Plump, juicy-sweet kernels bursting in your mouth; nothing beats locally grown Grilled Corn on the Cob! In the husk, wrapped in foil or charred to smokey perfection straight on the grill, let’s get it perfect for you!
In addition to eating it old-school, we like to slice the roasted corn off the cob and combine it with other summer vegetables to make a delightful Fresh Corn Salad, served with other summer favorites like “drunken” Borracho Beans or Easy Pesto Pasta Salad.
Selecting the best ears:
The journey to the best Grilled Corn at the Cob begins at the farm stand or local supermarket. You can find the best corn on the cob in season in the US from May to September. Select ears that feel firm and heavy. The husks should be bright green and tight (loose and brown means they’re not fresh) and the tassels should still be present — golden brown and slightly sticky.
Choosing your grilling method:
So let’s weigh the pros and cons for cooking methods.
Laying them “bare bones” on the hot grill gives them that classic grilled look and flavor of individual caramelized, golden-brown kernels.
Wrapping them in foil is best if you like to pre-butter and season the corn.
Roasting them in the husk keeps the kernels moist and tender: the charred husks look very gourmet, but you miss out on a bit of the roasted flavor and texture.
Best is to try all three and discover what YOU love most!
How to make Grilled Corn on the Cob:
- Shuck the corn (enlist the kids). If you are planning to grill it in the husk, pull the leaves back and pull off the silk, but DON’T remove the leaves completely!
- Soak husked corn ears (optional) for 15 minutes in a sink full of cold water to keep them plump and tender on the grill. If wrapping in foil, skip this step.
- Fire up your grill, remove corn from the water and pat dry. Brush on olive oil and season with pepper and salt. If you are leaving the husks on, pull them back over the corn. If using foil, butter and garlic salt is a delicious alternative. Be sure to wrap in a double layer of foil.
- Place corn on upper rack of grill over medium heat. Rotate corn often so it won’t dry out. Foil or husk need less attention.
- Keep cooking and rotating for 12-15 minutes or until kernels show spots of golden brown. Cook foil or husk versions about 5 minutes longer, peeking in to see if brilliant yellow.
Note: If you don’t have an upper rack on your grill, cook the corn on medium-low heat. Cooking time may be a few minutes longer.
Highly Irrelevant Fun Fact:
Psychological studies have determined that how you eat your corn says a lot about you!
Are you a precise and orderly individual who carefully extracts each kernel left-to-right, typewriter style? Are you of a creative, artistic bent, skillfully spiraling your way around the ear in a rotary fashion? Or does all that pent up rage have you savaging the cob like hyena on a wildebeest? Ok, I made that last one up, but did you know that speakers of languages written from right to left are also more likely to apply the same approach to their corn cobs?
Now that you’re in the know, keep a careful eye on your fellow diners and see if you can detect which of the Dr. Jekylls at your party is ALSO a Mr. Hyde!
Freeze leftover grilled corn by cutting it off the cob and adding to a freezer safe bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible, seal and freeze for 3-6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
- (Optional) Soak husked corn ears for 15 minutes in old water (this will help keep them plump and tender!).
- When corn is almost finished soaking, fire up your grill! Remove corn from the water and pat dry. Brush olive oil over the corn, making sure it's evenly coated all over. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place corn on the upper rack of the grill over medium heat (or if you don't have an upper rack, cook on medium low heat). Cook for 12-15 minutes, rotating the corn often to keep it cooking without drying out.
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I originally shared this recipe May 2014. Updated June 2020 with new photos and instructions for grilling in the husk or in foil.