Summer is the perfect time for backyard barbecues, and nothing says summer quite like fresh, sweet corn on the cob. Grilling corn on the cob is a fantastic way to elevate this classic dish and bring out its natural sweetness and smoky flavor. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how to grill corn on the cob to perfection, including preparation, seasoning, and cooking tips.
Choosing the Right Corn
When selecting corn for grilling, look for ears that are firm and plump, with bright green husks and silky tassels that are still moist. Avoid ears that have dried-out tassels or husks that are yellowed or brown. You’ll also want to make sure that the kernels are tightly packed and not too large or too small. Generally, sweeter corn varieties like yellow or bicolor are the best for grilling, as they have a higher sugar content that caramelizes beautifully on the grill.
Preparing the Corn
Before grilling, remove the outermost layers of husk, leaving just a few layers to protect the kernels from burning. Soak the corn in cold water for about 10 minutes to prevent the husks from catching fire on the grill. This will also help steam the corn and keep it moist while it cooks.
Seasoning the Corn
There are endless ways to season corn on the cob for the grill, depending on your taste preferences. A classic combination is to spread butter over the corn and sprinkle with salt and pepper. For a spicy kick, try brushing the corn with melted butter and then dusting with chili powder or cayenne pepper. Another delicious option is to brush the corn with garlic butter and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. You can also experiment with different herbs and spices, like thyme, paprika, or smoked salt.
Grilling the Corn
Grilling corn on the cob is fairly straightforward, but there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure even cooking and prevent burning. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the corn directly on the grill grates, with the husks still intact. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning the corn occasionally, until the husks are charred and the kernels are tender.
If you prefer to remove the husks before grilling, you can wrap the corn in aluminum foil or place it in a grilling basket to prevent the kernels from drying out. You’ll still want to grill the corn over medium-high heat for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the kernels are lightly charred and tender.
Grilled corn on the cob is a delicious and versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses. Some popular serving suggestions include:
- Brushing the grilled corn with more butter and sprinkling with fresh herbs, like parsley, cilantro, or chives.
- Squeezing fresh lime juice over the grilled corn and dusting with chili powder or Tajin seasoning for a Mexican-inspired twist.
- Spreading a layer of mayo or aioli over the grilled corn and sprinkling with crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese.
- Cutting the kernels off the cob and using them in salads, salsas, or grain bowls.
Grilling corn on the cob is a simple and delicious way to enjoy one of summer’s most beloved vegetables. By following these tips for preparation, seasoning, and cooking, you’ll be able to create perfectly grilled corn that’s juicy, flavorful, and sure to impress your guests. So fire up the grill, grab a cold drink, and savor