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How to Perfectly Grill Corn on the Cob?

22 Feb 2024
How to Perfectly Grill Corn on the Cob?

How to Perfectly Grill Corn on the Cob

Grilling corn on the cob is a quintessential summer activity that not only brings people together but also elevates the natural sweetness of the corn, resulting in a smoky, flavorful, and juicy bite. Perfectly grilled corn is charred on the outside and tender on the inside, with kernels bursting with flavor. Whether you're hosting a barbecue, picnic, or simply enjoying a meal outdoors, mastering the art of grilling corn on the cob will surely impress your guests and satisfy your taste buds. Here's your comprehensive guide to achieving perfectly grilled corn on the cob.

Preparing the Corn

  1. Select Fresh Corn: Look for corn with bright green husks, moist stems, and silk ends that aren't too dry. Peel back the husk slightly to check for plump, shiny kernels.

  2. Prep the Corn: Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Some prefer to leave the husks on for grilling, which can help steam the corn and keep it moist. If you choose this method, peel back the husks without removing them entirely, remove the silk, then reposition the husks around the corn.

Grilling Methods

Direct Grilling (Husk Off)

For charred and smoky flavor, grilling the corn directly on the grill grates without the husk is the way to go.

  1. Preheat the Grill: Heat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Oil Lightly: Brush the corn lightly with olive oil or melted butter. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Grill: Place the corn directly on the grill. Turn every 2-3 minutes to ensure even cooking and charring. Grill for about 10-15 minutes until the kernels are tender and have nice grill marks.

In the Husk

Grilling the corn in its husk imparts a steamed effect, keeping the kernels juicy and slightly smoky.

  1. Soak the Corn: If you've kept the husks on, soak the whole cobs in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling. This prevents the husks from burning too quickly.
  2. Grill: Place the soaked cobs directly on the grill. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. The husks will char, but the water soak will prevent them from catching fire.
  3. Peel and Serve: Once grilled, carefully peel back the husks (they'll be hot!) and remove any remaining silk. Serve with butter, salt, and your choice of seasonings.

Wrapped in Foil

For those who prefer a cleaner method or want to infuse the corn with additional flavors, wrapping in foil is ideal.

  1. Season: After oiling the corn, add your choice of seasonings or herbs. Butter, garlic, chili powder, and lime zest are great options.
  2. Wrap: Wrap each ear of corn tightly in aluminum foil.
  3. Grill: Place the wrapped corn on the grill, turning occasionally. Grill for about 15-20 minutes. The foil conducts heat, cooking the corn evenly and keeping it moist.

Additional Tips

  • Experiment with Flavors: Beyond butter and salt, consider adding spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, or custom blends to your corn before grilling. Herbs like cilantro or dill also add a fresh twist.
  • Serving: Serve grilled corn with various butters or sauces. Compound butter with herbs, Parmesan cheese, or even a dash of truffle oil can elevate your grilled corn experience.
  • Safety: Use tongs to turn and remove the corn from the grill to avoid burns. If using the husk method, the husks will be very hot, so give them time to cool down or use gloves when handling.


Grilling corn on the cob is a simple yet satisfying way to enjoy one of summer's finest offerings. Whether you prefer the direct char of husk-off grilling, the moist tenderness of husk-on, or the flavor-infused method of foil wrapping, each technique has its charm. By following these steps and tips, you're well on your way to serving perfectly grilled corn on the cob at your next outdoor gathering.

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