Grilled Corn in Foil with BBQ Compound Butter: Adding a compound butter to corn in a foil packet is the BEST way to grill corn!
In addition to tomatoes and ice cream, corn may just be my third most favorite food of the summer. Isn’t it funny how a food that’s available during such a limited time frame each year can be so beloved?
Corn season here in New England usually starts in mid- to late- July, depending on how far north in the region you live. The season lives on pretty strong through the end of September and sometimes into October if we’ve had a mild summer. So here in CT (southern New England), the farm stands start stocking it in July.
In May and June, we’re seeing corn in our grocery stores from down south. And while this corn is fine – I won’t turn it down! – there really isn’t anything that can compare to corn that’s been plucked from its stalk in the morning, shuffled to the farm stands and farmer’s markets, and eaten on the same day.
So you can bet your bottom dollar that I make the most of every second of this season every single year!
Against all good sense, one of my favorite ways to eat corn in the summer is in soup form. Cheddar corn chowder and lobster corn chowder have both made it into my regular summer rotation. Sometimes the only thing that feels right in the summer is a hot bowl of soup, am I right?
But aside from soup, which takes a little time to make, grilled corn is my #1 favorite way to cook corn in the summer. It’s SO fast and easy to do and there are SO many ways I’ve found to use grilled corn in recipes.
Recipes that Use Grilled Corn
A few years back I made a grilled corn and zucchini panzanella salad where everything in the salad was grilled except the fresh herb vinaigrette. That salad is still going strong in our summer meal rotation!
And then there was the time I made guacamole with grilled corn. Holy freaking moly! It’s a guac recipe that’s a little less conventional than what people are used to but the corn packs a great charred flavor into the dip.
Like WOAH delicious! Another excellent summer meal (with or without the blue cheese and corn)!
My Mexican street corn and its BFF, street corn avocado toast, are my 2 newest ways to use grilled corn but there’s also something to be said about the simplicity of eating a piece of grilled corn on the cob.
I can’t even tell you how many times we’ve made a full meal on grilled corn in the summer. Sometimes we’ll added a caprese platter or some herbed ricotta bruschettas on the side to round the meal out a little. But oftentimes, it’s just the corn.
How to Grill Corn on the Cob
Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of methods of grilling corn. Some have been successful, others have not:
Grilled corn with the husks on: This was the worst way I’ve found to grill corn! I can’t remember where I saw this method (maybe on the Food Network somewhere?) but after a couple of times of grilling corn this way, I vowed I would never go back.
The husks always seemed to catch fire even after I had soaked the corn in water. And soaking the corn extended the time it needed to cook since the corn was wet. So, never again.
Grilled corn with the husks pulled down: This method was better than grilling corn with the husks on but only slightly. The corn grills nicely but the husks are still at risk for catching fire. However, if you’re serving grilled corn on the cob to guests, this does make for a pretty cool way to present the corn.
And for messy corn, like that Mexican street corn, the husks give you a nice handle for holding the corn while you eat it.
Grilled corn directly on the grill: This is my second favorite way to grill corn on the cob. It’s easy to do, there are no husks to set fire to, and it’s relatively quick. You can coat the corn in olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper if you want, but I often just grill it without any seasonings.
Grilled corn in foil: By far, this has been my most favorite way to grill corn on the cob!! What I love most about this method is that the corn steams inside the foil while also picking up some char from the heat of the grill.
We also add a pat of butter and some salted and pepper to the foil packets before putting the corn on the grill. This way, the corn steams IN BUTTER!! OMG could grilled corn BE any better!?!
Grilled Corn in Foil with BBQ Compound Butter
Can you even imagine how delicious this grilled corn was?! I know I said that compound butter was excellent on steak, baked potatoes, bread, fish, and veggies, but I was also holding out on you a little by not mentioning how perfect it was on this corn until now.
When you grill corn in foil with butter, the corn steams in the butter because the foil traps the butter from leaking out. And when we cut the corn into pieces, we were able to see that the butter had seeped right into the corn while it steamed. The spices in the butter had actually turned the corn a different color! Amazing!
The corn picked up all the flavor of that compound butter but you know what? It still tasted like corn. The butter flavor didn’t mask the flavor of that sweet corn; it amplified the whole flavor profile of the corn!
Needless to say, adding a compound butter to grilled corn in foil is the BEST way to grill corn. And I can certainly see us trying all different types of compound butter just for this reason this summer!
What to Serve this Corn with
Obviously, this would be excellent alongside some grilled steak or with steamed lobster dripping in hot butter. But it would also be outstanding with Ina’s turkey meatloaf, this chicken with country gravy, this butterflied and grilled chicken, or even bacon and onion jam burgers!
- 4 ears of fresh corn, husks and silks removed if not purchased this way
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) BBQ compound butter, cut into 8 equal slices
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Place each piece of corn on an 8-inch square piece of aluminum foil. Add 1 pat of butter to each piece of corn. Wrap corn up in the foil into a packet, taking care to seal the foil well so the butter doesn't leak on the grill.
- Grill for 10 minutes, turning each piece of corn a couple of times during the grill time. Remove corn from grill and carefully open up the packets (the steam escaping will be hot). Serve hot with extra pat of the BBQ compound butter on top of each piece of hot corn.
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