Grilled corn is a summertime favorite, but most people don’t like to eat the husks. Learn the best way to remove them and grill your favorite BBQ side dish with our guide and recipe. Here’s how to grill corn without the husks.
Grilling corn on the cob without husks is a great way to get that charred, nutty, and smoky flavor you love from your grill and still keep it healthy. Removing the husks allows the sugars to caramelize, adding a depth of flavor no other method can produce.
This way you’ll keep all of those delicious juices inside your ears of corn and won’t have to deal with messy cobs later on. Forget sticky hands or leftover mess. Here’s how to grill corn on the cob without husks.
What are corn husks?
Corn husks are the outermost leaves that surround the silk, protecting the kernels from getting dirty or from being eaten by birds and insects. They may be green or dried out yellow, depending on when they’ve been harvested and how they have dried.
When corn on the cob is cooked, whether in the oven or on the grill these husks can help lock in moisture, ensuring a juicy BBQ side. The problem is that these husks and their attached silk can create a lot of mess and, while they are edible, they pretty unpleasant to eat.
If we remove the husks, the corn can be vulnerable to drying out or even burning. So how can we do it while still ensuring an ear of juicy and sweet corn on the cob?
How to remove the husks from corn
Cut off the stalk end about one inch up from the last row of kernels. Then, pull the husks off towards the trimmed stalk end. This should come away fairly easily, but you may encounter some stubbornness as you go.
With the husks removed, follow up by also removing the cornsilk layer that sits between the husk and kernels. It can burn away when grilled, so don’t worry if you can’t remove every single remaining strand.
With the husk and cornsilk removed, rinse each ear of corn under cold water to remove any residue or dirt.
Should I soak corn before grilling?
While brining corn in water and salt can help moisture retention in some cases, we are grilling hot and fast for only 10 minutes so there’s no real need. In this time, we want the natural sugars in the corn to caramelize, and any added water will impede this process.
Some people claim that soaking can help reduce cooking time by up to 30%. This might be true, but our grilling time is so short that a saving of 3 minutes isn’t worth the loss of the nutty and sweet flavor we’re aiming for with your recipe.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
- 4 ears of corn
- 4 tsp butter
- 2 tsp canola oil optional
- kosher salt to taste
- Fire up your grill to medium-high heat, about 350°F (176°C)
- While the grill heats up, remove husks and silk from corn. Cut off 1 inch from the stem end, and pull away husks. Remove any remaining cornsilk.
- Apply a light layer of butter on each piece of corn.
- Apply a thin layer of canola oil to grill grates to stop food sticking to them. Grill corn until cooked through and golden brown, turning every 2-3 minutes