How long does it take to cook corn on the cob on a grill?

In Sides and Drinks by Shubham JL

If you’re planning a backyard get-together, there’s nothing better than fresh grilled corn on the cob! And, don’t worry, if you’ve got a nice hot grill, fresh grilled corn on the cob souped up with fresh herbs or spices can be done in under a half hour from start to finish.

Read below for some great tips and trick to grilling the perfect fresh corn on the cob. And I’ve also included a tangy and smoky grilled corn recipe that your guests are sure to love!

How to grill delicious corn on the cob!

Grilled corn on the cob is a great end-of-summer treat. I always get a sense of nostalgia from all the Sunday BBQs I enjoyed at my grandparents’ house. My uncles would grill Italian sausage and fresh corn on the cob. And my mom would round out the meal with her famous potato salad!

Use the tips and tricks in the article to discover how easy it is to grill corn on the cob. No more boiling tasteless corn on the stove. After you read this article, you’ll be able to enjoy the smoky flavor of grilled corn that your remember from when you were young!

And that smoky taste goes well with a variety of seasonings, like fresh herbs and spices! But don’t worry if all you want on your corn is butter. There’s no wrong way to season your corn on the cob.

Keep reading below for directions to grill your fresh corn on the cob. And no matter whether you have a charcoal or gas grill, we have tips for you.

We also have a fun and tasty recipe that will pep up your BBQ!

First things first.

Before you start grilling, you’ll need to gather all the supplies you need from the kitchen. Grilling corn isn’t very complicated. Here are a few of the kitchen items you’ll need:

  • A heat-resistant pair of tongs so that you can turn the corn, making sure it cooks evenly
  • Aluminum foil to wrap the ears of corn before you put them on the grill
  • A heat-resistant brush to slather melted butter on the corn
  • Corn holders, those little pins you attach to each end of the corn on the cob so that you don’t burn your fingertips when you’re enjoying your grilling masterpiece

How long does it take to cook corn on the cob on a charcoal grill?

It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to grill corn on the cob over charcoal if you leave the husks on. Count on the same time if you remove the husks and wrap the cobs in foil. But, if you remove the husks and place the corn right on the grill, it will only take 5 to 7 minutes, depending on how dark you like your corn.

Don’t forget that you have to add in the time it takes to start the coals and heat up the grill. So, if you’ve invited friends over to eat, get the grill going 20 minutes before everyone arrives.

How long does it take to cook corn on the cob on a gas grill?

It takes the same amount of time to cook corn on the cob on a gas grill as over charcoal, about 15 to 20 minutes wrapped in foil or husks or 5 to 7 minutes unwrapped. It is faster to cook on a gas grill rather than charcoal, however. I love the smoky taste of food cooked over coals. But gas grills heat up quicker and cook at a more even temperature.

And, in my opinion, gas grills are much easier to use and there is less clean-up afterward. Yes, you’ve got the bother of having to go to the store to get gas canisters. But, on the plus side, they start with the push of a button.

Choices, choices

In the end, though, you choose the grill that works best for you. You may not want to haul around a heavy gas receptacle. You may want the relative ease of just pouring a bag of charcoal into the bottom of your grill. And, you may have been paying attention at Girl Scout Camp and are a whiz at starting a fire and cooking over a flame. I sadly am not.

Whichever type of grill you want, there are plenty out there. Grilling has really seen a resurgence in the last few years. And people are buying grills that also double as smokers for the ultimate in BBQ flavors!

Do you have to remove silk from corn before grilling?

Yes, yes, yes. Always remove the silk from your corn on the cob before grilling! If you’re lucky, your grocer will have a trashcan near the corn so you can remove the silk before taking the corn home. If not, and it’s a nice day, sit outside and remove as much of the silk as possible. Or, if you have kids or grandkids, sit them outside and let them remove the silk.

I have nice childhood memories of my grandma setting up us kids on the porch with a pile of corn on the cob and a trashcan. It was our job to remove the silk before my grandfather grilled the corn at our Sunday BBQs.

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Tried and true steps for silk-free corn on the cob:

1)  To remove the silk, peel back the husks.

Leave the husks attached to the cob.

2) Most of the silk should come off in a clump.

Take off as much of the remaining silk that is clinging to the corn. You’re not going to get it all. But try to remove the majority of the silk.

3) Then, pull the husks back on to the cobs.

You’ll want to keep the husks on until you’re ready to cook so that the corn doesn’t lose moisture.

Do you need to soak corn before grilling?

