Sweet, juicy, and mouthwatering corn is one of the quintessential summer staples that everyone craves for. Whether you’re grilling up a storm or having a lazy afternoon barbecue, grilled corn on the cob is undoubtedly the ultimate comfort food that brings everyone together. But cooking the perfect grilled corn is an art in itself. It requires the right technique, timing, and ingredients to achieve that smoky, charred, and buttery goodness. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to cook delicious grill corn the right way, so you can impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.
The Best Type of Corn for Grilling
Grilled corn is one of the staple dishes of any BBQ party or gathering. However, not all corn is created equal when it comes to grilling. Choosing the right type of corn can make a big difference in taste and texture. Here are the types of corn that are best suited for grilling:
1. Sweet Corn
Sweet corn is the most common type of corn used for grilling. It is the type of corn that you are likely to find in your local grocery store. The reason why sweet corn is ideal for grilling is because it has a higher sugar content than other types of corn. When grilled, the sugars in the corn caramelize and create a deliciously sweet flavor.
2. Yellow Corn
Yellow corn is another popular choice for grilling. It has a slightly firmer texture than sweet corn and is less sweet. Yellow corn is a good option if you prefer a more savory and less sweet flavor.
3. White Corn
White corn is a lesser-known option for grilling, but it is equally delicious. It has a sweeter and more delicate taste than yellow corn and is slightly softer. White corn is a great choice if you want a more subtle and sweeter flavor.
4. Bi-Color Corn
Bi-color corn is a mix of yellow and white kernels. It has a sweet and creamy flavor and is slightly softer than yellow corn. Bi-color corn is a good option if you want a combination of sweet and savory flavors and a tender texture.
Preparing the Corn for Grilling
Before grilling your corn on the cob, it is important to properly prepare it to ensure it cooks evenly and tastes delicious. Follow these essential steps for preparing your corn:
Removing the Husks and Silk
The first step to preparing your corn for grilling is to remove the husks and silk. Start by peeling back the outer leaves of the corn husk, being careful not to tear them. Once you have peeled back the leaves, remove the silk by hand or with a clean, damp cloth.
Next, fold the leaves back over the cob and tie the ends with a piece of kitchen twine. This will help the corn hold its shape while it cooks.
Brushing with Butter or Olive Oil
To add extra flavor to your grilled corn, brush it with butter or olive oil before placing it on the grill. This will help the corn caramelize and give it a nice charred flavor. Simply brush the butter or oil onto the corn using a pastry brush or your fingers.
For an extra kick of flavor, try adding some garlic, herbs, or spices to your butter or oil mixture before brushing it onto the corn.
Soaking in Water
Another tip for ensuring juicy and flavorful grilled corn is to soak the ears in water for about 15 minutes before grilling. This will help prevent the corn from drying out and will also help steam it while it cooks.
After soaking, shake off any excess water and place the corn on the grill.
Grilling Techniques for Corn
Corn on the cob is a summertime barbecue essential, and grilling is a perfect cooking method to showcase its natural sweetness and crunchiness. Here are some grilling techniques for corn to make it perfect every time.
Direct Heat Grilling
Direct heat grilling involves placing the corn directly over the flames, so the corn kernels get charred and infused with smoky flavors. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 350-400 degrees F). Peel back the husks and remove the silks while leaving the husks attached to the cob. Brush the corn with melted butter or oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired. Place the corn on the grill and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the corn is evenly charred on all sides. Once done, let it rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Indirect Heat Grilling
Indirect heat grilling is a method that requires cooking the corn away from direct flames, such as on the top rack of the grill or over the cool side of a two-zone fire. Preheat the grill to medium heat (around 300-350 degrees F). Remove the silks and inner husks, then wrap each ear with aluminum foil. Brush the corn with butter or olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite spices. Place the foil-wrapped corn on the indirect heat side and grill for 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the corn is tender and cooked through. Remove from the grill and unwrap the foil, then let it cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.
The cooking time for grilling corn on the cob varies depending on the temperature, method, and thickness of the ears. As a general rule, direct heat grilling takes around 10-15 minutes, while indirect heat grilling takes about 20-30 minutes. If you like your corn really juicy and tender, soak the ears in cold water for 10-15 minutes before grilling. This will help the corn steam from the inside and keep it moist while grilling.
Spice Up Your Corn with Seasonings
One of the best ways to add flavor to grilled corn on the cob is by using seasonings. Here are some options you can try:
Salt and Pepper
These two basic seasonings can make a big difference in your grilled corn. Sprinkle salt and pepper generously on the corn after brushing it with oil, to ensure that the seasonings stick. Turn the corn occasionally while grilling to get an even cook, and a nice char that’ll enhance the flavors.
Garlic and Butter
Melt some butter in a saucepan, add chopped garlic, and cook for a few minutes. Brush the mixture onto the corn, then sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. Grill the corn and turn frequently until it’s done. This garlic-butter corn on the cob is flavorful and delicious.
Paprika and Lime
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 tablespoon Lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional)
Mix the above ingredients, and brush over the corn before grilling. Grill the corn for about 5-8 min, frequently turning, until itâ€™s charred, golden on all sides and tender inside. This mixture gives the corn a slightly smoky, tangy, and slightly spicy taste. It’s perfect for those who like their corn with a bit of a kick.
