Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob

How to grill juicy, tender, grilled corn-on-the-cob! Grill fresh corn cobs in their husks on direct high heat.

  • 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.)

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Sabrina Delgado

    I did this to my corn recently. The corn came out delicious but the husks went on fire while on the grill.

  • Luann Elizabeth

    Wouldn’t recommend using damp cloth as it becomes a better conductor of heat.

  • Yancie Beeson

    This is how we do our corn on the grill, except we pull back the husk and put some butter in each before cooking. Delicious!

  • Sareyna

    I wrap them in foil and cook them on the grill in the husk. After cooked if you cut the end off the husk slides right off

  • Mark

    I am content (happy) with boiled corn with butter and salt. There are two key things to remember…don’t boil the corn too long and get the freshest corn possible.
    If my memory serves me correctly, I boil for only 5 minutes, no more. If you happen to live close to a farm, ask if they will let you pick your own. Corn starts “going bad” the minute you pick it. You want to consume the corn within 24 hours at least. If you can pick it in the morning and have it on your table in the afternoon, that’s ideal. As soon as you pick corn, the sugars start converting into starch.

    After a week of sitting around, the corn will have lost most all of its fresh flavor. At that point, you’re better off buying frozen corn on the cob.

    I prefer to boil corn rather than grill it. MHO.

  • Lisa Brahm

    Nothing says summer then that first ear of ROASTED corn on the cob. Grilled golden bown till its just shy of kernels burning. BEFORE you butter & season corn, here’s a Holding Tip For little (or even for big) fingers: while using a hot pad to hold the corn, remove husks, spear end of corn with a metal shish kabobs skewer leaving enough of the ends to easily hold onto (Guy Fieri’s skewers works the best because of its handle-like end)! ENJOY

  • Ed Gray

    I have found a nice way to serve corn on the cob off the grill for that outdoor BBQ. Cook your corn in the husk till done on the grill. carefully remove the corn from grill, pull the husks back all the way around (or a napkin wrap works well), band the husks as a handle, brush or dip in butter with a bit of salt and pepper and maybe a squeeze of lemon. This gives a nice way to hold the corn and the husks fold back very easy. A tip,,,,,when you get your corn, ask the grocer for some with longer stalks. Kitchen gloves to handle the hot corn is a nice idea and a spritz of water for the corn while cooking is nice when you turn your ears and remember if you want a little more smokey flavor, pull back a bit of the husks while cooking so the smoke can get to some of the kernels. You can hold the corn by the folded back husk and eat it with one hand.

  • The Mrs.

    I just want to let all the busy, quick cooks out there that I used Wal-mart corn, didnt soak, and only turned them once and they came out juicy and perfect. one even caught on fire for a while but it didnt matter, it only lightly browned a few kernels which made it better actually.
    Next time I think I will remove a layer of husk to get more grill flavor. Or maybe mark them after cooking. Possibilities are endless!

  • Cari

    This worked beautifully. I was tentative removing husk leaves, worried about taking off too much, so I only got a little browning on one cob, but definitely the simplest grill prep ever and it was no trouble at all to shuck and remove silk after cooking.


  • Sarah

    Wow, what a perfect dish! I made this for a family picnic, and even my “I-don’t-like-to-try-new-things” mother loved her corn on the cob. I followed the instructions to the letter and they turned out fabulously! I did soak them for about 10 minutes in water beforehand just so that I didn’t have the husks turning into ash on me, and that worked really well. My corn on the cob looked exactly like Elise’s picture, and I have to say, I loved the browned bits the best!

  • Marilyn

    Sorry but I cannot imagine that this tastes better than fresh corn, husked and dropped in boiling water for barely 5 minutes. Then add butter, salt etc. Sweet, tender and so juicy. The trick is fresh corn and barely 5 minutes in the water. Fantastic ( and quick ).

    • Elise

      Hi Marilyn, they’re both great methods. With the grilling method you get the additional smokey flavor from the grill, without sacrificing any of the great corn flavor.

  • Mark L.

    I used to de-silk then wrap the corn back in the husks and soak in water. Your method is way easier and the silks come off easily after cooking. Just started using miso butter on corn (mix equal parts white miso and softened butter) and it’s fantastic.

