Grilling corn is a delicious and simple way to enjoy the sweetness of this summertime staple. Corn on the cob can be cooked on the grill with or without the husk, and there are several ways to season the corn before grilling for added flavor. Whether cooking for a crowd or simply enjoying a summer evening at home, grilling corn is the perfect addition to your outdoor dining experience.
Preparing the Corn:
Before grilling, the corn must be properly prepared. Begin by removing any stray husk fibers that may be sticking out of the husk. Then, peel back the outermost layers of the husk, leaving the last layer intact. This inner layer will provide a barrier between the corn and the grill, helping to prevent direct heat from burning the cob.
Next, remove the silk from the corn by pulling it off with your fingers. Use a damp paper towel to remove any remaining silk that may be stuck to the corn. Some people prefer to keep the husk intact while cooking, while others prefer to remove it completely. Depending on your preference, you can remove the husks entirely or simply roll them back and tie them in place with string or kitchen twine.
Seasoning the Corn:
Grilling corn with just salt and butter is a classic, but there are many other ways to season the corn for added flavor. One popular method is to mix together a blend of herbs and spices and rub it onto the corn before grilling. This can include cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and chili powder, among others. For a sweet and savory option, brush the corn with honey or maple syrup before grilling.
Grilled corn is also commonly served with a variety of toppings. These can include shredded cheese, chopped herbs, chopped garlic, and lime juice. For a more decadent option, try brushing the corn with melted butter and topping it off with crumbled bacon and chopped scallions.
Grilling the Corn:
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If using a gas grill, allow it to preheat for about 10 minutes. For a charcoal grill, make sure the coals are fully ignited before adding the corn. If cooking with husks, place the corn directly on the grill grates with the husk side down. If cooking without husks, brush the corn with oil or butter to prevent sticking and place it directly on the grill grates.
Cook the corn for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure each side is evenly cooked. When the corn is done, the kernels will become tender and lightly charred. To check for doneness, poke a kernel with a fork. If it is tender and releases liquid, it is ready to eat.
If cooking with husks, you can add flavor by placing herbs such as rosemary or thyme inside the husk before tying it back in place. This will infuse flavor into the corn as it cooks.
There are many variations on the classic grilled corn on the cob. If you prefer to remove the husks completely, try wrapping the corn in foil before grilling. This will help to prevent the corn from drying out, and also creates a steamy environment that will help cook the corn evenly.
Another variation is to cut the kernels off the cob after grilling. This can be done by standing the cob upright in a large bowl and slicing down the sides with a sharp knife. The kernels can then be used in salads, salsas, or as a side dish.
Grilled corn on the cob can also be used in a variety of recipes. For example, try grilling corn and slicing it off the cob to use in a shrimp and corn chowder. Or, mix grilled corn kernels with black beans, tomatoes, and avocado for a flavorful summer salad.
In conclusion, grilling corn on the cob is a simple and easy way to add flavor to this classic summertime staple. Whether cooking with husks or without, there are many ways to season and serve the corn for added flavor. So fire up the grill and enjoy the sweet and smoky flavor of grilled corn.