There are two basic ways to grill corn on the cob. You can either prepare the corn and cook the ears wrapped in tin foil, or you can grill the corn in the husks directly on the grill. The tin foil method takes more work than the more direct method. In terms of taste, both types of barbecue grilled corn are delicious.
To Cook Corn in Tin Foil on the Grill
Take the husks off the corn and clean off the silks. Get a fairly large piece of tin foil. Put the corn in the middle of the foil. Rub the corn with butter and sprinkle with salt and any other seasonings. Place the foil-wrapped ears on the grill or put them in coals (but not in direct fire). Roll the ears occasionally to make sure that they cook evenly. After about 10 minutes, stick a fork through the tin foil to test for doneness. Fork check in more than one spot, since cooking can be uneven. Kernels will be soft when the corn is done.
- Remove from grill and cool a bit.
- Take foil off and eat.
- You’ll have moist, buttery grilled corn with this method.
- To Cook Corn in Husks on the Grill
Put corn (husks on) in a cooler of water or a big bucket. Be sure the ears are covered with water. You may have to mash the corn ears down a few times until they absorb enough water to stop floating to the top. Let the ears sit in the water for an hour or more.
When you’re ready to grill the corn, put the corn (husks on) on the grill or lay them in the coals. Since they’ve been soaked in water, they take longer to cook, but they hardly ever burn. The husks may however turn black. Turn or roll the ears occasionally and cook for around 15 minutes. The outside husks should be scorching some and will begin to dry and look crisp. Use a fork to check doneness. Kernels are soft when fully cooked.
Remove husks and silks. The silk should fall right off. You can put the ears back on the grill quickly to add stripes and a little more flavor if you want.
There is also another way to prepare the corn, which is not very popular in the U.S. In most of the European countries corn is grille without corn ears. We know this sounds strange, but maybe you should try it. So, when you heat up the grill, remove ears, butter up the corn and place it on the grill, just make sure that corn isn’t ripe, but still soft and juicy. When it dries down a bit and becomes black on the edges, the corn is ready. In this way, you will have a delicious meal with a hint of smoke.
Season and serve.
With this method, you’ll have a slightly dryer corn with smoky flavor.
Buying Fresh Corn
We garden at my house and really enjoy fresh corn and especially cooked outside on the grill. If you don’t garden, then try to get fresh corn on the cob at a roadside stand or farmers’ market.
The fresher the corn, the better the taste. If buying at the grocery, look for bright green husks with moisture. Both yellow and white corn can be tasty, but the white is usually sweeter. A good variety to look for is Silver Queen.
Which Way is Better? Your Call!
Both tin foil and husk cooking methods produce delicious corn. If you use tin foil, the corn more closely resembles corn cooked on the cob in the house. Kids tend to like the buttery, wet taste better (in the beginning anyway).
The husk method is, of course, healthier and produces a more interesting taste treat. I think husk grilled corn grows on you. If I had to make a call, I’d have to say it’s a tie as to which is better. I guess that’s why I rotate corn grilling methods.