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How to grill corn on the cob

By: Antoine

22 July 2019

Grilled corn on the cob is absolutely mandatory for me when the weather gets warm. A crunchy and sweet treat with a bit of smokey char and juicy inside-what could be better? Oh yes, you can also use the corn in a variety of recipes like pasta, salads, soups and many more.

But, first, you have to grill corn on the cob perfectly. So, if you are looking to answer how to grill corn on the cob, we have three excellent and easy ways for blackened on the outside and perfectly steamed in the middle grilled corn. All of the methods of grilling corn have their advantages and drawbacks. So, the selection would entirely depend on your liking, but first, let’s learn how to buy the best corn.

How To Get The Best Corn

The easiest and best way to find the best ears is to peel back the husks a bit to get a glimpse of the kernels when purchasing corn on the cob. But, you definitely cannot fully shuck ten ears of corn at the grocery store when you only have to buy three. So, the quest of finding the best ears of corn starts with eyeing the right husks. How? Let’s get into the step by step guide:

  • Eye the ears with tight green and golden brown husks plus the slightly sticky tassels (the hairy part up top).
  • Stay away from brownish crackly husks and also avoid black or dry tassels.
  • Feel the husk for plump kernels and skip the ones with holes as the holes indicate the non-existence of kernels.

These are some tips to buy the best corn. However, only grilling will surely tell if you got the right piece of corn. So, let’s get into grilling corn on the cob.

The perfect corn on the cob

Grilled Corn With Husk On

It is the most natural way to grill corn with the husk still on. It is easy and also gives you a built-in handle to fold back the husk and reveal the steamed corn. The husk-on grilling also helps protect the corn kernels steam a bit and make them even tenderer.

You can also peel back the husk leaving it attached at the end to remove the silks or season it with salt and pepper or add some flavored butter and fold the husk back. Or you can just remove the silk along with the husk when you shuck it after grilling as I do.

How to do it:

Simply plop them on the grill and cook, occasionally turning, until they are steamed through to the center which takes about 15 minutes and you will have the perfectly grilled corn on the cob.

It’s super easy on the prep and ensures flavorful corn with a lightly grassy touch from the husk and also does not dry the corn. However, it can be a little messy to eat as the blackened husk gets on your skin plus it will not provide a charred or grilled flavor It can also be a little difficult to determine whether or not the corn inside is completely done.

Grilled Corn Wrapped in Foil

It is quite similar to the in-the-husk method when it comes to the process. However, there are some differences regarding how the corn ends up.

How to do it:

For the foil grilling version, you will have to shuck corn and remove silk and husk. Next step is to cover the corn in a good quality, heavy-duty aluminum foil. You can also add oil or flavored butter inside. Now, put the foiled corn ear directly on hot coals to grill, or on the top of a grate set over the coals. Turn occasionally, till the corn is completely cooked, around 15 minutes.

It is easy to serve and isn’t messy at all like the husk-on method. You just have to pull the corn off, give it a little rest, and serve. The foil will keep your corn hot for a long time, which makes it an ideal method for large gatherings. However, it is a bit heavy in the prep section and requires shucking, cleaning, and then rewrapping.

Grilled Naked

My personal favorite, corn grilled naked, ensures a charred, browned, nutty bits giving it a true feel and taste of “grilled.” The best part is that it is the fastest way to grill corn.

How to do it:

As in the foil-wrapped version, first shuck and clean corn. You can opt for brine, but I would not recommend it. Now, put the corn directly over a very hot fire or grill. Turn occasionally, till corn is cooked and charred, which will take around 10 minutes total. You can serve flavor it with butter or salt and serve quickly. Once the corn is ready, you can turn the grill to medium-high or high heat to produce those good looking grill marks, but be sure to watch the corn closely and rotate frequently.

The method is easy and quick and allows you to keep an eye on the corn while it grills and results in a true smoky, charred, and grilled flavor. Plus, you don’t have to worry about removing every single piece of silk because the fire will do it for you. However, the corn will not be as juicy as corn steamed with husk-on or in the foil.


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