Summer is in full swing, which means it’s the perfect time to indulge in one of the best things about August: sweet corn. There’s no better way to bring out the natural sweetness of this versatile vegetable than by grilling it. The high, dry heat of the grill caramelizes its sugars, resulting in a candy-sweet taste with a hint of smoky flavor. Whether you prefer to enjoy it on the cob or in a salad, there are numerous ways to serve up grilled corn that will leave you craving more. From coconut-grilled corn to Korean grilled corn, the options are endless. So fire up the grill, grab some fresh ears of corn, and get ready to savor the flavors of summer.
Sweet Corn Grilling Tips
Grilling corn on the cob is a summertime tradition that never disappoints. The smoky flavors from the grill combined with the natural sweetness of the corn create a perfect balance of taste and texture. To help you make the most out of your grilled corn, here are some sweet corn grilling tips.
Grilling Tools for Corn
When it comes to grilling corn on the cob, you don’t need many fancy tools. Here are the essential grilling tools you will need:
Sturdy pair of long-handled tongs: Tongs will help you handle the hot corn and flip it while grilling.
Silicone basting brush: A basting brush will come in handy when applying butter or marinades to the corn.
Grill gloves: Grill gloves will protect your hands from the heat while handling the corn.
Corn on the cob holders: Though optional, corn on the cob holders can make it easier to handle and eat the grilled corn.
Corn grilling basket: If you want to grill multiple ears of corn at once, a corn grilling basket is a useful tool to have. It allows you to turn multiple ears at once, saving time and effort.
Grilling Techniques for Corn
To grill corn on the cob perfectly, follow these simple techniques:
Preheat the grill: Before placing the corn on the grill, make sure to preheat it to medium-high heat. This will ensure that the corn cooks evenly and gets those beautiful grill marks.
Husk or no husk: There are two common methods when it comes to grilling corn. You can either grill it with the husk on or remove the husk and grill it directly. Grilling corn with the husk on will steam it and keep it moist, while grilling it without the husk will give it a smokier flavor.
If grilling with the husk on: Soak the corn in water for about 15 minutes before placing it on the grill. This will prevent the husk from burning too quickly. Once soaked, place the corn on the grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the husk is charred and the corn is tender.
If grilling without the husk: Remove the husk and silk from the corn before grilling. Brush the corn with melted butter or oil to keep it moist. Place the corn on the grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until it is browned and slightly charred.
The finishing touch: Once the corn is done grilling, remove it from the grill and season it with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs or spices. You can also brush it with compound butter (see next section for recipes) for added flavor.
Now that you know the basic grilling techniques for corn, let’s explore some delicious corn recipes to elevate your grilled corn game.
Corn Recipes: Coconut-Grilled Corn
If you’re looking to take your grilled corn to the next level, try this mouthwatering coconut-grilled corn recipe inspired by Cambodian flavors.
- Fresh corn on the cob
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar or palm sugar
- 2 bay leaves or 1 pandanus (screwpine) leaf
- Warm the coconut milk in a small saucepan and add the sugar and bay leaves or pandanus leaf.
- Grill the corn over a medium-hot fire for 2 to 3 minutes per side, basting several times with the coconut milk mixture.
- Optional: Roll the ears of corn in flaked coconut after grilling, then return them to the grill to lightly brown.
- Serve the coconut-grilled corn as a tasty and unique side dish.
Corn Recipes: Grilled Corn with Compound Butter
One of the secrets to creating incredible flavor combinations with grilled corn is using compound butter. Here are some compound butter ideas to take your grilled corn to the next level:
Garlic and Sundried Tomato Butter: Mix finely chopped sundried tomatoes, garlic salt, smoked paprika, and chopped parsley with softened butter. Form the mixture into a cylinder using parchment or wax paper and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
Basil and Parmesan Butter: Combine chopped fresh basil, finely grated Parmesan cheese, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper with softened butter. Form the mixture into a cylinder using parchment or wax paper and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
Chipotle and Cilantro Butter: Mix minced chipotle chiles with some of their juices, minced scallions, salt, and chopped fresh cilantro with softened butter. Form the mixture into a cylinder using parchment or wax paper and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
Jalapeno and Lime Butter: Combine minced jalapeno with lime juice and zest, chili powder, and salt with softened butter. Form the mixture into a cylinder using parchment or wax paper and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
Bacon and Scallion Butter: Mix finely chopped crisp bacon, paprika, chopped scallions, and salt with softened butter. Form the mixture into a cylinder using parchment or wax paper and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
Serve these compound butters alongside your grilled corn for a customizable “corn bar” experience.
