Recipe: Roasting Corn on the Grill

Recipe by Hal Goodtree. Photo by Rose Tulips.

Cary, NC – The corn is looking good this year in North Carolina. Just in time for the Fourth of July, here’s a sure-fire way to roast up some perfect ears on the grill.

Roasting Corn on the Grill

Back in the day, I used to just throw peeled ears of corn (without the husk) on the grill.

I’d turn them frequently, but the open flame on the tender kernels would usually burn a part of the ear. Dry and crunchy is good.

A few years ago, I learned of a different method for roasting corn on the grill. The ears never burn and the corn is always delicious.


  1. Don’t peel the corn – leaves the ears wrapped in the husk
  2. Soak the ears in a big bowl of water for at least 20 minutes
  3. Grill the ears, husk and all
  4. Peel the husks and serve

That’s pretty much it. But here are a couple of nuances.

What’s in the Water

Some people add salt or sugar to the soaking liquid. I don’t, but everyone has their own taste. I bet beer would make a good soaking liquid!

Use a Cooler

When I have a lot of corn (like more than six ears), I soak them in a beer cooler.  It’s easier than trying to cram them all into a large bowl.

Fully Submerge

The ears must be submerged in the water. I sometimes use a weight on top to make sure the ears are completely covered with liquid.

Turn Frequently

I cook the unpeeled corn over open flame or any other hot part of the grill, turning it every few minutes.

The husks get a little charred – that’s okay. Keep turning the corn until the exterior looks slightly charred all the way around.

Peel Carefully

When you take the roasted corn off the grill, it is HOT. Use tongs.

Now you have to peel the hot corn. Oven mitts are a good idea.

Steam is released from the cooked ears as you peel, so be careful and don’t let the kids do this.

Perfect Everytime

I have never ended up with dry, overcooked corn by this method. Perfect corn, every time.

Happy July Fourth!

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CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.

2 replies
    • Hal Goodtree
      Hal Goodtree says:

      “Keep turning the corn until the exterior looks slightly charred all the way around.”

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