grill corn on the cob? Of course! Now, you can add sweet, summery goodness to any barbecue in a snap!

© 2010 Stephanie Hicks

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    • askjanbrass profile image

      askjanbrass 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Grilling corn is absolutely the best. And it's so easy to prepare as you demonstrate in this Hub. Great resource!

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Jan, I agree - grilled corn is one of my kids' favorite summer vegetables, too!

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Mouthwatering article Stephanie, I liked the "silhouette" clue for doneness. Thanks for the tips. =:)

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you Winsome - it is a great tip for grilling corn, isn't it?

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 6 years ago

      My son-in-law grills corn on the cob to perfection! It has become my favorite way to eat corn now….

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We love grilled corn! We like it blackened somewhat so actually grill it without the husks. Adds so much depth of flavor to things like salads. A favorite of ours is grilled corn, black beans, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice plus salt and pepper. Yummy!

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      OMG Peggy, that recipe with grilled corn sounds just amazing. My mouth is watering so much, I'm going to include it with our BBQ this weekend. Yummy (what about a squeeze of lime juice too?) wow

    • Stump Parrish profile image

      Stump Parrish 6 years ago from Don't have a clue, I'm lost.

      I love grilled corn and this is a versitle recipe that is a frequent request at my Grill and Chills.

      Chipotle Grilled Corn

      1 stick softened unsalted butter

      1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (more to taste)

      1 Tbl adobo sauce from peppers

      1/4 tsp ground cumin

      1/2 tsp fresh lime juice

      salt to taste

      8 ears corn, dehusked and soaked in cold sugar water to cover for 30 minutes.

      blend all and baste grilling corn on the cob for a smoky, spicy treat. I use a 1/2 cup of sugar to a gallon of water. Heat water to and stir dissolve sugar, cool in fridge till needed.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Stump - cool variation on grilled corn! We'll try that, as I love abodo sauce. best, Steph

    • SOLIQUITY profile image

      SOLIQUITY 6 years ago from USA

      I learned this technique from our local street fair. It was the best corn-on-the-cob I've had in a while, so I took the idea home with me. So yes, it is just a great in the oven, husks on and foiled wrapped for extra juiciness... I had to stop by, just to see if you knew any other "secrets" to corning this style...thanks

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Soliquity - Juicy, sweet corn on the cob is a yummy summertime treat. Enjoy it any way you can!

    • shabnam khokar profile image

      shabnam khokar 6 years ago from jaipur,rajasthan

      gud n tasty

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 6 years ago from Minnesota

      So tasty! I've attempted this before and failed miserably (so easy to burn!) I will have to try your tips here. Great hub!

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Pinkchic - good luck and watch the corn on the cob carefully! Soaking the corn ahead of time cuts down on burned cobs. Best - Steph

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      So tasty it is ..Thanks for the nice post

    • profile image

      stessily 5 years ago

      stephhicks68, Grilled corn on the cob is such a treat and is one of summer's many pleasures.

      I especially love pearly white corn on the cob.

      This is a really helpful hub for those who are attempting their first grilling and a nice reminder for dyed-in-the-wool grillers.

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