Aug 20
2011

How to: Grill Corn

How to Grill Corn Recipe

Every summer my two sons and I become stalkers. Once a week or so, we drive by our favorite family-run farm stand, desperately watching for the sign announcing the arrival of their sweet summer corn. When that sign finally appears, great cheers erupt, accompanied by enthusiastic bouncing up and down in the seat. “Calm down, Mum – it’s just corn.” This year, likely due to the cooler weather we experienced earlier in the season, the sign went up later than usual. In fact, it was still absent from the farm stand by the time we left for our summer adventure. Our corn recipes stayed tucked away in the wooden recipe box nestled in the cupboard until we returned.

A few days after our vacation, we hit the farm stand and were thrilled to see an overflowing pile of fresh corn, ears covered in bright green husks and firm to the touch. The sign at the stand stated that we could buy a baker’s dozen for a very reasonable price. My 7-year old son, lover of all things grown from the earth, declared that we should buy at least ten baker’s dozens…just for him. Well, we settled for a more modest bagful and headed home, gleefully clutching our bounty.

Now, we are often happy to husk and boil the fresh corn, dressing it in nothing more than melted butter and salt. However, if the barbecue is already fired up for our favorite summer dishes, such as Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Molasses Chili Marinade or Smoky Sliders with Grilled Pineapple & Chipotle Mayonnaise, then throwing the corn on for a few minutes is a breeze. Grilled corn also adds a smoky, rich layer of flavor to salads, salsas and soups.

How to Grill Corn 1

Now, I may be entering some contentious waters here because I know that there is more than one way to grill an ear of corn. Some like to completely remove the husk and grill the corn straight on the grill (I actually used to do it this way) while others swear by soaking the ear, husk and all, in water for at least an hour and then grilling (this stops the husk from burning and provides more water for the corn to steam). A third camp prefers to remove the husk, butter and season the corn, and wrap it in foil before grilling. Is there one correct way? Of course not. I have tried them all and have been happy with each method, though each produces slightly different results.

In the method outlined here, I removed all but the innermost layer of the husk and grilled the ears straight on the grill. That single, thin layer of husk provides enough of a barrier to stop the corn from drying out, but allows the smokiness from the grill to penetrate the kernels. You will be rewarded with juicy, sweet and smoky corn that can hold its own when topped with cheese or fresh herbs, or shines when simply dressed with butter and salt.

How to do it:

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush the grate with canola oil.

Peel all but the innermost layer of husk from each ear of corn. You should be able to see the corn kernels through the last layer of husk.

Trim any silk protruding from the tip of the ear.

How to Grill Corn 2

Place the ears of corn on the prepared grill and cook the corn, rotating every 2 minutes, until the husks are scorched and the kernels are deep golden yellow, 12 to 15 minutes.

How to Grill Corn 3

Remove the corn from the grill. Allow it to cool for several minutes, then peel back the layer of husk and silks. Season with butter and salt. Dig in!

Alternatively, you can cut the kernels off the cobs and use in salads, salsas, soups and more.

How to Grill Corn 4

Recipes with Grilled Corn:

Cookin’ Canuck’s Grilled Chicken with Smoky Corn & Tomato Salsa
Cookin’ Canuck’s Corn Salsa with Zing
Use Real Butter’s Grilled Corn & Chipotle Soup
Food 52′s Grilled Corn Pudding
Created by Diane’s Grilled Tri Tip with Cilantro Lime Basmati Rice & Grilled Corn
Taste & Tell’s Mexican-Style Grilled Corn

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maris (In Good Taste) August 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Well this certainly is a whole lot better then my microwave method! Great photos!

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2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) August 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Ha! Sometimes you just have to do whatever works to get a meal on the table.

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3 bellini August 20, 2011 at 7:07 pm

As it just so happens I had 3 cobs of corn and am still licking my lips.

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4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) August 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Perfect! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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5 Susan August 20, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I love it when you find corn that is still chill from the stalks … up north in New York State, the farmers soak the burlap bags of corn in ice cold water and lay the corn on blocks of ice in the wagons at the farmstand that we go to ( went to, I should say when I was a kid) – we love fresh corn on the cob too!

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6 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) August 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm

That sounds like the perfect way to keep the corn fresh on a hot summer’s day.

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7 Asiya @ Chocolate & Chillies August 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm

This looks great and so easy…Much better than how I usually just boil the in water, as I did tonight! :)

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8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) August 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Boiling can bet great, but the smokiness from grilling really adds something special.

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9 Drick August 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm

such a favorite way to grill corn, so glad ya’ll got back in time to enjoy it… nothing better than fresh picked, chilling helps retain the sugar and keeps it from turning into starch, but then you already know that… you know I do love my corn…

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10 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) August 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Great tip about chilling the corn, Drick!

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11 Laurie @SimplyScratch August 21, 2011 at 6:23 am

I love your method Dara! I was the corn-wrapped-in-foil kind of gal… but not anymore! :)

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12 claudia lamascolo August 21, 2011 at 6:54 am

I was really hoping you were bringing back your fabulous tutorials! Love t his one!

