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How to Grill Corn on the Cob in the Husk

Melissa Ray Davis is a freelance writer and photographer who enjoys writing about DIY topics, including cooking.

Ears of corn wrapped in their husks and ready to grill.

Ears of corn wrapped in their husks and ready to grill.

Corn on the cob is a summer favorite, and this method of grilling corn on the cob in the husk gives you moist, buttery corn—just add some perfect, simple spices and a smokey taste. This would be a perfect side dish for a summer grilling party or a holiday like the Fourth of July.

How to Choose Ears of Corn

As always, find fresh corn ears with healthy green husks and no rotten kernels. The important thing for this recipe, however, is that part of the stem below the husk (the part that holds all of the husk leaves on) is still present.

When you are pulling the husks back to prepare the corn ears for grilling, you will want them to remain attached to the stem so that they can be folded back in place before you put them on the grill. On an ear with no stem, when you pull the husks back, they just fall right off—they have nothing to cling to.

Recipe for Corn on the Cob Grilled in the Husk

This recipe can serve as many people as you want, assuming one ear of corn per person. The recipe is vegetarian—and vegan, if you use a butter substitute.

Ingredients

  • ears of corn still in the husk*
  • butter or margarine (in stick form)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black peppercorns
  • ground paprika
  • kitchen twine (optional)

*Note: Get as many ears as you have people to feed. See instructions above on what to look for when selecting ears.

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients and Grill

  1. Let the butter sit out to soften.
  2. Fire up the grill and let it get hot.

Step 2: Unwrap and Butter the Corn Cobs, Then Re-Wrap Them

  1. If using non-organic corn, I usually like to give the ears (still in the husk) a good washing before I start peeling the husks back to make sure I don't smear any chemicals on my corn when I start peeling.
  2. Very carefully start to pull the husks back, leaf by leaf, taking care to keep them attached to the stem at the bottom of the ear.
  3. Once all of the husk is pulled back, pull all of the corn silk off of the corn kernels.
  4. Take the stick of butter (unwrap it), and smear one end of it up and down the rows of kernels. Coat the whole thing in butter.
  5. Next, sprinkle salt all around the ear (it should stick to the butter). Do the same with the ground pepper and paprika.
  6. Carefully pull all of the husk leaves back up, one by one, around the corn cob (in the same position they were before you started peeling). Be sure that they are covering it well all the way around.

Step 3: Tie the Husks

Now comes the tricky part. You need to tie down the tops of the husks on each ear so that they don't peel back while grilling and leave the corn exposed to dry out and harden. The easiest way to do this is to tie them down at the top of the cob with a bit of kitchen twine.

However, if you don't have any twine or want a good challenge, you can try to do what I usually do and tie them down with the husk itself:

  1. Take the longest husk leaf (there are usually a few sticking up above the rest at the top).
  2. Wrap it around the top of the ear once.
  3. Tuck it in under its own loop, pulling it tight (but being careful not to tear it off). See the pictures above and below for an example.

Step 4: Grill the Corn

  1. Put the corn on the hot grill. We usually put it either on a high rack or around the outside where flames can't reach it. You don't want it in direct flames or the husks will catch fire and burn right off.
  2. Turn it every ten minutes or so.
  3. It should be done when the husks have dried out and turned a mottled tan, dark brown, and black. (They will be charred all around the edges and ends). See the picture below for an example.
  4. When it's time to eat, peel off the charred husks and enjoy!

Photo Guide

How to tie off the husks at the top of the ear using a long leaf of husk.

How to tie off the husks at the top of the ear using a long leaf of husk.

Grilled corn on the cob in the husk—this is how it looks when it's done.

Grilled corn on the cob in the husk—this is how it looks when it's done.

Corn on the cob grilled using this method, de-husked and ready to eat!

Corn on the cob grilled using this method, de-husked and ready to eat!

Comments

Susan McLeish from Rindge, NH on September 02, 2013:

I have not heard of grilling corn without soaking it in water, husk and all. This way the grill steams it. Also, usually the corn is wrapped in a wet paper towel and then wrapped in tinfoil.

A comparison will have to be made at the next "try a grilled recipe out" gathering!

idigwebsites from United States on August 23, 2013:

I am hungry! Thanks for sharing!

John from Ayr on July 28, 2013:

Never thought about grilling corn still in the husk, tips and pictures are great. Will definitely be giving this a go next time the bbq gets fired up.

Richard Bivins from Charleston, SC on July 27, 2013:

Awesome... The only thing I would change is your suggestion to "Get as many ears as you have people to feed" I would double that...lol at least at my BBQ parties.

