Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob

The first time I tried grilling corn-on-the-cob, by placing shucked corn directly on the grill, the results weren’t all that stellar. Too dried out and chewy.

I consulted “She-who-knows-everything-when-it-comes-to-home-cooking” (a.k.a. mom) who informed me that the best way to grill corn is to cook the corn in their husks, directly on a hot grill.

The husks protect the corn from getting dried out and the corn essentially steams in its own moisture while getting infused with smoky flavor from the charring corn husks.

It’s also so easy! No need to even break off the silks. Just place the corn, as is, in husks, on a hot grill.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Many people call for soaking the corn in water first. There’s no need if you are working with fresh corn to begin with.

Some techniques also have you pull back the husks, take out the silks, and then put the husks back over the corn before grilling. I’ve tried that. It does make it easier after the corn is done when removing the husks. But I find the corn more easily dries out this way, and the best way for juicy grilled corn is to not mess with the husks.

If you want some grill marks (as shown in the photos), you can pull off a few of the outer husk leaves, leaving less of a barrier between the outer leaves and the corn, for more the charring to reach the corn.

Updated from the recipe archive. First posted 2007.

Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob Recipe

  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 4 ears fresh corn, in their husks
  • Butter (or an herb butter) for serving


1 Prepare your grill, gas or charcoal, with direct, high heat, about 550°F. (You know the grill is hot enough if are able to hold your hand one inch above the grill for only 1 second.)

2 The corn husks will protect the corn from burning or drying out while it is on the hot grill. If you want a bit of char on your corn, peel off a few of the outer layers of the corn husks first, before grilling.

grilled-corn-on-the-cob-method-600-1 grilled-corn-on-the-cob-method-600-2

Place the corn in their husks on the hot grill. Cover the grill. Turn the corn occasionally, until the husks are completely blackened and charred on all sides, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3 Remove the corn from the grill. Let them sit for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove the silks and charred husks from the corn. If you need to, use a damp towel to protect your hands from any sharp edges from the charred corn husks as you peel them off.

Serve with butter. (Or you can sprinkle with a little chili powder, cotija cheese, and some lime juice for a Mexican twist.)

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


Mexican corn on the cob with cayenne, mayo, lime, and cotija cheese, from Lisa of Homesick Texan

Mexican Street Corn Nachos here on Simply Recipes

Corn on the cob with basil butter from Stephen Cooks

Mexican street corn from Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Showing 4 of 73 Comments

  • Chris

    Add some lime juice and chili powder to the butter next time! It’s incredible!

  • Heather

    I have been doing this all summer. I have used the same method, except with the addition of soaking the (de-silked but still husked) corn in water for 30 minutes. I also think mine has been overcooked. I am going to try your method of cooking and resting. Thanks!

  • Jaden

    I think I’ll have to grill corn this week. Its so very July 4th! You don’t have to soak the corn in water?

    If you are using fresh corn (like fresh from the farmer’s market fresh) there is no reason why you need to soak the corn first. ~Elise

  • Patrick

    A few comments on your recipe.

    1. Although there is no “need” to soak the corn first, it helps by adding a little more moisture and floating out any remaining critters (we get field-fresh corn, which is usually teeming with wildlife). 15-30 minutes in a bucket is fine, silks up if you can arrange them so. The little extra water might help the kernels from getting burnt, as in your picture.

    2. I’ve always done a quarter turn every five minutes, for a total of 20.

    3. If you’ve clipped the silk to just beyond the end of the ear, when they’re done and rested the silk will just peel off easily. Work from the cut end back, and it falls off.

    4. If you fold the husk back and don’t tear it off, you can fashion it into a handle by wrapping a paper towl around it. That might save a few seconds to butter-and-eat time, and every second counts when you’re trying to pound down a half-dozen ears.

View More Comments / Leave a Comment