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The secret to perfectly grilled corn? Cook them unhusked

  • Grilled corn on the cob in Brookline. AP Photo



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Grilling corn sounds like a simple proposition, but our research found dozens of variations on the cooking method for this classic summer vegetable.

For a recipe that produced corn with a distinctly grilled taste and lightly charred kernels, we grilled the corn unhusked. The grill imparted great flavor to our grilled corn, but also made the kernels tough and dry. To avoid this, we soaked the husked corn in salted water before grilling, which kept the kernels moist and seasoned them as well.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Ingredients:

Salt and pepper

8 ears corn, husks and silks removed

8 T unsalted butter, softened

In a large pot, stir ½ cup salt into four quarts of cold water until dissolved. Add corn and let soak for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

If your corn isn’t as sweet as you’d like, stir ½ cup of sugar into the water along with the salt. Avoid soaking the corn for more than eight hours, or it will become overly salty.

For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (six quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over the grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about five minutes.

For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes.

Clean and oil cooking grate. Grill corn, turning every two to three minutes until kernels are lightly charred all over, 10 to 14 minutes. Remove corn from grill, brush with softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Serves four to six.

If your corn isn’t as sweet as you’d like, stir ½ cup of sugar into the water along with the salt. Avoid soaking the corn for more than 8 hours, or it will become overly salty.