How to Grill Corn

Learn how to grill corn on the cob. Grilled corn on the cob is so easy to make. Perfect for anytime you light up the grill.
corn that was grilled, topped with seasoned salt and lime juice

Summer is here, and grilled corn on the cob is basically mandatory either indoors or for any 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.

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. If you want to learn about the different types of corn, click here.

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.

How to Pick Out 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 and that 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.

For all of you roasted corn lovers out there, here are two more copykat corn recipes for you to try:
Red Lobster Chesapeake Corn on the Cob
Air Fryer Roasted Corn

Of course, roasted corn on the cob is only one way to eat corn. There are lots to do with corn when it comes off the cob too, like these copykat corn recipes:
Brookville Hotel Creamed Corn
Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q Creamed Corn
Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Spicy Corn Salsa

Best Way to Cook Corn on the Cob

Roasted corn is really easy to prepare in the following steps:

Remove the silks from the ears of corn.

Partially husked corn, just the silks are removed

Soak the corn for about 20 minutes then shake off the excess water.

Fresh corn with the silks removed soaking in water

Close the ear of corn back up a bit, and place over a moderate grill.

fresh corn being grilled on a hot grill

How long to grill corn? 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

Delicious Grilled Mexican Corn with Chili, Cilantro, and Lime

corn that was grilled, topped with seasoned salt and lime juice

How to Grill Corn

Learn how to grill corn on the cob. Corn has never been so tasty!
4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Corn on the cob, grlled corn
Servings: 4
Calories: 128kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  • Pull back the husks carefully and do not remove them.
  • Remove the silks of the corn.
  • Pull the husks back up to cover the corn kernels.
  • Soak corn in salted water for 20 minutes.
  • Heat the grill to 350 - 375 degrees.
  • Cook on each side for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so until the kernels are tender when pierced with a knife.

Recipe Tips for the Cook

Toppings for fresh corn

  • Classic - melted butter, salt, and pepper
  • Mexican style- Melted butter, Tajin seasoning, and lime juice

Nutrition

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
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie

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 CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  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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