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We’re right in the thick of summer, which means it’s time for you to learn How To Grill Corn on the Cob before it’s all gone! Today I’m going to teach you three different ways how to cook corn on the grill (either charcoal or electric) — shucked, in the husk, or, my personal favorite, a combo of the two.

Overhead photo of four ears of grilled corn cobs.

About this tutorial for grilling corn on the cob

Barbequed corn on cob is one of those delightful side dishes that simply screams SUMMER! Between the cheerful yellow hue and the bright flavor of the sweet corn plus the ease of tossing dinner on the grill? It just might be the best part of this hot and sticky season. 

Aside from being one of the tastiest ways to enjoy this summer veg, learning how to cook corn on the grill is:

  • Quick & Easy – Grilling corn to perfection takes mere minutes with almost no hassle, leaving you with a bounty of juicy, perfectly charred kernels that can be eaten straight from their built-in handle (a.k.a. the cob), or sliced off to make a stellar batch of salsa or esquites.
  • Versatile – In this handy dandy tutorial, I’m going to show you not one but three (3!!!) simple methods for making corn on the cob on the BBQ. Feel free to test them all so you can determine the best way to grill corn on the cob for yourself.
  • Made With Just 2 Simple Ingredients – All you need is corn and some high smoke point oil for the grates. From there, you can take things in about a bazillion different directions! Read on below for all the deets.

Ingredients for cooking corn on the grill 

As promised, you don’t need much to barbeque corn on the cob. Here’s what to grab for this grilled corn recipe:

  • Corn – Make sure you’re choosing a variety of corn that’s intended for eating fresh. I’ve made the mistake of grabbing some beautiful (but starchy and super unappealing) multi-colored corn that was intended for either decoration or drying into popcorn kernels. Trust me, it’s no good here. 😂 Also, make sure to peel back the tops of the husks to see what lurks within — leave any that look grey or moldy, opting only for healthy, plump-looking kernels. You can typically find the best cobs at the farmers market.
  • Neutral Oil – I personally love avocado oil, but any high smoke-point oil like vegetable, corn, canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil will work, too.

Overhead photo of six fresh corn on the cobs in their husks.

How to grill corn on the cob

If you’re wondering, “how do you grill corn on the cob,” the answer is “easily!” First, choose your method, then follow along with the steps.

Grilling husked corn on the cob

Grilling ears of corn with no husk results in a deliciously smoky, charred flavor. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Remove Husk and Silk: Use your hands to peel back the husks, revealing the corn on the cob. Next, gently tug on the husks to completely remove them from the cob and discard. Then remove and discard all the silk. 
  2. Preheat Grill: Preheat your charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grates. 
  3. Prep Corn: Use your hands or a pastry brush to lightly coat the shucked cobs with oil. 
  4. Grill: Place the corn directly onto the hot grill grates over direct heat. Grill, rotating the corn frequently, until charred all over and the kernels are tender, about 8-12 minutes. 
  5. Enjoy: Let the corn on the cobs cool slightly (about 2 minutes) and then slather with butter, sprinkle with seasonings, and enjoy immediately.

Grilling corn in the husk

Grilling corn on the cob in the husk is the best way to get juicy, tender kernels of corn. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Peel Husk: Remove and discard any loose husks. Use your fingers to carefully peel down and back on the husks to reveal the corn of cob. Be sure to leave the husk intact at the root, this will keep the husks attached to the cob. Next, remove and discard all silk from the corn. Then pull the husks back up to recover the corn on the cob.
  2. Soak Corn: Fill a bowl or pan large enough to hold all the ears of corn with COLD water. Add all the corn to the water. Let the corn soak in the water for at least 20-30 minutes. (Tip: Do not skip this step. It prevents your husks from catching on fire and scorching.)
  3. Preheat Grill: Preheat your gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grates.
  4. Grill: Remove the cobs of corn from the water, gently shaking off any excess water. Place the ears of corn (in their husk!) directly onto the grill grate and close the grill. Cook the corn, rotating occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until the husks are charred and kernels are tender. Remove corn from the grill. 
  5. Enjoy: Let the corn on the cobs cool slightly (about 2 minutes) and then remove the husks by using your hands to pull them off. Slather corn with butter, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

The best way to grill corn on the cob – partially husked

Using my patented combination (still waiting to hear back from the Patent Office 🤔), you’ll get both juicy tender kernels of fresh corn with a smoky charred flavor — the best of both worlds!

