Grilling corn over flames gives the kernels a mellow toasty flavour that makes each ear the perfect recipient for flavoured butters and barbecue sauces. Soaking the ears of corn in water, still in their husks, before grilling steams the corn and stops the husks burning, and brushing the soaked ears with fat before they go on the grate promotes caramelisation and prevents burning.
1. Prepare your grill for high indirect cooking. Peel back the husks, leaving them attached at the base of the ear. Remove and discard the silk and pull the husks back over the corn. Place the ears in a large bowl of cold water, let them soak for 30 minutes, then drain. Brush the corn kernels with some vegetable or olive oil.
2. Oil the grill grate and place it on the grill. Arrange the ears on the grill, cover with the lid and cook for 15–20 minutes, turning them occasionally using long-handled tongs. When the husks are slightly charred, the corn is done.
3. Remove the corn from the grill and, holding the bottom of the hot ears with a towel, carefully peel back the husks. If you’re adding one of the variations, left, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Keep cool.
4. Coat the kernels with your compound butter, baste or sauce of choice. Return the corn to the grill for another 5 minutes to crisp the kernels up. Brush with more butter, baste or sauce while turning the ear 3 or 4 times. Once cooked, peel the husks back over the corn and serve.