How to Grill Corn for an Easy Summer Side Dish

How to Grill Corn for an Easy Summer Side Dish

Want to learn how to grill corn? It’s an easy way to serve this summer veggie.

Whether you steam it for a seafood feast or serve grilled corn with chili, cheese, and lime, corn is super tasty in summer.

When the temperatures rise and you can’t bear turning on the stove, look to your trusty barbecue grill.

It will add the perfect smokiness and depth of flavor to this favorite summer veggie.

Grilled corn is a good way to liven up dinner and “makes for a simple swap, replacing a different carbohydrate, such as rice or potatoes,” says Adrien Paczosa, R.D., L.D., CEDRD-S, founder of ILiveWell Nutrition.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to grill corn so it’s perfectly done every time.

1. Start with super fresh corn

Raw corn in husks, with one peeled back.

This step is critical: You want the freshest, juiciest, sweetest corn available.

After even a couple of days, corn can taste starchy and bland.

To find the freshest cobs, “feel the corn through the husk and make sure it feels firm; it should not feel soft or mushy,” says Harland Adkins, R.D.N., a registered dietitian nutritionist.

“You should be able to feel plump, firm kernels almost all the way from the bottom of the ear to the top. The husk should be green and tight. Dried-out or brown husks means the corn is old,” Adkin adds.

2. Prep your corn

For lightly smoky corn, grill it with the husk on. To prep your corn, pull down the husks, remove the silk, then pull them back up.

Soak the cobs in water for 20 minutes to avoid burning the husks on the grill.

If you want a deeper, smokier flavor, you can remove the husk and lightly coat with cooking spray to keep it from sticking to the grates of the grill.

Grilling the corn on a barbecue grill.

3. Grill it up

Paczosa suggests grilling each side for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Keep a close eye on the corn.

When you start to see char marks, rotate them using tongs.

If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you could also use a cast-iron grill pan on the stove.

4. Test it

Not sure your corn is ready? Pull back the husk and give it a peek. It should be brighter yellow and more tender.

If it’s not done, pull the husk back up and continue cooking.

For corn that’s already husked, slice off a few kernels and see if they’re at your desired consistency.

Grilled corn with butter

5. Husk and serve

After you’ve removed your ears of corn from the grill, let them cool off slightly. Then it’s time to remove the husks and serve.

Grab a section of husk at the end of the corn. Pull down and back, and snap off that section. Continue doing this until you’ve removed all the husks.

Place the ears on a platter and serve them topped with a teaspoon of butter each, along with fresh minced herbs or roasted garlic!

You can also slice the kernels off the cobs for our Grilled Corn Salad With Jalapeño.

And that’s how to grill corn — easy, right?

Want more expert nutrition tips and advice? Head over to to learn how Beachbody nutrition programs and products can help you lead a healthier lifestyle.