Sweet Corn Grilled in the Husk

Grilled Sweet Corn

I started cooking sweet corn naked on the grill (no husks, no silk, no nothing) because it seemed like the easiest and tastiest way to do it. Once the kernels hit the hot grates the sugars start to caramelize. They toughen up a bit, but you get this smoky/sweet flavor that’s hard to beat. Plus it’s an easy no muss, no fuss way to cook the corn – just toss it on while the meat is resting and everything comes to the table hot.

Well, since I am seriously reconsidering my position on letting meat (steaks specifically) rest after grilling, I might as well go full heretic and try grilling corn in the husk.

We had some absolutely lovely sweet corn that I figured would be a good candidate – they were plump fresh with tight, bright-green husks. All the better to protect the corn and hold all that corny goodness inside.

Grilled Sweet Corn

I don’t really have a recipe for this. Just get the grill up to medium-high (400°F) and toss the unshucked ears on. Give them a quarter turn every few minutes as the husks start to darken. You will be tempted to pull the ears off as soon as they are evenly browned and starting to smell corney.

Wait. Keep turning.

The husks will blister and blacken.

Wait. Keep turning.

The husks will char and start smoking. Your guests might look over at the grill questioningly.

Wait. Keep turning.

The husks will start to burn and little bits of ash will start floating away. You may see someone sliding the fire extinguisher a little closer to the grill.

Wait. If the corn is actually on fire, close the lid and back off the heat a bit. But if it’s just smoldering, keep turning.

Most of the husk will have blackened and fallen away and you should start seeing kernels peeking through. Your significant other has the phone out and is either dialing 911 or ordering pizza.

Wait. Keep turning.

The silk is almost completely gone, you can clearly see some of the kernels, and you will start hearing little popping sounds.

Now the corn is done. Move the ears off to a metal pan (9×13 cake pan works great) and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest while you finish cooking the rest of the meal.

Grilled Sweet Corn

To serve, wrap a towel around the stem to protect your hand, then husk the ear and snap off the end.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
Yes, this is a messy way to cook corn. There were a lot of charred bits of husk and more than a few unruly silks floating around, but the corn tasted wonderful – still smoky/sweet like the naked corn, but with a much bigger corn taste and tenderer kernels.

2 thoughts on “Sweet Corn Grilled in the Husk”

  1. I’m mixed, I do it shucked and un-shucked.

    When we do corn in husk, I often pour a little light beer on top (not enough to put out coals) and few times during the cook.

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