Stockpot: Soak the corn in a large stockpot before it goes on the grill.
Tongs: Use a long set of tongs to turn the corn while it’s grilling.
Grill: Our favorite charcoal grill is Weber’s Original Kettle Charcoal Grill.
Corn on the cob (unshucked)
Step 1: Soak the Ears
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Place whole unshucked ears of corn in a stockpot and cover with cold water. Soak for 30 minutes, then drain.
Test Kitchen Tip: When cooking corn in the husk, presoaking the ears is always a good idea because it helps keep the kernels moist while grilling.
Step 2: Grill the Corn
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Place the ears directly over hot coals. Grill for 15-20 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes, or until husks are completely charred black.
Since the corn is done when the kernels are tender, test the corn by giving it a light squeeze with the tongs. If you can’t tell with the tongs, you can even peek at the kernels by peeling back the husk a little bit (but be careful; it will be hot!). The kernels should look moist but crisp and shiny.
If you’ve got leftovers (even after you’ve gone back for seconds), keep cooked sweet corn in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, wrap each ear in a damp paper towel and microwave for 90 seconds to 2 minutes, turning every 20 seconds.
Tips for Grilling Corn on the Cob
How to buy the best corn
There are several indicators for picking a sweet, juicy ear of corn. When you’re at the grocery store or farmers market, make sure to look for a slightly damp, bright green husk that’s wrapped tightly against the corn. Pay attention to the fluff of corn silks that stick out at the top of the ear (otherwise known as the tassel). It should be light brown or gold, and should smell sweet. Finally, squeeze the ear of corn to make sure it feels plump, and like no kernels of corn are missing.
If you’re not going to be cooking the sweet corn the same day you pick it up, make sure to store it in the refrigerator or in a cooler to guarantee perfect corn on the cob each time. When you leave it out at room temperature, the sugar starts to break down and turn into starch. After all, it is called sweet corn—so you want to preserve its sweetness as best you can. Learn more about how to store corn and how to freeze corn after you bring it home from the store.
How to grill corn in foil
If you prefer, you can also grill corn in foil instead of the husk. Place each ear of husked corn on a 12-inch square piece of heavy-duty foil (no need to soak it ahead of time). Top with a pat of butter and a standard-size ice cube. Wrap each ear tightly and grill over hot coals for 15-20 minutes. Try this spiced grilled corn recipe if you want a recipe that adds some flavor.
How to grill corn without the husk
You can grill fresh corn without the husk, but you have to be careful because the husks (or foil) aren’t there to protect it from overcooking and drying out. If you want to grill corn this way, keep it on the grill for only about 10 minutes, since it’s over direct heat, as compared to grilling 15 or 20 minutes with husks or foil. But, if you’re making a dish that calls for individual kernels, you can follow this hack to cut corn off the cob.
How to make flavored grilled corn
After soaking the corn, peel the husks to one inch above the bottom and remove the silk. Spread herbed or seasoned butter of choice over each ear. Rewrap with husks and secure with kitchen twine. Grill according to the directions above.
If you know you want sweet corn in the dead of winter, tucking some corn away in the freezer is a good way to bring back memories of warmer weather. Thaw the shucked ears of corn in the fridge overnight, placed on a tea towel to absorb excess moisture. When you’re ready to cook the next day, make sure the kernels are dry before you wrap them up in foil and get grilling.
Another way to prepare corn on the cob that’s been frozen is the in the air fryer. Pull the shucked corn straight from the freezer, spritz it with some cooking spray, pop it in an air fryer set to 400°F and you’ll have hot corn cobs in 12 minutes flat. Get more tips on how to make air-fryer corn on the cob.
