pile of corns

How To Make Corn On The Cob On The Grill

Grilling season brings with it the promise of warm evenings, the smoky aroma of charcoal, and the joy of cooking outdoors. Among the myriad of dishes that taste better under the open sky, corn on the cob holds a special place.

Its transformation on the grill, from a humble ear of corn to a caramelised, slightly smoky delight, is nothing short of culinary magic. In this article, we’ll explore the art of making corn on the cob on the grill, ensuring it becomes a staple at your barbecue gatherings.

The Preparation: A Prelude to Perfection

Before the corn meets the grill, a bit of preparation is necessary. Start by selecting fresh corn with bright green husks and moist stems. Peel back the husk slightly to ensure the kernels are plump and the rows are tight; this is the hallmark of freshness.

Once you’ve selected your corn, it’s time to decide whether to grill it with the husks on or off. Grilling with the husks on protects the corn from direct flames, steaming it in its own moisture, which results in tender, juicy kernels. Alternatively, removing the husks and silk gives the corn a beautiful char and a smoky flavour that’s hard to resist. Both methods have their aficionados, and perhaps you’ll become one too, once you’ve tried them.

The Grilling: A Symphony of Flames and Smoke

With Husks:

  1. Soak the Corn: Begin by soaking the corn, husks and all, in water for at least 15 minutes. This step prevents the husks from burning too quickly and helps steam the corn.
  2. Preheat the Grill: While the corn is soaking, preheat your grill to a medium-high heat. This is the sweet spot for cooking corn, allowing it to cook through without charring excessively.
  3. Grill: Place the soaked ears directly on the grill. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes. The husks will blacken, but the moisture inside will steam the kernels to perfection.
  4. Peel and Serve: Once done, carefully peel back the husks (they’ll be hot!) and remove the silk. A brush of melted butter, a sprinkle of salt, or a dash of chilli powder can elevate the flavours to new heights.

Without Husks:

  1. Prep the Corn: Strip the ears of their husks and silk. A gentle brush can help remove any stubborn silk strands.
  2. Oil Lightly: Brush the corn lightly with oil. This helps prevent sticking and aids in getting those coveted grill marks.
  3. Grill: Place the corn directly on the grill over medium-high heat. Turn them every few minutes to ensure an even char and to avoid burning. This process should take about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Season and Enjoy: Once grilled to your liking, season the corn as desired. The smoky flavour pairs wonderfully with a variety of seasonings, from classic butter and salt to more adventurous options like lime and cotija cheese or a smear of pesto.

The Finishing Touches: Beyond Butter

While butter is a classic accompaniment to corn on the cob, the grill opens up a world of flavour possibilities. Consider brushing your grilled corn with a mixture of melted butter, garlic, and herbs for a savoury twist. Or, for something on the sweeter side, a light drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon can transform your corn into a delightful dessert.

In Conclusion

Grilling corn on the cob is a simple pleasure that epitomises summer. Whether you prefer the steamy tenderness of corn grilled in its husk or the smoky char of naked kernels, the process is straightforward and the results, delicious. So, the next time you fire up the grill, remember that with just a bit of preparation and creativity, you can elevate this summer staple into a gourmet treat.

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