  • Rachel @ Tasty Thailand

    Here in Bangkok, we get grilled corn on the cob at street stalls all over the city. About 33 cents for 2 and it’s amazing. The Thais add sugar to the butter they drizzle on it, served hot and eaten straight out of the plastic bag. Yum :)

  • D Ward

    Ok guys,
    There’s a new way of doing corn on the cob that’s been floating around the BBQ competition circuits that is making all this husking de-silking soaking stuff frankly obsolete and completely unnecessary. Cobs are left whole and generally untouched. They are injected with a meat injector with whatever can go through the needle just underneath the husk. Then smoke grilled baked nuked or boiled. With this method it doesn’t matter how just that some form of fat gets injected. (Pepper will clog your needle) when done from the stalk end cut through the whole cob husk and all at the largest cross section. Grab it from the silk end and squeeze the ear out like toothpaste. Out pops an ear of seasoned corn with the husk and silk as one piece ready for the trash. No fuss no mess and no leave edge cuts. Haven’t husked an ear in years.

  • Marianne

    Just heard this one today – wrap husked corn in foil packets with preferred seasoning and two ice cubes. As the corn cooks, the ice melts and steams the cob. Yum!

  • tata

    In Japan, it’s brushing on a thin layer of soy sauce and butter. amazingly good!

  • Derek the Zen Chef

    I would definitely leave the husks on huge corn to avoid charring and also avoid the nasty meat juice already on the grill! (I know it’s atypical to eschew all meat, but that is just me ^.^ )

  • Mary Frances

    Grilling is such a great way to enjoy this summer staple. That smoky flavor is just fabulous!

  • Mark

    Chef John’s recent grilled corn recipe called for simmering the corn before grilling. Never heard of such a thing. I suppose one could try it both ways and compare. Counter-intuitive though.

    • Elise

      I love Chef John. I’m guessing that if you grill the corn with the husks removed it’s probably a good idea. That way the corn gets cooked with the simmering, and then you are just grilling it to get the grill marks and the flavor that comes from that. It’s also a good way for a chef or caterer to prepare a lot of corn in advance. You can parboil a bunch of corn, and then just throw on the grill when you are close to being ready to serve.

  • Ed

    I put the unhusked corn directly on the grill. (gas) Maybe it’s our midwestern corn but it comes out great. The charred parts smell like popcorn.

  • corey nead

    I recently started throwing corn, husks and all into the smoker. Comes out great with melted butter and togarashi.

    • Dawn

      We smoke our corn in the husks too, with bacon wrapped around the kernels and the husk put back in place. The we heat a stick of butter gently with 4 cloves of garlic crushed into it. Leave on a low heat for about 15 mins. This is poured over the corn and then sprinkled liberally with freshly grated parmesan. Amazing stuff! Smokey, garlicky, cheesy heaven!!

  • Emily

    Found this recipe on the Cooking Channel’s website a few days ago and thought y’all might like it. Butter, sriracha, a little salt & cilantro. I’m putting it on corn on the cob tonight and I CANNOT WAIT.

  • Ms. Glaze

    Now that’s just not fair! Teasing me with corn. You know, they think it’s for the pigs here in Paris – not for human consumption. I made a salad one time for some chef friend’s with pan fried fresh corn (that I had a hard time getting) and they were surprised that it tasted good! Love grilled corn. Reminds me of India, where they rub masala spice and ghee on it after it’s cooked.

  • Okihwn

    What I like to do is to open the husks, remove the silk, smear butter on the corn, recover with the husks, then put on the grill. Delicious!

  • kassandra

    So what do I do with 7 ears of grilled corn left from a bbq the other night? Any ideas?

    Try this grilled corn salad. ~Elise

    • Sue

      Corn chowder. Don’t know how old this comment is, but brown bacon, add diced onion, sauté then add corn cut off the cob, diced Yukon golds add chicken or vegetable stock to cover, simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Add milk to taste. Then top with reheated charred corn, bacon and or crab, shrimp or lobster.

  • GilaMonster

    I made this last night with fresh Olathe corn. Exactly as Elise said: left the cobs in the husks, no soaking, no fuss. Made the lime-cilantro butter in about 5 minutes. It was the best corn I have ever had in my 5 decades of life. I am NOT being hyperbolic. It was fantastic, and SO EASY…Thank you Elise ! And thank you Elise’s mother !

  • Mama B

    Doing it this way again tonight. Thanks for sharing. I’m amazed by how many enjoy making more work for themselves (soak, husk, de-silk, smear, re-wrap, tie…) This is just as good, and way easier!


  • Anu

    In India, we rub lemon and black salt (or sea salt) on it… very popular street delicacy.

  • Ty

    I like to mix a bowl of milk with sugar, shuck the corn, dip a paper towel in the sweet milk and wrap it around the corn, then wrap in foil and grill.