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13 Nichol August 21, 2011 at 8:43 am

We love grilled corn. We actually love corn anyway! I’m sad corn season is coming to an end:(

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14 Katrina August 21, 2011 at 8:45 am

Mmm, I want to try it this way! We love fresh sweet corn!

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15 http://qrant.com/oklahoma-ok-cheap-car-insurance/blanchard.html February 10, 2014 at 12:53 am

Now we know who the sensible one is here. Great post!

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16 Courtney August 21, 2011 at 10:08 am

Oh how I miss grilling outdoors, apartment life has made me adjust to an indoor electric grill – I wonder how this would turn out.

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17 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) August 21, 2011 at 10:10 am

Courtney, the only thing I’d worry about grilling indoors is the blackened husks may produce too much smoke. You might be better off using the foil method or boiling the corn.

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18 MikeW August 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

Best way is to build a hardwood fire & let it burn down to embers. Then bury fresh ears of corn, fresh picked so the husk is still moist, in the coals. Just before the coals burn completely through the husks, so that there is a bit of char where the hottest coals were, pull them out.

Sweet flavor of the corn & smoky taste of the wood.

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19 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) August 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

Mike, thanks so much for this. I think this is something we’ll try the next time we go camping.

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20 Beth August 21, 2011 at 11:28 am

I’m so lazy…I just shuck the corn and throw it straight on the grill. It only takes about 8 minutes to cook, and it gets all lovely and caramelized.

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21 Bobbi August 21, 2011 at 11:47 am

I have been wanting to try this and for what ever reason have just never gotten around to it. I have always used the “wrap it in foil” method but the grilling just sounds so yummy!

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22 Russell at Chasing Delicious August 21, 2011 at 11:48 am

I love grilled corn. I don’t think I’ve prepared corn any other way this summer. I love the flavor you get from grilling corn and they look so delicious when serving. Love your shots, it really captures how delicious and fun grilled corn is. I know what I’m making tonight! Thanks for the inspiration.

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23 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme August 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Fresh sweet corn is one of the best of the summer treats! There are so many great ways to prepare it and grilled is one of my favorites. Looks so good!

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24 Katrina August 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Nothing like good grilled corn. Delish!

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25 Liz August 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Oooh, we love grilled corn! I make mine exactly the same except I’ve been soaking mine in ice water first. Good to know I can skip that step as yours looks perfect :)

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26 Lynn August 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm

We love grilled corn. It is the perfect summertime treat.

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27 Curt August 21, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I love grilled corn. I have 5 ears just waiting for the grill right now.

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28 Spoon and Chopsticks August 21, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Thanks for sharing this nice little helpful tip.

http://spoon-and-chopsticks.blogspot.com/

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29 Barbara | Creative Culinary August 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm

This is the way I like it too. Or would like it. I have been remiss and haven’t had one ear of sweet summer corn; now I’m a bit sad…this looks SO good Dara.

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30 Mai August 22, 2011 at 4:48 am

Awesome tip. They looks delis. Thanks for sharing!

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31 Sonia M. August 22, 2011 at 6:05 am

Hello, I am Sonia’s Oggi pane e salame, domani…blog (pardon my bad English) glad to know ^_^ I found your photos on Dishfolio and so I decided to follow you so far, now are among your followers ^_^ go to see when you want.
Have a nice day ;)

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32 Cooking Creation August 22, 2011 at 6:07 am

I’ve always wanted to grill corn but never knew which method to try. Thank you for sharing this how to! :)

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33 Kate@Diethood August 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

Dara, once again you made my mouth water with those gorgeous photos!!

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34 Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook August 22, 2011 at 11:46 am

I’ve always just husked the corn entirely and put it on the grill, never thought to do it with some of the husk and silk still on. No wonder mine are always hit or miss, sometimes over cooked. Gonna try this while its still corn season here in NJ :)

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35 Kita August 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I’ve been loving grilled corn this summer. We have done it in the husks and out. Love it both ways.

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36 Sandy@EverydaySouthwest August 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

This is this is the only way I cook fresh corn. I roast the ears in the oven just like this when I don’t fire up the grill. It works great!

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37 Shelby August 23, 2011 at 3:37 am

I absolutely love corn roasted on the grill and the flavor it imparts…makes me drool just thinking about it!

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38 megan @ whatmegansmaking August 23, 2011 at 4:17 am

I normally microwave my corn, but I’ve been wanting to grill it for awhile now. Great timing! :)

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39 Katrin August 24, 2011 at 9:55 pm

You know, I like the soaking method for ease of husk and silk removal. I hate having those tricky buggers floating around everywhere however I do like the roasty flavor of having only a few layers to save the kernels :)

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40 Marla August 25, 2011 at 6:25 am

A beautiful & informative post. Love your how-tos. Bet you guys had fun munching all this summer corn :)

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41 Becca @ Cook, Rejoice, Repeat August 28, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Oh, how I wish I had a grill! I would try this under my broiler, but it’s mysteriously not working. Last night I was successful at toasting meringue cupcakes in a toaster oven, but somehow I doubt an ear of corn would fit in there. Thanks for the instructions nonetheless — I will keep them in the back of my head for later!

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