June 9, 2013 at 9:33 AM ET
When grilling corn it can be cooked in the husk or naked—either way, our expert, Barbeque America host Rick Browne recommends sticking the cobs in a bucket of cold water as soon as you get them home. He explains that corn loses its sugar content rapidly and the cold water helps preserve its sweetness. Soaking is also necessary if you are planning to cook the corn in the husks (soak kitchen twine at the same time as the corn if you’re planning to cook the cobs in the husk).
After soaking, pull back the corn husks and remove the silk. Brush the cobs with any seasonings you’d like (Browne recommends oil, butter, or a combination of mayo, lemon juice, chili powder, and garlic), close the husks, and tie with a piece of the soaked kitchen twine. Grill the corn over high heat, turning frequently until tender, up to 30 minutes.
Shuck the corn and brush with olive oil or butter; grill over direct heat, removing the corn as soon as it gets marks (five or six minutes). Don’t overcook corn on the grill or it’ll get dry and tough, says Browne: “It starts to look like your fingers look when you’ve been in the bathtub too long, and probably tastes like your fingers taste.”
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.