I love grilled corn for this reason much. Why? due to the fact that it’s component of that large group of foodstuffs with herbal handles: Bananas! Empanadas! Cookies! Sweet corn is evolutionarily designed to be eaten with your hands, i m sorry in this trying times, is pretty much the best thing ever. Brand-new me is all around the straightforward things in life.

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This summer i traded city life for prolonged lake sojourn v my fam and had, well, a lot more time (and charcoal) on mine hands. Time to find and also buy the best corn! Time to fire increase a grill and char those ears into oblivion! Time come painstakingly extract the requisite kernel debris from mine teeth! And, importantly, time to research study the background of this miraculously sweet and juicy summer delicacy.

So, who created grilled corn? whereby did it come from? and also how deserve to we make and use ours cobs while they’re ripe because that the pickin’?


The relationship in between corn and the ameri goes earlier millennia, to once it was an initial domesticated by Indigenous world in Mexico, about 6,600 BCE. Despite the exact day is unknown, the very first iteration of grilled cobs, elote, was likewise invented in Mexico. The above ears, spread with mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime, are now sold everywhere the country (and beyond) together a portable snack.


Indigenous people taught European homesteaders to grow this native grain, and also from there corn infect pretty lot every edge of the globe. In Japan you can find elote-esque, okonomiyaki-inspired cobs: grilled corn slathered through Kewpie mayonnaise, yakisoba sauce, furikake, bonito flakes, and scallions. Blackened ears basted with a garlicky soy paste and also a sweet chili sauce space a favorite at night markets in Taiwan. And at street carts throughout India, you can acquire bhutta, roasted corn top top the cob seasoned through lime, salt, and chili powder.


There are truly endless methods to customize those charred and also beloved kernels. But first: exactly how to grill corn ~ above the cob.

All right, stop go. How do I select the best cob for the job?

The very first step on her journey come burst-in-your-mouth grilled corn is all about selection. Here are a few key points to remember:

Look because that fresh husks. Those irpari layers should be green and wrapped tightly around the cob with none of them breaking or falling off.

Avoid to buy corn v dry silk. i’m talking about the straggly tuft at the peak of each cob. It must be glossy. Super dried silk is a sure authorize of corn that’s previous its prime and so is silk that’s too moist and beginning to mold.

Does the selection of corn ns buy matter?

You constantly want come buy sweet corn. The an excellent thing is that, assuming you’re shopping at a store or sector for humans—and not a livestock it is provided shop, which sells ar corn because that animals—you’re good.

So, how do I keep my corn prior to grilling?

Whoa, host up. Corn loser sweetness and also degrades in high quality hella fast. So you’ll want to eat your cobs as quickly as possible—like, the work you carry them home. No up for grilling at this an extremely moment? keep them (husks on!) in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

Okay, okay—I’m prepared to grill. How do I cook these suckers?

You have a pair of alternatives here, relying on your affinity because that draaama (i.e., grill marks). The great news is the neither the them calls for soaking (brining girlfriend cobs in salty water) and husking (removing the green leafy exterior) is totally optional. So right here we go:


For the still-juicy, just-grilled smokiness, prep your grill for medium-high heat. Put your ear (still in your husks!) right on the grate and grill, transforming occasionally, till the outer leaves are evenly charred. This should take approximately 16 come 20 minutes, depending upon your grill model. Want an ext color? simply loosen those husks slightly before grilling. Don’t sweat it if the leaves acquire charcoal-colored and brittle—that’s what friend want, due to the fact that they’re protecting the kernels while imparting huge smoky flavor. Once the cobs are cool sufficient to handle, you can pull the husks and also silk appropriate off.

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If the high-octane grill clues you’re after, girlfriend should understand that you won’t get more than a few spots using the abovementioned charring method. Yet if girlfriend refuse to resolve for something less, follow these measures with husked and also silked corn. Make certain the grill is cigarette smoking hot, then chef the nude cobs (oiled or not is fine) for about a minute per side—long enough to gain some color, quick enough to maintain moisture and also c.r.u.n.c.h.

How need to I dress my juicy cobs?

Now for the funny part. The mystery to really memorable corn—the type that can silence whole backyard that slippery-fingered humans—lies in what you spread out on your grilled ears (lol) afterward. If there’s absolutely nothing wrong with slicking her cobs v unsalted butter and also calling that a day, lacing a rod or two with herbs and also spices prior to slathering is very fancy and fun! It must go without saying the salt is suspect in every one of these combos:

½ cup finely chopped tender herbs + ½ tsp. Carefully grated lemon zest

What if i’m cob averse?

My childhood self have the right to commiserate with just how not-fun it is to have actually chunks that corn stuck between your teeth. Luckily for us, cut char-kissed kernels off the cob is a fine move. Toss lock in a choose-your-own-adventure salad. Amp up your corny cacio e pepe with the new grilled stuff. Do the finest salsa of your dang life, then usage it to top your grilled warm dogs. And also you can really never go wrong v smoky grits (corn two ways!). Simply don’t toss those cobs—save them for corn milk!