How to Make Perfect Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob
Jodi Pudge/Getty Images
  • 01 of 06

    Soak the Corn Cobs

    Corn Cobs Soaking with Husks On
    Derrick Riches

    As with any vegetable cooked on the grill, you should start by soaking corn on the cob in cold water. This will allow extra moisture into the corn, softening the husks, making them much easier to work with. Allow the corn to soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

    This process works just as well on a gas grill as it does on a charcoal grill. The heat should be a medium to medium-high heat. Avoid placing the corn directly over an active fire, since the husks can catch fire.

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  • 02 of 06

    Removing the Silk

    Corn on the Cob with the Husks pulled down
    Derrick Riches

    Fresh corn on the cob is lined with corn silk. These are the long, thin, unappetizing strands of silky threads running between the protective husks and the delicious kernels. Remove the ears of corn from the water and take off three or four outer layers of the husk. A few layers should remain to protect the corn as it cooks, but not all of it is needed. Save the detached husk leaves for tying the tips of the corn cob.

    Now gently pull down the remaining husks to expose the corn and the silk....MORE Remove as much of the silk as is possible. This can more easily be done by using a dry paper towel to wipe them away. Don't worry if a little still remains, since the rest of the silk will be removed after the corn husks are grilled.

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  • 03 of 06

    Buttering the Corn

    Corn on the Cob - Buttering
    Derrick Riches

    With the corn exposed from the husk, this is a good time to add extra flavor. You can use your favorite flavor combination. Rosemary olive oil is delicious, as is butter sprinkled with a little salt, dried dill, and powdered garlic (corn butters help make this process quick and easy). Brush it over the corn evenly. The great thing about butter is that it hardens when applied on the corn and infuses as it cooks. Regardless of what you like, spread it on thoroughly.

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  • 04 of 06

    Close up the Husks

    Corn on the Cob - Husks Tied
    Derrick Riches

    With the corn seasoned and ready to cook, it is time to close the husks. Pull it down evenly over the corn as best as you can. Take some of the removed husk leaves from earlier, tear them into strips, and use them to secure the end of the corn. This will help hold the husks in place while the corn cooks. When tying the husks, make sure to tie around the end of the corn cob, not past it. This will give the tie something to hold onto.

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  • 05 of 06

    Grilling the Corn

    Grilling corn on the cob
    Acme Food Arts/Getty Images

    With the corn tied and seasoned, it is time to grill. These ears will be forgiving of most things except unnecessary handling. Odds are that they are going to be cooked with something else, so find an unused corner of the grill or warming rack to set the corn on the cob. Cook over a medium to medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes. If cooking at a lower temperature or on a warming rack, increase the cooking time to 20 to 30 minutes. As long as the husks don't burn off the cobs you're...MORE fine. A longer cooking time will increase the delicious smoke flavor.

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  • 06 of 06

    Finish up the Corn

    Grilled corn on the cob
    Jodi Pudge/Getty Images

    Once the corn is done, remove it from the grill. I recommend keeping it warm until you are ready to serve, so they might be the last thing off the grill. By the time the corn is cooked, the husks will be dried out and nearly ready to fall off. Take the corn off the grill, carefully remove the remaining husks and serve immediately. You can set out additional butter and seasonings or apply it to the corn before serving.