Grilling corn on the cob is a summer tradition, bringing out the best in this sweet, delicious vegetable. But achieving that perfect balance of charred sweetness and juicy tenderness can be challenging. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to grill corn on the cob perfectly, ensuring a delightful addition to your summer barbecues.
Selecting the Best Corn on the Cob
The first step in grilling perfect corn is selecting the right ears. Look for corn with bright green husks and moist, golden silk. The kernels should be plump and in tight rows. Avoid ears with brown husks or dry, shriveled silk, as these are indicators of old corn.
Prepping the Corn for Grilling
Once you have your corn, it's time to prep it for the grill. You have two options: grilling with or without the husk. Both methods have their merits.
Grilling with the Husk: This method involves soaking the corn in water with husks on for 15-30 minutes. This prevents the husks from burning and steams the corn inside. Peel back the husks (but don't remove them), remove the silk, then rewrap the husks around the corn.
Grilling without the Husk: Grill the corn without the husks for a more charred flavor. Shuck the corn, removing both the husks and silk. This method allows for more direct caramelization of the kernels.
The Perfect Grilling Technique
The technique is crucial whether you're grilling with or without the husk. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the corn on the grill, turning it every few minutes. The goal is to achieve an even char without overcooking the corn. If you're grilling with the husks, the outside will char, but the inside will steam to perfection. Watch for a golden brown color on the kernels without the husks, indicating it's ready.
Seasoning Your Grilled Corn
Seasoning can elevate your grilled corn from good to great. A classic option is butter, salt, and pepper. I personally use Dad Spice to season the corn because it offers a robust, delicious flavor. Try lime and chili powder, parmesan and herbs, or garlic butter for a more adventurous palate. The possibilities are endless, and the grill adds a smoky depth to any seasoning you choose.
Serving and Enjoying
Once your corn is grilled to perfection, it's time to enjoy. Serve it as a side dish at your barbecue or as a standalone snack. Remember, the simplicity of grilled corn is part of its charm; it doesn't need to be overcomplicated to be delicious.
Once you know the steps, grilling the perfect corn on the cob is easy. Select fresh corn, choose your preferred method (with or without the husk), grill carefully, season to your liking, and serve. With these tips, you'll be the star of your next summer barbecue.