Many recipes online call for soaking the corn before grilling. If you like your corn moist and steamed, then go ahead and soak the cobs 15 minutes in a large bowl or pot of water before grilling. Personally, I like my grilled corn on the cob charred and almost burnt in spots. I generally bypass the soaking.

Check out this easy and delicious recipe for grilled corn on the cob!

Here is my new go-to grilled corn recipe. Thanks to chipotle chili powder, my grilled corn is packed with a smoky Tex-Mex flavor. Why not pair the grilled corn on the cob with grilled shrimp tacos, purple cabbage vinegary coleslaw and a chilled sangria!

Corn on the Cob with Lime and Chipotle

6 fresh ears of corn

Salt, ground black pepper, and chipotle chili powder to taste

I cup of fresh-squeezed lime juice

I stick of melted butter, margarine or plant-based butter

  • Heat a gas grill to high or prepare a charcoal grill, waiting until the coals are red-hot
  • When grill is hot, place husked corn straight on the grate
  • Brush corn liberally with butter and grill for 5 to 7 minutes, turning often
  • Remove from grill when corn begins to brown, or cook until your preferred level of char
  • Pour a few tablespoons of lime juice on each ear of corn
  • Sprinkle salt, black pepper and chipotle chili powder on the grilled corn to taste
  • Enjoy!

How long do I cook corn on the grill for?

Not long. Plan on 15 to 20 minutes with the husk on or if you wrap the ear of corn in tin foil. If you’ve removed the husk and you’re not using foil, then 5 to 7 minutes is enough, more if you like your corn slightly charred. 

What kind of seasoning can I put on Grilled Corn?

The choice of seasonings you can put on grilled corn is endless!

Start off with salt and pepper. And butter if you like. Then experiment with your favorite herbs and spices. See below for some of my favorite flavor combinations.

Parmesan cheese

Grilled corn on the cob topped with parmesan cheese is a fan favorite. Sprinkle a generous amount of parm on before you grille. The taste of the grilled corn with melted parmesan is amazing. And it will go great as a side dish next to Italian sausage at an Italian-themed BBQ

Butter, salt and pepper

My mom’s favorite. She keeps it plain and simple. Rub a teaspoon of butter all over the corn and then grill to perfection! Generously shake on some salt and black pepper and done! Tasty and simple.

Oh, and here’s a tip for less mess. Stick your hand in a sandwich baggie and use that as a glove to run the butter over the corn. Easy peasy!

Fresh herbs straight from the garden

I have a huge herb garden, so I’ve got plenty of fresh herbs to choose from for my grilled corn on the cob. If you like a bit of lemony zing on your corn, brush some melted butter on the ear of corn, sprinkle a tablespoon of fresh lemon thyme (the leaves are tiny so no need to chop), and grill till done. Oregano is another herb that grills up fantastically on corn on the cob; one or two tablespoons of chopped oregano should be enough. Or how about sprinkling a tablespoon of chopped basil and two teaspoons of finely chopped garlic chives on your grilled corn? Seriously. The sky’s the limit.

Dried herbs

Again, choose what you like. But, remember, dried herbs are more potent that fresh herbs, so don’t go overboard. A teaspoon of your favorite dried herb should be enough!

Dried thyme, with its woody taste, is a great complement to the sweet flavor of fresh corn. Dried parsley will give your corn a nice, bright essence, great for the outdoor dining experience of a BBQ. And dried chives will give your corn just a little oomph.

Garlic salt

Rub some butter and sprinkle garlic salt on your corn. Watch out, though. Garlic salt is potent!

And, remember, if you’re on a low-salt diet, you can substitute garlic powder for garlic salt.


Check out your grocer’s local spice aisle to see what inspires you. Try a few shakes of a mild curry powder for a zippy taste. You can also mix things up and sprinkle some ground cumin and freshly chopped cilantro on your corn.

Put some excitement into your corn on the cob game with a few shakes of chili powder before you grill. Or give some smoked paprika a go!

At your next BBQ, gather a few different spices and let your guests personalize their own corn on the cob!

Flavored salt

I just picked up some hickory-smoked salt in the spice aisle at my local bulk food store. It’s becoming my favorite corn on the cob topping! Applewood smoked salt also adds a deep smoky note to your corn.

Start heating up that grill!

I can’t wait until that time of summer when the farm stands and grocery stores are brimming full of freshly picked corn on the cob. There’s nothing I like more at a BBQ than smoky grilled corn, especially when it has those char marks on it.

Experiment with fresh herbs and spices on your grilled corn on the cob. Or go old school and slather your corn with melted butter. Any way you serve your corn on the cob is the right way.

So, make corn on the cob the centrepiece of your next BBQ and get grilling!

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