My Rule-Breaking Cooking Trick for Ridiculously Delicious "Grilled" Corn

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One of late summer’s greatest pleasures is best-of-the-season sweet corn. Don’t get me wrong — corn is good all the time and always welcome in my kitchen, regardless of the time of year. In the colder months corn can be stirred into everything from a classic cornbread, to a simple soup to a creamy risotto. Summertime, however, is when fresh corn truly shines. You barely have to do anything to it and it’s still the highlight of summery salads and the star side dish at every cookout.

All of that said, one of the best ways to enjoy corn on the cob in the summer is the simplest: Just throw it on the grill. The heat of the grill is an ideal way to get smoky, charred corn that’s bursting with sweet flavor. However, what if, like me for most of my life, you don’t have a grill? Don’t despair — you can get corn that’s almost as good right in your kitchen by roasting corn on the stovetop.

Why You Should Roast Corn on the Stovetop

I roast corn directly on the metal grates of my gas stove. If you think about it, it’s kind of the perfect heat source for cooking corn. It’s almost perfectly corn-sized. If you leave the stalk on after husking the corn, you can use it as a handle to rotate the corn as it cooks (alternatively, you can just use a pair of metal tongs). A medium-low flame is enough to both lightly cook and char the corn in a matter of minutes, so instead of having to go outside and deal with your grill, you can roast a few ears of corn in just a few minutes without any setup or break down of special equipment. (Unfortunately, this technique only works on gas stoves. You need an open flame to cook and char the corn. If you have an electric or induction stove and want to char corn inside, I recommend a trip under the broiler.)

Let’s get this out of the way right now: This will not be as delicious and tasty as grilling your corn outside. Your stove can’t impart smoky flavor. However, it can deliver juiciness and char, which is half the battle. Don’t worry about putting food directly on the stove grates, either (as long as you clean your grates regularly, there’s nothing lurking on there; it’s constantly doused in flames). If any corn detritus happens to stick to a grate, it burns right off. No muss, no fuss.

How to Roast Corn on the Stovetop

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