Okay, it’s from Florida, but this is the first fresh sweet corn we’ve seen since last September so I wanted to make sure these big, perfect ears got some very special attention.
Since reading Adam Perry Lang’s BBQ 25 and Serious Barbecue I have become a huge fan of moving food back and forth between the grill and a basting liquid a couple of times while cooking to build up layers of flavor. Most of the time it’s meat going into an oil and herb baste, but this time I wanted to give the sweet corn the “treatment.”
4 to 6 ears sweet corn, husked
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Ancho chili powder
Couple of grinds of black pepper
Set up your grill for a direct cook at 450°F.
Combine everything but the corn in a 9×13 flame-proof pan (aluminum foil drip pans work great for this).
When the grill is ready, set the pan on the grate and heat just until the butter is melted. Remove from heat, but keep warm nearby.
Grill the corn directly on the grate, turning a little it every minute or so until the kernels are a deep yellow and have started to lightly blackened (about 5 minutes). Move ears to basting pan and rotate to coat. Return to the grill and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, turning often. Remove to the basting pan, rotate again to coat, and then move the pan full of corn to the grill. Let it sit on the grate until everything starts to bubble, about a minute.
Rotate again before serving hot from the pan.
Wow – this corn was the star of the meal. Short of injecting them, I don’t know how I could have gotten any more buttery goodness cooked into the ears. The chili powder was a nice, warm touch and the lime juice balanced the slightly caramelized, smoky-sweetness of the corn.