As the summer heat advances even simple tasks can become dreaded chores. Spending time over a hot stove is one of these. Combine a desire to stay out of the kitchen with the ease and taste, not to mention the health benefits, of grilled food and nothing seems better than doing every cooked meal out on the BBQ vs in the kitchen. I come from a family that has done even prime rib on the BBQ (of course that was because it didn’t fit in the oven) so something like corn on the cob is a breeze. There are three ways to do corn on the BBQ each resulting in a drastically different flavor. The first is to put it directly on the bbq husked, resulting in the “it’s been grilled lines”, the second is to do it unhusked this doesn’t end up with grilled lines and has a softer texture, the most unusual is the it’s too dang hot to use the stove boiling water method.
First I never use charcoal grills the temperature is harder to control and to be honest I hate the flavor. I prefer a gas grill. Now while what ever you have is obviously what is going to be used. Something with three burners that can be adjusted is what I would select to buy as it is the easiest to maintain heat on. When putting anything on the BBQ it is essential to make sure that all pieces are of equal size, so that you get them cooked evenly, if you have people who like different levels of doneness using different sizes is a cheater way to get it all done at the same time, but since overcooked corn is just dry and icky that really doesn’t apply in this case. Remember that a BBQ has much more direct heat than a stove as you are cooking directly on flame, go for longer cook times with lower flames and this will result in tasty rather than crispy food.
First I will go into the methods that use the grill directly. They are virtually the same although unhusked requires that you take a lot more care and pay attention. When doing the unhusked method either buy corn that is already unhusked at the market taking care to make sure that each cob is roughly the same size in length and diameter, with diameter being more important to cooking time than length. Clean the corn well in running water, before being ready to cook. Then place it on the BBQ, off direct heat, if your grill has a top rack, put it there, if you have three burners I would place the corn in the middle with that one off and then turn the other two to low. If two then one on low one off, if only one I would go with a husked method and just toss them on after if you are desperate for grill lines. You will have to keep a constant eye on the cobs to make sure that they don’t burn or dry out and keep rotating them constantly to keep even on all sides. All in all I really don’t recommend this method as its too big of a pain in the tush.
My recommended method is to use the husked. This is super fast and easy which is what grilling is all about after all. If you are going to be cooking this with a meat that is done quick like hamburgers I would take and pull back the husks just enough to get a bit of water inside them, or even soak them for a bit first. Then making sure that you keep the cobs off direct heat as in the first method just turn them about as frequently as the burgers. When you take the meat off place the cobs on direct heat for a few minutes and then it all should be done together. If you are cooking a meat that takes longer, wrap the soaked husks in foil and then place the sealed packages on the burner. This will make them steam and prevent them from getting over cooked, this produces the closest effect to boiling with out a pot, and is my most recommended.
The final method is easy get a big old pot, or a camping style pot and just place it directly on the BBQ as if it were an out door gas stove. Keep the flame no higher than medium, and proceed as if you were inside.
All three methods are a great way to keep cooking heat outside and give you a chance to enjoy more than just hot dogs and burgers from your grill.