Thursday, July 4, 2013

Corn-on-the-Cob: BBQ grill or boil?

Should I throw my corn on the hot grill (since it’s already hot anyway) or boil in salted water? In my mind no question remains: boil. We have superb table corn in our area and during corn season we OD on corn, have them three or four times a week. I am an expert on corn cooking.

Reasonable young corn cooks in salted boiling water for exactly four minutes, same as soft-boiled eggs. You never should overcook corn, it toughens it. Microwave is also a death to it.

One day we were attending a backyard barbecue party. The host cut absolutely fresh, young corn from his luscious garden in the back and gave them to his non-cook wife. I was horrified to see her cooking them in the microwave. Sure enough, they turned tough as beef jerky and virtually inedible.

When grilling corn you lose cooking control. How much time on the grill provides tender, succulent corn? It’s impossible to say as heat of the grill varies. I had many overcooked corn off the grill from friends party but do not remember perfectly cooked ears.

In boiling water nothing can go wrong: drop them in briskly boiling water, set the timer for four (but no more than five) minutes and lift them out with a pair of tongs when the timer buzzes. You’ll have perfect corn every time. All it needs is salt and for many, butter.

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