How to BBQ Corn on the Cob?

Ah, the joys of summer! As the sun graces us with its warm embrace, there’s nothing quite like having a barbecue in the garden. And what better way than grilling some smoky-sweet BBQ corn on the cob?

With its kernels glistening like golden nuggets, grilled corn is a timeless favourite. Paired with your trusty charcoal grill, it’s time to learn the techniques for this summer delight. Let’s fire up the BBQ, shall we?

Selecting the Right Corn

Sweet corn for sale on the marker

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The first step for this mouthwatering endeavour is selecting fresh, high-quality corn. The quality of the corn directly impacts its taste, texture, and overall enjoyment. Look for ears with plump, evenly spaced kernels tightly packed to the cob. The husks should be vibrant green and tightly adhering to the corn, a sign of freshness. Avoid corn with brown, dry, or withered husks, as they may indicate past-their-prime cobs.

When you run your fingers over the kernels, they should feel plump and firm. The appearance and texture of the silk also matter; it should be moist and slightly sticky. Remember that the sweetness and tenderness of the corn depend on its freshness.

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For grilling, consider using popular corn varieties like “sweet corn”. Or go for “bi-colour corn” for a combination of sweetness and richness.

Preparing the Corn

Don’t skip this step. Preparing the corn before grilling ensures even cooking and retain its natural sweetness. Otherwise, the corn may end up overcooked, dried out, or unevenly charred.

Step-by-step guide on husking and removing silks

  1. Start by peeling back the outermost layers of the husk. Leave them attached at the base to create a protective covering during grilling.
  2. Gently pull away the inner husks, exposing the corn kernels. Then, carefully remove the silks with your hands. Be thorough, as any remaining silks can burn during grilling.
  3. Use a soft brush or damp cloth to remove stubborn silks if needed.
  4. Once the corn is husked and silk-free, fold the outer husks back over the corn.

Soaking the corn

Soaking the corn before grilling has its pros and cons. The main advantage is that it helps retain moisture during grilling. This prevents the corn from drying out. Soaking also promotes steam within the husks, contributing to a tender outcome.

Fully submerge the husked corn in a large container of cold water. Do this for at least 30 minutes to an hour before grilling.

Some may argue that soaking dilutes the corn’s natural flavour. Others think it’s unnecessary if you have fresh, high-quality corn. Ultimately, whether you choose to soak the corn or not is a matter of personal preference. Regardless, proper husking and removing silks are vital steps.

Flavoursome BBQ Marinades

Lemon and parsley sauce

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Infusing your BBQ corn on the cob with tantalising marinades takes its taste to the next level. The options for creating mouthwatering marinades are endless, such as:

1. Garlic butter marinade

In a bowl, mix softened butter, minced garlic, a pinch of salt, and chopped fresh parsley. Spread the mixture generously over the corn for a rich and savoury taste.

2. Lime cilantro marinade

Combine fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro, olive oil, minced garlic, and a dash of cumin. Brush this zesty blend onto the corn for a refreshing, tangy kick.

3. Spicy chipotle marinade

Blend chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with lime juice, honey, and a touch of olive oil. Brush this smoky and spicy concoction over the corn for a fiery twist.

Marinating times for best results

  • For optimal flavour infusion, marinate the husked corn for at least 30 minutes. This allows the flavours to penetrate the kernels and enrich the taste.
  • If you’re short on time, even a brief 10 to 15-minute marinating period can still impart some flavour.

Grilling Techniques

Grilling corn

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Follow these steps for perfect grilled corn on the cob results:

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 400°F / 204°C) for direct grilling. (Learn here how long you should preheat your BBQ.)
  2. Place the husked and marinated corn directly on the grates. If you didn’t marinate, brush the corn with olive oil or melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes. Or do so until it develops a light char and a tender texture. Cooking time may vary depending on the grill’s heat and the corn’s thickness.
  4. To avoid burnt or undercooked corn, keep a close eye on it during grilling. Turn the ears every 2-3 minutes to ensure even cooking and prevent charring on one side.
  5. If the corn starts to brown too quickly, move it to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat slightly.
  6. When ready, remove the corn from the grill and let it rest for a minute before serving. Enjoy the mouthwatering result of your perfectly grilled BBQ corn on the cob!

Tips for Serving and Garnishing

Grilled corn with cream and vegetable leaf toppings

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Garnishing grilled corn is an opportunity to elevate its already delicious flavours. Here are some delightful suggestions:

  • Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan or feta cheese over the hot corn for a creamy and savoury touch.
  • Chop fresh cilantro, parsley, or basil. Sprinkle it over the corn for a burst of freshness and vibrant colour.
  • Serve lime wedges on the side, allowing guests to squeeze fresh lime juice over their corn for a zesty tang.


With fresh corn and the right BBQ, you set the foundation for a mouthwatering experience. Make sure to experiment with various marinades for irresistible tastes! Garnishes like grated cheese, fresh herbs, and lime wedges also add a personal touch.

So, gather your friends and family. Fire up the grill and enjoy the delightful goodness of BBQ corn on the cob. A true summer sensation that will leave satisfied smiles all around!

Shop online from our BBQ selection and start getting the party started! For on-the-go grilled corn on the cob, a portable grill is your best friend.