Some of the best tasting corn-on-the cob is made on a barbecue grill. It is simple to prepare and can show your family or guests that you really are a gourmet barbecue chef.
First, make sure that the corn on the cob that you select is fresh and tender. The husks should be bright green and not wilted. The husk should feel supple and not stiff or dried-out.
You will need to soak the corn in the husks for about an hour prior to cooking. The idea is to allow the husks to absorb the water, which will cause the corn to be steamed on the grill. If you remove the husks the corn will dry out. Use a clean 5-gallon bucket, a large soup pot or any other large container filled with cool water. The corn must soak for at least an hour prior to cooking. It is OK to let it soak a bit longer.
There are several theories about how to prepare the corn for your grill. Some people peal back the husks and remove the silk, which is the thread-like strands that lay on the surface of the corn. The problem with this method is that once you do that, you will have to tie the husks back in place using string or else the corn will dry out and the husks will burn. If you decide to remove the silk, use the type of string used to tie turkeys. Do not use a nylon or plastic string. Some people like to take a husk and tear it into strips that are used to tie the corn.
My preferred method is to leave the husks intact. Corn husks naturally form a tight bond over the corn on the cob and are an excellent medium for steaming. The silk can be pealed off easily after cooking.
Cook the corn in the husks over a medium grill temperature. If the temperature of the coals or gas grill is too hot, the husks will burn and the corn may not cook well enough. The husks will start out as a bright green color that will turn to a tan or light brown as the corn cooks. Turn the corn often using tongs — at least once every 5 minutes — to prevent burning of the husks. The husks will heat up and release moisture in the form of steam. The steam will the continue to cook the corn all around the cob as you turn the corn on the grill.
Plan to cook the corn for 30 to 40 minutes. When the husk has turned a light tan or yellow and is slightly charred, the corn should be done.
Be careful when you handle the corn because it will be hot. If you let it cool for a few minutes, you can peel back the husks and remove the silk. If you just fold back the husks and not remove them, you can bunch them together use them as a handle for the corn. This method tends to be a big hit at barbecue parties.
Tip: Keep a coffee can or small metal pot on the grill filled with melted butter. Once you remove the corn from the grill and peel back the husks, a basting brush can be used to coat the corn with butter. Just sprinkle on some salt and enjoy your barbecue feast.