Once upon a time, before the sun disappeared, we (my husband, our company, and I) grilled Caribbean Jerk Chicken on our most beloved barbecue grill.
The grill makes a cameo appearance in this photo from this very old post.
The main dish was everything that grilled chicken should be: savoury, spicy, tender, and tangy. Maybe someday I’ll post the recipe.
Unfortunately, for every good culinary success in my life, there is an equal and opposite culinary failure. Last week’s particular failure was corn. Specifically, corn-on-the-cob on the grill on the deck. That is to say, in addition to grilling chicken on our deck/backyard barbecue, we also grilled corn-on-the-cob. Prepositions, anyone?
Now, I had heard nothing but praises about corn-on-the-cob on the grill, so I was eager to try this new way of corning. (Corn is a verb, as of now. Quick, tell all your friends.) We did everything Google told us: Soak corn; remove outer husks; peel back inner husks; remove silks; brush with olive oil and spices/herbs (we used salt and fresh cilantro); replace inner husks; tie with cute leftover-husk bows; grill; eat.
I will say this for the corn-on-the-cob on the grill: It was strikingly good-looking. So good-looking, in fact, that we photographed it from every angle imaginable:
Sadly, though, the corn didn’t taste any better than regular pot-boiled corn-on-the-cob (or should I say, “corn-on-the-cob on the pot on the stove?”).
So even though our corn-on-the-cob on the grill on the deck looked fancy and festive, our final prognosis was this: OVERRATED. We decided that for all the extra work involved, the grilled corn didn’t provide enough benefits.
But the thing is, I sort of can’t get it out of my head. No, the grilled corn didn’t taste any better than boiled corn. But it didn’t taste any worse. Sure, it wasn’t necessarily easy to prepare, but it wasn’t really hard, either—just time-consuming. The biggest thing I liked about the grilled corn was how charming it looked. The biggest thing I didn’t like about it was that it didn’t taste as good as I’d hoped.
So now I’m wondering if there’s a happy medium. Is there a way I can grill my corn and eat it, too? If there’s even a prayer of a chance that I’m doing something wrong on the grill, I would give it another go. What spices might I try? What different techniques? Is there something—some key component—I’m missing that would change my world? If you know any secret to delicious grilled corn, I am open to options. I’ll grill corn every day for the rest of August if I have to, to get it right.
Then again, it may be a total bust. If you believe that I got it right the first time—that grilled corn-on-the-cob isn’t as spectacular as I had hoped it’d be—please tell me not to hold my breath. I hate chasing after unreachable dreams.
I guess that makes me a realist. A corn-on-the-cob realist.