The Unexpected Ingredient That Will Majorly Upgrade Corn On The Cob

Corn on the cob is one of those summertime favorites that pair well as a vegetable side with anything, from burgers and chicken to steak and shrimp. You can roast them in the oven or wrap them in some foil and toss them right on the grill to cook with your proteins.

Just eating corn on the cob can be a fun activity, grabbing an ear at both ends and buzz-sawing through the kernels like a cartoon beaver chomping through wood. Unfortunately, like most everything else these days, the price of corn has skyrocketed due both to geopolitical factors such as the war in Ukraine and continuing global supply chain issues and increased transportation costs that have spurred inflation (via CNBC). The problems affecting the price of commodities aren't expected to disappear anytime soon, but if you're willing to purchase corn on the cob for your next picnic or family gathering, keep this one unexpected ingredient in mind to give it a major upgrade.

'Lend me your ears' and a cup of sugar

According to sugar brand Domino Foods, brushing the shucked cobs with butter and then sprinkling them with seasoned brown sugar will help the kernels get browned and crispy. That's right, the granulated sweet stuff is the secret ingredient that takes already-sweet corn on the cob to the next level.

A recipe from Weekend Homestead concurs and involves grilling your corn in the style of roasted sweet corn that you might sample at a county or state fair. It's recommended to first soak the corn for roughly half an hour before placing it on the grill, which contributes to steaming the corn. You can soak it in your sink or in a bucket or other convenient container you have lying around the house. Then, pour about a half cup to a full cup of sugar in whatever vessel you have chosen to hold the corn. The magic happens as the corn bathes in that saccharine liquid mixture, with the sugar aiding in the caramelization of the finished product. It may not be the only way you make corn from here on out, but it might just become a new summertime tradition.