At our house, sweet corn is a summer staple, and whether we’re serving it just for our little family of three, or adding it to a backyard BBQ for a crowd, making grilled corn on the cob is the fastest and easiest way to do it.
One of the reasons I crave summer is ’tis the season for fresh, sweet corn and surprisingly, my husband’s obsession with the husked and cobbed sphere is even more than my own.
We grill just about anything and everything we can get our hands on during the summertime, and fresh corn is one of our favorites. While I’ll eat it just about any way—stripped right off the cob and raw, tossed in potluck quinoa salads, or turned into slow cooker creamed corn perfect for every eating occasion, grilled corn on the cob with creamy butter takes the cake.
I love the subtle smokiness and the beautiful char marks grilling imparts on the corn. It’s a delicious way to spruce up fresh salads, tacos and salsas, macaroni and cheese, and it makes an irresistible and easy side to your backyard BBQ.
Some people may be a tad intimidated by grilling corn, but I’m here to tell you that it’s a breeze—especially if you’ve already got the grill fired up and ready for your main.
Follow the easy steps below and you’ll soon discover grilled corn bliss.
Grilled Corn Secret Grilling Tips
- Keep it fresh. Always start with the freshest corn you can find to have the sweetest, plumpest cooked cobs.
- Keep those husks! Some recipes call for removing them entirely, but I suggest you resist the urge. There’s no need to remove the silks before grilling, simply pull them back with the corn husks afterward. The husks act as a natural protective barrier between the corn and the grill, keeping the kernels tender and juicy. Plus, the corn soaks up that wonderful smokiness from the charred husks, giving it more flavor.
- No soak, no problem. Some people soak their corn husks in cold water, prior to grilling (the theory is that this will provide the corn with more moisture.) However, after trying it several times, I find this step to be unnecessary since I’ve never been able to tell a difference.
- Watch your cooking time. When corn is overcooked it can become chewy because the longer heat breaks down the corn’s cell walls and the sugars take over, leading the kernels to lose their crunch.
- No grill? No sweat. You can still achieve a nice charred flavor by using a cast iron grill pan or skillet. For this method, you will need to husk your corn. Put a little oil or butter in a skillet and get it hot. Place your corn in the skillet and turn every few minutes, getting a nice sear on all sides.
Grilling Corn With Gusto
To grill the corn on a backyard BBQ, simply place it on hot grill grates. You can either keep the corn in its husks to steam it, or place the husked cobs directly on the grill for more char. Close the grill, and turn with tongs every five minutes or so, for around 15-20 minutes.
When finished cooking, you’ll want the corn to be tender with light grill marks if grilling direct. If grilled in the husks, the husks should have a good char but they shouldn’t be totally black.
After grilling, peel back the husks, remove the silk, and enjoy with one of the infused compound butters below.
Mo’ Bettah Buttah
Flavored compound butters are something I like to keep on hand (they’re perfect for freezing) and while it would be easy to just put in a bowl and serve from there, I like rolling them into logs and cutting into slices to slather on to just about everything for added flavor.
I’ve created these 5 flavored butters that are great on steaks and burgers, slithered into pasta with a little cheese, or mixed into scrambled eggs, but they work especially well slathered on sweet summer corn to suit the tastes of everyone at the table.
Get the 5 flavored compound butter recipes here.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
How to Make the Best Grilled Corn
- 8 eats fresh sweet corn
- Flavored butter
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
To grill corn, simply place it on a hot grill. I suggest keeping the corn in its husks to steam as it cooks. Close the grill, checking and turning with tongs, every five minutes or so, for around 15-20 minutes. Remove the husks (if you haven't already) and slather with your choice of flavored butters., If you prefer a smokier charred corn on the cob, simply add back to the grill after huskingl for just a little more char.
10 Recipe Ideas of What to Serve With Your Grilled Corn
At our house, grilled corn goes with just about anything that comes off the grill. We’ll usually get the corn grilling first, then put our main on to cook too. Here are a few main meal ideas to serve along with your corny side.
The Best Grilled Ribeye Steak (my husband’s FAVORITE!)
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