Grilled Corn on the Cob Recipe by Bobby Flay

Everyone wants to be able to grill like Bobby Flay. He is pretty much the master. And when it comes to corn on the cob, Flay knows how to amplify that sweet smoky flavor after you take it off the grill. During an exclusive Look interview, Flay shared how to host a BBQ and his tips included creating an emulsified vinaigrette with garlic and fresh basil to slather on a hot-off-the-grill corn on the cob. He also suggested that another great way to bring flavor to your corn is to make compound butter to complement the earthy sweetness of those kernels. 

Flay revealed that he likes to use unsalted butter as the base for his compound butter but amps up the flavor with some chilies, roasted shallots, or cilantro and lime to create a butter worthy of coating those just-grilled cobs. To create his marvelous butter blends, he simply throws the ingredients into a food processor and lets the small appliance do the work. Flay said, “I take unsalted butter, put it in a food processor, and you can put chilies in there, or roasted shallots, all kinds of savory ingredients, or herbs like cilantro and lime — butter goes incredibly nice. If you want something spicy, you can make a hot sauce butter and just take your favorite hot sauce with some butter, some salt and pepper, give it a turn in the food processor.”

Get creative with your ingredients

Grilled corn and compound butter

The great thing about Bobby Flay’s method for upgrading grilled corn’s flavor, is that it’s easy to create your own version of compound butter or vinaigrette and it doesn’t have to be overly fancy or complicated. You could transform your stick of butter into a simple 3-ingredient garlic butter by adding minced garlic and parsley for a pungent and savory complement to corn’s sweetness. Or take your favorite homemade or store-bought salsa verde and mix it with butter to create a sweet and tart taste with a little spicy kick. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, add honey and crushed red peppers for a nice sweet heat contrast.

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Flay also recommends freezing your compound butter, saying, “… you can actually do it ahead of time, and it freezes really well too. So when the corn comes off the grill and it’s still hot, then you slather that butter on there, it’s delicious.”

If you like things a little less rich and with more of a tang, go with Flay’s first idea and create a vinaigrette salad dressing to drizzle over your corn using your go-to oil, acid, salt, and whatever aromatics you have on hand. Lemons, limes, oranges, and even grapefruit can all serve as the sweet acid that works in tandem with the lovely, milky, sweet taste of your corn. 

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