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grilled corn question?

howchow Jun 23, 2010 07:58 PM

Do you have to remove the silk prior to grilling? What would happen if you left the ears fully closed in their husks and grilled them?

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  1. Indirect Heat RE: howchow Jun 23, 2010 08:04 PM

    You'd have burned blackened string in between your teeth. The heat makes the string fall apart, so you can't easily destring the corn post-cooking.

    You should also soak the corn and corn husks in water so they don't burn when you put them on the grill. My fave recipe for grilled corn: http://indirectheat.blogspot.com/2009...

    6 Replies
    1. re: Indirect Heat
      howchow RE: Indirect Heat Jun 23, 2010 08:18 PM

      I see - OK - Thanks!

      1. re: howchow
        janetms383 RE: howchow Jun 24, 2010 09:40 AM

        Despite the fact that I think Steven Raichlen is a pompus A, he has a recipe for grilled corn where he leaves it in the husks, with silk and sticks in right on the coals.


        Source: Adapted from BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)

        Method: Direct

        Yield: Makes 8 ears

        8 ears sweet corn in the husk
        8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
        Freshly ground black pepper
        Cayenne pepper (optional)

        You’ll also need:
        Insulated rubber gloves (optional)

        Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to as hot as possible.

        When ready to cook, place the soaked corn directly in the embers and grill until the husks are charred and blackened and the silk is burned off, 5 to 8 minutes per side (20 to 32 minutes in all).

        Wearing clean gloves or using a stiff bristled brush, strip the charred husks off the corn. Roll each ear of corn in the melted butter, season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne, if using, and serve at once.

      2. re: Indirect Heat
        alanbarnes RE: Indirect Heat Jun 24, 2010 09:38 AM

        I disagree. I used to do the whole de-silk, re-husk, soak in salted water thing. Now I just put the unopened ears over moderate heat and they're good to go. No problem with the strings falling apart, and while the husks get plenty black, the corn itself is perfect, with small caramelized areas.

        I do keep a squirt bottle handy in case the husk decides to catch fire. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it can be exciting.

        1. re: alanbarnes
          c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jun 25, 2010 09:26 AM

          Doesn't it seem like "exciting" goes with "grilling" more than any other cooking technique?!?

          1. re: c oliver
            alanbarnes RE: c oliver Jun 25, 2010 09:35 AM

            I dunno, a flambe is pretty exciting, too. And the curtains are closer...

            1. re: alanbarnes
              c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jun 25, 2010 09:53 AM

              I knew there was an advantage to no curtains.

      3. r
        runwestierun RE: howchow Jun 23, 2010 08:18 PM

        I take the husk and the silk off before grilling. If you left it on you would have to be fooling with each ear when the corn was very hot and presumably every other part of the dinner was hot and ready to go. Best case scenario: corn would be cold. Worst case scenario: everything would be cold.

        I brush the corn with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper. I grill it on a medium fire until the kernels brown. Then I turn the corn to brown the other sides. Because it is out of the husk, the corn takes on a lovely smokey flavor. Inside the husk it just steams.

        I prepare a compound butter ahead of time and I serve it with that. I try to make a butter that compliments the entree, but I sure like it with a little vinegar and red chilis. Num.

        2 Replies
        1. re: runwestierun
          Davwud RE: runwestierun Jun 24, 2010 07:16 AM

          It may "Just steam" inside the husk but it takes on a very nice grassy taste. I really like it.

          I remove the loose ends of the husk and cut the silks right down to the top of the ear. I do not peel at all before soaking and then cooking.


          1. re: runwestierun
            sbp RE: runwestierun Jun 25, 2010 10:29 AM

            I'm with you on this one. I use shucked ears right on the grill, just give them a little oiling first to conduct the heat better. You have to keep an eye on them and turn frequently, but nothing beats a well browned ear of corn. All that sugar is caramelizing, producing tons of complex flavors and the smell of hot buttered popcorn.

          2. ipsedixit RE: howchow Jun 23, 2010 09:10 PM

            I've always grilled them with husks, and just let them cool before peeling. No big deal. It's actually better this way b/c the corn retains more of its moisture. Just make sure to soak the corn a bit in water before tossing it on the grill to avoid unintended inflammable objects appearing on your grill ...

            3 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit
              WhatThePho RE: ipsedixit Jun 24, 2010 05:56 AM

              Ditto, with husks.

              My method: peel back husks and remove silk; replace husks as much as possible. Grill for 15 minutes over medium, turning every couple of minutes. Juicy and delish.

              I don't soak them because we usually grill with gas and I like the smokey flavor the blackened husk gives the corn.

              Ipse, we grilled corn on Father's Day, and when the SO opened up the grill for the last time, sure as shootin they did burst into flames. He literally ran for the hose. He came to his senses before spraying the grill (and all the food on it) down with water, thank goodness, and as always the corn was perfectly fine.

              1. re: WhatThePho
                gordeaux RE: WhatThePho Jun 24, 2010 06:44 AM

                I'm with ipse, and wtp (awesome handle, by the way, just awesome)
                Although I take it a step further. I peel the husks back, get as muck silk off as I can then slather with cold butter, and ground chile. Then I turn the husk back down as best I can. I use high heat to burn the outer husk parts which imparts are great flavor.

