How To Grill Corn On The Cob In The Husk

How To Grill Corn On The Cob In The Husk

How To Grill Corn On The Cob In The Husk

Have you struggled with drying out your corn on the cob while trying to achieve that perfect grill?

Grilling corn in the husk is a method that not only preserves the moist and buttery flavor of the corn but also infuses it with a sweet, nutty nuance that you can’t get from boiling, microwaving, or oven roasting.

This new method has won us over, and here’s why: the husk acts as a natural barrier that keeps the corn beautifully moist while it roasts, allowing every kernel to pop with sweet corn flavor.

It’s a fantastic way to enjoy a deliciously sweet and easy summer treat.

From personal experience, I can tell you that nothing beats the sweet aroma of corn grilling in its husk on a warm summer day.

Last summer, I tried several ways to cook corn, but this method of grilling it right in the husk brought out such a fantastic flavor that it instantly became my go-to for every outdoor gathering.

Whether it’s just another dinner at home or a full-blown summer party, grilling corn in the husk is straightforward and yields consistently excellent results, making every bite a sweet flavor celebration of summer.

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Pros And Cons Of Grilling Corn In The Husk

Grilling corn directly in the husk has become a popular method because it keeps the corn extremely moist and adds a smoky grill flavor that’s hard to beat.

From my own backyard barbecues, I’ve found that this approach allows the corn to steam naturally inside its own wrapper, preserving that juicy corn goodness.

Plus, the husks get fantastically blackened, which is not only visually impressive but enhances the eating experience.

Pros

  • Moist and juicy: The husk locks in moisture, ensuring the corn remains moist.
  • Smoky flavor: It absorbs the smoky grill flavor, enriching the corn’s natural taste.
  • Visually impressive: The charred husks make for a great presentation.

Cons

  • Prep time: You have to spend time to shuck, remove the silk, and soak the corn for at least 20 minutes.
  • Slightly uneven cooking: Cooking can be less even compared to directly on the grill grates.
  • Combination of two methods: While using husks, some may find it worth exploring a combination with foil for a hint of charred nuttiness without losing moisture.

As someone who loves both the traditional grill grates method and the husk method, I toggle between the two depending on the occasion.

Each method has its trade-offs, but trying them out could lead you to discover your perfect grilled corn method that balances ease of use and flavor.

How Long To Grill Corn In Husk

How To Grill Corn In The Husk?

Are you ready to try a method of grilling that gives your corn a roasty, charred flavor while keeping it wonderfully moist?

Grilling corn in the husk might need a bit of prep work, but trust me, it’s well worth it.

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow, which I’ve honed over many summer BBQs:

  • Remove the silk: Gently pull the husks back (but not off) and remove the silk. This makes eating the corn much easier and helps it cook evenly.
  • Soak the cobs: Soak your corn, with husks pulled back up, in water for about 20 minutes. This helps the husks get blackened on the grill grates without catching fire.
  • Preheat your grill: Set your grill to medium-high, around 375 to 450 degrees.
  • Grill the corn: Place the corn on the grill and cook for 20 to 22 minutes, turning occasionally for an even blackening of the outside of the husk.

The bit of prep work is truly worth it as grilling corn in the husk keeps it from drying out and ensures every bite is infused with a perfect grilled corn flavor.

How To Make The Best Grilled Corn On The Cob With The Husk?

Creating the perfect grilled corn on the cob wrapped in its husk is simpler than you might think, and I’ve found it to be a foolproof hit at every backyard BBQ.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensuring your corn is juicy, flavorful, and beautifully charred.

  • Soak the corn: Soak your corn in ice cold water for about 10 minutes. This keeps the husks from burning and the corn from getting too dry during grilling.
  • Prepare the husks: Gently pull away the outer husk down to the base but do not remove them. This makes it easier to manage on the grill.
  • Remove the silk: Strip away all the silk from each ear of corn to ensure a smooth texture in every bite.
  • Fold back the husks: After desilking, fold the husks back into place. This will protect the corn during the grilling process.
  • Salt the water (optional): Adding salt to your soaking water can help soften the corn, enhancing the flavor slightly.
  • Preheat your grill: Whether using a gas grill or a charcoal grill, aim for a medium temperature around 400°F.
  • Clean the grill grates: Always start with clean grates to avoid sticking and to ensure even cooking.
  • Grill the corn: Place the corn on the grill and cook for 16-20 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes. This ensures the corn is evenly cooked and the husks are nicely charred.

From the first time I tried this method, it was clear that soaking the corn made all the difference—keeping the kernels juicy and bursting with flavor, while the husks charred to a perfect, smoky crispness.

Three Simple Ways To Grill The Best Corn On The Cob

1. Grill It Directly On The Grates

For those who aim for lightly charred corn, grilling directly on the grates is your best bet.

