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Grilled Corn with Seasoned Butter

Corn Grilled

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Grilled corn

Grilled and roasted corn is most flavorful when it is cooked fresh—very fresh.

As soon as an ear of corn is picked, its sugars start converting to starch. As the sugars turn to starch, the sweetness of corn is lost—though it is true that some new breeds of corn will retain their sweetness for days.

Choose ears that are plump and fat with husks that are tightly closed. Choose husks that are bright green with golden brown silks streaming from the tops of the ears. Look for stems that are moist and pale green. Peel back the husk and check for tight, small plump kernels

Slathering grilled corn with sweet butter is almost always a necessary indulgence. Flavored compound and seasoned butters may just put your grilled corn over the top.

Grilled Corn with Seasoned Butter


  • 8 ears corn in husks, with silks removed
  • Seasoned butter, see suggestions below


  1. Prepare a charcoal grill or gas grill or wood fire for direct medium-high heat (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the cooking grate just 4 to 5 seconds) or turn the oven to 450°F.
  2. Remove the corn silks before cooking. Peel back the husks—don’t tear them off. Pull out and discard the inner silks then fold and smooth the husks back over the cobs. Don’t worry about the husks completely re-covering the kernels. (You can moisten the husks with water before grilling if you like; this will help keep them from burning.)Alternatively, you can shuck the corn entirely and grill the ears without husks.
  3. Grill or roast the corn, turning occasionally. With husks on, cook 15 to 20 minutes on the grill, 20 to 30 minutes in the oven. (Expect husks to blacken.) Grill or roast corn without husks for 7 to 8 minutes, turning every few minutes (skewers can make this process easier). When some of the kernels char and others are lightly browned, the corn is done.
  4. Transfer corn with husks to a counter or work surface, remove husks completely and brush the ears generously with sweet butter or a seasoned-butter mixture (see some seasoned butter suggestions below) then return the ears to the grill. Grill until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Before serving, bite into one ear to make sure it is done. Serve warm, with remaining butter and salt and pepper if you like.Alternatively, you can serve with lime wedges and mixture of salt and cayenne sprinkled on the corn.

To cut kernels off the grilled ear: hold a husked ear of corn upright with the stem end down in a deep, wide bowl or on a small cutting board set inside a roasting pan—this can get a bit messy. With a sharp paring knife, cut down the length of the cob in a strip, cutting just deep enough to slice kernels away from the cob. Rotate the ear to shear off all the kernels.



  • Garlic butter: chop 4 cloves of garlic very fine; blend with 6 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper.
  • Lemon butter: combine ½ cup softened butter with ¼ cup lemon juice or to taste.
  • Parsley butter: Combine ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley with 6 tablespoons butter, and blend well. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Rosemary butter: combine 6 tablespoons butter with 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon of crushed, dry rosemary, add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Tarragon butter: combine 2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon or 1½ teaspoons crushed dried tarragon with 6 tablespoons of butter and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Tabasco butter: melt ½ cup butter with 1 teaspoon Tabasco; baste with butter during grilling.
  • Chile-honey butter: combine ½ cup melted butter with chopped chipotle chiles and ⅓ cup mild-flavored honey, 1 garlic clove minced and ½ teaspoon butter—whirl smooth in a blender.

Courses Side Dish

Corn articles at Harvest to Table:

How to Plant and Grow Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn Seed Starting Tips

How to Harvest and Store Sweet Corn

Seven Ways to Cook and Serve Sweet Corn

Fresh Corn Salad Recipe

How to Make Sweet Corn Soup

Corn Chowder and Summer Flavors

Grilled Corn with Seasoned Butter

Corn, Herb, and Tomato Relish

Baby Corn Cooking and Serving Tips

Sauteed Corn

Corn, Beans, Squash: The Three Sisters

Corn Growing Problems Troubleshooting

Corn Earworm Organic Pest Control

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

How To Grow Tomatoes

How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes


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