Lemon and Dill
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of Dried dill
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
If you like bright, tangy flavors, this version of grilled corn is for you. Whisk the ingredients together into a bowl, then brush the mixture onto the corn before grilling. The fresh lemon and dill complement the sweetness of the corn, while the garlic adds a savory touch to the dish. Grill the corn for about 8-10 minutes, occasionally rotating, to grill it to perfection.
Alternative Corn Grilling Methods
If you’re looking for a way to mix up your corn grilling game, there are plenty of alternative methods to try. Not only can these methods provide different flavor profiles but also make the presentation of your corn more unique.
1. Using foil
A popular alternative to grilling corn is wrapping it in foil and placing it on the grill. This method is great for those who want to trap in moisture and create a steaming effect for their corn. It’s also a simple solution as all you need to do is wrap the corn and place it on the grill. Plus, the foil provides an excellent barrier to prevent any potential burning.
2. Using skewers
If you’re looking to create a showy presentation for your corn, grilling them on skewers is the way to go. Not only does it make the corn easy to handle, but it also provides a perfect grill mark every time. Using skewers also prevents corn from rolling around on the grill and falling into the fire.
3. Using grilling baskets
If you’re worried about the corn sticking to the grill grates, using a grilling basket is a good alternative. These baskets are great for holding corn, and they’re easy to flip and remove from the grill. Grilling baskets are also versatile and can be used for a variety of other veggies like asparagus and zucchini.
4. Using a mayonnaise-based coating
Rather than using the traditional butter and seasoning coating for your corn, try using a mayonnaise-based coating. This method not only adds an extra layer of flavor but also helps to keep the corn moist. Some people also claim it provides an excellent barrier to prevent any potential burning.
5. Adding cheese and herbs to the coating
If you want to take your corn to the next level, consider adding cheese and herbs to your mayonnaise-based coating. This can be accomplished by blending grated Parmesan cheese, garlic, and herbs like basil, parsley, and thyme into the mayonnaise. This not only provides great flavor, but the cheese adds a subtle crispy texture to the corn.
Common Mistakes When Grilling Corn
Grilling corn might sound like an easy task, but there are common mistakes people make, which can affect the outcome of your grilled corn. It can either be too dry or overcooked, or it may not have a smoky flavor. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when grilling corn and how to avoid them.
1. Not Soaking the Corn First
When grilling corn, it is essential first to soak it in cold water. Soaking helps maintain the desired moisture level in the corn and prevents it from drying out. It also avoids charring the outer layer of the corn. You can soak the corn for at least 30 minutes before grilling it. Soaking it for an extended period can lead to a soggy texture.
2. Leaving the Husks On
While leaving the husks on corn provides an attractive presentation, especially while serving, it can prevent the corn from properly grilling. The husk forms an insulating layer that doesn’t allow the heat to reach the corn. It will end up steaming instead of grilling. So, make sure to remove the silk and husks before grilling.
3. Overcooking the Corn
Overcooking the corn is one of the common mistakes people make while grilling. It leaves the corn dry and charred, which no one wants. It is essential to grill corn until it is slightly tender but still has that crispiness. Once you see grill marks and the corn is cooked through, take it off the grill.
4. Grilling Corn on Direct Heat
Placing the corn on direct heat can provide rapid results, but it often leads to burning or charring the corn. The ideal method is to place the corn on indirect heat and use a closed lid to maintain the flavor and the smoky essence while grilling.
5. Using Too Much Oil or Butter
Adding oil or butter to the corn before grilling gives it a crisp texture and enhances its flavor. However, using too much oil or butter can hinder the grilling process, resulting in a greasy, smokeless mess. It’s ideal to rub a little bit of oil or butter to the corn for flavor and texture.
6. Not Seasoning the Corn Enough
Bland corn is a crime when grilling it. The seasoning is essential, and to get the perfect flavor, you need to apply it generously. Salt and pepper are the most commonly used seasonings, but it’s a good idea to explore your options. You can also try using paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, or any seasoning of your choice. Make sure to rub the seasoning before grilling and not after.
Thanks for Reading!
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on how to grill corn perfectly without overcooking or undercooking it. Always remember to clean your corn and preheat your grill to get that smoky, charred flavor. Experiment with different toppings and seasonings to find your favorite combination. Don’t forget to come back to our website for more exciting recipes and cooking tips!
Cook Delicious Grill Corn the Right Way
Looking to grill the perfect ear of corn? Check out this article for foolproof instructions and expert tips on cooking delicious grill corn.
- 4 ears of corn (shucked)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and brush the grates with oil to prevent sticking.
- Remove the husks and silk from each ear of corn. Rinse the corn under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, honey, chili powder, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Brush the seasoning mixture on each ear of corn and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Place the corn on the preheated grill and cook for 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the kernels are tender and lightly charred.
- Remove the corn from the grill and let it cool for a few minutes. Carefully unwrap the foil and serve the corn with your favorite toppings and garnishes. Enjoy!