How Do You Grill Corn on the Cob?

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors  | 

One popular way to cook corn on the cob is to use the grill-top cooking technique, which consists of grilling corn on a barbecue grill. Before you get to the grilling, however, you need to prepare the corn. First, you’ll want to pull down the husks without removing them completely – just expose the corn and the cobs. Then get rid of all the silk, as well as any blemishes. Then place the corn in either a pot or bucket of cold water, in which it will soak for up to 30 minutes. After you have removed the corn from the water, you can spread butter or any other desired seasonings over the kernels. It’s now time to pull the husks back over each ear. A good idea is to secure the top by using twist-ties.

Grilling time has arrived so preheat your grill. It’s recommended that you use medium-hot coals and a covered grill. Place the corn cobs – in their husks – on the grill and allow them to cook for between 20 and 25 minutes. Another way to know when your corn on the cob is ready is by checking to see when it has become tender and hot. It’s a good idea to rotate the ears midway through the cooking time.

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The ember cooking method is another common way to grill corn on the cob. This cooking technique puts the corn directly on the embers. When you do cook corn on the cob directly over embers you will need to cover up each ear with foil before grilling. It’s also recommended that you rotate the ears once every 10 minutes when using the ember cooking method.

Originally Published: Jun 21, 2011

Grill Corn FAQ

Can you grill corn in the husk?
Yes, but you need to pull down the husks without removing them completely in order to remove the silk. You can then pull the husks back up around the cob before throwing them on the barbecue.
How do you know when corn on the cob is done on the grill?
It's a bit of an art, but it helps to use a timer that you set for 5 minute increments to know when it's time to turn the corn. It should definitely be done by the 20 minute mark. You can also take a paring knife and pierce the kernels to see if they're tender. If you overcook the corn, the kernels will get visibly tough.
How long do you grill corn?
Between 15 and 20 minutes is often sufficient to get sweet, juicy, cooked corn on the cob on the grill. Just be sure to turn it every five minutes so that it grills evenly.
Is it necessary to soak corn before grilling?
No. Although soaking or "brining" does tend to add more flavor to the end result, you don't need to do this in order to grill corn on the cob.
How do you cook corn if you don't have a grill?
Boiled corn is sweet, juicy, and doesn't require a barbecue. Bring a large stock pot of unsalted water to a boil and add the husked cobs of corn. Boil for 4-5 minutes until the kernels are bright and pierce easily.