Corn on the cob is a great way to enjoy summer. It is not only tasty and fun to eat, but the buttery grain is the perfect dish to enjoy both outside and inside during a big cookout or quiet night.
Though there are many ways to prepare corn on the cob, grilling is one of the best methods. This guide will cover, not just why that is, but the different ways to cook corn outside.
Choose Fresh Corn for Your Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilling corn brings out its natural flavors and helps reinforce the feeling of summer. However, it is not the process is not quite as simple as taking corn and throwing it on the grill. Rather, there are several steps that need to occur.
First, before any preparation takes place, you need to make sure you’re using incredibly fresh corn.
Whether you’re using traditional or sweet corn, you want to choose ears that are both at peak season and that have been recently picked. Though some people pay attention to the color of the kernels, that rarely matters. Look for ears that smell sweet and that are firm when pressed on.
Grilling in the Husk
Once you’ve chosen your corn, you next need to figure out how you want to grill it. One of the simplest ways to grill is directly in the husk.
When doing this, you want to cook the corn right on the grill, as is. First place the corn (with husk on) directly on top of the coals. As it cooks, you want to occasionally turn until the cob is steamed through to the center. That usually takes about 15 minutes.
When you’re finished (the outside is black and the inside is steamed through) you let the corn cool. During this step it helps to pull back the husk and rub on butter for extra flavor.
Wrapping the Corn in Foil
If you’re not a fan of the in-husk method, you can also cook corn in foil.
To do this method, you first need to shuck the corn and discard both the silk and husk. Once clean, you should wrap the ears in heavy-duty aluminum foil that will be able to withstand the heat of the grill.
During this step, you can also slide any butter or oils you like into the wrapping to create an extra bit of flavor throughout the cooking process.
Once the corn is wrapped, place the foil directly onto hot coals or onto a grate over hot coals. As with the in-husk method, you should occasionally turn until the corn is fully cooked.
This method comes with the advantage that the corn is incredibly easy to serve, and the foil will keep it hot for a long time. As a result, it is often best to use this process during larger gatherings where it is going to take a while for everyone to get their food.
Naked and Directly on the Grill
The last way to grill corn is naked. That is, take the corn from the husk and then cook it directly on top of the coals. This process is markedly different from the above two, not just because of the method behind it, but because of the taste it creates.
While the other two grilling styles give you a range of different flavors based on what you add to them, cooking right on the grill allows the corn to absorb natural flavors from the wood and fire. In that way, you get a finished ear that is smoky, nutty, and charred, smoky.
When searching for the best naked corn, you should first shuck and clean each piece. Once the silk is more or less gone (it doesn’t have to be completely cleared) you put the corn right on top of an extremely hot grill.
Use the same turning method from the above processes for about 10 minutes or until the corn is nicely charred and cooked through. Serve it right off the grill while it’s still hot.
While the natural flavor is amazing, you can also add butter (salted or not) as well as salt and pepper. This style of corn is not only quick and easy, but it allows you to perfectly control the flavor.
Charred, Nutty, and Sweet Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled corn on the cob is one of the best summer foods. You can enjoy it on its own, or you can make it with a nice dinner (meat and potatoes often work best).
It does not matter which of the above methods you choose. As long as you understand the steps and follow the instructions, you will find yourself with incredible corn in a short amount of time. Though you can always cook corn inside, nothing can quite replicate the flavors of an open flame on your grill.