Cookbook Profile

How to Grill Corn

Serves 2-4
Make 4 ears
Method: Direct grilling
Cooking time: 8 to 12 minutes


A bitter controversy surrounds the best way to grill corn. At the heart of the debate is this: Does corn taste better grilled with the husk or without? Advocates of the former argue that the husk protects the delicate kernels from the harsh heat. Proponents of the huskless school (of which I'm a member) point out that corn steams rather than grills in the husk and that the husk blocks out that wonderful live-fire flavor. If you follow my huskless technique, which I use nightly in corn season, I'm ready to bet it will make you a convert-if you aren't already.

You'll need:
Butcher's string

4 ears sweet corn in their husks
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
Coarse salt and black pepper


1. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

2. Fashion the husk of each ear of corn into a handle by stripping back the husk, starting at the top of the ear of corn; the motion is rather like that of peeling a banana. Leave the hush attached at the stem end. Remove the corn silk and fold the husk back over the stalk. Tie the husk with string to form a handle.

3. Place the butter, parsley, and garlic in a mixing bowl and whisk or beat until smooth and creamy.

4. When ready to cook, lightly brush each ear of corn with a little of the garlic-parsley butter and arrange on the hot grate, positioning the ears in such a way that the husks are away from the fire. Grill the corn until the kernels are handsomely browned all over, 8 to 12 minutes in all, turning as needed, brushing with the remaining butter, and seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Remove the corn from the grill and serve at once.

How to Grill Corn

Brush the corn with the garlic butter as it grills. The ears are cooked when golden brown, after 8 to 12 minutes. Note how the corn has been placed at the edge of the grill grate so the husks extend over the side away from the fire.


How to Grill Corn

Another way to keep the husks from burning is to slide a sheet of aluminum foil under them.

Dill, basil, or tarragon all make tasty alternatives to the parsley in the butter. Grilled corn kernels make a delectable addition to salsas and salads. Lay the ears on their side and cut the kernels off the cob with broad lengthwise strokes of a knife.


How To Grill
The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques

By Steven Raichlen
Workman Publishing, May 2001
Hardcover: $35.00, Paperback: $19.95
512 pages, full-color photographs throughout
ISBN: 0-7611-2482-9 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0-7611-2014-9 (Paperback)
Recipe reprinted by permission.


How To Grill



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Modified August 2007