Let’s learn how to grill corn on the cob the quick easy way without husks so you get some great char to add to the wonderful taste of fresh grilled corn. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions.
Introduction and My Rating
The perfect grilling side dish for any grilled meal. It is easy, cheap, and oh so good.
I felt compelled to do this post since I have seen many other grilled corn articles on the web. Most requiring work. I'm allergic to work that is not necessary and give poorer results.
For many years I tried those other techniques, but I have used this one for over 10 years. It's the perfect side with no significant work.
Please note that I avoided the opening line of "I grill corn naked." It was just too easy.
I'm from Iowa, and it is corn. An obvious 5. A little char is great.
🌽The Best Corn
How Can I Pick the Best Corn?
- Where you buy is the first thing. The best, in order, are your garden, neighbor vegetable stand, farmers market, and finally the supermarket.
- Examine the tassel, it should be brown and silky, not black and dry, which are signs of older corn.
- The husk should be bright green and tight against the corn. It should have good moisture and not be turning yellow or brown on the edges.
- Look for little brown holes in the husk, usually near the top. Those are wormholes. Just say no.
- Feel the kernels through the husk to be sure that they are even and plump.
The Sweetness of Sweet Corn
There are several hundred types of sweet corn. Some have enhanced the sweetness, and unless you planted the corn, you wouldn’t know the variety.
What you can control is the freshness since the sugar in the corn starts to deteriorate rapidly as soon as picked and in 3-4 days will be mostly starch. The easiest route for most of us to the sweetest corn is by getting the freshest corn.
Should You Take a Peak?
No, in addition to being questionable from an etiquette point of view, it also allows that ear you didn’t buy to deteriorate faster. But if you're selfish, know it also provides no useful information.
The technique here is just exposing the corn to direct heat. The corn will cook rapidly and will get a little char which is a great thing for extra taste. Very simple.
I'm not a fan of any grilling that involves tightly covering something and then "steaming" it on the grill, and then you call it GRILLED?
I don't see that grilling corn in the husk is much different from steaming it. If you want to do it, remove the silks, and place over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes rotating every 5 minutes. The husks should be almost black. You get to deal with that.
I'm not discussing foil but see the above paragraph. It should take about 15 minutes.
⏰🌡️Time and Temperature
This takes about 10 minutes over 450° grill surface temperature. That is medium-high on most grills. Corn can tolerate high heat but will take a few minutes less if your grill is high.
For more discussion see A Beginners Guide to Grill Temperature on a Gas Grill.
Husk and clean corn. Brush with vegetable oil. You can salt and pepper to taste at this point or after grilling.
Grill over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes turning and moving around every 2-3 minutes. Cook until some kernels are starting to char. Grill until you are getting the char you want.
Salt, pepper, and butter to taste.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
- 2 ears corn - husked and cleaned, do as many as you need
- vegetable oil
- butter - to taste
- Husk and clean corn. Brush with vegetable oil. You can salt and pepper to taste at this point or after grilling.
- Grill over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes turning and moving around every 2-3 minutes. Cook until some kernels are starting to char. Continue to grill until char is to your liking.
- Salt, pepper, and butter to taste.
- Assuming you are cooking this with something else. Corn can tolerate a very hot grill but cooks much faster. Most chicken and most pork recipes are cooked at the suggested temperature for corn.
- Fresh corn equals the sweetest corn.
- Get the freshest corn possible, it will tolerate heat better.
- You don't need to peak at the corn under the husk. The silk needs to be brown and moist. Not black and dry. The husk should be moist and bright green and the kernels should feel full thought the husk.
Originally Published August 20, 2010. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos and a table of contents to help navigation.