Here’s how to make grilled corn on the cob: the best way! This easy method makes it come out charred, smoky, tender and sweet.

Grilled corn on the cob

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

More ways to cook corn? Go to How to Cook Corn on the Cob.

Ingredients for grilled corn on the cob

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. It makes the best char marks and comes out tender and crispy. Here’s how long to grill corn (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 cobs directly on the oven grates for 12 to 15 minutes, turning until blackened on all sides. *Want to grill it in foil? It takes 20 to 25 minutes. Click here.

Got a smoker? Try Smoked Corn on the Cob.

Tie back the husk to form a handle!

For our grilled corn on the cob, 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.
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.
How to grill corn, how long to grill corn
Elote, aka Mexican grilled corn, is one of the very best ways to eat corn on the cob

Optional method: grilled corn in foil!

Another way to grill corn? Use aluminum foil. This grilled corn in foil recipe is an easy, mostly hands off method. In fact, you can “set it and forget it” while you make the rest of your dinner! It comes out beautifully moist and delicious.

The difference between this “perfect” method and the foil method? It doesn’t get the lovely char marks and doesn’t taste smoky and crisp tender. It has more of the texture of boiled corn. But if you’re up for foil, head over to our grilled corn in foil recipe.

Grilled corn in foil

Ways to use grilled corn

There are so many ways to use grilled corn outside of eating it on the cob! Add a few extra cobs to the grill so you can make these tasty salads:

This grilled corn on the cob recipe is…

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

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Grilled corn

Perfect Grilled Corn on the Cob


  • 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 grilled corn on the cob: the best way! This easy method makes it come out charred, smoky, tender and sweet.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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