How to Grill Corn on the Cob With and Without Husks

Say bye-bye to burnt kernels and dried-out cobs — follow these tips for perfect grilled corn.

April 11, 2023
How to Grill Corn
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Freshly picked corn on the cob is a summertime treat--and it's even better grilled. Luckily the best way to grill corn is also the easiest way. We'll show you how to do it without burning or drying it out. And if you want a reminder on how to boil corn, head over to our story How to Boil Corn on the Cob.

Prepare Your Grill

First, prepare the grill. For corn, we're aiming for hot, direct heat. For a charcoal grill, spread the hot coals under the area where the corn will be placed. For gas, turn the burners to high. Cover and preheat for about 15 minutes.

Should You Soak Corn Before Grilling?

You may have heard that corn should be soaked in water before grilling—but it really depends on the corn. If the husks are bright green and tightly wrapped, your corn is fresh and can be grilled with no additional steps. Don't shuck it or peel back the husks—the corn silk does not need to be removed before grilling.

If the husks are dry, peeling or turning yellow, the corn will need a soak first. Soak the whole, un-shucked ears in warm water for 10 minutes before proceeding. This helps rehydrate the husks and keeps the corn from drying out and burning on the grill.

How to Grill Corn with a Husk

This technique is easy as can be - the husks peel off more easily after they've been grilled. It makes for moist, juicy kernels with a smoky flavor - and minimal charring.

1. Preheat grill to high.

2. Place ears directly on the grates of the grill.

3. Cover and cook for 15 to 12 minutes. Turn the ears occasionally with tongs. The husks will blacken and char all over, but the kernels will be stay protected while they steam inside. Meanwhile, a delicious smokiness infuses the tender, sweet corn.

4. Remove the ears from the grill. When the cobs are charred all over, remove them from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle.

5. Check for doneness. Carefully peel back the husk and press down on the corn. It should feel hot and tender.

6. Clean the ears. Pull away the charred husks and silk from the corn.

Perfectly Grilled Corn on the Cob

Find out the secret to Bobby Flay's Perfectly Grilled Corn on the Cob recipe from Food Network, a summer side served with homemade herb and barbecue butters.

How to Grill Corn without a Husk

If you bought corn that was already shucked, it's possible to grill it directly on the grill.

1. Preheat grill to high.

2. Prepare the ears for the grill. You can mimic the effects of a corn husk by tightly wrapping each ear in foil. The foil will steam the kernels, much like the husk does, making for tender, juicy results. Alternatively, for charred corn, brush the kernels with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper.

3. Place the ears on the grill grates.

4. Cover and grill the ears. Grill foil-wrapped ears for 15 to 20 minutes and bare cobs for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the ears occasionally with tongs.

How to Serve Grilled Corn

While the corn is still hot, brush each cob with butter and sprinkle with kosher salt. But you don't have to stop there--try some of the below flavor combinations. And for even more serving ideas, head over to our story Reinvented: Corn on the Cob 5 Ways.

  • Butter, chile powder, cotija cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of lime
  • Butter, Parmesan and parsley
  • Butter, honey and chipotle powder

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