  1. Peel Husk: Remove and discard any loose corn husks. Use your fingers to carefully peel down and back on the husks to reveal the corn of cob. Be sure to leave the husk intact at the root, this will keep the husks attached to the cob. Next, remove and discard all silk from the corn. Then pull the husks back up to re-cover the corn on the cob.
  2. Soak Corn: Fill a bowl or pan large enough to hold all the ears of corn with COLD water. Add all the corn to the water. Let the corn soak in the water for at least 20-30 minutes. (Tip: Do not skip this step. It prevents your husks from catching on fire and scorching.)
  3. Preheat Grill: Preheat your gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grates.
  4. Grill: Remove the cobs of corn from the water, gently shaking off any excess water. Place the ears of corn (in their husk!) directly onto the grill grate and close the grill. Cook the corn, rotating halfway through grilling, for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Peel or Remove Husk and Grill Again: Carefully peel back the husk (or you can completely remove it). Return the corn on the cob to the grill over direct heat and continue to grill, rotating occasionally, for 5-8 minutes, or until corn on the cob is charred all over and kernels are tender.
  6. Enjoy: Let the corn on the cobs cool slightly (about 2 minutes) and then slather with butter, sprinkle with seasonings, and enjoy immediately.

Overhead photo of a fresh corn of cob with the husk peeled back to reveal the kernels.

Expert tips for cooking corn on the cob on the grill

Looking to attain the title of Grill Master? Here are some expert tips to help you get that perfect ear of corn:

  • Soak It Up: Before hitting the grill, soak the corn (husk on) in cold water for about 30 minutes. This helps keep the kernels moist while cooking and prevents the husks from burning too quickly.
  • Peel and Prep: Peel back the husks, but don’t remove them completely—just peel them down to the base. Remove any silk threads from the corn; it’s like playing hide-and-seek, but totally worth it!
  • Seasoning Magic: Brush some melted butter or olive oil over the corn to keep it moist and add a touch of richness. Don’t forget to sprinkle on your favorite seasoning; salt, pepper, and a pinch of paprika work wonders. Or try various blends, like ranch powder seasonings, cajun seasonings, and barbecue seasonings.
  • Husk Hugger: Once seasoned, pull the husks back up to cover the corn. This helps create a little steamy sauna inside, cooking the corn evenly and adding extra flavor. Or, if you prefer that smoky, charred flavor directly on the kernels, feel free to remove the husks completely before grilling. It’s a bit messier but oh-so-tasty!
  • Be Like Goldilocks: Preheat your grill to medium heat. Placing corn on too-hot grates may lead to charred exteriors before the inside gets perfectly tender.
  • Turn and Watch: Grill the corn for about 15-20 minutes, turning it occasionally. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning. You want those beautiful grill marks, not a blackened disaster!
  • Cheese It Up: If you’re feeling adventurous, sprinkle some grated cheese (like cotija or parmesan) and a spritz of lime juice after the corn is grilled to perfection. 
  • Safety First: Careful, now! Fire is no joke. Use tongs or heat-resistant gloves when handling the corn on the grill to avoid any unwanted burns.

Enjoy your deliciously grilled corn on the cob, and remember, messy eating is a sign of pure enjoyment! Happy grilling! 🌽🔥😄

FAQs: corn on the grill

How do you remove silk from corn on the cob?

Removing the silk from corn on the cob can be a bit fiddly, but with these simple steps, you’ll be a pro in no time:

  • Peel Back the Husks: Start by peeling back the outermost husks of the corn, but don’t remove them entirely. You only need to peel them down to the base, exposing the inner layers.
  • Expose the Silks: Once you’ve peeled back the husks, you’ll see the corn silk sticking out at the top. The silk looks like thin, thread-like strands attached to the corn kernels.
  • Loosen the Silks: Gently use your fingers to loosen the silk strands from the kernels. Try to wiggle them back and forth until they come free. You may need to do this for each row of kernels on the cob.
  • Grasp and Pull: Now, hold the corn cob firmly in one hand and use your other hand to grip the exposed husks near the top. Give it a quick, sharp downward motion while holding tight, and most of the silk should come off in one go.
  • Check and Repeat: Inspect the corn to see if any silk strands are left behind. If you spot any stragglers, repeat the gripping and pulling process until the cob is silk-free.
  • Rinse, If Necessary: If some stubborn silk remains, you can rinse the corn under cold water, using your fingers or a soft brush to remove any lingering strands.
  • Husking Options: At this point, you can either proceed with grilling the corn while leaving the husks on, or you can peel off the remaining husks completely if you prefer that smoky, grilled flavor directly on the kernels.

