Best method for grilling corn?
Any strong opinions out there? Just throw it on, husk, silk and all? Remove the silk, pull the husk back up, soak and grill? No soak? Remove husk and silk, then grill? Blanch, then grill? So many options...what works best?
I remove the husk and silk, rub generously with butter, season with salt, pepper, and usually a bit of ground cumin and chili powder (ground ancho is good), then wrap in foil and toss on the grill.
My favorite method after trying all the permutations you mention is the method outlined by Jack Bishop in his "Vegetables Every Day" cookbook:
1. Peel the outer layers of husk off until you have just one layer left - the thin innermost layer. (it also helps to leave a few inches of the stalk on to use as handle later)
2. Peel that innermost layer back carefully - keeping it attached - & remove as much silk as you can. (you don't have to be religious about it - any remainder burns off). Then fold that layer of husk back over the corn.
3. Place on grill & turn as the husks burn & the corn gets roasty brown (to your taste)
4. Hold with a mitt & brush off any remaining husk/silk
5. Anoint corn with butter, salt & chipotle/chili powder (though any or no flavoring is also great)
We love the caramelized flavor that corn gets from the near-direct heat, preferring it to steamed corn.
My favorite way is to peel back the husks, remove silk without worrying about every strand, spread a butter/herb combination over the corn, rewrapping the husks with string, soaking in water for about 20 minutes then onto the grill until done. Yum!
I find with decent, fresh picked corn the less you cook it the better. I don't buy corn anymore that isn't very fresh. Two weeks ago I was given two dozen half grown ears of a super sweet white corn by one of my farmer clients. It was very good, but with a slighlty green taste from being immature.
I never boil corn. When I cook it in water I let it sit in just boiled water for 2-3 minutes. I actually prefer to eat fresh sweet corn raw, but sometimes you want it hot.
On the grill I don't husk, desilk, soak, or anything. I just throw them on a Very Hot Grill for a Very Short Time. When they are charred I use tongs to take them off, let them sit for two minutes, then just peel them back over a garbage bag and use the husk as a handle. Then paint on mayo and sprinkle with pecorino romano and cayenne.
I agree less is more with corn, if it is just picked fresh. That is when I eat it raw or just warmed in boiled water or a brief stint on the grill. In that case I don't even use butter.
Once it has been off the stalk long enough that sugars are converting to starches, then I like to marry complementary flavors to it like the mayo, cheese, chili combo. (I could never use just mayo) Also the grilling works well with the varieties that are not so super sweet. Although the extra sweetness of just picked super sweet corn does go nicely. If you haven't tried grilled corn with mayo, cheese, chili don't knock it. It's pretty darn good.