Of all the gifts grilling season brings, it’s not the burgers or brats or grill-oven pizza I look forward to the most. Those are all great and definitely better on the grill than off it, but you can do them serviceably indoors, and their ingredients aren’t particularly seasonal. No, my #1 grill pick is corn on the cob. 

I’m here to share with you the best corn I’ve had: brushed with seasoned coconut milk, with a few squeezes of lime on top. You’ll probably want to serve this as a side, but it’s good enough to fire up the ol’ Weber just for it. Let’s break it down.

Ingredients

  • 4 ears corn
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tsp salt
  • 1 gallon lukewarm water
  • 6 oz coconut milk
  • 3-4 grinds black pepper
  • 1 lime
  • 4 pieces of aluminum foil, 12” x 12”

Directions

Remove all the husk and silk from your corn, leaving about 2” of the stalk. (This will be a good place to grab when flipping the ears.) In a large, square container, dissolve the 1/2 cup salt in the lukewarm tap water. Add the corn, cover, refrigerate, and brine for 2-4 hours. Discard the brine.

Shake the coconut-milk can vigorously since the cream will have separated in it. Pour the milk into a small bowl and stir the 1 tsp salt into it. Prepare a basting brush.

Wrap each cob in aluminum foil individually, getting a tight seal all around. Grill for 6-10 minutes on the cooler side of your grill, turning occasionally. Remove from the grill and unwrap carefully; the corn should be bright, steamy, and fragrant. Place the corn on the hot side of your grill now. Turn a few times to get some charring on each side; this should take 2-4 minutes total. There should be some surface blackening going on, though not so much that the kernels are fully dried out or burned.

Holding by the stalk, brush the cobs with the coconut milk, turning to get all the sides. Squeeze fresh lime juice over them. After about a minute, the milk will soak in and pool at the bottom, so give each cob one more brush with the milk on top, and squeeze some more lime juice over it. Eat hastily.

Notes

If you’re in a hurry, you don’t have to brine your corn, but I’ve found that it helps season it and plump it up.

Some people recommend grilling your corn in its own husk; you’d peel it back and remove the silk first. I’m not convinced that this adds any additional flavor, and I’ve always find it a royal pain to husk searingly hot corn. Plus, if I did this I couldn’t use the husk to make corn stock.

I strongly recommend using full-fat coconut milk; go with a Thai brand like Chaokoh or Aroy-D.

(And hey, did you notice something about this recipe? Surprise—It’s Vegan!™)