That’s it! With a little practice, you’ll become a pro at removing corn silk, and your corn on the cob will be silky smooth and ready for the grill! 🌽😊

Should I grill corn in the husk or without? 

That’s a matter of personal preference. I personally like to remove the silks but keep the husks on when I’m grilling corn to get the perfect balance of chargrilled flavor and juicy kernels.

How long to grill corn? 

How long to cook corn on the grill will vary depending on the type of corn and the method you choose. Generally speaking, it takes between 10-20 minutes to grill corn cobs on the bbq.

When is corn done? 

When the kernels are juicy, tender, and slightly charred, you’ll know your bbq corn cob is ready for eating!

Should I soak corn on the cob before grilling? 

It’s not necessary unless you are cooking the corn in its husk. 

What seasonings should I use on corn on the cob? 

Friends, your grilled corn on the cob is a blank veggie canvas for your favorite toppings. Butter seems like a no-brainer to me, but mayo is also a great option if you like that Mexican street corn vibe. From there, you can stay as simple as salt and pepper, or get as wild and crazy with herbs and spices as you like!

Overhead photo of three cobs of corn soaking in water before grilling.

Using grilled corn on the cob 

Grilled corn on the cob is the perfect versatile side dish, and there’s no shortage of delightful ways to enjoy it! 🌽🍽️😋 Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Classic: Keep it simple and traditional by slathering the hot grilled corn with generous amounts of whipped butter and a sprinkle of salt. Sometimes, the classics are unbeatable!
  • Elote: Spread a layer of mayonnaise or Mexican crema on the grilled corn, then sprinkle with crumbled cotija cheese, chili powder, and a squeeze of lime juice. 
  • Herb Infusion: Mix softened butter with finely chopped fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, or chives.
  • Avocado Butter: Spread this rich butter over the grilled corn for a rich and creamy twist.
  • Parmesan and Garlic: After grilling, brush the corn with melted butter mixed with minced garlic, then sprinkle on a generous dusting of grated parmesan cheese. DAH-YUM, girl.
  • Spicy Cajun Kick: Add a little NOLA-inspired heat by dusting it with a Cajun seasoning blend or a mix of chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Top it off with a squeeze of lemon or lime for a tangy zing that’ll make you wanna Slap Ya Mama! (Note: No moms were harmed in the process of discovering this cajun corn masterpiece.)
  • Sweet and Savory Maple Glaze: Combine maple syrup, melted butter, a pinch of salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper, then brush the sweet and savory goodness over the grilled corn for a lip-smacking delight.
  • Asian-inspired Sesame Soy: Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, and a touch of honey or brown sugar. Brush this umami-packed sauce over the BBQ corn, then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds for an Asian-inspired treat.
  • Pesto Paradise: Slather the barbecued corn with your favorite pesto sauce (classic basil or get adventurous with sun-dried tomato or arugula pesto). 

Serving grilled corn

Grilled corn on the cob is a classic side that pairs perfectly with so many sides. Here’s some of the best serving ideas:

Recipes using corn!

Now that you know how to cook corn on the grill, put the kernels to good use in these recipes:

Storing grilled corn cobs

  • If you have leftover grilled corn, let it cool down to room temperature. Then, remove any remaining husks and transfer the corn to an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Store uncooked or cooked corn in the fridge. Raw corn should ideally be cooked within 1-2 days, while cooked corn can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
  • If you want to freeze leftovers, cut the kernels off the cob and store them in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. Cooked corn can be frozen for 2-3 months. When you’re ready to use frozen corn, there’s no need to thaw it beforehand. You can directly add it to soups, stews, or stir-fries, or simply reheat it on the grill, stovetop, or microwave.

Overhead photo five cobs of corn cooked on the grill.

Time to corn-clude our corn-tastic grilling adventure! Remember, life is ear-resistibly delicious with grilled corn on the cob in hand. So stalk up on that sweet, smoky goodness, remember to husk it real good, and grill with all your maize-ing might! Don’t be corn-fused; these tips will surely earn you the title of the ultimate corn-tender! Till I pop up again with more foodie fun, keep shuck-ing and grilling, my corn-loving pals! 🌽😄🔥

Cheyanne

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More cooking skill tutorials!

How to cook corn on the grill – 3 ways👇

Overhead photo of six cobs of corn cooked on the grill three different ways.

How to Cook Corn on Grill 3 Ways!

