How to Grill Corn on the Cob in Foil: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

Learn the simple steps to perfectly grill corn on the cob wrapped in foil for a succulent, evenly cooked result.

Key takeaways:

  • Select fresh corn with green husks and plump kernels.
  • Shuck corn and wash before seasoning and wrapping in foil.
  • Grill on medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes, rotating periodically.
  • Check for doneness by piercing kernels with a knife or fork.
  • Serve with butter, salt, pepper, or other seasonings of choice.

Selecting Fresh Corn On the Cob

selecting fresh corn on the cob

Optimal flavor and texture in grilled corn begins with selecting the finest ears at your market. Look for ones with bright green, snugly wrapped husks and golden, sticky tassels—both indicators of freshness.

Gently squeeze the ear to feel for plump kernels; avoid those with noticeable gaps. Additionally, a quick peel-back reveals vibrant, plump kernels, a hint that your corn is ripe and ready.

These cues guarantee you’re taking home corn that will perform well on the grill.

Preparing the Corn for Grilling

Before igniting the grill, preparing your corn for its foil-wrapped journey is crucial. Begin by shucking the ears, removing the husk and silk thoroughly to avoid charred bits sticking to the kernels. Some may choose to leave a layer of the husk for added moisture and flavor, but this is a matter of preference.

Once shucked, wash the corn under cold running water to clean it. Pat it dry with a paper towel, setting the stage for an even coat of your chosen seasonings. A brush of melted butter or a drizzle of olive oil ensures the spices adhere and the corn doesn’t dry out during the grilling process.

Seasoning can be as simple as salt and pepper, or as adventurous as a sprinkle of paprika and a dash of garlic powder to elevate the flavor profile. The spices you select should complement your overall meal.

Now, wrap each ear tightly in aluminum foil, making sure there are no openings. The foil acts as a protective barrier that steams the corn, resulting in a tender, juicy bite. Ensure it’s wrapped well enough to avoid direct exposure to the flames, which could lead to uneven cooking or burnt kernels.

With your corn prepped and wrapped, it’s ready for the grill, promising a delectable side that adds a summer flair to any barbecue feast.

Grilling Time and Temperature

Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat, which is typically around 350°F to 450°F. This temperature range strikes the perfect balance, allowing the corn to cook thoroughly without charring too quickly. The foil acts as a protective barrier, preventing burning while also facilitating a gentle steaming effect inside the packet.

Once the grill is ready, place the foil-wrapped ears on the grates. Avoid the hottest part of the grill to prevent the foil from scorching. Aiming for indirect heat is key here. Rotate the corn every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. This turning technique prevents hot spots from developing and promotes uniform caramelization.

Expect the corn to require approximately 15 to 20 minutes of grilling time. However, time can vary based on the grill’s exact temperature and the size of the corn ears. Use heat-resistant gloves or tongs to handle the foil packets as they’ll be very hot.

Remember, patience is a virtue with grilling. Rushing leads to unevenly cooked corn with less flavor. Allow the natural sugars in the corn to slowly develop and intensify for a truly memorable side dish.

Checking for Doneness

To ensure your corn is perfectly grilled, you’ll need to verify if it’s cooked through. After about 15 to 20 minutes of grilling, the kernels should be tender when pierced with a knife or fork. It’s essential not to overcook, as this can make the kernels tough and lose their sweetness.

Carefully unwrap the foil using heat-resistant gloves or tongs to protect your hands—steam can build up inside the foil and could burn you. Peek at the kernels – they should have a slight char and appear plump and juicy. If you find resistance when you insert a toothpick into a kernel, give the corn a few more minutes on the grill. Remember, the corn will continue to cook slightly from residual heat once removed, so pull it off just as it reaches doneness.

Serving Suggestions

Elevate the humble plate with a brush of melted butter or a drizzle of olive oil to heighten the corn’s natural sweetness. A sprinkle of coarse salt and a dash of cracked black pepper add a classic touch.

For a zestier taste, consider a squeeze of lime and a pinch of chili powder or paprika. Herbs like cilantro can provide a fresh contrast, while grated Parmesan invites a savory twist.

Pair with a hearty protein or offer as a stand-alone treat at your next barbecue for a versatile side dish that celebrates the flavors of summer.