photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

Corn is in and with the hot weather, there’s no better way to cook corn than to grill it. People have asked me what’s the best way to do it? There are two basic ways, depending on what you’re after. Corn today is so sweet and tender, it only needs to be heated through, so your decision is really one about types of heat to use, high direct heat, which will brown the corn giving it a grilled flavor, or low temperature, steamed within its wet husk.

I like both and the above corn which we ate after a day at the beach (sigh), used a little of both. I love the appearance because it tells you how it was cooked.  If I want a really smoke roasted caramelized flavor, I’d shuck the corn and put directly on the grill over hot coals. If I want the smokey steamy effect, which gives you a cleaner corn flavor, pull the husk back, remove as much silk as possible, fold the husk back up and soak the corn in cold water 15 or 20 minutes.  Then grill over direct heat until heated through, five or ten minutes, depending how hot your flame is.

I love grilled corn either way.  But don’t always think of it to go with burgers. Grilled corn makes a great dessert.

You can make it the easy way below.  Or you can go all out by making your own ice cream, substituting half the dairy with fresh corn juice (here’s an all-purpose recipe for vanilla ice cream/creme anglaise; use 8 ounces corn juice and 8 ounces milk).

Vanilla Ice Cream with Grilled Corn and Lime

  • Good vanilla ice cream (about 1/2 cup per person, or as you wish)
  • Grilled corn (1/2 ear per person)
  • 1 lime (for every four servings)
  1. Garnish the ice cream with grilled corn, some zest from the lime and a couple of drops of juice.
  2. Or: Let ice cream soften slightly, stir in grilled corn, re-chill, serve with lime zest and a sprinkling of kernels.
  3. Or: make your own ice vanilla-corn ice cream, stirring in grilled corn before transferring it to the freezer.

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© 2011 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2011 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.