How to Grill Frozen Corn on the Cob: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Grilling | 0 comments

How to Grill Frozen Corn on the Cob: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

Corn on the Cob is the ultimate dish from our summer days! I remember munching on it during my summer break and enjoying the juicy sweetness of it. 

If you also reminisced about the good old days and decided to grill frozen corn on the cob, you’ve arrived at the right place. 

You just need to follow a few steps to grill frozen corn on the cob, such as defrosting it, seasoning it, and grilling it. You also need to prep the grill and take care of its temperature. 

Let’s discuss more about grilling frozen corn on the cob in this article. So, let’s get into it!

What You Need to Grill Frozen Corn on the Cob

First, it’s important to gather everything that you need to cook frozen corn on the cob. Trust me, assembling everything will save you from so much hassle later on!

  • Frozen corn on the cob (or fresh corn on the cob, if available)
  • Oil or butter for brushing 
  • Seasoning of your choice (salt and pepper, lime juice, paprika, garlic salt, fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, etc.)
  • Any type of grill 
  • Microwave or one bowl of cold water (for defrosting) 

Best Way to Grill Frozen Corn on the Cob 

Now that you’re aware of everything that you need to grill frozen corn on the cob, let’s understand the whole process behind it. Don’t worry, it’s pretty straightforward!

Step 1: Defrosting Your Corn on the Cob

If you’re feeling lazy, you can grill frozen corn on the cob. However, I don’t recommend it as the moisture may affect the whole grilling process, and the corn’s taste. It may also lead to excessive steaming. 

Now, there are many ways to thaw frozen corn on the cob. 

  • Keeping the Corn at Room Temperature

If you froze corn with its husk on, you should go for this defrosting method. All you’ve to do is take the frozen corn out of the freezer and let it defrost at room temperature. The whole defrosting process may take anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes. 

  • Using Cold Water

If you’ve frozen corn with no husk on, you just need to add it to a bowl filled with cold water. Then, wait for 10 to 15 minutes, and allow the corn to defrost. 

  • Using a Microwave 

You can also use a microwave to defrost frozen corn on the cob. Just microwave it for three to four minutes. Once you take it out, pat it dry before using it for grilling. 

The only drawback here is that the corn may become softer, and not give a similar crunch after grilling. 

  • Keeping Corn in the Refrigerator Overnight

If you’ve some spare time, I suggest taking out the frozen corn and putting it in the refrigerator overnight. This way, it’ll naturally defrost and retain its original texture.

Step 2: Prepare Your Grill 

Once you’ve defrosted your frozen corn on the cob, it’s time to prep the grill!

Depending on the type of grill you have, you’ll need to adjust the settings. Else, you can just go for a stove top too!

For instance, I recommend preheating a gas grill to 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or medium-high. Or, light the coals and adjust the heat accordingly if you have a charcoal grill.

Pro Tip: If you want to set your charcoal grill to medium-high heat, allow the coals to heat up for at least 25 to 30 minutes. 

Step 3: Oiling the Corn On the Cob 

Many people often tend to discard this step. However, speaking from experience, it’s one of the most important steps on the list!

You need to brush the entire corn on the cob with either oil or little melted butter. I prefer butter as it gives a richer taste to the corn.

The reason behind applying oil or butter to your corn is it acts as a protective layer. This ensures that your corn kernels get cooked a little, and then grilled, making them more tender and juicy. 

The oiling process also prevents the sweet corn on the cob from sticking to the grill. So, no more difficulty in cleaning up the grill’s mess!

You can choose to brush some oil or butter on the grill grates to prevent the kernels from sticking if you don’t want them to get very soft. 

Step 4: Season Your Corn Before Grilling

Seasoning is my favorite part of the whole recipe! In this step, you just need to enhance the flavor of your corn on the cob. 

I prefer the general seasoning ingredients, like salt, paprika, and garlic powder. You can also go for other seasoning combinations as listed below.

Type of Flavor PreferredBest Seasoning Options
Spicy and moistButter, paprika (or black pepper)
Sweet and SpicyA bit of honey and paprika 
Herby and moistButter, oregano, and chili flakes
Garlic-infusedButter and garlic powder
Citrusy flavorLemon, butter, and paprika

You can make your own combinations, and get the desired flavors. 

Then, mix these ingredients in a bowl, and brush the seasoning on the corn kernels. Your corn on the cob is now ready to be grilled!

Step 5: It’s Grilling Time

After you’ve defrosted and seasoned your corn on the cob, you can either put the corn directly on the grill or wrap it in aluminum foil. I recommend wrapping it in a foil (not too tightly), as this would allow the corn to cook more evenly. 

Then, just place corn on the outdoor grill, and ensure that you rotate the corn every five minutes. It’s essential to flip it in 5-minute intervals to prevent one side from burning!

Generally, an ear of corn takes about 15 to 20 minutes to grill. 

You can also use a knife and pierce into the corn to check its doneness. It is cooked, if the knife pierces into it easily. 

Another indication of doneness is when corn seems bright yellow, as opposed to its initial pale color. 

How to Grill Corn On The Cob With Husks On? 

A corn on the cob with no husks on is easy to grill. 

However, you need to follow a few extra steps, if you want to have an authentic experience of grilling and eating corn with its husks on!

I’ve listed down these extra steps. 

  1. Remove the Corn Silk 

Husky corn often contains thin and annoying silk threads. Before you grill your corn on the cob, just ensure that you remove them all. 

The silk threads will keep coming into your mouth once you’ve grilled the corn if you don’t remove them. Also, it’s not a pleasant feeling when they get stuck in your teeth!

  1. Soak the Entire Corn With Husks On 

Corn husks can easily burn on the grill. So, you need to soak them in water for at least 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. 

Soaking the corn with its husk will ensure that the husks don’t burn too fast.

Another bonus point is that soaking will also make your corn more tender after grilling. It is because the husk has additional moisture, which facilitates steaming and softens the kernels.

  1. Grill for More Time

Unlike corn on the cob with no husk, you need to grill this one for more time. 

Ensure that the husk has evenly blackened from all sides. If not, grill it for some more time. Just don’t let the husk burn!

What to Serve With Grilled Corn on the Cob?

Corn on the cob is usually an easy side dish for other items. So, let’s take a look at the dishes you can serve with corn on the cob if you’re planning to have a BBQ party!

  • Pork ribs
  • Any type of pasta variety 
  • Grilled chicken 
  • Mexican or any other flavored rice
  • ‎Grilled Sirloin Steak
  • Stuffed bell peppers
  • Hot dogs (for an American-style dinner!)
  • Salad (for diet-conscious people)

Final Thoughts

Grilling frozen corn on the cob is pretty similar to grilling normal corn on the cob. You just need to add one extra step, which is defrosting it. You can choose any method for it, be it microwaving it or refrigerating it. 

Once the corn cobs have defrosted, simply add the seasoning, grill them, and relive all your childhood summer memories.

Related Questions 

Can you grill frozen?

You can grill frozen corn, but it will take it much longer to become tender. There’s also a risk of burning, or the excess moisture ruining the texture.  

How long to soak corn before grilling?

You should soak corn (with husk on) for at least 30 minutes or more. For corn with no husks, it’s not compulsory. 

What to do with leftover grilled corn?

You can make salads out of grilled corn. Or, you can use them for taco seasoning, grilled corn pancakes, and even soups. 




Colin has been grilling, smoking, and barbecuing in his yard for as long as he remembers.  His favorite dish is pork belly smoked on his favorite offset smoker. Read more about Colin here.


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