When the weather heats up, and the grill comes out, a mandatory dish is grilled corn. It’s sweet and smokey, with just enough crispy parts to satisfy your crunchy needs—corn is also high in fiber.

The tricky part, however, is choosing between the countless methods. In this article, I’m showing you a classic way to prepare grilled corn, as well as some tips to get cooking.

Here’s a quick overview of my guide to the best grilled corn recipe:

  • Tricks for finding the best corn.
  • Should you butter corn before grilling?
  • How long should corn soak before grilling?
  • How to know when corn is ready?
  • Do you have to remove silk before cooking?




Tricks for Choosing the Best Corn for Grilling

When shopping for corn on the cob, the best way to ensure you get the good ones is to peel back the husks. This, however, isn’t ideal as the grocery store will probably give you a few funny looks. Here are some tips for finding the best ears corn for your recipe without peeling the leaves.

  • Search for ears that have tight green husks and golden brown tassels that are slightly sticky. (Tassels are the hairy part on top).
  • Avoid picking ears with crackly husks and parched, dark tassels. These are telltale signs that the cob is too old.
  • Feel for plump grains. If there are too many holes instead of kernels, skip those. You can easily do this by running your fingers over the husks without ruining the corn.

Tips for Cooking Corn on the Cob

Now that you’ve got your corn, it’s time to decide how to grill it. Below I’m answering a few common queries, so hopefully, you can get the best grilled corn.

Should I Butter Corn Before Grilling?

Buttering the corn before grilling is a fantastic way of adding flavor to the recipe. You can make your own corn butter. All you need is a mix of your favorite herbs—this could include cilantro, parsley and chives—garlic is excellent too.

Finely chop them and mix with the butter, some freshly ground black pepper as well as salt if your butter is unsalted. Use a brush to distribute across the kernels. If you don’t want to use butter, olive oil works as well.

A flavorful recipe you could try is to spread your butter mix on top after removing your grilled corn from the grates. Leave your herb butter to harden in the fridge and let it melt over the kernels before serving.

How Long Should You Soak Corn Before Grilling?

Submerging the ears in a water bath before barbecuing prevents the kernels from drying out during cooking. It’s also a necessary step to keep the corn from burning on the grill, which could increase its acrylamide count.

Let them soak for roughly 15 minutes to an hour, but avoid leaving them for more than eight hours.

Don’t confuse this step with blanching. Blanching is when you boil the vegetable for a few minutes before grilling. However, this isn’t necessary—it can even disguise the smokey flavor coming from your charcoal grill.

How Do You Know When Corn Is Done on the Grill?

Corn can quickly overcook, especially if you forget to turn them or have the heat too high. To tell if they’re done, inspect the kernels—you want them to be tender—not too hard or too soft.

Do You Have to Remove Silk From Corn Before Grilling?

When making BBQ corn on the cob, it’s best to remove the silk from the ears before grilling. It may get too burnt or get stuck in your teeth when you eat it. Although it’s entirely up to you—many home cooks prefer cooking the ears while still fully inside the husks and silk.

Even if you remove the silk, avoid pulling out all the husks. Leave a few to cover the kernels while they cook.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob

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Now that we’ve gotten some tips out of the way, it’s time for my recipe on grilled corn.

For today, I’m doing a basic recipe with lots of flavors but that you can build on as desired. I’ll be cooking eight ears of corn, but you can grill more or less depending on how many you are.

grilled corn recipe image

Grilled Corn Recipe

Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ
Servings: 4


  • 8 ears corn on the cob.
  • 1 gallon cold water.
  • ½ cup sugar.
  • ½ cup salt.
  • ½ softened  butter.
  • 1 handfull Dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon Powered garlic
  • 1 pinch Salt and black pepper to taste


  • Begin by preparing the water bath. Pour 1 gallon of water into a large bowl or pot and mix in ½ cup of sugar and salt. Stir to dissolve.
  • Place your corn in the solution and let them sit for 15 to 30 minutes. The longer you leave them, the saltier they’ll be.
  • While the ears are soaking, get your grill ready. Preheat it to high heat, about 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and lightly oil the grates.
  • Remove from the bath and gently remove three to four outer layers of husk, leaving a few left to encase the kernels while cooking. Save the removed leaves to use while grilling—if they’re damaged, you can use foil instead.
  • Next, you should remove the silk. Pull back the remaining husks to expose the silk and discard as much of it as possible using either your hands or paper towels. Don’t worry if you can’t get everything out—you can remove this after cooking.
  • Prepare the butter. Combine dried dill, powdered garlic and salt and pepper to taste, mix with the softened butter. (You can alter your recipe, adding other herbs as you like).
  • Gently pull back the husks, but don’t remove them entirely. With a brush, paper towels or your fingers spread the butter across the kernels.
  • Draw the husks back up and use the saved leaves (the ones removed in step one) to tie the top. You should encase the kernels fully with the leaves.
  • Place on the grill over indirect heat. Turn them every five minutes or so and when the kernels are tender, remove from the grill. The total time for the grilled corn to be ready is around 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how hot the grates are.
  • If you want, spread some more butter on top before serving. And Enjoy.



Final Thoughts

Barbecuing corn on the cob is an easy recipe, and it’s delicious, too. With a little prep, you can have the grilled corn ready in 15 minutes for everyone to enjoy.

It’s important, however, to pick the best corn that has vibrant green husks and slightly sticky, golden brown tassels. Steer away from those that seem dry or have dark leaves with crackly tassels. Then before cooking, always soak the corn to keep it juicy and prevent it from burning.

I hope that you’ll enjoy this recipe for grilled corn. Feel free to sign up with your email address to get notifications of new recipes to try.


Phil Watson

I’m an old timer who retired, and basically, my mrs. didn’t want me indoors too much. So, I had to get out of the house, and as I’m not the green-fingered kind, there was only one sensible thing to do in the yard: Barbecue! Meat. Fire. Yum. Over a couple of years, I got pretty good at mastering a grill, and decided to share my knowledge with others who are just getting started. Luckily, my wife let me inside the house to set up this site. Here at Barbecue Grill Review, I share my experience with my favorite recipes, guides on how to get started, and review some of the best grills out there.

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