After trying countless different preparations, our favorite summer BBQ corn is the easiest!
But first… I am very passionate about good fresh corn! My boys used to call it “corn on the bone”!
Important rules for choosing the best corn:
- Start with fresh in season corn – Can’t do this just any time of year. Starting as early as April and through August is the time to make our move. And if you haven’t been in on the corn party this summer… The time is now! Get with it!!!
- Where to get the best corn – If you planted corn in your backyard… Bravo! I can brag about my broccoli, tomatoes and a few others, but I’m not a good corn grower. ??? Or if you’re lucky enough to live near corn fields, eat corn every day! The next best thing may be a farmers market or produce stand if you have one nearby. But don’t poo-poo your supermarket just yet… I’ve been thrilled with my Vons corn (Safeway store) ever since it came in season. Plus, and I’ve heard great reviews on Kroger corn nationwide, as well as other supermarket chains having tender juicy sweet corn. Most supermarkets are securing deals from growers and distributors and moving very good fresh corn in their stores at great prices too. So if you don’t have a corn field next door, don’t despair.
- Choose tamper free ears! – You know that trash can they have in the produce section next to the fresh beautiful ears of corn? Where there’s usually several people gathered around murdering their own corn? I usually grab that trash can, and start having a party throwing husks all over and laughing like a hyena! (Sigh) Ok, I haven’t done that. But you will see me plowing through trying to find some ears that have not been adulterated! Make sure your ears have not been tampered with! The ears must be just as God intended… CLOSED tight in their husks, until you eat them! I hear you, “How do know I’m not getting bad corn?” If you open them now to check, it will guarantee that even good ears WILL be “bad”, as you are opening them up to die, and the little kernels will not be as succulent as they were in their little husky blankets. So… I play with my odds this way… If I have eight people for a BBQ, I buy and cook at least ten ears (Ok, yeah, I would really do 12 for 8 people). Besides, our corn turns out so good, some people eat two! Cook them all. And any that are not pretty in all places for your family or guests, set aside and wrap tightly for the fridge. For leftovers tomorrow, cut off the small marred areas (usually only a few kernels), and use all those good kernels for salads, creamed corn, or just a side dish of corn, or bake in cornbread… You will not waste all the corn on those extra ears.
- Choose ears that are moist and green, not drying husks.
- Don’t get greedy on the size! – Bigger isn’t better! A medium to small slender ear will be the best. I know that’s decadent, because you are paying “per ear”. And I know it’s out of character to hear me tell you to get less for your money, but it’s worth it for tender sweet kernels. Let me help you rationalize, because admittedly I struggled with this for years… If you’re playing www.TheGroceryGame.com, you’re saving tons on everything else. Plus the corn is is at a good price this time of year. And… This is your splurge!
Now that you have the best fresh, tender, sweet, perfect, un-marred ears of corn all safe in their little husky blankets, here’s what you do:
1. At least one hour before, soak the corn in water, leaving them safe and secure in their husks!
2. Grill on low on the BBQ. Think of the corn as having four sides, and turn on all four sides, a total of 10-12 minutes (about 2-3 minutes each turn). Close the lid the whole time, only opening to turn the ears.
3. Remove the corn (still in husks) and place in a plastic or paper grocery bag, and wrap the bag of corn in one or two big towels. If you’re at a pool party, a big beach towel is perfect, and fine if it’s damp! I’ll tell you I have just wrapped them in a towel and skipped the bag many times. And it’s fine. But I prefer the plastic bag, as it seems to keep the moisture in, and the towel allows it to steam more. So that’s what I think is best.
4. Let it steam in the towel for about 10 more minutes.
5. Melt butter in a mug in the microwave, and serve with a butter brush. My favorite for butter or BBQ sauce are these $1 paint brushes from Home Depot www.HomeDepot.com
When you remove the husks, the silk will almost fall off! It’s much easier to shuck when cooked this way, than when the corn is raw… and better!
I stand at the end of the BBQ buffet with a trash can, and shuck each ear as my guests come through. I hand them an ear, and steer them past me to the butter brush!
Make sure you have plenty of sea salt within reach of everyone at the table.
And for those who like it (me and my son Christian), mayonnaise and parmesan cheese! (Mexican style!) Not that it needs anything at all, but… Yum!
Corn handles??? Pshaw! Put out lots of those napkins you’re getting on sale with coupons all summer.
Get messy, dig in, and enjoy!