Corn Recipes: Trinididian Grilled Corn with Shadon Beni Butter
For a Caribbean twist on grilled corn, try this Trinididian recipe featuring shadon beni butter. Shadon beni is a unique herb commonly used in Trinidadian cuisine, but you can substitute it with fresh chopped cilantro leaves if it’s not available.
- Fresh corn on the cob
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped shadon beni or cilantro leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grill the corn until browned and slightly charred.
- In a bowl, mix the softened butter with the chopped shadon beni or cilantro leaves.
- Season the butter mixture with salt and pepper.
- Spread the shadon beni butter on the grilled corn and serve as a flavorful side dish.
Corn Recipes: Korean Grilled Corn
If you’re a fan of Korean cuisine, you’ll love this Korean grilled corn recipe that combines the bold flavors of Korean barbecue sauce with crumbled cotija cheese and thinly sliced scallions.
- Fresh corn on the cob
- Korean barbecue sauce
- Crumbled cotija cheese (or feta cheese)
- Thinly sliced scallions
- Grill the corn until browned and slightly charred.
- Brush the grilled corn with Korean barbecue sauce.
- Sprinkle crumbled cotija cheese (or feta cheese) on top of the corn.
- Garnish with thinly sliced scallions.
- Serve the Korean grilled corn as a tasty and unique side dish.
Other Ways to Use Grilled Corn
Grilled corn isn’t just delicious on its own. Here are some other creative ways to use grilled corn:
Quesadillas and Tacos: Cut the grilled corn kernels from the cob and use them as a topping for quesadillas and tacos. The smoky flavor of the grilled corn will add an extra layer of deliciousness to your Mexican-inspired dishes.
Avocado and Corn Salsa: Combine grilled corn kernels with diced avocado, chopped tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and salt to make a flavorful salsa that pairs well with tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled meats and seafood.
Corn Bread: Add grilled corn kernels to your favorite cornbread recipe for a sweet and smoky twist on this classic bread. The grilled corn will add texture and enhance the overall flavor of the cornbread.
Enchiladas: Mix grilled corn kernels with black beans, diced bell peppers, and your favorite enchilada sauce. Use this filling to make delicious vegetarian enchiladas that are packed with flavor.
Grits: Stir grilled corn kernels into creamy grits to add a pop of sweetness and smokiness. Top with crispy bacon and shredded cheese for a comforting and flavorful breakfast or side dish.
Grilled Corn Pudding: Combine grilled corn kernels with eggs, milk, cornmeal, sugar, and spices to make a savory and creamy corn pudding. Bake in the oven until golden brown and serve as a unique side dish.
These are just a few examples of how versatile grilled corn can be. Feel free to get creative and experiment with different dishes to make the most out of your grilled corn.
Innovative Corn Ideas
If you’re looking for even more innovative corn ideas, here are a few suggestions:
Grilled Corn Pizza: Use grilled corn kernels as a topping for homemade pizza along with your favorite cheese, sauce, and other toppings. The sweetness of the corn will pair perfectly with the savory flavors of the pizza.
Corn and Crab Chowder: Add grilled corn kernels to a creamy crab chowder for a burst of flavor and texture. The smoky grilled corn will elevate the flavors of the chowder and add a unique twist to this classic soup.
Corn and Zucchini Fritters: Combine grilled corn kernels with grated zucchini, flour, eggs, and seasonings to make delicious fritters. Serve them as an appetizer or side dish with a zesty dipping sauce.
Corn Ice Cream: Yes, you read that right! Grilled corn can be used to make a unique and delicious ice cream flavor. Simply infuse the grilled corn flavor into your ice cream base and churn it into a creamy and sweet treat.
Corn Pudding Stuffed Bell Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers and stuff them with a mixture of grilled corn kernels, cooked rice, diced tomatoes, and cheese. Bake in the oven until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot and bubbly.
These innovative corn ideas are sure to impress your friends and family at your next barbecue or dinner party. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and experiment with different flavors and combinations.
In conclusion, grilled corn is a versatile and delicious addition to any summer menu. With the right grilling techniques and creative recipes, you can elevate your grilled corn game and impress your guests. Whether you prefer classic flavors or want to explore innovative corn ideas, there’s a grilled corn recipe out there for everyone. So fire up the grill, grab some fresh corn, and enjoy the smoky, sweet flavors of summer!