Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 23, 2010 07:58 PM

grilled corn question?

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?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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:

    6 Replies
      1. re: howchow

        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

        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

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

          1. re: c oliver

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

            1. re: alanbarnes

              I knew there was an advantage to no curtains.

      3. 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

          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

            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. 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

              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

                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

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

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

            2. 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. 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