Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob is easier than you think. This recipe delivers deliciously sweet grilled corn on the cob perfect for summertime meals—even without pre-soaking the husk!

Corn on the cob, grilled, served on an oval platter
Elise Bauer

The first time I tried to grill corn on the cob, I placed shucked corn directly on the grill. The results weren't all that stellar. Too dried out and chewy.

The Best Way to Grill Corn on the Cob

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 on the cob is to grill corn in the husk, directly on a hot grill.

The husks protect the corn on the cob 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.

Video: How to Make Grilled Corn on the Cob

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How to Cook Corn on the Cob

More Tips for Grilled Corn

  • Soaking corn on the cob? Many people call for soaking corn on the cob in water first, before grilling. There's no need if you are working with fresh corn to begin with.
  • Removing the silks: Some grilled corn on the cob 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 on the cob is to not mess with the husks.
  • Want grill marks? If you want some grill marks on your corn on the cob, (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 cob, for more the charring to reach the corn.
Corn on the cob with husks blackened after being grilled
Elise Bauer
Grilled corn on the cob on a plate
Elise Bauer

The Best Corn for Grilling

The best corn for grilling is the freshest corn you can get. The fresher the corn, the sweeter and more tender the kernels will be. When corn is fresh, it will have a bright green husk and a goldish-brown, sticky tassel sticking out of the top.

Try to cook your corn a day or two within buying it. Once corn is harvested, its sugars begin turning to starches, making the corn tougher and less sweet.

It doesn't matter if the corn is yellow, white, or bi-color; all can be sweet if they are freshly harvested.

Spice Up Your Grilled Corn on the Cob

Butter, salt, and pepper are the classic grilled corn on the cob toppers. However, feel free to experiment with your favorite seasonings. Consider sprinkling these on your corn.

  • Seasoned salt
  • Mayonnaise, chili powder, Cojita cheese, and lime juice (for Mexican street-style corn)
  • Powdered ranch seasoning
  • Roasted garlic
  • Pesto and Parmesan cheese
  • Honey butter
  • Lemon pepper seasoning
  • Old Bay seasoning

How to Store Grilled Corn on the Cob

Refrigerate leftover grilled corn on the cob, tightly wrapped in plastic or foil, for 3 to 5 days. It's never quite as good eaten off the cob as it was fresh, but you can cut off the kernels and use them in salsas, salads, and relishes. To freeze the kernels, cut them off the cob, put them in a freezer-proof container or zip top bag, and freeze up to 3 months.

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From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh corn, in their husks

  • Butter (or an herb butter), for serving

Method

  1. Preheat your grill:

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

  2. Grill the corn:

    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 before grilling.

    Place the corn in its 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.

    grilling corn on the cob
    Elise Bauer
    charred corn on the cob on grill
    Elise Bauer
  3. Remove the silks and charred husks:

    Remove the corn from the grill. Let 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.

  4. Serve:

    Keep it simple and serve with butter, or you can sprinkle with a little chili powder, Cojita cheese, and some lime juice for a Mexican twist.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
127 Calories
7g Fat
17g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 127
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 246mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 4mg 22%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 174mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.