How to Boil and Then Grill Corn

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Without boiling first, corn will take 20 minutes to grill, during which it can become tough.
Without boiling first, corn will take 20 minutes to grill, during which it can become tough. (Image: Dick Luria/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Boiling corn before grilling it gives the corn a smokey flavor from the grill and ensures that it is thoroughly cooked. This method also shortens the grilling time and prevents the corn kernels from drying out. You can even add sugar to the cooking water to make the bland corn taste sweeter and enhance browning on the grill.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 qt. water
  • Deep pot
  • 8 corn cobs, shucks and silk removed
  • Tongs

Bring 1/2 cup sugar and 4 qt. water to a boil in a deep pot. Preheat the grill to medium heat.

Add the corn to the pot and return to a boil. Cook the corn for 5 to 6 minutes.

Transfer the corn from the pot to the grill with tongs.

Grill the corn for 1 minute over direct heat.

Roll the corn cobs one quarter turn and cook for 1 minute.

Roll the corn cobs another quarter turn and cook for 1 minute to char.

Turn the corn to cook the last uncharred quarter of the cob for 1 minute.

Remove the corn from the grill and cool slightly before eating.

Tips & Warnings

  • Spread butter over the cob and sprinkle with salt and pepper for a traditional topping. Slather sour cream, a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkling of chili powder over the grilled corn for a Mexican twist.

References

  • "Eat What You Love: More Than 300 Incredible Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat, and Calories"; Marlene Koch; 2010
  • "Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks: 5,000 Ingenious Kitchen Hints, Secrets, Shortcuts, and Solutions"; David Joachim, et al.; 2001
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