One of the best things about summer is fresh sweet corn, and this recipe is a definite standout. We love its creamy dressing, crunchy panko coating and spicy jalapeno kick. If you're really feeling wild, sprinkle these with a bit of cooked and crumbled bacon! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
Grilling corn in the husks is so easy. There's no need to remove the silk and tie the husk closed before grilling. Just soak, grill and add your favorite flavored butter. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Since we have plenty of fresh sweet corn available in our area, we use this recipe often in summer. Parsley, chili powder and cumin accent the corn's just-picked flavor. —Connie Lou Hollister, Lake Odessa, Michigan
A restaurant here advertised Sriracha corn on the cob, but I knew I could make my own. The golden ears cooked up a little sweet, a little smoky and a little hot—perfect if you ask my three teenage boys! —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
This pot is a fun way to feed a crowd for a tailgate. You can serve it two ways: Drain the cooking liquid and pour out the pot on a paper-lined table so folks can dig in, or serve it as a stew in its liquid over hot rice. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
I like to eat corn all year long, so I came up with this recipe. It's my favorite side to serve when I make sloppy joes. You can use a butter substitute for a skinny version of this corn. —Teresa Flowers, Sacramento, California
This picnic-style medley of shrimp, smoked kielbasa, corn and spuds is a specialty of South Carolina cuisine. It's commonly dubbed Frogmore stew or Beaufort stew in recognition of the two low country communities that lay claim to its origin. No matter what you call it, this one-pot wonder won't disappoint! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I like to peel the husks back and rub ears of sweet corn with delicious dill butter before putting them on the grill. The butter melts over the golden kernels as the corn steams inside the husk. —Jeannie Klugh, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
After one bite of this grilled corn on the cob, you'll never go back to your old way of preparing it. The incredible flavor of roasted corn combined with bacon and chili powder is sure to please your palate and bring rave reviews at your next backyard barbecue. —Lori Bramble, Omaha, Nebraska
I'd never had grilled corn until last summer when my sister-in-law served it for us. What a treat! So simple, yet delicious, grilled corn is now a must on my summer menu. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsville, Virginia
My husband and I agreed that the original recipe for this corn needed a little jazzing up, so I added the thyme and cayenne pepper to suit our tastes. Now fresh summer corn makes a regular appearance on our grill.
—Kathy VonKorff, North College Hill, Ohio
In Mexico, grilled corn sometimes comes slathered in mayonnaise, rolled in grated cheese, and served with lime and chili powder. This is my family’s take on the dish, with our own flavor enhancements. —Carolyn Kumpe, El Dorado, California
Roasting fresh-picked corn is as old as the Ozark hills where I was raised. My Grandpa Mitchell always salted and peppered his butter on the edge of his plate before spreading it on his corn, and I did the same as a kid. Today, I continue the tradition by serving lemon-pepper butter with roasted corn—it's a favorite! —Allene Bary-Cooper, Wichita Falls, Texas
Corn on the cob is a comforting and cherished Midwest dish. It's amazing when grilled, and my recipe adds a few unexpected ingredients to make it taste even more like summertime. —Caitlin Dawson, Monroe, Ohio
I came up with these everything-in-one seafood packets for a family reunion, since the recipe can be increased to feed a bunch. The foil steams up inside, so open carefully. —Allison Brooks, Fort Collins, Colorado
We love Mexican food and corn on the cob. So I combined them into something fresh and spicy. For Italian flair, I make this corn with basil and oregano butter and Parmesan cheese.—MacKenzie Severson, Germantown, Maryland
As deputy editor for Taste of Home magazine, Rachel has her hand in everything you see from cover to cover, from writing and editing articles to taste-testing recipes to ensuring every issue is packed with fun and fabulous content. She'll roll up her sleeves to try any new recipe in the kitchen—from spicy Thai dishes (her favorite!) to classic Southern comfort food (OK...also her favorite). When she's not busy thinking of her next meal, Rachel can be found practicing yoga, going for a run, exploring National Parks and traveling to new-to-her cities across the country.
Liz is an unapologetic homebody who loves bowling and beers almost as much as food and fitness. The highlight of her week is making cheesy popcorn for her family on movie night. She's been hooked on Taste of Home since interning for the magazine in 2010.