How to Roast Corn with Spicy Garlic Butter on the Grill
It’s August here in Philadelphia which means great local corn from Pennsylvania and New Jersey is available for grilled corn. And we are eating corn on the cob as much as possible. Most of time we husk, boil and serve with butter from our Butter Betty dispenser and salt & pepper.
But there are lots of alternative ways to prepare those sweet, succulent kernels - that are never better any other time of the year. Grilled, roasted, husk on, husk off - and we’re not even starting to talk about all the different ways there are to season them before cooking.
This recipe is for husked corn on the cob that is seasoned with a garlic butter, salt & pepper and as much hot sauce as you and your family’s taste buds can handle. In our house, I’m the only one who likes it really spicy so I go easy on the Sriracha sauce.
Cooking Methods Roast Grilled Corn
This recipe has you roast the prepared corn on the grill while cooking up the main ingredients for your meal. I like to turn down the grill temperature on one side of the grill and keep the lid closed, basically turning my grill into an oven.
If you don’t have access to a grill, you can prepare the corn in the house in your oven and the results are equally as good. Because of the aluminum foil used to wrap the corn up, you can’t use a microwave, but I’m wondering if you tried replacing wax paper for the aluminum, you would you get the same results?
Here we are keeping it simple with butter, garlic, salt and pepper and hot sauce but here’s where you can really be creative and experiment with different herbs and spices. Next time I’d like to mince some fresh rosemary or sage and add it to the cooking pouch and see how it turns out.
Or how about some seasoned salt? My daughter gave me a bottle of truffle salt that doesn’t get used that much, but this would be a great opportunity to give it a go.
And how many of you have spice cabinets filled with flavored salts given to you over the years from friends and family? Let’s break them out and put them to use.
Sitting here I’m thinking of all the amazing ingredients you can add to the corn like mustard, curry, crumbled cheese, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, lemon or lime juice, honey, bacon bits and the list goes on and on.
It might be fun to break the ears of corn in half and try a variety of seasoning on them sort of like samplers and see which ones get the best reviews. I guess what I’m saying here is, have fun, get creative and try something different.
Disclaimer - local corn this time of year does not need anything to make it taste great. “Less is More” is often my motto when it comes to fresh, local corn on the cob in August but if you’re eating it 3 - 4 times a week because it’s only going to be this good for a short amount of time, why not try some alternatives?
I found I had some extra garlic butter when I was done slathering up the corn during preparation. Maybe I didn’t slather enough on each ear but I am watching my caloric intake so I used the rest to make some garlic bread with a fresh baguette we picked up at the Farmers Market and stuck it into the freezer for another night.
Grill Roasted Spicy Corn on the Cob
- 6 ears fresh corn husked and stringy stuff removed
- 6 tablespoons butter room temperature
- 5 cloves garlic turned into paste
- hot sauce to taste - I used Sriracha sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- Bring the butter to room temperature on the counter. You don’t want to start the grill, husk the corn and realize your butter is too hard to work with.
- When the butter is room temperature, go heat up your grill with the cover on to about 450° F. Depending on your grill and whether you are using a gas or charcoal grill, heat up half the grill on low and the other half on medium or high depending on what you are grilling.
- If you are using your indoor oven, preheat to 450° F.
- While the grill is heating up, husk the corn and remove as many of those pesky, tiny silk threads as you can off the cob.
- There are several ways to make garlic paste. I like to use a garlic press but if you don’t have one, you can chop it up fine and then use the side of your knife to so smash it until it turns to paste. I’m always a little nervous telling people to use the side of a knife as a tool for fear of mishaps.
- You can also use a zester on the to get the garlic to make a paste-like consistency to use in this recipe. And if you really want a smooth paste consistency, try a mortar and pestle if you have one.
Prepare the Garlic Butter
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic and butter until thoroughly combined.
- Add a few drops of Sriracha sauce, stir to combine, taste and add more to desired hotness. I suggest you start with less and add a little at a time. You can always add more, but you can’t take it back.
Prep the Corn on the Cob
- Tear 6 square pieces of aluminum foil off the roll and place them into a pile. Using a spoon, fork or spreader, lightly coat an ear of corn with some of the garlic butter.
- Season with a little salt & pepper and place on a sheet of aluminum foil on an angle.
- Add a tablespoon of water to corn and roll up the corn taking care to fold over the edges to create a tight seal. The water will create steam inside the tin foil packet helping in the cooking process.
- Continue smearing each ear of corn, season, add water and roll until all 6 are done.
- If you are using your indoor oven, transfer the wrapped corn to a roasting pan. If roasting on the grill, place the corn on the side of the grill set to low, cover the grill and cook for 15 minutes until the corn is nice and tender.
- If using your indoor oven, transfer the roasting pan to the oven and also cook for 15 minutes until the corn is tender.
- When done, remove from the grill or oven and serve with your main course. I like to take any melted butter sitting on the foil and drizzle it over the corn, or anything else that happens to be on my dinner plate, for that matter.
Most grills today have a built inbuilt-in thermometer, but if yours doesn’t, you can pick up an inexpensive oven thermometer online.
This a great way to change up your corn on the cob consumption and there are so many ways you change this recipe to make it your own by substituting some of the ingredients we mentioned above.
Come October or November when the corn is not as good as it is right now, this will be a great way to give the corn a little needed flavor.
Thank you for sharing the recipe. I love garlic on the corn - it makes the smell and the taste a lot better!
G. Stephen Jones
You are very welcome Luna.
That sounds like it could be very good! I will try it next time. The way I normally grill my corn is just how you said ( husked and wrapped in foil and with salt&pepper) but after I smother it in butter I also sprinkle it with chili powder. Then I slice up some jalapeño's in it also. Everyone that has tried it has loved it!
G. Stephen Jones
Thanks for sharing this tip Austin.