How to Grill Corn

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Grilled Corn on a PlateGrilled Corn

Knowing how to grill corn is something every pit or gill master should be able to master...

It's quick, very easy, and most importantly, tastes incredible.

Grilled corn is fantastic! Once you discover how to grill corn, you'll wonder why you cooked it any other way.

It's also a bit sexy and exotic, so lets get to it.


How to Grill Corn; The Most Important Factor

The most important thing to remember when grilling corn is this, fresh is best. Now that should go without saying; you should always use the freshest ingredients.

With corn this is especially important because the sugars in the corn break down with time and heat. This turns the corn into something that's pretty much tasteless.

Have you ever had corn on the cob and it didn't have that fresh, sweet taste of summer? It's because it was old and/or not refrigerated properly.

It's very important that corn goes from the stalk to your grill as soon as possible. Most authorities say corn will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days. For the best results though, corn should be eaten within a day or two of harvesting...

If you go to the grocery store it can be hit or miss. The best place is a farmers market or a roadside produce or fruit stand. If you go to a fruit stand and can see corn fields behind the store, the corn was probably picked that morning. The growers at the farmers market usually harvest early that morning. This means fresh, sweet corn for you!

How to Select Fresh Corn

Remember, we want fresh corn, so here's a few easy things to look for:

  • Make sure the husk is a nice dark green color.
  • Avoid corn with dark spots on the husk; that's mold. If you see any corn with dark spots in a bin, don't buy any of the corn from that bin.
  • The silk at the top of the corn should be dark and moist. If it's dry, the corn is old.
  • You want kernels that are plump and tightly packed together. They should feel firm when you press on them.
  • Peel the husk back a bit at the top to make sure the cob has plump kernels all the way to the end. Also, look for any worms that have decided to munch on your corn before you.

Some people frown on peeling back the husk on the corn to take a peek. Some grocers and growers may get upset about it. I do this all the time and my take on it is this: if the corn is harvested at it's peak, most of the ears that are inspected by shoppers will be purchased. And, if I sold corn, I certainly wouldn't want to sell people corn with worms in it!


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Grilled Corn Recipe

Note: You need to grill the corn over direct heat, at a low temperature, so it doesn't burn. If using a gas grill, turn all the burners on low to medium low. If using charcoal, use enough to form a single layer of coals with a little bit of space between them. In a standard kettle grill, use a large chimney starter that's a little over 3/4 full.

Total cooking time will be about 10-12 minutes depending on your fire. Don't overcook! Really fresh corn can be eaten without cooking so keep that in mind. You just want to heat the corn completely without it becoming mushy; when you know this, you know how to grill corn.

How to Grill CornHow to Grill Corn

Laying the corn in the grooves of the grill grate keeps the side you want facing the heat. See the picture to the right.

  • Fresh corn in husks
  • Butter
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Heat your grill to low/medium low. See the note above.
  2. Remove the husk and silk from the corn. Remove the stem by breaking it off or cutting it off with your knife.
  3. Trim the tip of the corn with your knife. Remove any portion that is missing kernels. If the kernels go to the end, just cut off about an inch for a nicer presentation.
  4. Rinse the corn with cold water and set aside.
  5. Scrape your grill and place your corn on. Place the corn in the grooves of the grill grate to keep them from rolling around.
  6. Turn the corn every 1 1/2 to 2 minutes so that all sides get exposed to the fire.
  7. Remove from the grill and serve immediately with the butter and salt and pepper.
Grilled Corn with Butter Salt and PepperGrilled Corn with Butter Salt and Pepper

Now that you know how to grill corn, I'm sure you be enjoying this exciting side dish often.

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