As the brisk days of full slip by many people are planning an fall and autumn bash with delicious grilled corn.
Grilling Corn to Perfection: A Fall Delight
Among the many delightful dishes that make fall barbecues memorable, grilled corn stands out as a timeless classic loved by people of all ages. Sweet, smoky, and bursting with flavor, grilled corn on the cob is a treat that elevates any gathering.
If you’re ready to take your corn grilling skills to the next level, follow this comprehensive guide to grill corn to perfection.
1. Choosing the Right Corn
The key to exceptional grilled corn starts with selecting the freshest ears. Look for corn with bright green husks that feel firm and tightly wrapped around the kernels. The silk (the fine, thread-like strands) should be golden-brown and slightly sticky to the touch. Avoid ears with dry or brown husks, as they may be past their prime.
2. Prepping the Corn
Before grilling, husk the corn and remove the silk completely. For a rustic presentation, leave a few of the outermost layers of the husk intact, but ensure you remove all the silk from between the kernels. Rinse the corn under cool water to wash away any remaining silk.
3. Soak or Not to Soak?
There’s an ongoing debate on whether soaking corn is necessary before grilling. Soaking corn in water can help prevent the husks from burning and keep the kernels moist during grilling. However, some grill masters prefer to skip the soaking step and cook the corn directly on the grill for a smokier flavor.
If you choose to soak, submerge the husked corn in cold water for about 30 minutes to an hour before grilling. This step is especially helpful if you plan to grill the corn in the husk.
4. Seasoning the Corn
Grilled corn is delicious on its own, but you can elevate its flavor with various seasoning options. A classic choice is to brush the corn with melted butter and sprinkle it with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
For a touch of zest, try adding a squeeze of lime or a sprinkle of chili powder. Get creative and experiment with different seasonings to suit your taste preferences.
5. Grilling Methods
There are two main methods for grilling corn: directly on the grill grates or in the husks.
a. Grilling Directly on the Grill Grates:
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Place the corn directly on the grill grates.
- Cook the corn for about 10-15 minutes, turning it occasionally to ensure even charring on all sides.
- The corn is ready when the kernels are tender and slightly charred. The cooking time may vary depending on the grill temperature and the thickness of the corn.
b. Grilling in the Husks:
- Preheat your grill to medium heat.
- If you soaked the corn, drain the water and shake off any excess moisture.
- Pull back the husks carefully, but do not remove them. Remove any remaining silk.
- Brush the corn with melted butter or your desired seasoning.
- Pull the husks back up to cover the corn, forming a protective layer.
- Tie the top of the husks with kitchen twine to secure them.
- Place the corn on the grill and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Once done, carefully remove the husks (they will be hot!) to reveal beautifully grilled corn.
6. Serving and Enjoying
Once your corn is grilled to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy. You can keep it simple and serve the corn on the cob as is or cut the kernels off the cob to use in salads, salsas, or other delicious dishes. Don’t forget to offer additional toppings like grated cheese, fresh herbs, or a dollop of sour cream for a delightful flavor burst.
Grilled corn is a versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses, from juicy burgers to succulent steaks and grilled chicken. It also complements vegetarian and vegan options, making it a crowd-pleaser for all your guests.
Grilling corn is an art that anyone can master with a bit of practice and the right techniques. So, fire up your grill, follow these tips, and get ready to savor the mouthwatering flavors of grilled corn—a true fall delight!
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