Fresh, sweet summer corn gets the full barbecue treatment in this recipe for corn ribs. Seasoned with a spicy sweet dry rub and brushed with a tangy barbecue sauce, the corn develops a delicious caramelized crust as it curls into a perfectly juicy rib. You'll need a sharp knife and a steady hand to cut through the hard cobs; make sure you have a large, sturdy work surface and take your time.
For the BBQ seasoning blend: Stir to combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
For the BBQ sauce: Whisk together the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of the BBQ seasoning blend in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened, 10 to 12 minutes.
For the corn ribs: Using a large chef's knife and a large steady cutting board, cut off the ends of the corn cobs to make them flat. Using your hands, break the cobs in half crosswise. Stand a cob on one flat end and carefully and slowly cut down through the core, rocking the knife back and forth if necessary, to split the cob in half lengthwise. Repeat with all the cobs. Lay a split corn cob on its flat side on the cutting board and cut lengthwise through the cob, pressing down and rocking the knife back and forth if necessary, to make 2 long corn ribs. Repeat with the remaining cob halves. (You should have 32 ribs total.) Place on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Sprinkle the corn ribs with 1 tablespoon of the seasoning blend. Brush the ribs with 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.
Place the corn, cut-side down, on the grill and close the lid. Cook until the cut edges are beginning to char and caramelize, about 8 minutes. Flip the ribs to the second cut side, close the grill lid and cook until the edges are caramelized and the corn kernels are crisp-tender, another 6 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the corn to a platter. Brush with more sauce and season with a pinch of the BBQ seasoning blend (reserve the remaining blend for another use). Sprinkle with the scallions and serve with the remaining BBQ sauce.
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