Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob is so easy to make. Perfect for any time you fire up the grill. Learn how to grill corn on the cob with husk for the best side dish for a barbecue, summer festivities, and holiday celebrations.

overhead view of grilled corn on the cob on parchment paper.

Grilled Corn Recipe

Summer is here, and grilled corn on the cob is basically mandatory either indoors or for an outdoor barbeque. Sweet crunchiness with a bit of smoky char, and so juicy it runs down your chin – what could be better?

Everyone loves corn on the cob – it’s simply irresistible and the perfect summer food.

Fresh Sweet Corn

The kind of corn that we grill with and use in corn dishes is called sweet corn. This corn contains more sugar than other corn types, and you can’t use it to make popcorn.

Other types of corn are not picked until the kernels are mature and dry, but sweet corn is harvested while the ears are still immature and the kernels are tender.

The first step to really great grilled corn is, to begin with, the freshest corn possible. Whether your corn is yellow, white, or bicolored, as soon as it gets picked, the sugars in the corn start to be affected by enzymes that slowly convert the sugars into blander and more mealy starches.

Though corn growers are working hard at producing corn that is not only sweeter but stays sweeter off the stalk for longer, your best bet for really tasty corn is to buy locally grown corn that’s as fresh as possible – preferably picked that very morning and transported to a farm stand or farmers market – and to cook it as soon as possible.

grilled corn on the cob on parchment paper

How to Pick the Best Corn

Of course, it’s tempting to take a surreptitious peek and peel down a teensy bit of the husk to look for bright, plump kernels. However, this is not polite corn-buying etiquette.

The section of corn that looked so and milky and bright when you peeled it will get shriveled and starchier more quickly. So here’s the right way to pick out the best corn:

  • Look for small brown holes in the husk, especially towards the top. These are holes made by worms, and, naturally, you want to avoid worms.
  • Place your fingers on the husk and feel the kernels. If you can feel any holes instead of kernels, then choose another ear.
  • The corn tassels sticking up out of the top should be brown and slightly sticky. If they’re black or dry, you’re touching an old ear of corn.
  • Look at the color of the husk. If the corn is fresh, the husk should be a bright green and tightly wrapped around the cob. Often, it will even feel slightly damp.

How Many Kinds of Sweet Corn are There?

You might be surprised at how many different varieties of sweet corn there are, and more are being developed every year. Sweet corn can be divided into the following four categories. You can read about them in more detail by clicking here.

  • Normal Sugar Hybrids –Varieties such as Silver Queen, Early Sunglow, and Honey and Cream are considered the universal standard of quality for sweet corn. They have excellent flavor and texture but are less sweet than Sugar Enhanced or Supersweet varieties.
  • Sugar Enhanced – These varieties are very tender, have the highest sugar content, and stay sweeter longer. They include Peaches and Cream, Kandy Korn, and Ambrosia.
  • Supersweet – These sweet corn varieties have an exceptionally crisp texture and ultra-sweet flavor. They are usually at their best within four days of harvesting. They have names like Northern Xtra Sweet, Honey ‘n Pearl, and Early Xtra Sweet.
  • Heirloom – Heirloom corn is grown in isolation from other varieties to prevent cross-pollination and preserve its historical significance. Varieties include Golden Bantam, Stowell’s Evergreen, and Country Gentleman.

What Makes Corn on the Grill the Best?

When you cook the corn on the grill you can get some of the best flavor! The grill gives the corn a nice smoky taste along with the wonderful char marks that the grill gives the corn makes the flavor hard to beat. 

four ears of grilled corn on the cob

What is the Best Way to Grill Corn on the Cob?

You can make corn on the cob with the husk or without. I prefer to make corn on the cob with the husk, especially when it is on the grill. 

The husk gives the corn a little barrier between the hot grill to allow it to sit on the grill longer before burning.

Leaving the husk on also keeps the heat in easier, which essentially steams the corn as well. When this happens, it leaves you with crispy and juicy corn, rather than dried out and burnt corn.

Ingredients for Grilled Corn on the Cob

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Fresh corn with husk
  • Butter

That’s it! How great and budget-friendly too.

Equipment Needed for Grilling Corn

It’s pretty obvious what you might need, but just in case you think you might be missing something here is what I use for this delicious grilled corn on the cob recipe.  

