How To Make Corn On The Cob Extra Flavorful — Without Butter

A flawlessly grilled and seasoned piece of corn on the cob is a summertime staple that never fails to make a tasty, meat-free, and easy side dish. Whether you're a fan of slathering your corn in melted butter, sprinkling it with sriracha or chili powder, or even just adding plain ol' salt and pepper, it's hard to go wrong with your corn toppings

Some of us may have the urge to include all of the above (and then some) on our gourmet ear of golden kernels. You, in your quest to douse your corn in pure zesty goodness, decide to grace your veggies with all of the spices and garnishes you can think of. There are so many unique ways to dress a corn cob, and it all depends on what you're in the mood for. 

One easy hack exists that might surprise you, considering it only requires one ingredient that will prevent the need to aggressively season your corn. This genius method will not mask the flavor of the corn itself, but deliciously enhances it and creates a perfect balance. It will even eliminate the need to butter your corn at all, if you can believe it. With all the other tedious steps removed from the seasoning process altogether, you're that much closer to enjoying your scrumptious cob to the fullest.

The secret is in the soak

According to the author of "The Cook You Want to Be," chef Andy Baraghani, the simple trick to seasoning your corn cob to perfection is a salt bath. But before you give it the salty plunge, you'll want to make sure that after shucking your corn that you grill it evenly. Baraghani stresses that its color should be darker than you're used to. After about 12 minutes of rotating the cob over hot coals, you'll end up with an even caramel color. It should be "almost crispy, with the aroma of burnt sugar, but the inside will still be tender and sweet. It's such a beautiful contrast," he says, via Epicurious.

Once you're finished grilling it, dunk it in a salt bath while the cob is still piping hot. Baraghani advises to stir ½ cup of salt into about 10 cups of hot water, basically creating a salty brine that will absorb into all the grooves between the kernels. Just 1-3 minutes of soaking your corn in this brine is all it takes to expertly complement the sweetness within. 

However, if you'd like to infuse your corn with salt even before grilling it, you can leave uncooked corn ears in a salt brine for between 30 to 60 minutes (via The Kitchn). Evenly grilling and seasoning your corn using this method is the secret to giving your cobs a blast of rich flavor with only a few easy steps.