The Most Important Tip for Great Grilled Corn

published Jul 22, 2016
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Family Business)

If you’re firing up the grill to cook corn on the cob this summer, you’re in for a tasty treat. But before you get started, there’s one thing you should do first that will reward you with even better-tasting corn.

Brine Your Corn Before Grilling

Before going to the grill, brine your corn on the cob first. What you’ll get are super-tender ears, so flavorful and well-seasoned from the brining mixture that seeps into the cracks and crevices between each and every kernel.

The template for a standard brining solution is simple.

1 gallon water + 1/4 cup salt

This is enough for about four to six ears of corn. Add the water to a large pot or deep baking dish, then stir in the salt until it’s mostly dissolved. Go ahead and add some aromatics to the brine while you’re at it. Star anise, cumin seeds, lemon peel, ginger, lemongrass, black peppercorns, or smashed cloves of garlic will all add an extra boost of flavor.

But before you add the corn, you need to tackle the husks. You can shuck the corn entirely, or simply peel the husks all the way back without removing them. This part is up to you.

Timing Is Everything

Arguably the most important thing to remember when brining corn on the cob is to watch the clock or set a timer. Soak uncooked ears of corn in the brine solution for 30 to 60 minutes, and no more.

This is just enough time for the brine to make a difference. Be sure to avoid leaving the corn in the brine for too long. Rather than plump up the kernels and tenderize the corn, the opposite happens, and the kernels can become dry and tough. Just remember to keep the brining under an hour, and you’re in for a real treat.

Have you ever brined your corn before grilling or roasting?