  • A very large pot that can hold at least 4 ears of corn plus water to soak it in.
  • A large colander to drain the water from the soaked corn.
  • Your favorite grill.
  • Tongs for turning the corn while on the grill.
  • Pastry basting brush to slather melted butter on the grilled corn.
grilled corn on the cob ingredients on a tray.

How to Grill Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn is really easy to make in the following steps:

  1. Remove the silks from the ears of corn.
Partially husked corn, just the silks are removed
  1. Soak the corn for about 20 minutes.
fresh corn with husk soaking in water
  1. Drain and shake off the excess water.
Fresh corn with the silks removed soaking in water
  1. Close the ear of corn back up a bit and place over a moderate grill.
fresh corn being grilled on a hot grill
  1. Cook on each side for 15- 20 minutes, turning every 5  minutes or so until the kernels are tender when pierced with a knife.
learn how to grill corn on the grill

It doesn’t get easier than this to grill corn!

grilled corn on the cob and melted butter

How Long Does the Corn Have to Cook?

How long to grill the corn on the cob? When you are using the grill, you will want to allow for about 25 minutes on the grill. But, that will vary based on how hot the grill is. 

How to Serve Grilled Corn

Here are some delicious ways to serve grilled corn:

  • Classic – melted butter, salt, and pepper
  • Mexican Style – Melted butter, Tajin seasoning, and lime juice
  • Mexican Street Corn – Mayonnaise, chili powder, and cotija cheese

What Goes Best With this Grilled Corn Recipe?

Grilled corn is a great side dish for so many great summer dinners. 

You can pair this with your favorite burgers. Some delicious BBQ chicken or any grilled chicken. 

And of course, a nice rack of juice ribs is a great option as well! This Chili’s Ribs recipe is a great option. 

What Else Can You Do With Grilled Corn?

If you have any corn leftover, feel free to cut the corn off the cob and incorporate it into a salad. It makes the perfect topping for a taco bowl!

How to Store and Reheat Grilled Corn on the Cob

After the corn has been made, place the corn in an airtight container and store the corn in the fridge.

To reheat the corn, place it in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes or until the corn is heated all the way through.

grilled corn on the cob with husks.

More Recipes for Corn Lovers

Favorite Summer Side Dish Recipes

Check out more of my easy vegetable side dish recipes and the best summer recipes here on CopyKat!

overhead view of grilled corn on the cob on parchment paper.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Learn how to grill corn on the cob. Grilled corn has never been so tasty!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Corn on the cob, Grilled Corn on the Cob, grlled corn
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 128kcal


  • 4 ears corn
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • Pull back the huskscarefully, but do not remove them.
  • Remove the silks of thecorn.
  • Pull the husks back upto cover the corn kernels.
  • Soak the corn in salted water for 20 minutes
  • Heat the grill to 350 to 375°F.
  • Cook on each side for 15to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so, until the kernels are tender whenpierced with a knife.
  • Serve corn with butter.


Here are some great toppings for fresh corn:
  • Classic – melted butter, salt, and pepper
  • Mexican Style – Melted butter, Tajin seasoning, and lime juice
  • Mexican Street Corn – Mayonnaise, chili powder, and cotija cheese


Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 343IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Cyndy

    4 stars
    FYI: Partially shuck the corn and remove the silks is stated incorrect. This is called husking the corn not shuck. Shucking corn is when you remove the kernels from the cob.
    Thanks for the recipe on how to grill corn.

  2. baltisraul

    5 stars
    Mom used to call the older dry corn, horse corn, because she said it was used as animal feed. Had you ever heard that term before? The only difference we make in soaking corn is we soak in very cold salted ice cube water for an hour or so before hand.

    • Stephanie

      I wished I would have known this. I am sure the statute of limitations has run out on this one. More than 10 years ago, I lived in Michigan one summer. I lived out in the country. My neighbor was growing corn. So one day I reached over my fence and swiped about 3 ears. I cooked it up, and offered it to my guests. I can’t say they were shocked that I did this 😉
      The corn turned out to be feed corn. While we ate this corn, you get what you pay for. I haven’t stolen any ears of corn since then!

      • Becky G

        In the South, that is called ‘Field Corn’ and it is what I grew up eating. You cut the corn off the ear (just barely taking the very top of the kernel), scrap the ears down to get all of the ‘milk’, add salt & pepper, water to keep it from sticking, and some butter (not margarine), and cook it in a cast iron skillet for about an hour – it is called ‘fried corn’ and is wonderful with hot biscuits and sliced, fresh tomatoes.

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