The Super Simple Way To Upgrade Your Grilled Corn

Fresh corn is wonderful boiled, steamed, or roasted, but throwing ears of corn on the grill is the favorite cooking method for many. The heat of the grill gives the sunshine yellow kernels a nice char, adding a savory depth to the bright, sweet flavors.

One easy way to upgrade your next batch of corn on the cob is to start with a brine. Seasonings like butter and salt are often saved for after the corn has been cooked, but the Kitchn explains that using a quick brine before grilling not only seasons the corn, but when done correctly can make the kernels plumper and juicier as well. The outlet shares it's also possible to use your brine to infuse other flavors — like star anise, cumin, or ginger — into the corn.

The problem with this pre-brine method is that corn can be ruined if left in the mixture for too long, causing the kernels to become dry and hard instead of juicy and flavorful. Brining also takes a minimum of 30 minutes to have an effect, which may be longer than you'd like to wait on a busy weekday night. Trying to shorten that time by salting your cooking water would be a huge mistake, as Cook's Illustrated reports this results in tough kernels. However, there is another method that will offer the same injection of flavor for your corn on the cob in a fraction of the time.

Give corn a post-grill dip

One way to easily enhance the flavor of your grilled corn is with a quick post-grill brine dip. According to My Persian Kitchen, corn cooked in this method is called balal (which is simply the Farsi word for corn) and it is commonly used by street vendors in Iran. Chef and cookbook author Andy Baraghani spoke to Epicurious about the merits of the technique, which he describes as "Persian-style."

To faithfully reproduce the dish, you'll want to cook your corn longer than you might expect — eight to 12 minutes says Baraghani — turning often and being careful not to let it burn. Once the corn has reached your desired level of doneness, immediately dip it into a well-salted brine. My Persian Kitchen recommends using a tall pitcher so that each ear of corn can easily be completely submerged.

Your corn will then be evenly seasoned all the way through with salty goodness, as the brine is able to get between each kernel, making every bite richly satisfying.