How to Grill Corn on the Cob for Irresistible Flavor

Grilled corn on the cob is a delightful summer treat that bursts with a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. And the best part? You can achieve that delicious charred goodness in just five minutes or less, without even needing a grill! Whether you’re craving a nostalgic street food experience or a backyard barbecue sensation, we’ve got you covered with three easy methods to make your corn on the cob shine.

The Allure of Grilled Corn on the Cob

In my hometown of Egypt, street vendors knew how to capture our taste buds with their tantalizing treats. From crispy falafel to ice-cold hibiscus tea, they always had something to satisfy our cravings. One of their specialties was grilling raw corn on the cob directly over open flames, no fancy grills required. At home, my family took a simple approach – we threw the corn directly on the gas burner. It couldn’t get any easier! This recipe will show you exactly how my family did it, offering you the same mouthwatering BBQ flavors that we cherished from those beachside vendors.

Grilling Corn to Perfection

To achieve the perfect charred corn on the cob, we recommend cooking it without the husk. Grilling the corn without the husk allows it to get nice and charred, enhancing the flavors. Additionally, boiling the corn beforehand can dull its natural sweetness, so we skip that step. Here’s how you can bring out the best flavors from your corn:

Grilled Corn Ingredients

You only need one main ingredient to make this grilled corn on the cob: corn! From there, you can get creative with your toppings. I personally love the combination of Aleppo pepper and lime, but feel free to experiment with aioli, parmesan or feta cheese, extra virgin olive oil, flaky salt, and black pepper or chili flakes. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Corn: Each ear should be shucked and cleaned of corn silk. Grill as many ears as you like!
  • Lime: Halved limes are used to add a burst of flavor to the corn.
  • Red pepper flakes: Aleppo pepper is my go-to, but feel free to adjust the amount to your liking.
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How to Grill Corn

There are three methods you can use to grill the sweetest and most perfectly charred corn on the cob.

On an Outdoor Grill

  1. Preheat your grill to high heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Once the grill is hot, arrange the corn on the grates.
  3. Cook the corn, turning it frequently, until it reaches your desired level of charness. This should take about 10 minutes in total.

On the Stovetop

  1. Place one ear of husked corn over the flames of your gas burner on medium-high heat.
  2. Using heat-safe tongs, turn the corn occasionally until it’s charred on all sides. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.

Using a Grill Pan

  1. Preheat your grill pan to high heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Arrange the corn on the pan, cooking it in batches to prevent overcrowding.
  3. Turn the corn often to ensure even cooking and charring. This should take about 10 minutes in total.

No matter which method you choose, make sure to season the corn while it’s still warm for the best flavor. I recommend running a cut lime all over the corn and sprinkling Aleppo pepper for a mild kick.

How to Husk Corn

Before grilling your corn on the cob, you’ll need to remove the husk and silk to allow for quicker and easier charring. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Hold the corn cob firmly and peel away the outermost leaves of the husk, one layer at a time.
  2. Gently peel back the remaining leaves to expose the silk strands.
  3. Grasp the silk at the top and pull it downward until it’s completely removed. Don’t worry about removing every single strand – a few here and there won’t make a difference.
  4. Optional: Trim the top and bottom of the cob for a neater appearance, but remember that this is just for show! Keeping the ends intact gives the corn a more rustic look.
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Should You Boil Corn Before Grilling?

No, there’s no need to boil corn before grilling it. Some recipes suggest boiling the corn to prevent overcooking and drying out the kernels, but the secret to juicy and flavorful corn lies in high heat. By quickly charring raw corn over a hot flame, you’ll preserve its natural sweetness and allow the flavors to shine.

Tips for Buying the Best Corn

Selecting the freshest corn on the cob is essential for achieving the best results. Keep these tips in mind when choosing your corn:

  • Look for bright green husks that feel slightly damp, indicating freshness.
  • Avoid corn with small brown holes, as they are a sign of insects.
  • Gently squeeze the corn to ensure it’s firm throughout and free of soft spots.
  • Check that the tassel (corn silk) at the top is light brown or gold, slightly sticky, and smells sweet. Avoid corn with dry, black, or mushy tassels.

When it comes to storage, keep the corn at room temperature if you plan to cook it the next day. Otherwise, store it in the crisper of your refrigerator for up to five days.

Serving Suggestions for Grilled Corn

The smoky flavor of grilled corn on the cob is enough to serve it as a simple and delicious side dish. Drizzle it with some extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle it with flaky salt and black pepper, and let the flavors speak for themselves.

Alternatively, you can elevate your grilled corn by adding your favorite herbs or cheese, such as feta. For a zesty twist, try a lemony and garlicky homemade aioli. Personally, my favorite way to enjoy grilled corn is with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper. The combination of smoky charred kernels, heat from the pepper, and the bright citrusy tang is simply mouth-watering.

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What to do with Leftover Grilled Corn

Ideally, grilled corn on the cob is best enjoyed immediately while it’s still fresh and warm. However, if you find yourself with leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. Rather than reheating the corn, consider removing it from the cob to use in salads or salsas. Transform it into a grilled corn salad or add it to dishes like black bean and corn salad or grilled salmon with mango salsa for an extra burst of flavor.

And remember, if you’re looking for more Mediterranean-inspired recipes, be sure to browse our collection.

Now that you’ve unlocked the secrets to perfectly grilled corn on the cob, it’s time to indulge in this summer delight. Get ready to savor the flavors of smoky sweetness and enjoy the burst of Mediterranean-inspired flair. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at other mouthwatering recipes from around the world? After all, the joy of cooking lies in exploring new flavors and creating memorable experiences. So, fire up that grill, grab some fresh corn, and let the culinary adventure begin!

For more grilling inspiration, check out Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.

Grilled corn on the cob topped with Aleppo pepper