Grilling and corn on the cob are two summer favorites. Grilled corn on the cob in the husk combines these two favorites to form one splendid hobby and meal. It is a popular menu item for clambakes and barbecues. Grilled corn not only pacifies the palate but also never fails to leave a wonderful impression on the guests. One can roast fresh corn on the cob on the barbecue, either by wrapping the ears of corn in aluminum foil or by just grilling it in the husk. Grilling is oft considered cumbersome due to the charred remains left to clean up. However, grilling corn on the cob is the best method of cooking it. Corn grilled in aluminum foil is devoid of charred remains, however, grilling corn in the husk results in mouth-watering, moist, buttery, smoky tasting corn which can be savored with a dash of simple spices. The husk seals the moisture inside the kernels and prevents them from burning and hardening out. The corn on the cob is tender, soft and very juicy!
How to Grill Corn on the Cob with Husk
In order to grill corn in the husk, one needs to ensure that the ears of the corn purchased are fresh, with healthy green husks. The ears of corn should not feature any rotten kernels. Moreover, the stem should be present at the base of the husk. Absence of stem will cause the husk leaves to fall off while pulling them back to prepare the ears of corn for grilling. Thus, the stem acts as the support system of the husk and needs to be taken into consideration while purchasing the ears of corn.
There are various methods for grilling corn in the husk, however, let us take a look at one basic standard method of grilling corn on the cob in husks.
Step 1: The first step is to clean the corn off dirt and chemicals by washing the ears of corn. Washing should be carried out before pulling back the husk leaves, so that you do not have chemicals on the corn kernels from the husk.
Step 2: After washing, pull back the corn husk gently, one by one; leaf by leaf. Make sure the husk remains attached to the base of the stem. Once the leaves of the husk have been pushed back, pull all the corn silk hanging from the end of the corn ear and discard it. Bring the husk back to its original position and discard excess, loose husk to reduce the amount of ash produced after grilling.
Step 3: To provide extra moisture for cooking, the ears of corn should be dunked under water in a large bowl for at least 30 minutes before grilling. Allow the ears of corn to imbibe the water. To prevent the corn ears from floating at the surface, place a small, bowl on them. This will hold them at the base of the bowl.
Step 4: While the corn absorbs the water, you can prepare the grill. Place charcoal evenly onto the bottom of the grill forming a pile in the center. Pour charcoal lighter fluid and light the charcoal. Allow it to burn till the briquettes are slightly coated with gray ash. When that happens the grill is ready to cook, thus, you can place the cooking grate onto the grill.
Step 5: Fish out the ears of corn from the water and allow the excess water to drain out. Brush the kernels with olive oil and apply a mixture of chopped onion, garlic, nutmeg, salt and black pepper. You can also add basil, oregano, cilantro and other herbs to the mixture for flavor.
Step 6: Place the ears of corn on the hot grill. Place it on the high rack or around the outer side, where direct flames will not be able to reduce the husk to char. The water imbibed by the kernels steams them from the inside.
Step 7: To prevent the husks from peeling back while grilling, tie the tops of the husk. The easiest method of tying would be to use a long husk leaf (discarded initially) to entwine around the top of the cob. This will prevent the corn kernels from getting exposed and hardened.
Step 8: Depending on the type of grill used, the frequency of turning the corn will vary. For a gas grill one will have to turn the ears of corn every 5 minutes, (medium high heat) however, for a 'Smoky Joe' grill turning can be done every 10-15 minutes. If the turning is not timely, it would result in charring of corn.
Step 9: When the husks have dried out and begin to exhibit a dark brown, mottled tan, the corn is done. With the help of tongs, remove the corn from the hot grill. Using a dish towel, peel off the brown husk remains. The husk will come off easily in one piece. Smear butter along the kernel until the whole ear has been coated with it.
During the first few times, it will be difficult to understand the perfect timing needed for the corn to grill beautifully. However, once you have grilled corn in the husk for a few times, you will have better judgment regarding the timing. You can try out different condiments and combination, like a mixture of fresh parsley with butter, to add flavor to the grilled corn on the cob in the husk. Hope this article on grilling corn in the husk has been informative and enlightening. Happy grilling!