Best hacks ever for sweet, perfectly charred grilled corn on the cob (no husk)! Grill it directly on the stovetop over a gas burner (5 minutes or less), or on the grill or grill pan. Finish it up with a little lime juice and a pinch of crushed chile flakes for the perfect summer snack or side!
Quick grilled corn on the cob
Growing up in Egypt, one of my favorite summer snacks was grilled corn on the cob. Street vendors set up on the boardwalk by the beach and grilled fresh, raw corn directly over open flames – no fancy grills required. At home, we just threw the corn directly on the gas burner! Easiest thing ever!
Reading: Corn on the grill no husk
Unlike other recipes, this recipe is for grilled corn without husk. I find that grilling it with the husk just prevents the corn from getting nice and charred. And for the same reason, I do not cover my corn in foil!
The charring adds a smoky flavor to the sweet corn, which I love, and I find little need for adding other flavors. Though you can certainly top this grilled corn with any of your favorite herbs or cheese (feta is a great option), I prefer the simple combination of fresh lime and a bit of Aleppo pepper. The smoky charring, heat from the Aleppo and citrus all combine perfectly for a mouth-watering snack.
When I shared my grilled corn hack on Instagram, so many people reached out with questions and comments, so I decided to share the quick recipe and tips here for you!
What you’ll need
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I like to keep it simple when making grilled corn on the cob, since the charring provides so much flavor. I make this corn with just 3 ingredients, though you can feel free to get creative and add more toppings like feta or fresh herbs.
- Corn – Each ear should be shucked and cleaned of corn silk. You can grill as many as you like!
- Lime – Lime halves are run down the side of the corn after it’s cooked to add flavor.
- Red pepper flakes – Personally, I like to use Aleppo pepper. Use as little or as much as you’d like to add flavor.
Tips for buying the best corn
The key to the best grilled corn is starting with the perfect ear of corn. Keep these tips in mind to select the freshest corn on the cob at the market:
- The freshest corn has bright green husks that feels slightly damp – not yellow or dry.
- If you see any small brown holes, that’s a sign of insects and should be avoided.
- When you gently squeeze the corn, it should be firm throughout the entire cob. There should be no soft softs or parts that clearly do not have corn kernels.
- The tassel (the corn silk peeking out at the top) should be light brown or gold and slightly stick and smell sweet. If the tassel is dry, black, or mushy, choose a different piece of corn.
- Once home, you can store corn on the cob at room temperature if you’ll be cooking it in the next day or in the crisper of the fridge.
Should corn be boiled before grilling?
There is no need to boil, soak or steam the corn before grilling. It is not wrong to do that, but if you’re after the sweet, perfectly smoky, charred ear of corn, you should skip the boiling. Once the husk is removed, the corn goes directly over the open flame! You can use either a gas burner on the stove or an outside grill, whatever is easiest and accessible to you. And if you don’t have a grill, you can also use a grill pan.
How to grill corn on the stovetop
Grilling corn over the stovetop gas burner is one of the easiest things you can do! Here is how:
- Clean the corn. Each ear of corn should be shucked and cleaned of all silk.
- Cook Over Medium-High. Place one ear of corn over the flames of a burner on medium-high heat. Important: be sure to use a pair of long, heat-safe tongs! Turn the ear occasionally, using your tongs, until the corn is charred on all sides to your liking (about 4 to 5 minutes). As the corn cooks, it will pop and sizzle, be sure to stand back for your safety.
- Season and Enjoy! While the corn is warm, squeeze the lime juice all over or run half a lime, flesh side down, down the length of the corn. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper and enjoy warm.
How to cook corn on the grill
No gas stove? No problem! You can easily grill corn on the cob on an outdoor grill or even in a grill pan!
- Prepare the corn. Shuck the corn, taking care to remove all corn silk.
- Grill the Corn over High Heat. Preheat your grill to high. Once hot (about 10 minutes), arrange the corn on the grates and cook until charred to your liking. Be sure to turn often to cook and char all sides of the corn. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Season and serve. Run the lime all over the corn cob then finish with red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper to taste.
How long to grill it?
How long to grill corn on the cob depends on how charred you like it and the method of grilling. Over a gas stove burner, your corn will take about 5 minutes. On an outdoor gas grill, the corn will take about 10 to 12 minutes.
We often just eat our grilled corn plain, but there are so many ways to jazz it up with more flavor! In this recipe, I use lime and Aleppo pepper to add tang and heat to the perfectly charred corn. You can even add a bit of feta (crumbled or a dollop of whipped feta) or some fresh herbs on top.
You can enjoy this grilled corn as a snack, as I did when I was younger, or serve it as a side dish to some grilled chicken wings, lamb kabobs, or even grilled salmon.
How to store leftovers
As you might imagine, grilled corn is best when enjoyed immediately. If you do have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
I don’t recommend reheating grilled corn. Instead, you can remove it from the cob and enjoy it in salads or salsa. The charred corn will add extra flavor to this black bean and corn salad but you can add it to any other salad too.
More easy grilled vegetables:
- Easy Grilled Vegetable Kabobs
- Grilled Lettuce Salad
- Easy Mediterranean Grilled Vegetables
- Grilled Brussels Sprouts Skewers
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