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How to Make Grilled Corn on the Cob

Updated on August 8, 2020
stephhicks68 profile image

I love cooking and recipe sharing! From tried and true dishes to creative meals, I love stirring up something new!

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.

Grilling Corn on the Cob in Foil

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.

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

BBQ Corn on the Cob - Prepared in Husk

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!

How do you like Grilled Corn on the Cob?

4.7 stars from 3 ratings of Grilled Corn on the Cob

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Stephanie Marshall


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