  • Sherihan

    In Egypt during the summer we eat a lot of grilled corn with lots of toasted kernels, no salt or butter added, just toasted corn and it’s sold everywhere on the street. Yumm
    Now for an indoor version thats what I did for last night’s dinner, I opened the husks, cleaned the corn from the silk then brushed it with butter and paprika then wrapped them in thier husks again and roasted them in a 400 degree oven for 30 mins, it came out golden, juicy and DELICIOUS. no prsoaking was needed at all.

  • Stephanie

    My favorite way to grill corn-on-the-cob is with ROSEMARY!:

    Peel back the husk, open them up like flower petals, and remove the silk.
    Place 5 or 6 sprigs of rosemary next to the corn, and fold the husks back up around it.
    Once all the husk has been replaced on the corn, wrap the cob with foil, and place directly on the grill.

    I have never soaked corn on the cob prior to barbecuing, and I have never had an issue with the corn drying out or becoming burned. It is always juicy and rosemary flavored! (I think the foil helps to retain moisture).

  • Aleel

    The corn was delicious! It was very moist and we enjoyed the ‘smokey’ flavour. thank you!

  • Nancy

    Last time I grilled corn it was dry and crunchy. Nice to hear someone else was in the same boat as me. Got some free corn at the farmer’s market, and I was worried that grilling it would make it gross again. Found this easy recipe, it’s delicious, juicy and tender and I’m a corn lover again. Thanks!


  • brettinlj

    Thank you for posting this. I bought corn for a quick bbq meal, but didn’t want to wait 30 minutes to cook it the traditional way in foil. It came out the best bbq corn I have ever made. I didn’t soak it in water before hand, but the flavor an juiciness was perfect and the husk came off with ease.

  • le bascombe

    If you soak the whole corn in water prior to grilling the husks don’t burn and you get a kind of steaming effect.

    You want the husks to burn. That’s what gives the corn a smokey grilled flavor. ~Elise

  • Andre in Santa Rosa

    I “Smoke” my corn using an Orion Cooker. It smokes in the husk. It also cooks with what ever else is in there, chicken, rib eyes, baby back ribs. So sometimes they’re in there for over an hour. There is nothing like the taste of hickory smoked corn on the cob. If you have access to a smoker or know someone with one give it a try.

    • David

      Try it with a Apple, Cherry or Grape wood… Hickory is a heavy flavor “to me”

  • Jake

    I grilled corn on the cob tonight using your recipe. It turned out excellent! I had about 500F temperature throughout grilling time. I had the gas burner under the corn on low and the other two burners on high. I’m hooked on grilled corn now, thanks to you! ;)

  • Sue G

    I love to grill corn on the cob – pull husks all the way down without pulling it off the cob, remove silk, spread soften butter on whole cob, pull husks back to top & tuck ends underneath cob, then wrap in heavy-duty foil. Place on hot grill (gas or charcoal) 1/4 of a turn every 15 minutes for an hour! No burn marks ! It’s great ! To serve, use pot holders to break end off – corn will slide right out of husks.

  • J D

    I like to peel the husk down to the thick end of the corn, clean the silk off, wrap the cleaned corn with a slice or two of bacon, then put the husk back on and grill. The corn gets a nice bacony flavor and the bacon come out almost like proscuitto… Best corn on the cob in Texas….

  • Jessica

    I soak the corn in the husks in BEER overnite… and it comes out super juicey… beer just makes everything better in my opinion! :-)

  • frank

    soak’d or no soak’d….either way enjoy the smiles coming from the good grilled corn. I like to make some Chipolte/lime butter with a hint of cilantro…fresh press’d garlic and cumino….salt and fresh blk crack’d pepper. gotta get grilling….see ya !!

  • Bill

    Try soaking the corn in sugar water (use as much you want) for about 2 hours before grilling. adds a a bit of sweetness to the corn. Also try after you take off the husks grill them for a minute or 2 to get some grill marks on the corn. Happy eating!

    • Mark

      If I have some time before I will be cooking the corn, I will cut a thin slice off of the stem to expose a clean new surface and then put the ears into water so they are standing vertically. I like it even better if I can put them out in the sun. I have no idea if this does anything but it makes me feel like I am. Works for celery.

  • pat

    I’m entertaining 40 people tomorrow for my annual cookout and it’s forecast to be 95 degrees here in Philadelphia. I’d like to do the corn outside but have limited grill space. I’m thinking about doing it in layers in my charcoal smoker. It will cook fairly slowly since the ears will be layered in order to cook a lot at once. Any suggestions? Anyone think this simply won’t work??