First, heat your grill to medium-high. Shuck the corn and clean off the silk threads as best as you can.

Don’t worry about catching every bit; any stray threads will burn off during grilling.

Use the husks as a handle by peeling them back but leaving most of the husk attached to the cob.

Brush the corn cob with butter or olive oil, season with salt, and place the cobs directly over the heat.

A famous chef, Traci des Jardins, offers an excellent tip in her recipe for Grilled Corn with Cotija and Quicos: position the husks at the edge of the grill so they do not burn.

Cook, turning the cobs occasionally for 8 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the corn; you want to obtain good color on the kernels without them becoming completely charred.

As the corn cooks, the sugars will caramelize, intensifying the flavor of the corn.

For an added touch, opt for a layer of even more flavor with a compound butter or sauce that infuses a dash of sweet coconut flavor, like in the grilled sweet corn with coconut glaze.

This basting during cooking with a simple and quick sauce made from coconut milk, coconut sugar, salt, and turmeric is a high pleasure, low hassle way to cook corn.

2. Keep It Wrapped In The Husks

If you adore tender corn kernels, keeping it wrapped in the husks might just be your ideal method.

This technique requires little-to-no prep work and although it takes a bit longer for the corn to cook, the results are worth the wait.

To get started, put whole cobs on a medium-hot grill and let them cook for fifteen to twenty minutes, turning occasionally.

The husks will char and get a bit messy, but don’t worry—the corn itself won’t brown or char because it essentially steams in the husk.

To lower the possibility of the husks catching fire, you can soak the corn in water for twenty minutes prior to grilling.

You might also want to peel back the husks and eliminate the silks before covering the corn back in the husks for grilling.

This step is optional, and it’s easy to peel back the silks along with the rest of the husks when you’re ready to eat.

Whether you choose to grill directly on the grates or opt for the foiled approach, this method lets you enjoy the full, juicy flavor of summer corn without much fuss.

3. Wrap It Up In Foil

If you’ve bought corn that’s already shucked, and you want the outcomes of grilling corn still enfolded in the husks but without the mess of burnt husks, wrapping the cobs in foil offers identical results.

Richard Sax, the founding director of Food & Wine’s test kitchen, recommended this cooking technique, noting it works great for roasting corn in the oven too.

This way, you get juicy, perfectly cooked corn every time with minimal cleanup.

4. Use Butter And Sauces To Get The Most Flavor From Grilled Corn

To enhance the flavor of your grilled corn, whether it’s enfolded in husks or foil, applying butter—whether plain or compound butter—is a fantastic option.

For instance, in the recipe titled grilled corn on the cob with roasted garlic and herbs, chef Michel Nischan advises peeling back the husks, eliminating the silks, and then spreading garlic-herb butter all over the cob before folding the husks back over and securing them with a twist tie or string for extra protection from the flames.

After grilling, you can eat the corn immediately with just a swipe of butter and a sprinkle of salt, or you can opt for something more adventurous like the sauces Chef Tim Byres uses, such as a mixture of honey, butter, and cayenne pepper for a sweet-spicy bite on his honey-buttered grilled corn.

Chef Sheldon Simeon’s Hawaiian take on Mexican elotes features a bright, tangy sauce he uses for his grilled corn on the cob with calamansi mayo.

Additionally, you can cut the corn off the cob and include it in a salad bursting with flavor, like the Grilled Corn Salad, which is mixed with coconut, peanuts, and curry leaves for a crisp, juicy, salty, sweet, nutty, crunchy, and savory taste.

Alternatively, you might pair sweet grilled corn with a punchy charred jalapeño-and-herb-spiked dressing in the grilled okra, corn, and tomato salad.

How To Grill Corn?

1. On An Outdoor Grill

  • Preheat your outdoor grill to high until it’s very hot, usually about 10 minutes.
  • Place the corn directly on the grates and cook until charred to your liking, turning often to evenly char all sides for a total of about 10 minutes.

2. Char It On The Stovetop

  • For those without a grill, you can char your corn right over the flames of a burner set to medium-high heat.
  • Use a pair of long heat-safe tongs to turn the corn occasionally, ensuring all sides get some color within 4 to 5 minutes total—expect it to pop and sizzle, which is normal, but stand back a bit for safety.

3. Using A Grill Pan

  • Preheat your grill pan over high heat until very hot, about 5 minutes.
  • Arrange the corn in the pan, cooking in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding which steams the corn instead of charring it, losing that delightfully springy texture.
  • Remember to turn the corn often, allowing all sides to cook evenly, usually taking about 10 minutes total.

How Long To Soak Corn On The Cob With The Husk Before Grilling

Serving Suggestions

Turn your lovely, charred corn on the cob—grilled in its own husk—into the star of a perfect grilled summer meal.

