It’s not hard to grill up good corn on the cob, but we found a way to turn the basic side blissful. The secret? California chef Michael Chiarello says it’s all in the execution. He suggests soaking the cobs in water and then grilling them still wrapped in their papery husks. “Rather than boiling away all the flavor, I place the corn right on the grill,” Chiarello says. “The smokiness of the charred husk imparts amazing flavor.”
Pull them still warm from the grill and smear with decadent red pepper butter, sprinkle with crunchy sea salt, and get ready to hear a chorus of “I need that recipe!”
Read on for Chef Michael Chiarello’s recipe.
Check our more of our mouth-watering grilling recipes:
Corn on the Cob with Red Pepper Butter
For Roasted Red Pepper Butter
3 medium red bell peppers
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt, preferably gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup unsalted butter (cut into large chunks), at room temperature
1.Toss bell peppers with a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place peppers on the hot grill, away from direct heat. Cover grill and cook peppers, turning to char evenly. When the skin is blistered and blackened all over (about 15 minutes), put peppers in a bowl and cover to steam and loosen the skin.
2. Peel roasted peppers, discarding the skin, seeds, and ribs; coarsely chop and set aside.
3. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a small sauté pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, add minced garlic and decrease heat to medium-high. Sauté until garlic begins to show color (about 2 minutes). Take pan off the heat; stir in oregano. Set aside to cool.
4. In a food processor or large blender, combine peppers, balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper; pulse until smooth. Pour in warm olive oil with garlic and oregano; pulse to blend. Add butter and process until it’s smooth and the color is consistent.
5. Transfer butter to a bowl and refrigerate until hardened enough to shape into a log (about 30 minutes). Place an 18-inch-long sheet of aluminum foil on a work surface, and spoon butter lengthwise down the center of the foil. Shape into a log 1½ inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in foil.
6. Refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to one month.
For Grilled Corn
8 ears fresh corn
Red pepper butter
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Fill a bucket or stockpot with cold tap water. Peel back husks (keeping them intact), remove silk, and smooth husks back over the corn. Soak corn in water for at least 30 minutes.
2. Set your gas grill to medium-high. If using charcoal, roast the corn over a fire that is burning down, about half an hour after the coals are at their hottest. When grill is at medium heat (that is, you should be able to hold your hand 5 inches above the rack for 4–5 seconds), add corn. Grill until husks are slightly charred (about 10–12 minutes), turning every 2 minutes.
3. Pull off half the husks from each ear, slather on butter, and season with salt and pepper. Serve while hot.