Weekend Recipe: Husk-Grilled Corn with Cilantro-Lime Butter

Husk-Grilled Corn with Cilantro-Lime Butter
Cook's Country

In this Cook's Country recipe, leaving the corn in its husk traps just enough moisture to lightly steam it and protect the kernels from toughening over the high heat of the grill.

After the husks have blackened, we cut off the base of the ear and easily peel away the husk and silk. A butter flavored with fresh cilantro and lime seasons the corn before it is returned to the grill to lightly caramelize. 

Husk-Grilled Corn with Cilantro-Lime Butter
Serves 6

The flavored butter can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days; bring it to room temperature before using. Set up a cutting board and knife next to your grill to avoid traveling back and forth between the kitchen and grill. To check the corn’s doneness, carefully peel down a small portion of the husk. If the corn is steaming and bright yellow, it is ready.


6 ears corn (unshucked)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons grated lime zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

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1. Cut and remove silk protruding from top of each ear of corn. Combine butter, cilantro, lime zest and juice, garlic, salt and pepper in bowl. Fold one 14 by 12-inch piece heavy-duty aluminum foil in half to create 7 by 12-inch rectangle; then crimp into boat shape long and wide enough to accommodate 1 ear of corn. Transfer butter mixture to prepared foil boat.

2A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter mounded with charcoal briquettes (7 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

2B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes.

3. Clean and oil grate. Place corn on grill (over coals, with stem ends facing cooler side of grill, for charcoal). Cover and cook, turning corn every 3 minutes, until husks have blackened all over, 12 to 15 minutes. (To check for doneness, carefully peel down small portion of husk. If corn is steaming and bright yellow, it is ready.) Transfer corn to cutting board. Using chef’s knife, cut base from corn. Using dish towel to hold corn, peel away and discard husk and silk with tongs. 

4. Roll each ear of corn in butter mixture to coat lightly and return to grill (over coals for charcoal). Cook, turning as needed to char corn lightly on each side, about 5 minutes total. Remove corn from grill and roll each ear again in butter mixture. Transfer corn to platter. Serve, passing any remaining butter mixture. 

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