                1. re: gordeaux
                  WhatThePho RE: gordeaux Jun 24, 2010 09:17 AM

                  Thank you, and that sounds sublime! I will be trying this.

                  I love corn season!
                  ~edit~ Enjoying your handle too lol

            2. JerryMe RE: howchow Jun 24, 2010 07:22 AM

              We don't take the silk off before grilling. We just leave them whole, soak in water and throw on the grill. Most of the silk outside the husk will burn off and what's left inside the husk comes off easily. Once they're cool enough to handle, of course.

              1. Perilagu Khan RE: howchow Jun 24, 2010 07:47 AM

                I dehusk and broil, then dredge lime wedges through a 1/2-and-1/2 mixture of cayenne and salt. Spiced lime wedges are then crushed onto the corn.

                I may never return to butter, salt and pepper.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                  c oliver RE: Perilagu Khan Jul 3, 2010 07:15 PM

                  Broil in the oven?

                  1. re: c oliver
                    Perilagu Khan RE: c oliver Jul 4, 2010 07:25 AM


                2. jfood RE: howchow Jun 24, 2010 01:00 PM

                  All is good when it comes to grilled corn. Jfood has removed the silks, not removed the silks, soaked them in water, not soaked them in water. Heck last time he took them straight out of the grocer bag onto a hot gas weber 3 times 5 minutes with two turn on high. Use a mitt when removing the husks and silk, snap off the bottom and you are good to go.

                  Don't overanalyze and enjoy this time of year.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: jfood
                    MGZ RE: jfood Jun 24, 2010 01:16 PM

                    I agree completely - each technique works. I've tried 'em all. Basically, it just depends on the result you seek. For sheer ease, just throw husked ears on coals. For corn that's not quite sweet enough, shuck and grill over flames to caramelize. . . .

                    1. re: MGZ
                      Perilagu Khan RE: MGZ Jun 24, 2010 02:20 PM

                      I've found that even frozen *gasp* corn is quite sweet these days. Not like the hit-and-miss corn from my childhood which was as apt to be grassy as sweet.

                    2. re: jfood
                      valerie RE: jfood Jun 25, 2010 10:42 AM

                      Again, agreed. Bring them home and throw them on the grill. No soaking, no de-silking. The silk does not get burned nor does it become "burned blackened string ". It is easy to remove, just hotter than hell, so wear oven mitts.

                      1. re: jfood
                        c oliver RE: jfood Jul 3, 2010 07:16 PM

                        What does "3 times 5 minutes with two turn on high" mean? You may not read this soon enough to help with tonight's dinner but plenty more corn to be had. Thanks, kid.

                        1. re: c oliver
                          jfood RE: c oliver Jul 4, 2010 05:00 AM

                          grill on high. place corn on grates for 5 minutes; spin 90 degrees for another 5 minutes; spin again 90 degrees for 5 minutes ; and the again 90 degree spin for a final 5. The entire circumference of the husk/corn should be charred.

                          1. re: jfood
                            c oliver RE: jfood Jul 4, 2010 07:16 AM

                            Bob did it for less time than that and he thought it could have gone longer; I though it was great. It was much easier removing the silks after cooking. I love discarding old techniques for better ones.

                      2. John E. RE: howchow Jun 25, 2010 10:58 AM

                        I think whether or not you first remove the husk is just a personal choice. I've grilled corn a lot of ways including pulling the husk back, removing the silk, replacing the husk and then soaking the corn in water and then grilling. I've also grilled corn without removing the husk after a soak and don't have a problem removing the silk after the corn is grilled. My preferred way of grilling corn now is with the husk removed so that the corn can get charred a bit. Besides that, if you first don't remove the husk or at least pull it back to remove the silk, you cannot determine if the corn has a bad spot that needs to be cut away.

                        1. j
                          jcisn RE: howchow Jul 3, 2010 07:30 AM

                          I usually pull the husks back and remove the silk then add salt, black pepper, butter and
                          salsa cruda, then replace the husks and wrap with aluminum foil.
                          No need for water, the moisture in the husks is enough to steam the corn.

                          1. EWSflash RE: howchow Jul 3, 2010 02:59 PM

                            Nope,not at all necessary unless you want to, but the silks will peel back along with the husks and you can pull them off then, it's to me easier to do it afterward. I do pull off the usually-starting-to-mold silks that stick out the end, but then I soak the ears in salt water for a while and also dunk the ears back into the saltwater once or twice while cooking so the husks don't burst into flames, like one poster had happen. I rip the silks off, soak them and grill them just like that.

                            1. EWSflash RE: howchow Jul 3, 2010 03:04 PM

                              ALTHOUGH I sure do like a nice peeled, slowly caramelized ear of corn done naked on the frill (the corn, that is). That's really good, too

                              1. j
                                joycef38 RE: howchow May 3, 2014 08:22 AM

                                You would have a difficult time removing the silk. Pull back the husk and remove silk, then smooth husk back in place.
                                Soaking in water also helps steam the corn.

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