Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Properly Grilled Corn

"I [state your name], do solemnly swear to only do good by the noble corn on the cob.

Though I may eagerly buy you far too early in the spring and be disappointed, I shall persevere.

If I am so moved to invite you to the grill, I shall not do so in any manner that may toughen your kernels, lest I cause awkward moments of table tooth-picking at your expense. I shall do so only in the spirit of celebrating the fall bounty of which you truly hail.
I shall love, honor, and cherish your unique corniness, as long as we both shall live."

The Only Grilled Corn Recipe You Will Ever Need
(sightly more printable recipe)


1. Pull off loose and flappy leaves (the ones usually damaged by shipping). Pull off the tuft of silk sticking out of the top but do not bother with the business of shucking, removing the silk, and re-clothing the ear. Just pull off what silk you can see and leave the ear and leaves intact.

2. Soak ears in a sink of water for 30 minutes. This step is important and will leave you with tender, not-overcooked corn and a fast cooking time.

3. Grill whole ears, leaves, silk and all. Turn as each side of the leaves darkens. Remove when all sides are dark and the leaves at the top of the ear are nearly blackened (see top ear in photo above). Depending on your grill and how many times you open the lid, somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes.

4. Allow to rest (and continue steaming) until the table is set and you are about to eat. Then, on a cutting board, chop off the bottom of the ear just below the kernels. Garbage can at the ready, pull off the leaves from the bottom of the ear. (Careful: they will be hot.) As you pull, gather up and discard the also-steamed silk.

5. Serve. Be happy you didn't bother to remove the silk, re-wrap the ears, fiddle with flavored butter under the leaves, or cook the corn on the kernel-toughening crazy hot direct heat of the grill. Just simple, tender, slightly smoky corn on the cob.


  1. I always remove the silk first! Now I wonder why I do it. Just cuz someone said I should, I guess. Now someone has said I don't have to,so I won't.

    Do you put the cobs over the direct heat of the grill or on indirect heat (off to the side or on a shelf)?

  2. Direct heat of a gas grill. (Yes, yes, I love charcoal grills, but they take a long time to heat up on a weeknight. Also, I don't own one.) But honestly? I just stick them around whatever else I'm grilling since they usually take longer than the meat. Cook until browned all over.


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