Let’s grill some golden-brown cobs instead of burgers, dogs, and other grillables. Here are our three favorite ways to examine the corn!
Yes, yes, yes, the grilling season has arrived! The smells of delicious foods and swirls of food fill the warm blue sky. We’re ready! Always.
Let’s put some golden corn cobs (literally) on the grill. You are in for a treat if you’ve never tried grilling fresh, sweet summer corn. Here are some tips, tricks, and methods for grilling sweet corn.
First, let’s define a few things.
Cob, husk, silk, what? Let’s first define each one before we start working our magic.
- Corn On The Cob: The Whole Shebang! All the goodness of corn on a cob, including silks and husks.
- CobThe middle part of the corn on a cob, after you have eaten every delicious bite.
- Silk: A stringy, threadlike substance that adheres to corn between the kernels and the husk.
- Husk The outer green leaves of corn on a cob attached to the base.
Grilling Corn in the Husk
- Removing silk: Pull the husks up and remove the silk (don’t be worried about any bits that will burn off), then gently unfold the husks in order to create the perfect natural tent for steaming your corn. You can also toss the whole cob on and shuck after grilling, but that’s more messy…and hotter.
- To soak or not to soak: It is debated whether this will add moisture to the corn and stop it from burning. Spoiler alert! Some of the husks will burn regardless. The corn will remain steamed, and the texture will be tender. If you choose to soak your corn, place the fully husked cobs into a bowl with water for 15-20 minutes.
Make it Happen
- Pull out as much silk as possible by gently folding back the husk. Fold the husks gently back up once the silk has been removed. This will create your adorable little steam tent. If you want to soak your corn, do it.
- Preheat your grill to medium heat (about 375 to 450 degrees F).
- Grill corn directly on the grates with the husks folded. Rotate the corn to ensure that the husk is evenly charred.
- The corn is ready when the kernels are golden and soft, and there are a few tiny bits of char visible through the husk flaps. YUM!
- When the corn is cool enough to handle, pull back the husk. Optional: little pokey corn holders.
Why is this method great? The preparation is easy, and the kernels are moist from the steam husk and have a charred flavor from grilling directly.
Grilling corn in foil
This method is the easiest, most hands-off of all. It will give you the moistest corn. You will lose some of the smoky flavor that comes with summer char because the corn is never directly heated. Preparation takes longer.
Make It Happen
- Remove the husks, silks, and chaff from the corn. Wrap the cobs in heavy-duty aluminum foil. You can add butter, olive oil, or any other seasoning if you wish. ).
- Preheat your grill on medium-high heat (approximately 375-450 degrees F).
- Grill for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Grill for about 15 minutes while turning the corn occasionally.
- When the kernels of corn are golden and soft, they’re ready to harvest.
This method is excellent because the corn stays warmer for longer. You can leave the corn in the foil until it’s time to serve. This is great if you are serving a large group.
Grilling Corn on the Grates
You’ll get the most grill flavor by putting the bare cobs directly on the grates. The corn will be a little bit dryer with this method, but its smoky flavor is unbeatable.
How to Make it Happen
- Remove the husks, silks, and tassels completely from the corn (don’t be worried – any remaining silk will burn off).
- Preheat your grill on medium-high heat (around 375-450 degrees F).
- Grill the cobs for 10 minutes on the grates, rotating them occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- The corn is ready when the kernels have a golden color and are evenly charred.
This method is the best: The corn cooks faster than other methods, and the smoky flavor of the char is unbeatable.
You may not like to eat corn straight off the cob, or you might have remembered how delicious grilled corn is in salads, salsas, and pasta. So you want the kernels. Let’s get started:
- You can grill corn in any way you like.
- Place the grilled corn on a flat surface, with the larger side facing up. BONUS TIP: Place the corn in the middle of a bundt cake pan to keep it stable. All the kernels will fall inside.
- Place a sharp knife at the base and then run it along the side of the corn cob. Most of the golden beauties that you grilled will be in your bundt or bowl, ready to serve.
How to Choose the Best Corn for Grilling
The freshest corn is always the best. The sugars in corn start to decompose as soon as it is removed from the stalk. So, the best thing to do would be to buy it at a farmer’s stand or market and grill it the same night. But…that isn’t everyone’s life.
What are the best tips for buying fresh corn?
- Find husks that are brightly colored, tightly wrapped, and have a damp feel.
- Avoid husks with little brown holes, as this is an indication of insects.
- When you squeeze the corn, it should feel firm (nothing soft or missing kernels).
- The corn silk that peeks out at the top of the corn stalk should be golden or light brown and have a slightly sweet smell (avoid any that are black, mushy, or dry).
Grilling corn is easy and delicious when you use these favorite things.
You only need a grill, some corn, and a cold cocktail to make this. If you want to make it even more special, we recommend using a few of our favorite things.
- Charcoal or Propane Grills: We prefer a propane barbecue* because of its ease and a grill* due to the flavor. Weber, FTW!
- A good, sharp chef’s knife: When you are cutting kernels from the cob, this knife* will be a necessity.
- Cute and Practical Corn Holders We love these corn holders*, but HOW CUTE THEY ARE.*
- All of the Toppings Cotija cheese and high-quality mayo* or butter with smoked sea salt* to make a classic corn on the cob.