Danette Watt from Illinois on July 06, 2013:

Looks good, wish I could get my husband to cook the corn this way - we usually just end up boiling them. :(

Carl Junior on July 06, 2013:

Wow, I had no idea that it was possible to do that :) Great hub. I voted up.

vibesites from United States on July 05, 2013:

Loving this hub! I like corn, and it's nice to know that grilling it inside its husk makes it a natural "foil". Up and useful. :)

Blake on July 08, 2012:

I like to cook it with my Wang out

katie on May 13, 2012:

I made this for Mother's Day dinner and everyone loved the corn! I used olive oil instead of butter, and omitted the paprika. Delish!

Brown219 on April 28, 2012:

I soak mine in water for about 30 to 45 min then put it on the grill and let the wet husks steam the corn, then when done remove the husks and add butter and salt.

Tommy on April 04, 2012:

I like to add slices of japelno. Wrap the huskhusk & all in foil.sweet corn with a kick.

Sarah on August 18, 2011:

PERFECT! We didn't even tie the husks at the end. It was A big hit among everyone, even the children!

Peggy on July 14, 2011:

Did I miss in the recipe how long to cook the corn on the grill and do you turn it at all?

kat on July 07, 2011:

my husband loved it thanks!

fgbeuiwhgsdjk on June 29, 2011:

it was good, i guess

ertpo on September 19, 2010:

this was not hard at all and was soooo goood.

asdfghjkl on September 18, 2010:

this is good

:) u should try

R4di4ti0n on July 25, 2010:

Made this last night along with a few pounds of delmonico steak. Pretty good stuff. Simple enough recipe and there is plenty of room to get creative

TAZ on July 17, 2010:

bought some corn at our local "corn wagon" and wanna try something new.....wanna do it before my step-mom can so I can show her how something is done....haha

love corn on the cob!! yum yum! can't wait to eat!!!

Mable Ivory on July 11, 2010:

I made this on the grill last night. So good. It worked. Thanks so much for finally teaching me how to make grilled corn on the cob.

tom on July 05, 2010:

best corn we ever had... terrific

Rooster on July 04, 2010:

(Ran out of aluminum foil) ...

Rooster on July 04, 2010:

Saved my Fourth of July BBQ! Thanks!

BILL MULVANEY on June 10, 2010:

THIS IS A GREAT RECIPE BUT, IF YOU WANT TOO KEEP YOUR CORN MOIST AND TENDER AND HOT WHILE YOUR DOING OTHER THINGS TRY THIS; AFTER YOUR CORN IS BROWN AND ALITTLE BLACK HAVE AN EMPTY COOLER HANDY AND PLACE YOUR EARS INSIDE AND CLOSE THE LID TIGHT THE CORN WILL FINISH COOKING TOO A BUTTERY,MIOST ,TENDER DELITE.I'VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR YEARS AND IT'S FOOL PROOF,NOW ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DOING IT AS WELL AND THEY THANK ME EVERY TIME AND SO WILL YOU!!!

BrainSpace from North Carolina on June 10, 2010:

This sounds delicious!

Racquel on May 23, 2010:

Thanks for the tips and pictures!!!! Very helpful

margepom on May 23, 2010:

I used Bayou Magic Cagun seasoning and butter....it was awesome. The corn was completely tender and sweet. I love how the husks add sweetness to the corn. If you ever have to put your corn in water and boil it, make sure you line the bottom of the pan with the husks of the corn. You will be pleased.

Eric on May 22, 2010:

Corn turned out great!! thanks

Bo on May 21, 2010:

Tony's or Zatarain's...tonight...spray butter/margarine is easier to apply....WONDERFUL!!!!

Derek on May 16, 2010:

About to knock some of these off the grill right now. I used some cajun seasoning instead of paprika. We will se what happens

cecil on May 15, 2010:

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

zack on May 07, 2010:

making this for my mother on sunday

Lori Meepos on April 22, 2010:

Made it last night...yum!!!

Brenda on August 05, 2009:

Heard about grilled corn , never tried it till tonight .The best, I will never boil my cob again.DELICIOUS

depraved on August 05, 2009:

trying these instructions now...gonna be delish

Roni on August 02, 2009:

Very Good! I only seasoned ours with Butter and Salt but very delicious!

Travis Hudson from San Diego, Ca on June 28, 2009:

Grilled some last week. I use a little chili powder with mine.

Widow Maker on April 22, 2009:

Hells Yea that looks like some tasty corn. What a sweet treat for dis gangsta

gss from Florida on July 13, 2008:

Never knew corn could look and sound so good. Will have to try grilling some myself. Thanks.

MasonsMom from U.S.A. on June 30, 2008:

I've always wondered exactly how to do this. Sounds yummy-thanks!

Randi B on June 30, 2008:

What a summertime treat! I'm definitely going to try this out!