Grilled Corn On The Cob: The Perfect Side Dish
As much as we all love barbecued meat, we cannot live on meat alone. Hence grilled corn on the cob.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Not to go all vegan on you, but I think it's time to reveal my favorite recipe for one of my favorite barbecue side dishes: grilled corn on the cob. After all, you've gotta have something to accent the meat dishes with, and this is one tasty option that's just a natural choice for the backyard griller.
Lend Me Your Ears!
It all starts with choice, ripe ears of corn. Select the plump, moist ones, and make sure that the husks are bright green and fit snuggly around the ear. The silk should be present, and a dark golden brown in color. Inspect the husk carefully for signs of insect bore holes or a dusty residue, a sign of corn borers.
Feel the ear to be sure it's completely filled out; if it tapers off suddenly at the end or seems soft, it's not. Also, look at the end where the corn was removed from the stalk. If the corn is fresh, the break will be light-colored; the darker it is, the older it is.
The Prep Work
Once you get your ears of corn home, gently loosen the husks without peeling them back completely, then soak the ears in cool water for at least half an hour. This will allow them to absorb a good bit of moisture so they don't scorch on the grill; plus, the moisture will help them cook more quickly.
While the corn is soaking, round up your ingredients. You'll only need a few. For four ears of corn, here's what we recommend (this is easily scalable):
Two tablespoons of softened butter or margarine
Two tablespoons of Dijon mustard
One garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly together. Getting back to the ears, peel back (but do not remove) the husks, and remove and discard the corn silk. Rinse the exposed ears thoroughly, then slather each with your mustard mixture before wrapping the ears back in their husks.
Toss them on a medium-hot grill for 20-25 minutes, turning them frequently so that the husks don't catch on fire. The soaking should help prevent this, plus it'll steam the ears a bit. It's a good idea to wait until the end of the grilling session, after the coals have mostly burned down, to cook the corn.
Keep cooking them until they're tender, and serve them up warm.
While I'm a bit partial to this recipe using the mustardy "barbecue sauce," others prefer grilled corn au naturel -- that is, plain and sauceless. That's delicious, too. Either way, you end up with some excellent grilled corn on the cob, and you just can't beat that fresh, succulent flavor.