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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.

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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!

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