Fresh, grilled corn on the cob is a hallmark of warm and sunny summer days. Paired with grilled hamburgers, smoked pork or other grilled vegetables, grilled corn is an important part of your outdoor meals. For a pretty presentation and to make handling hot ears easier, use the husks as handles. After silking the ears of corn, pull the husks back to form a ponytail-like handle; tie together with a kitchen string or a smaller piece of torn husk. Soak the husk "pony-tails" in cold water about 10 minutes before grilling to prevent burning, or simply hang the husks over the edge of the grill. Take the sweet, smoky flavors of grilled corn on the cob to the next level with flavorful twists on butters and toppings.

Adam Hickman


Credit: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe Summary test

40 mins
40 mins
Serves 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F) on 1 side, or push hot coals to 1 side of a charcoal grill.

  • Working with 1 ear at a time, grab silks at top of corn with half the silks in each hand. Slowly peel silks down, 1 side at a time, peeling back all silks and husks in 1 motion. Discard silks; pull husks together to form a ponytail-like handle. Tear off 1 small husk piece; use it to tie a knot around husks to secure.

  • Coat corn with cooking spray; place on unoiled grates on lit side of grill. Grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, until charred in spots, 15 to 18 minutes. Hang husks over edge of grill to prevent burning.

  • Remove corn from grill. Wrap individually in aluminum foil, excluding husks, placing 2 butter pieces on each ear. Put wrapped corn on unlit side of grill. Cover grill to keep warm until ready to serve, at least 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes. Unwrap corn; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Chef's Notes

Basil Butter with Parmesan

Total 10 min.
Process 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup softened butter, 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt in a food processor until smooth, 1 minute. Arrange Classic Grilled Corn on a platter. Rub corn with butter mixture; sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bacon with Ranch Drizzle

Total 20 min.
Cook 6 bacon slices in a large skillet over medium-high, turning occasionally, until very crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, measure 2 Tbsp. drippings from skillet into a heatproof bowl. Add 3 Tbsp. each of mayonnaise, sour cream, and whole buttermilk to bowl, whisking until combined. Add 2 tsp. each finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh dill, and fresh chives; 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice; 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; and 1/4 tsp. onion powder, stirring to combine. Finely chop bacon. Arrange Classic Grilled Corn on a platter, and drizzle with ranch mixture. Sprinkle evenly with chopped bacon.

Honey-Chipotle Glaze

Total 15 min.
Process 3 Tbsp. honey, 2 Tbsp. chopped scallion (white and light green parts only), 1 1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp. chipotle chile in adobo sauce (from 1 [7-oz.] can), 1 minced large garlic clove, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt in a food processor until smooth, 1 minute. Brush mixture evenly over Classic Grilled Corn. Return corn to lit side of grill. Grill, uncovered, until glaze is warmed through and adheres to corn, 4 to 5 minutes. Arrange grilled corn on a platter, and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives.

Smoky Barbecue Rub

Total 15 min.
Stir together 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar; 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika; 1 tsp. fresh lime zest; and 1/2 tsp. each of ancho chile powder, kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture evenly over Classic Grilled Corn. Return corn to lit side of grill. Grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, until sugar is melted, 4 to 5 minutes. Arrange grilled corn on a platter, and serve with lime wedges.