Total Time: 26 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
We’re right in the thick of summer, which means it’s time for you to learn How To Grill Corn on the Cob before it’s all gone! Today I’m going to teach you three different ways how to barbecue corn on the grill (either charcoal or electric) — shucked, in the husk, or, my personal favorite, a combo of the two.

Equipment

  • 1 Large Pan (to soak corn)
  • 1 Grill or Grill-pan

Ingredients 

  • 8 ears Corn on the Cob
  • as needed Neutral Oil (for grilling without husk)
  • 1 Large Pan (for soaking corn if grilling in husk)

Instructions

How to Grill Corn in the Husk

  • Peel Husk: Remove and discard any loose husks. Use your fingers to carefully peel back and down on the husks to reveal the corn of cob. Be sure to leave the husk intact at the root, this will keep the husks attached to the cob. Next, remove and discard all silk from the corn. Then carefully pull the husks back up to re-cover the corn on the cob. Finally, use a loose husk or kitchen twine and tie the around the corn to hold the leaves together.
  • Soak Corn: Fill a bowl or pan large enough to hold and submerge all the ears of corn with COLD filtered water. Add all the corn to the water. Let the corn soak in the water for at least 20-30 minutes. (Tip: Do not skip this step. It prevents your husks from catching on fire and scorching. Use a plate or other heavy object to keep the corn submerged.)
  • Preheat Grill: Preheat your gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grates.
  • Grill: Remove the cobs of corn from the water, gently shaking off any excess water. Place the ears of corn (in their husk!) directly onto the grill grate and close the grill. Cook the corn, rotating occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until the husks are charred and kernels are tender. Remove corn from grill.
  • Enjoy: Let the corn on the cobs cool slightly (about 2 minutes) and then remove the husks by using your hands to pull them off. Slather corn with butter, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

How to Grill Corn in the Husk AND Get a Char (my favorite way):

  • Peel Husk: Remove and discard any loose husks. Use your fingers to carefully peel down and back on the husks to reveal the corn of cob. Be sure to leave the husk intact at the root, this will keep the husks attached to the cob. Next, remove and discard all silk from the corn. Then carefully pull the husks back up to re-cover the corn on the cob. Finally, use a loose husk or kitchen twine and tie the around the corn to hold the leaves together.
  • Soak Corn: Fill a bowl or pan large enough to hold and submerge all the ears of corn with COLD filtered water. Add all the corn to the water. Let the corn soak in the water for at least 20-30 minutes. (Tip: Do not skip this step. It prevents your husks from catching on fire and scorching. Use a plate or other heavy object to keep the corn submerged.)
  • Preheat Grill: Preheat your gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grates.
  • Grill: Remove the cobs of corn from the water, gently shaking off any excess water. Place the ears of corn (in their husk!) directly onto the grill grate and close the grill. Cook the corn, rotating occasionally through grilling, for 8-10 minutes.
  • Peel or Remove Husk and Grill Again: Carefully peel back the husk (or you can completely remove it). Return the corn on the cob to the grill over direct heat and continue to grill, rotating frequently, 2-4 minutes, or until corn on the cob is charred all over and kernels are tender.
  • Enjoy: Let the corn on the cobs cool slightly (about 2 minutes) and then slather with butter, sprinkle with seasonings, and enjoy immediately.

How to Grill Shucked Corn without Husk:

  • Remove Husk and Silk: Use your hands to peel back the husks, revealing the corn on the cob. Next, gently tug on the husks to completely remove them from the cob and discard. Then remove and discard all the silk.
  • Preheat Grill: Preheat your charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grates.
  • Prep Corn: Use your hands or a pastry brush to lightly coat the shucked cobs with oil.
  • Grill: Place the corn directly onto the grill grate over direct heat. Grill, rotating the corn frequently, until charred all over and the kernels are tender, about 8-15 minutes.
  • Enjoy: Let the corn on the cobs cool slightly (about 2 minutes) and then slather with butter, sprinkle with seasonings, and enjoy immediately.

Notes

Nutritional information is an estimate based upon 8 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.

Nutrition

Calories: 77kcal    Carbohydrates: 17g    Protein: 3g    Fat: 1g    Saturated Fat: 0.3g    Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g    Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g    Trans Fat: 0.01g    Sodium: 14mg    Potassium: 243mg    Fiber: 2g    Sugar: 6g    Vitamin A: 168IU    Vitamin C: 6mg    Calcium: 2mg    Iron: 0.5mg

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