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6 Ways to Char Your Corn to Perfection Without Ever Firing Up The Grill

6 Ways to Char Your Corn to Perfection Without Ever Firing Up The Grill

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Few things represent summer, grilled corn stands out as one of them. However, not everyone has a grill to cook their corn on, but this isn’t a big deal.

Fortunately, you can still create perfect grilled corn even if you don’t have a grill. 

Indoor grills, grill pans, broilers, your regular oven, and even air fryers and slow cookers can be great substitutes for outdoor grills.

In this post, I’ll provide you with all you need to use each of these alternatives to yield perfect grilled corn. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of the options:

1. Indoor Grill

Indoor grills come at the top of outdoor grill alternatives for grilling corn. If you don’t have enough space in your property for an outdoor grill, indoor ones are excellent substitutes. They’re basically a small grilling rack you can use indoors.

Many indoor grills are electric and smoke-free, making them much easier to maintain than their outdoor counterparts. 

Better still, unlike most outdoor grills, these indoor ones allow you to control the temperature of your grilled items. This way, you can avoid confusion regarding the heat of your grill.

Still, let’s be clear: indoor grills won’t give you the same strong smoky flavor most outdoor grills provide. However, they can get the job done perfectly well.

If you choose to go with this grilling appliance, here are the simple steps to follow to get tasty corn:

  1. Preheat the indoor grill to high heat for around 10 minutes.
  2. Start placing corn cobs directly on the grill racks.
  3. Keep cooking for around ten minutes.
  4. Flip the corn over every ten minutes until it gets grilling marks from every side.
  5. If you prefer, spread butter over the corn and add a bit of salt before serving.

2. Grill Pan

Grill Pan With Corn

Although grill pans are considerably different from outdoor grills, you can still use them to grill corn. If you’re unfamiliar with this cookware, it’s just a pan that resembles a grill rack. 

You can simply use this cookware the same way you do with any other pan. This is by putting it on a stovetop and letting the heat cook your corn.

These pans are a great space-saving tool if you can’t spare any extra room in your house for grilling equipment.

It’s true grilling pans won’t give you the highly desirable smoky flavor you’re looking for in an outdoor grill. However, it’ll certainly give you delectable grilled food.

One thing that grill pans are especially good at is giving your food nice char marks. They’re also pretty affordable compared to larger grilling equipment such as indoor and outdoor grills. You can get one for as little as twenty bucks.

If you choose to go with this grilling option, here are the steps to follow to yield mouth-watering corn:

  1. Preheat the pan for five minutes on high heat.
  2. Brush your corn with an oil of your choice.
  3. Place the corn in the pan and grill for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Flip the corn every two minutes or so until all the cobs are charred on all sides. At this point, the corn will smoke a bit.
  5. When the corn reaches the desired texture and color remove it from the pan.
  6. Season the corn before serving it.

3. Oven Broiler

If you don’t want to buy a new piece of equipment for grilling your corn, your oven’s broiler is a good backup. Some people actually prefer their corn on the cob cooked in a broiler rather than a grill.

Broilers work by heating food from above, unlike ovens that heat food evenly from all sides. That way, they do the same thing as a standard outdoor grill, which heats your food more from one side.

The result of this one-sided heating is those black stripes that add a smoky, charcoal flavor to your corn.

If you decide to go down this route in “grilling” your corn, here are the steps I recommend you follow:

  1. Wrap your prepared corn in tin foil while the corn still has its husk on it 
  2. Add your preferred seasoning to it
  3. Broil it for roughly ten minutes, rotating the corn to make sure that it cooks evenly.

4. Oven

Corn Wrapped In Foil

Roasting corn in the oven is another solid and budget-friendly alternative to buying or maintaining an outdoor grill.

While you won’t get the same grilling quality as with an outdoor grill, roasting will often get you excellent results.

If you’re ready to use your oven to roast corn, here are the steps you need to follow to yield perfect corn: 

  1. Preheat the oven to medium to high heat
  2. Make a mixture of parsley, garlic, butter, rosemary, salt, pepper, and thyme. 
  3. Spread a tablespoon of this mixture onto the corn cob.
  4. Wrap each corn cob in aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake the corn for 20 to 25 minutes until they turn soft. I recommend turning the ears over once in the middle of this duration.

5. Air Fryer

Air fryers’ popularity has skyrocketed in recent years; now, you can find them everywhere.

Not only are these appliances one of the healthier and most convenient kitchen equipment, but they also yield a perfectly mouth-watering grilled corn. 

You can use an air fryer to grill your corn as an alternative to an outdoor grill. The best thing about using air fryers is that they can cook your corn pretty quickly.

Here’s how to use these smart appliances to grill your corn: 

  1. Brush your shucked corn with a little oil and add a bit of seasoning to it. Then, pop it in your air fryer. 
  2. Set the air fryer to a temperature ranging between 350°F and 400°F. 
  3. Cook the corn for four minutes, then check it. If it still doesn’t reach the cooking level you’re looking for, cook it for another four minutes, and so on. 
  4. Keep in mind that the corn won’t take more than 15 minutes to be fully cooked in these temperatures. 

6. Slow Cooker

Although it doesn’t grill, cooking your corn in a slow cooker yields results as delicious as those from a grill. It’s also one of the easiest alternative cooking ways on the list.

Given that, here are the simple steps I recommend you follow when grilling your corn in a slow cooker:

  1. Rub the corn with a bit of oil and your preferred seasoning. Using only salt and pepper for seasoning can work perfectly well.
  2. Place it in the slow cooker and add enough water.
  3. Cook on high temperature for around 3 to 4 hours until corn becomes tender.
  4. Add butter and chopped parsley before serving.

How to Prepare Corn Before Cooking

Grilled Corn Salsa

Before cooking your corn using any method, there are some tips you can utilize to get the best outcome possible.

Following these bits of advice can help you prevent your corn from burning and add some moisture to it.

For grilling of any sort, soak your corn for at least half an hour, but no more than eight hours.

This step minimizes the chances of the corn husk catching fire while on the cooking appliance If you leave it on the com. It also makes corn kernels as juicy as possible.

Regarding corn husks, you can leave or remove them from your corn depending on your preference. 

Still, here’s the thing: if you decide to grill the corn without the husk, make sure to check the corn every few minutes while cooking, as not having a husk puts your corn at risk of burning without your noticing. 

If you decide to keep your corn husks, though, you might want to peel back some of its layers to allow the corn inside to cook quickly.

In addition, cutting off a couple of inches of the stringy part of the corn husk will reduce the chance of your corn husks catching fire and burning. 

Final Thoughts

If you don’t have a traditional grill but still want to grill corn, you can make your wishes come true. You can use one of several alternatives to outdoor grills. 

While these alternatives don’t produce the exact result as a standard grill, they come pretty close and are sufficient for the majority of purposes.

The indoor grill is the closest replacement for an outdoor grill and comes in a much smaller size. 

Along with the indoor grill, you can also use a special grill pan to get a nice char and cook your corn similar to the way a grill does.

If you have an oven, you can use the broiler setting or simply roast your corn, which will get the job done. This ubiquitous household appliance will save you the cost of getting grilling equipment.

Using an air fryer or a slow cooker can be a great substitute for the outdoor grill as well. They can yield highly satisfying results, too.

Besides choosing the preferred cooking equipment, there are a few tips to prepare your corn before grilling. These tips include soaking and trimming your corn husk. 

Enjoy your grilled corn! 

There are a few tips to prepare your corn before grilling, such as soaking and trimming your corn husk. In the case that you decide not to grill your corn, the possibilities are endless with how you prepare your corn.


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