It is reasonable to assume that grilling corn on the cob is quick and easy to do.  At least one would think so.  But no, there is nothing quick about grilled corn on the cob.  I learned this the hard way when I decided to grill steak along with some ears of corn a few years ago.  Long after the steak was done and already consumed, my husband and I were still checking the texture of the corn every couple of minutes.  After waiting well over 30 minutes I lost all hope and settled for an extra serving of salad.  I remember thinking how ridiculous it was that I could grill a chicken breast in less time than an ear of corn.  This was not acceptable to me and I challenged myself to come up with a quicker solution.

After experimenting with different methods I came up with a brilliant method of preparing corn on the cob much more quickly without sacrificing the flavor of grilled corn.  My solution involved steaming the corn using the microwave first, then finishing the corn off on the grill.  I was surprised by the flavor and texture the microwave method produced, better than boiling the corn, which is how I normally prepare it.  This is the only way I prepare grilled corn now.

My kids also love eating corn on the cob prepared this way.  They can never get enough and with the three day holiday weekend approaching, this method of preparing corn will go perfectly with your hamburgers and hot dogs. Enjoy!

Recipe: Grilled Corn on the Cob

  • Prep Time: 5 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 15 min(s)

Reduce the overall grilling time by precooking the corn first.


  • Corn on the cob with husks
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • Kosher salt and pepper


  1. Microwave up to 6 ears of corn with husks and silk intact for 8 minutes. Allow the corn to cool down, approximately 5 minutes. When the ears of cool enough to touch, pull the husks back and remove the silk. Once the silk is removed, husks may also be removed or left intact . I personally enjoy leaving the husks on because of its visual appeal. Its personal preference whether to leave on or off.
  2. Brush the olive oil or melted butter over the corn and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the corn ears directly on grill for 6 minutes turning them over midway through the cooking process. Allow the corn to cool for a few minutes before serving.

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15 Responses to “How to Grill Corn on the Cob Quickly”

  1. Aviva Goldfarb Aviva Goldfarb

    These are so pretty I don’t know if I could eat them…nah, I definitely could. Love this method, Alice!

  2. ClaireS

    Have corn in my fridge now waiting for the holiday weekend and my grill. This will definitely save time!

    *thumps head and wonders why she didn’t think of it sooner*!

  3. jenna

    this is a great tip for the long weekend! i lvoe adding herbs to my butter as well. they are gorgeous!

  4. Shari

    I love this quick and easy method! I’ll have to try it soon. My fave way is to totally remove the husks & silk, slather with softened butter, season, add some diced onion and peppers and wrap in foil. Grill it in the foil. Essentially steaming it in butter, etc.!! 🙂

  5. Natali

    Yum! Corn! And thank you! I had TOTALLY forgotten this was a 3-day weekend! Yay for 3-days with family having fun!!!

    I will have to try this method for sure! Thanks for posting. What I usually do is husk the corn, then wrap each ear in foil enclosing two pats of butter and a little salt and pepper, then I throw the foil wrapped corn on the grill for 6-8 minutes. While this does cook the corn on the grill- it is definitely missing the grilled flavor. Thanks for this post 🙂

  6. Tari

    Hmm… Have to try this. We just grilled corn last night in the more “traditional” manner–remove silks, soak for 1+hour, grill in husks til done. (No idea how long it took since my husband usually mans the grill.) This will be great for those times when I forget to pre-soak.

  7. Colin Fitzpatrick

    This is stupid. No microwaves are needed. What you do is put the corn on the grill with the husk on, let the husk char and get hot. This steams the corn. Then, using a gloved hand, pick it up off the grill and peel back the husk. Char the outside of the corn to get that grilled flavor. Easy, peasy, quick, no microwaves.

  8. beth

    No reason for microwave! We do the same as Colin, but first we soak the corn in water for 1/2 hour (with husks still on). Just pull hot husks and silk off with a kitchen towel.

  9. Tim

    I agree with Beth, and so do the instructions to my grill – soak them in the husks for 1/2 hour min and grill in the husks for 25-30 minutes. Doing this alone, they won’t look as pretty as yours, so maybe take off the husks and grill them another 5 minutes. Similar principle with no microwave involved; good and primal, like grilling should be. 🙂

  10. Nick

    I’ll definitely try this method, as well as the soaking-and-grilling-in-husk method the other posters mention. We’ve got the whole summer ahead of us to experiment!

    And…not to nitpick, but the editor in me can’t help but notice you’ve got the wrong “its” in the instructions (first bullet point).

    • Nora22

      There’s no error. ” It’s ” is a contraction for ” it is ” while ” its ” (plain, no apostrophe) is the possessive form.
      Corn picked less than 48 hours ago can be grilled on hot coals in the husk in less than a half hour. As the corn gets older, tactics from pouring a tablespoon or two of water inside to advance cooking of some type will be needed. If the hush and silk look fresh, don’t use fussy methods. If the silk looks dry or old, wet, soak or cook your corn before grilling it.

  11. Annie

    I’m with the rest of you who don’t bother with the microwave. There is no need for it. I don’t even soak my ears before grilling. I just get them wet and let the water run down into the husks. A good twenty minutes on the grill and they are delicious!!!!

  12. Jill Weisel

    I’m just now seeing this. Obviously you all didn’t realize that the title says “quickly”. Maybe you all have an overabundance of time just to prepare corn on the cob for the grill. By microwaving the corn, you have eliminated almost an hour of cooking time (according to all the comments against microwaves). Microwaving food does not hurt anyone. If you think it does, I’d like to suggest that you never go out to eat.