By Jackie Freeman

Grill, baby, grill!

Cooking corn on the cob on the grill gives this sweet summer vegetable a hint of smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with burgers, beans, ribs, salmon, and of course, the great outdoors. We'll show you how to grill corn on the cob three easy ways and share favorite recipes to try.

Pictured: BBQ Corn | Photo by Elizabeth

Top Tips for Grilling Corn on the Cob

  • Always start with the freshest corn possible. As soon as corn is picked off the stalk, it starts to lose its natural sugars and convert them to starch. So, a cob picked the same morning you are going to grill will be sweeter (and less mealy) than a cob picked a day or two before. The best way to guarantee fresh corn is to pick up a few ears from your local farmers market or farm stand. Look for husks that are tightly wrapped and green. Get more tips for choosing the best ear of corn.
  • To soak or not to soak, that is the question. Some folks believe you can get a little extra steam power by soaking corn in water for 15 minutes before grilling.
  • Want that grilled corn flavor but don't want to gnaw the cob? No problem! After grilling your cob, hold it vertically over a plate or bowl with the pointed end down, and use a small, sharp knife to scrape the kernels from the cob. Serve it as is or toss it into a grilled corn salad.

3 Ways to Grill Corn on the Cob

There are three delicious (and deliciously easy) ways to grill corn on the cob. No matter which method you choose, always start by preheating your grill to medium heat and lightly oiling the grates. How long to grill corn on the cob depends on the grilling method you choose and how hot your grill is. In general, you grill the corn until it's perfectly tender, turning occasionally, somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes. Always let the corn cool for a minute or two before you eat it, and offer extra butter, salt, and any of your other favorite condiments on the side.

Let's get grilling – it's time to choose your favorite technique.

1. Grilled Corn on the Cob in the Husk

Try this recipe: Corn on the Grill

Photo by mummyluvs2cook

Grilling corn while it's still wrapped in the husk will help keep in moisture, resulting in a juicier ear of corn. Whether you remove the silk before or after grilling is a matter of personal preference. To remove the silk before grilling, pull back — but don't remove — the husk, pull off the silk, and smooth the husk back up. Or, simply peel the whole darn thing after grilling. Don't be alarmed: The husk will char completely but the tender kernels inside will steam perfectly and the silk will come off cleanly.

2. Grilled Corn on the Cob in Foil

Try this recipe: Sweet Grilled Corn

Photo by Elizabeth

A little more work at the beginning will make it less of a mess at the end. Simply remove the husk and silk from the corn (this is a great activity for kids to help with, especially if you are outside) and wrap the corn completely in heavy aluminum foil. If you like, smear the cob with a little flavored butter, herbs, or salt before wrapping. The best part of this method is that the aluminum foil helps keep the corn warmer, longer, which is especially helpful if you're cooking for a crowd.

3. Grilled Corn on the Cob Without Husks

Try this recipe: Mexican Grilled Corn

Photo by slw7

For super tasty bits of char and caramelization on the cob, simply shuck the corn and cook it directly on the grill. Because it's not protected by a husk or a sheet of foil, the corn will cook a bit quicker, so watch it closely and turn it frequently. For this recipe, Chef John briefly boils the husked corn and then grills it for a few minutes until it's beautifully caramelized. To give it a spicy Mexican-style finish, he coats the corn with a flavorul mixture of mayo, lime juice, chile powder, and smoked paprika before serving. Watch the video to see how to make this recipe.

VIDEO: Mexican Grilled Corn

Grilled Corn on the Cob Recipes to Try

We hope these out-of-the-ordinary grilled corn on the cob recipes leave you grinning from ear to ear (and cob to cob)!

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Corn on the Cob

What's better than grilled corn on the cob? Grilled corn on the cob, wrapped in bacon! This show-stopping recipe takes a little longer to cook up, but is well worth the time.

Miss Bettie's Zesty Grilled Corn

This foil-wrapped grilled corn on the cob gets an extra flavor boost from mustard, lemon pepper, and horseradish.

Photo by Jillian

BBQ Corn

And by "BBQ" they mean smoked, as in, this corn on the cob goes into the smoker. After it's soaked in beer. Overnight. Like a boss.

Photo by CookinBug

More to Explore

• Check out our entire collection of BBQ and grilled corn recipes.
• Get tips and recipes to grill all kinds of vegetables.
• Bookmark this ultimate guide to grilling everything.
• Find all the top-rated BBQ and Grilled recipes you're looking for.

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