Do You Need To Soak Corn On The Cob Before Grilling?

Grilled corn on the cob
Grilled corn on the cob - Bhofack2/Getty Images

There's something magical about the sweetness and caramelization that occurs when corn on the cob is grilled. The smoky flavor, the tender kernels, and the slight char of perfectly grilled corn make it a beloved dish for many. But before you fire up the grill, you might wonder whether soaking the corn is necessary.

The question of whether to soak or not to soak is a common one among grill enthusiasts. Some believe that soaking the corn, husks and all, helps keep the kernels moist and prevents them from drying out or burning during grilling. Proponents of soaking approach it in several different ways, from brining the corn in sugar and salt water to soaking it in cold water for 30 minutes or less prior to grilling. However, many will argue that it makes no difference at all.

Those who greatly prefer to skip the soaking step claim that you achieve a better char and more robust flavor by grilling the corn directly. They believe when corn is grilled without soaking, the natural sugars in the kernels caramelize more effectively, resulting in a sweeter and smokier taste. Skipping the soak can also lead to a slightly crispier texture, which some find more appealing.

Read more: 25 Types Of Potatoes And When To Use Them

Pro Tips For The Perfect Grilled Corn

Corn on a grill
Corn on a grill - Aliaksandr Mazurenka/Shutterstock

Regardless of your choice to soak the corn or not, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. Whether you are whipping up some grilled Mexican street corn or opting for a simpler preparation, there are many ways to upgrade grilled corn.

One key consideration when grilling corn is whether to grill it with the husks on or off. This decision can assuredly impact the final result. For softer, juicier cobs, keep the husks on until they become dark and brittle. For those infamous grill marks, and a smokier flavor, remove the husks. Some even claim that half-husked cobs are the ultimate way to go.

However you grill it, there's no real wrong way to enjoy this versatile dish. Experiment with different methods to find your preferred technique. While you're at it, consider taking a flavor tip from Bobby Flay and making a spicy and savory compound butter for your grilled corn. Happy grilling.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.