    Sounds like you are planning to smoke the corn, not grill it. No idea how that will turn out. If you do it though, please let us know! ~Elise

    • David

      I know this is an old post but needed to comment.

      I Smoke corn all the time…
      I put Butter, Onion, Garlic and Cinnamon on the stove to melt it all together.
      Corn with sealed husks, A bucket of water, pour the butter that you made in the water put the corn in the water “Make sure you will be able to mix the water up with the corn inside” let soak 1 hour and mix up the water every 5-10 mins.
      When you remove the corn from the water have Aluminum Foil ready to cover each husked corn while dripping wet, Smoke covered on bottom shelf for about 30 minutes, then remove aluminum foil move to top shelf and Smoke till its the way you like “For me it’s about another 30 mins to an hour when my smoker is about 250-300”

      Careful what wood you use with corn, I am a fan of Apple, Cherry and Grape when doing corn.
      Happy Smoking…

  • KA

    Oh no.. let me explain how corn on the cob aka as ‘bhuta’ is had in India.
    It’s finally the monsoon…after the blistering heat of summer. You are about to walk to the beach and it begins to rain. Armed with an umbrella you get to the beach, the nearest ‘bhutawalla’ who roasts the cob, just as mentioned (moist or soaked in water) over a charcoal grill- peels of the outers, dabs in his homemade concoction of sea salt, pepper, red chili powder and some other secret stuff onto half a lemon and applies it generously onto the cob!
    This is PURE HEAVEN! right there, the rain, the wet sand, the cool breeze that calms the soul after the blistering summer and the perfect tangy, spicy sweet, roasted bhuta aka corn on the cob :) :):)
    BOY do I miss those rainy days in bbay!

  • RV

    In India, come summer, you will see handcarts laden with corn. Once you select your corn according to size and how tender you like them, the vendor will shuck the corn and then put it over burning coal. This is deftly turned ever so often so that the corn is evenly cooked. Then a generous smear of salt and red chilli powder using a wedge of lemon and voila its ready to eat.

  • jack steinle

    If you like peanut butter, try it on the grill with one of the covered methods (husk or foil)–
    Simply coat the ear with a thin layer of peanut butter and cover with foil (or recover with the
    husks) and grill the prescribed time, turning a few times–don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it–what’s not to like!!!

  • Annie

    Grilled corn on the cob is fantastic, but there’s an easy way to replicate it indoors for those rainy anti-barbecue days. Shuck the corn and brush it with butter (not too much), place the ears on a tinfoil-covered cookie sheet or broiling pan, then place it under the broiler, turned on LOW. Wait 5 minutes, then flip the ears over. Getting them to stay flipped takes a few moments, as they’re a little slippery. Broil for 5 more minutes. The kernels on the top and bottom will be brown and crispy and the ones on the sides will be golden and juicy. It’s fantastic and doesn’t need any other seasonings (except, of course, more butter).

  • Elise

    Thank you Harste, I couldn’t agree more. Those toasted kernels were full of flavor. You do have to be careful though, because in order to toast, the surface of the corn must be dry, so there is a balance between dry and toasted and juicy and no char marks. Of the four corn cobs I grilled, the toasted marks shown were the only “charred” or (in my opinion) caramelized bits on the cobs. It was just a little, and just enough.

    Regarding slathering corn with butter and then wrapping them in foil, I know this is a popular way of preparing grilled corn, but I personally don’t prefer it. I find the corn can get kind of soggy in the butter, and you end up tasting a lot more of the butter than the corn. Of course, if you don’t have the most tasty corn to begin with, this may be the way to go. But we try to get corn from the farmer’s markets which is usually as good as it gets out here. I love the flavor of fresh corn. Heck, if it’s really fresh, as in just picked, you don’t even need to cook it! But then again, this is my preference. Everyone has their favorite way of preparing corn, this is just one of mine.

  • a Harste

    Those aren’t burned kernels, they’re carmelized kernels. Yummy

  • Jessica

    My hubby cooks with beer at every opportunity, and this is one of them. He soaks the cobs in beer for as long as possible, but 20 minutes at least. And they are always juicy and delish!

