This easy Southern Grilled Corn on the Cob recipe makes the best corn that's juicy and flavorful. No soaking required. Fresh corn on the cob is basted with a honey citrus sauce then grilled without the husks for a great roasted flavor inside each kernel.
Quick Notes: This post was originally published in 2018. It has been updated with fabulous new photos! This post also contains Amazon affiliate links to my personal favorite items. Please read my disclosure statement for details. Thank you.
Welcome to My Kitchen Serenity! Few things are better than fresh grilled corn on the cob! That's why I love our super easy and delicious recipe for Southern Grilled Corn on the Cob. We often add it to chicken, burgers, or whatever we are putting on the grill. It just seems to go well with anything. Love hamburgers? Try my Cheesy Stuffed Hamburgers! Stuffed with cheese and packed with flavor!
Why We Love This Recipe
This recipe is a great option if you are looking for something a little different and for corn on the cob without butter. The corn is ready to eat in 25 to 30 minutes, so it’s a great option for when you're a bit pressed for time.
Let's take a look at what you'll need for this recipe:
Corn on the cob - you can buy shucked corn on the cob or do it yourself when you get ready to make this recipe.
Fresh lime - used for the zest and juice. Go ahead and buy 2 or 3 limes to make sure you have enough juice.
Fresh lemon - used for the zest and juice. Go ahead and buy 2 or 3 lemons to make sure you have enough juice.
Honey - you could use agave nectar instead.
Mayo - helps bind all these flavors together for the sauce.
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning - or use your favorite creole seasoning.
Smoked paprika - use regular paprika if that's all you have, but the smoked flavor is pretty awesome.
Dash of salt - a dash means a very small amount - not even enough to measure.
Dash of pepper - again, just a very small amount of pepper is all you need.
Mix all the ingredients (except the corn) in a medium-size mixing bowl to create the sauce. Use your whisk or hand mixer to make sure you get everything mixed up really well. Otherwise, you get little clumps of mayo.
Preheat your grill to 350 F. If you don't have a thermometer on your grill, I recommend getting one. If the temperature of the grill is too high, the corn may overcook, making it tough and/or dry. We don't want that! We recommend this grill thermometer.
Use a brush to apply a good coating of the sauce to each ear of corn.
Place each ear of corn on the grill at 350 F
Cook the corn for 30 minutes while flipping after each 10-minute increment. Apply a new coat of sauce after each flip.
Remove from heat. Enjoy!
Other side dish recipes from My Kitchen Serenity:
FAQS AND TIPS
What is the best technique to pick out corn on the cob?
First things first, unless you have a garden in your backyard, you're gonna have to head out and buy some corn on the cob.
You could purchase the preshucked and packaged corn on the cob if you wish, but I really prefer to get sweet corn on the cob still in the husk from the local farmer’s market or grocery store.
There are a few tricks that can help you pick out the best ears of corn on the cob.
Don’t peel the husk back
Unless you intend to purchase the corn, don't peel the husk back. Peeling the husk back exposes the kernels to air allowing them to dry out. Also, other customers are less likely to purchase corn on the cob with the husk peeled back. People are really going to look at you sideways if you are caught peeling back the husks.
If the corn is fresh, the husk will be nice and green and wrapped tightly around the corn. Also, look to see if you see tiny holes in the husks. This could be an indication of worms. I'm guessing you probably don’t want wormy corn.
The tassel (the silky hairlike stuff sticking out of the top) should be brownish and maybe even a bit sticky to the touch. A dry or black tassel is a bad sign. Avoid buying these.
Feel the ear of corn firmly to check out the kernels through the husk. You are checking for voids. Pay particular attention to the kernels towards the top portion. This is where I tend to see kernels missing.
As mentioned by tablespoon.com, try to find the larger ears. Larger ears (7" - 9") will typically have larger and sweeter kernels. I don't have any scientific evidence to substantiate this, but it seems to hold true in my experience. If you find a few ears that pass these tests, you probably found some winners.
Storing Fresh Corn on the Cob
Once you get your corn on the cob home, what is the best way to keep it fresh? You may be planning ahead for a big weekend gathering and don’t intend to fire up the grill for a couple more days.
What do you do? According to epicurious.com, you should store corn on the cob in the refrigerator wrapped in a plastic bag or plastic wrap. I would shoot for only storing it in the fridge for a few days.
Is it better to grill corn on the cob with or without the husk?
Now that you are getting ready to grill, you have to answer the important question of husk on or husk off.
I have grilled corn on the cob with the husks on and with the husks off. I have even partially peeled the husk down to expose the corn to create a handle. I think it really comes down to the recipe and personal preference.
Should I soak Corn on the Cob in water before grilling?
If you are going to grill the corn on the cob with the husks on (either fully or partially on), then soaking in the sink for 30 - 60 minutes is a good idea. Otherwise, you might end up with your corn on the cob catching on fire. Not really what you want.
Washing Corn before Grilling
If you going to grill with the husk on, then see our discussion above regarding presoaking the corn on the cob.
If you are going to grill with the husks off, then washing (water only - no soap) is a good way to help remove any remaining silk from the tassel. However, I don’t think it's really necessary from a food safety standpoint.
Removing Kernels from the Cob
Ok, so you have some leftover corn on the cob and want to use the kernels for another dish. What is the best way to go about removing kernels from corn on the cob?
Again, a solid question. Thekitchn.com has a great post on three mess-free (cause the last thing we want is to make a big mess) ways to remove kernels from corn on the cob.
Store any leftover grilled corn on the cob in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. Corn on the cob is delicious eaten cold, right out of the fridge. However, if you want to heat it up, warm it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
If you tried this corn on the cob recipe, please comment and rate it below so I know how it turned out. I love hearing from you!
Also, let’s be social! Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to get more delicious recipe ideas in your feed. You can also sign up for my email newsletter to get more traditional Southern recipes delivered straight to your inbox.
Easy and Delicious Southern Grilled Corn on the Cob
- charcoal or gas grill
- small mixing bowl
- measuring cup(s)
- measuring spoons
- small kitchen knife
- grilling tongs
- 6 ears sweet corn on the cob use large ears: 7 - 9 inches
- 2 large lemons buy an extra lemon if they're small
- 2 large limes buy an extra lime if they're small
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash pepper
- 2 tablespoon honey
- Roll the lemons and limes around on your countertop with the palm of your hand. This will loosen up the inside pulp and make the juices easier to extract.
- Use a zester to remove just the yellow- and green-colored skin of the lemons and limes. You don't want any of the white underneath as it can be bitter. You'll need 1 tablespoon each of lemon zest and lime zest.
- Slice the lemon and limes in half. Squeeze the juice out of the lemons and limes. You'll need 1-½ tablespoons each of lemon juice and lime juice.
- Mix the lemon and lime zest and juices with the remaining ingredients into a medium-sized bowl to make the sauce. Use your whisk or hand mixer to get all ingredients mixed well.
- Preheat grill to 350 F.
- Use a brush (baster) to apply a good coating of the sauce to each ear of corn.
- Place each ear of corn on the grill.
- Cook the corn for 30 minutes while flipping after each 10-minute increment. Apply a new coating of sauce after each flip.
- Remove from heat.