Perfect Grilled Corn

Here’s how to make the easiest, best grilled corn: charred, smoky, tender and sweet! Eat it with butter and salt and it’s one of life’s great pleasures.

Grilled corn

Once it’s time to fire up the grill for the season: there’s nothing better than grilled corn! It’s smoky, tender, charred, and sweet: a crunchy blast that hits every flavor receptor in your tongue. And if you’re not making grilled corn on the cob like this: you haven’t lived (yet!). Make up a batch with this easy method, the memorize it and you’ll have grilled corn game all summer long. Here’s what to do!

Ingredients for grilled corn

Grilled corn is so easy: you only need two ingredients! And then of course, the sauce of your choice (see below). Here’s all you need for the best grilled corn on the cob:

  • Corn on the cob: ripe and in season! There’s nothing worse than bland, tasteless corn. Only make this when corn is juicy and seasonal.
  • Oil: Using a neutral oil like grapeseed, vegetable or sunflower is nice to keep the flavor palate neutral, but you can also use olive oil.
Corn on the cob

How to grill corn (basic steps)

The best way to cook grilled corn on the cob is right on the grill grates: without the husk! That’s right: no foil, no husk: just bare corn kernels. Here’s what to do (or jump right to the recipe):

  • Preheat the grill to medium high: that’s 375 to 450 degrees.
  • Husk the corn or tie back the leaves to make a handle (see below).
  • Grill the corn directly on the oven grates for 12 to 15 minutes, turning until blackened on all sides.

Tie back the husk to form a handle!

For our grilled corn, we take it even a step further than most recipes. Instead of pulling off the husk, tie it back to form a makeshift handle for eating it! This makes the messy job of eating corn on the cob a breeze. You don’t have to do the tie-off method: you can also simply husk the corn. But it’s a fun feature when you have the time! Here are a few tips for this method:

  • Be patient! This method takes a little longer, but it’s worth it. It takes about 15 minutes for 8 cobs of corn.
  • Start with the outer-most leaf. Pull down the outer-most leaf first. Then keep pulling down one leaf at a time, gradually working your way around the corn.
  • Cracks are ok. You may notice some leaves crack when you pull them back: that’s completely ok! Just keep pulling the remaining leaves — it doesn’t have to be perfect.

A few other methods? Try Grilled Corn in Foil or Boiled Corn on the Cob.

Grilled corn

Sauces for grilled corn!

Here’s the fun part: what to slather onto your grilled corn on the cob! Of course, you may have your own ideas. But here are some of ours:

  • Butter and salt: The classic melted butter and salt is always transcendental.
  • Butter and Parmesan: Slather with butter, then add shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh herbs like basil, thyme or oregano.
  • Elote (Mexican grilled corn): One of our favorite ways to serve corn is as elote or Mexican street corn. The creamy, spiced sauce with cheese crumbles, lime and cilantro is out of this world.
  • Chili lime mayo: Or, go a little simpler with this chili lime mayo.
  • Yum Yum sauce: This sauce is just like it sounds: over the top yum.
Grilled corn with sauce
Elote, aka Mexican grilled corn, is one of the very best ways to eat corn on the cob

Optional method for corn on the cob: oven roasted

You’re here for the grilled corn. But just in case you’re ever stranded without a grill: we wanted to share our favorite other way to cook corn on the cob. Oven roasted! That’s right, this one is a game changer. There’s literally no prep time: you don’t even need to husk it! Throw it on the oven grates to roast and it comes out beautifully moist. See also: all our Best Corn Recipes.

And that’s it! We hope you love this grilled corn: let us know how it goes in the comments below.

This grilled corn recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Grilled corn

Perfect Grilled Corn


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make the easiest, best grilled corn: charred, smoky, tender and sweet! Eat it with butter and salt and it’s one of life’s great pleasures.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 ears corn
  • 1 tablespoon oil: olive oil, grapeseed, vegetable, sunflower
  • For serving: butter and salt (or plant-based butter for vegan)

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill to medium high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Shuck the corn by peeling down the outside layers one at a time and keeping them attached, facing downwards away from the cob. When you’ve finished, use kitchen twine or string to tie the leaves together (see the photos). This step is optional; it makes a natural handle for eating the corn. Otherwise, simply shuck the corn.
  3. Use your hands to rub oil on each corn cob evenly.
  4. Place the corn directly on the grill grates and cook until it begins to blacken, then turn. Cook about 12 to 15 minutes total, until blackened on all sides. Serve immediately with butter and salt, using the tied husks as a handle for easy eating.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Vegetables

Keywords: Grilled corn, How to grill corn

More grilled vegetables

Grilled vegetables are our go-to easy, healthy side dishes in the summer! Here are some of the best grilled vegetables you can find:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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