There’s simply no better side dish to any barbecue or cookout than fresh corn on the cob. When you cook corn on a grill, it gives you a smoky flavor without masking the natural sweetness of this summertime favorite.
Grilled corn has a more sweet, buttery flavor than your typical steamed or canned corn. Maybe you have a craving but haven’t made your way to the local grocery store or farmer’s market. Thankfully, your freezer is stocked. However, does your trip to the outdoor grill change when you cook frozen cobs?
The process is slightly different, but the end result is just as tasty, especially with a little butter, salt, pepper, and other favorite seasonings. We’ll walk you step by step to making the best grilled frozen corn on the cob.
How to Grill Frozen Corn on the Cob
So, you have a craving for grilled corn, but the produce section is empty. You head to the freezer section, but what’s next? Most of what you find at the store is sweet corn that comes on the cob, so it’s perfect for either the grill or stove top. Loose kernels don’t do so well on the grill for obvious reasons, so if you have your heart set on cooking corn on the grill, skip the bags of frozen corn and purchase corn on the cob instead.
Once you get this sweet, golden deliciousness home, the easiest way to grill the corn is to wrap it in aluminum foil while it’s frozen. Wrapping it up so that it cooks in the foil means less mess and clean-up. Plus, a nice steam builds up to draw out the natural sweetness of the corn. Another bonus to wrapping frozen cobs in foil is that there’s practically zero prep time involved.
The next step is to prepare your grill, then place the corn over medium heat for roughly 25 minutes, turning occasionally. Corn on the cob, if frozen, has been previously blanched, meaning that it’s already partially cooked, so you don’t want to overdo it.
Carefully remove corn on the cob from the foil (it will be hot and steamy!), then sprinkle melted butter, garlic salt, parmesan cheese, or pepper to taste if you want to add flavor for the perfect summer dish.
If you’re skipping the foil and decide to place corn directly on the grill, removing it around the10 minute mark helps to avoid overcooking. The lack of foil protecting it means less time on the heat.
What About Foil? Do I Really Need It?
Foil is a good choice when grilling corn on the cob for a few reasons. First, the material can withstand the high heat emitted from your grill and prevent the ears of corn from burning. Also, foil creates a steaming system for the corn to cook thoroughly and leave you with delicious, tender grilled corn on the cob. The downside is that you need to add to your recipe notes that it takes longer.
If you’re out of foil or want to take a more direct approach to grill corn, you can add it directly to the grate. We recommend adding olive oil to your grate or corn to prevent sticking. You can also sprinkle salt and pepper to taste both before and after it hits the grates. Just remember to cut back on the time, and then slather with butter and other goodness before biting in.
Preparing Frozen Corn for the Grill
Luckily for all of us, freezer corn on the cob doesn’t require much preparation before the cobs meet the grill. You can simply coat your corn on the cob with your favorite toppings before wrapping it up.
Lemon pepper, butter, kosher salt, chili powder, and lime juice are all popular taste enhancers that complement corn on the cob. If you prefer to cook yours with something lighter, try simple butter with salt and pepper.
Once you’ve got it all nicely seasoned, simply wrap your corn on the cob in foil and grill it over medium-high heat until done! Meal prep is quick and easy with this grill recipe.
How Long Does It Take to Grill Frozen Corn on the Cob?
Grilled corn is best when done over medium-high heat. If you grill corn directly on the grill, you’ll want to use olive oil and cook for a few minutes on each side until you get a nice golden brown color on the outer layers.
However, frozen corn follows a different recipe because it has been previously blanched. On hotter grates, cook for 10-15 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Nobody likes chewy corn. And frowns around the picnic table are strictly prohibited!
If your grill is at more of a medium heat or you’ve wrapped the corn inside foil, you can extend the cooking time as far out as 25-30 minutes to ensure your corn kernels are thoroughly defrosted and cooked.
Are you supposed to boil corn before grilling?
Boiling corn is one method to cook frozen corn or fresh corn on the cob. However, you should be careful of boiling before you grill because the corn will already be slightly cooked and require very little time on the grill.
How long does it take to cook frozen corn?
Because your corn is frozen, you need to find the perfect balance between dethawing and not overcooking due to the previous blanching process. If your grill is set to a medium cooking temperature, we recommend 25 minutes on the grill for complete doneness if you’ve wrapped it in foil.
Direct cooking fresh corn without foil requires just a touch of olive oil and about 10-15 minutes until you have delicious grilled corn.
Do you thaw frozen corn on the cob before cooking?
You don’t have to thaw your cobs before grilling, but you can soak corn beforehand or transfer your cobs to the refrigerator if you want to reduce the amount of time it takes once your cobs hit the grill.
Sometimes we want to ditch the stovetop or pan for a grill grate to achieve that delicious flavor and texture that only comes from grilled food. With corn, you can pop the cobs on the grate and have an excellent side dish, easy peasy.
Grilling corn is a relatively easy recipe to enjoy anytime, even when your cobs are frozen. It will taste delicious with added black pepper, butter, or salt that complements the sweetness of your corn.
If your corn is frozen, just watch the cooking time due to blanching, and you’ll be on your way to tasty grilled corn.