  • PV

    Ken’s got it right. In India, grilled corn-on-the-cob is street food. It’s shucked and cooked directly on coals. It cooks quickly so the kernels develop a toasty exterior with the moisture sealed in. Then you take a wedge of lemon, dip it in a mixture of salt and cayenne pepper and rub it all over. Yummy! It’s easy to make it this way at home if you have a gas stove – which is the cooking fuel of choice in most middle-class homes in India. Cook it directly in the flame. I’m lucky to have a gas stove here in SF, I think I will go grill me some corn right now….

  • Lisa

    I tried this last night and it was amazing! I chickened out and soaked my corn for an hour. Not a single kernel was burned, which was impressive, but I might try it again dry. Those charred kernels in the photo look tasty!

    But charred or not charred, it was the husks that gave this stuff its amazing flavor. I may never cook corn “bald” again!

  • charm city cupcake

    Yes, keeping corn cobs in their husks is the way to go when grilling. I’ve soaked and not soaked (sometimes you’re just really hungry and don’t want to wait another 20 minutes!) and while there is a difference, it’s not really THAT big a difference. I like to grill the corn in the husks for 20 minutes or so on high heat, but you do need to keep a close eye on it so you don’t burn a side.

    As for indoor corn cooking, I NEVER boil corn. I put the oven on 450 and throw the corn in its husk right on the rack. Takes about a half hour, so I put that in first and then go about making the rest of my meal. The corn always comes out great.

    Ah, how I love corn on the cob!

  • Genny

    Another way to cook it, (in the husk) is in the microwave. Just pop them in the microwave on high setting. (time depends on the amount of corn you cook at a time)……half way through the cooking time, turn each ear….Delicious!!

  • dksbook

    In parking lots in West San Antonio, vendors with charcoal roasters, pull back the shucks from cooked corn when you order it, which makes a handy corn holder. Then they slather the corn with mayonnaise and sprinkle it with “parmesan” cheese in the green cylinder. It’s down-home authentic; but wusses like me take it dipped in margarine with chili-limon seasoning sprinkled on. Take you pick, it’s all good.

    • Keith Estes

      In Old Mexico the street vendors offer this same variation, known as “Elotes”. It IS delicious and very popular ! Down there they simply have the corn, husk off, in a big pot of boiling water. They pull it out, shove a stick into it (for a handle), add Mayo, Parmesan, Chili powder and a generous dousing of Lime juice. It is one of the things we look forward to the most each time we go south of the border.

      • Terri

        Wow! That’s sound AWESOME!!! Got to do!

  • Juandy

    I love grilled corn, In my town there is a shop that sells grilled corn, when grilling the corn they rub the butter mixed with chili sauce, It tastes really great, Sweet, salty, and spicy…

    When the corn has been grilled over, they put some chopped cheddar cheese.. :)

  • Kelly Mahoney

    I’ve always loved the taste of grilled corn on the cob, especially with a lime and paprika butter.

  • Darren

    I like to shuck the corn, then spread melted butter on them. Then I wrap them in foil and make vertical slices (around 5 or 6) in the foil. I give a slight twist to the foil so some portion of the kernels will be exposed to the coals. Then I cook them on the grill for about 10 minutes.

    The foil covers them enough to allow some steaming of the corn and the exposed kernels get the light char from the coals. YUMMY!

  • Ken

    Actually, I encourage you to try the “shucked” version again – but this time, cook the corn directly on the coals themselves.

    Of course, this won’t work with a gas grill, and I would also avoid briquets. But I’ve gotten stellar results by cooking directly on wood coals (rotating every 15-20 seconds until done), then rolling the corn in brine to wash away any residual ash.

  • Malinda

    I love grilled corn. I take off the husk and rub it with olive oil and sprinkle Susie Q Tri-Tip Seasoning on it and throw it right on the corn. Absolutely delicious. I always do a few extras and cut the kernals off for a tomato and corn salad the next day.

    A great way to cut off the kernels is use a bundt pan. Learned that from watching Easy Entertaining :-).

  • Bevely W

    You can also buy bushels of fresh sweet corn in season and throw it husks and all in the freezer. I put them in big paper grocery bags. Then you can grill them as you crave sweet corn on the cob anytime of the year… I’ve done this in the dead of winter and nothing lifts the winter greys more than a little butter dripping off your chin. I’m making this tonight! bjw

    • Terri

      Beverly, do you put them in Freezer Bags?

    • Tom Often

      Bev, do you thaw the frozen corn before grilling?

  • Kristen

    Another thing that works while grilling corn is wrapping the individual ears in foil and then putting them on the grill. It helps if you want to add flavors while cooking and it keeps the corn very moist.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • Chris

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