Whether you’re cooking up favorite proteins like Grilled Salmon in Foil or a Classic Salmon Burger, or you prefer Grilled Shrimp Salad and Grilled Fish Tacos, corn on the cob fits right in.

Not just a side, it can be part of a showy summer-time dinner.

Don’t stop at the main course; add some grilled sides like Grilled Veggie Kabobs, Grilled Peppers, or Grilled Potatoes. Grilled Zucchini, Grilled Tomatoes, and Grilled Broccolini also make delightful companions.

For a lighter touch, toss up a Watermelon Salad with Mint, an Easy Tortellini Salad, a Classic Three Bean Salad, or a Quick Black Bean and Corn Salad to complete your feast.

Each dish adds a burst of flavor, making the entire meal a celebration of summer’s bounty.

Should You Boil Corn Before Grilling?

To avoid drying out the kernels when grilling corn, some folks might boil it first.

However, the secret to juicy, flavor-packed corn is to soak it rather than boil.

This method allows the corn to steam gently on the grill, ensuring the natural flavors shine through without losing moisture to high heat and charring too quickly.

What Is Medium Temperature On A Gas Grill?

When you’re grilling corn and other recipes call for medium heat on a Weber gas grill, it’s helpful to know what that means.

Most gas grills has a built-in thermostat that shows the temperature. For grilling, medium temperature generally means 400-500F.

This is hotter than low temperature, which is about 200-300F, but not as scorching as high temperature, which climbs over 500 F.

Having this knowledge is handy for making sure your corn gets that perfect char without overcooking.

Tips For Buying The Best Corn

If you’re learning how to grill corn on the cob, it all starts with picking the perfect ear of corn.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you select corn: Look for bright green husks that feel slightly damp—not yellow and dry.

Make sure there are no holes; small brown holes can be a sign of insects and should be avoided.

The corn should feel firm throughout, so gently squeeze the entire cob ensuring there are no soft spots.

The corn kernels should not be light brown; the gold-top tassel (or corn silk) should be peeking out, slightly sticky, and smell sweet—if it’s dry or black and mushy, choose a different piece.

For storage, keep it at room temperature if you’re cooking it the next day, or in the crisper of your fridge for up to 5 days.

How To Store Leftover Grilled Corn?

The best way to enjoy grilled corn is immediately after it’s cooked, while it’s still fresh and warm.

However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.

I recommend reheating the corn or removing it from the cob to use in salads or salsa to breathe new life into it.

For instance, tossing it into a grilled corn salad with charred corn kernels adds a lovely depth of flavor, or mixing it into a black bean and corn salad or topping grilled salmon with mango salsa.

How Can You Tell If Corn On The Cob Is Fresh?

When picking corn, always look for bright green husks that are tightly covering the kernels.

The stalk should not be brown, yellow, or black—these are bad signs indicating rot or insects.

Fresh corn should smell sweet; if you notice any brown bits or black bits, it’s a bad sign and best to pick another.

FAQs About Corn On The Cob In Husk

1. How Long To Grill Corn In Husk?

To perfectly grill corn on the cob in the husk, set your grill to a medium temperature (300-450 F). Grill for about 16-20 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes. Use a wooden skewer to test if it’s soft and fully cooked.

2. How Long To Soak Corn On The Cob With The Husk Before Grilling?

Soaking the husks is an optional step, but it can prevent them from burning. Soak your corn in a large bowl of cold water with salt for 10-30 minutes before grilling to help keep them moist and manageable.

3. Do You Have To Remove Silk From The Corn Before Grilling?

It’s recommended to remove the silk from the corn before grilling. While soaking and grilling with silk is an optional step, removing it helps avoid unpleasant textures when it’s time to eat.

4. How To Remove The Silk?

Simply pull away the outer husks and remove the silk. It’s a quick prep step that ensures your grilled corn is ready to enjoy without any fuss.

How To Grill Corn On The Cob In The Husk

How To Grill Corn On The Cob In The Husk Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 ears corn
  • Butter and salt, for serving

Instructions

  1. Prepare the corn: Start by removing any loose husks from the corn. Carefully peel back the remaining husks but do not detach them; instead, fold them down away from the cob. Take out all the silk threads, then rewrap the husks around the corn. It’s okay if it’s not neat—just cover the corn as best you can.
  2. Soak the corn: Submerge the corn in cold water for at least 20 minutes. This helps to prevent the husks from burning too quickly on the grill.
  3. Heat the grill: Turn your grill up to medium-high heat, reaching between 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Grill the corn: Place the corn with its husk directly on the grill grates. Let the corn grill until the husks darken and start to char, then rotate it. Continue grilling for a total of about 20 to 22 minutes. The corn should be tender and bright yellow all through when it’s done. Feel free to overcook slightly as the husks can lead to uneven cooking. Remove from the grill and serve hot, ideally with butter and a sprinkle of salt.

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