Lemon-Pepper Corn on the Cob is grilled to perfection and shows off the dreamy combination of lemon, pepper and corn. This is a scrumptious summer side dish for a BBQ or any time!
Lemon-Pepper Corn is made with just three key, simple ingredients which combine to create an an tasty summer side dish.
There are certain culinary combinations that always pair into a delicious bite. In addition to lemon and pepper, there's chocolate and hazelnut, mushrooms and sherry, rosemary and garlic, just to name a few.
Lemon and pepper is definitely one of my favorites -- and when you add corn to the mix, it's incredible.
- corn on the cob - White or yellow -- both are great! During the summer, you should be able to find fantastic corn at your local Farmers' Market. Choose corn with bright green, tightly wrapped husks. The silks should be white or yellow. If you buy pre-shucked corn, the kernels should be firm and plump.
- fresh lemon juice - Use Meyer lemons if they're available. They are a touch less tart and a bit sweeter. And with a thinner skin and fewer seeds, they are incredibly juicy.
- black pepper - Preferably freshly ground. When I make recipes with a focus on pepper, I always us Kampot black pepper. The flavor is truly is a notch above others. Use any black pepper you like.
- kosher salt - I cook with Kosher salt because of its larger flake size and it usually doesn't contain additives. If you use table salt, use half the amount.
- unsalted butter - I almost always use unsalted butter to better control exactly how much salt is in the recipe.
(See recipe card below for quantities.)
Substitutions and Variations
- To make a slightly lighter version, use olive oil instead of butter. If you choose to do this, grill the corn as instructed with olive oil, and then rather than brushing on the lemon-pepper butter, sprinkle the corn with the pepper and salt, and then drizzle the lemon juice right onto the corn cobs.
- You can likely find a lemon pepper seasoning in the spice section of your grocery store, which can be a substitute for the lemon and pepper to speed things, up if you'd like.
- Don't try to add the butter mixture with the lemon pepper before grilling. Butter has a low smoke point and it could easily burn.
- Continue to turn the ears of corn as you grill, so all of the sides get nice (and delicious!) char marks. Kitchen tongs are the best tool for this.
- Feel free to add more or less lemon juice and/or pepper. I like a generous amount of both. With the sweet corn, it's fantastic.
- If it's easier for you to manage, you can cut the cobs in half.
- When you place the corn on the grill, you should hear a sizzling sound — if you don’t, the grill isn’t hot enough. Wait for the sizzle!
- If the corn is becoming too charred, turn down the heat and loosely cover it with foil until it’s ready.
- If your butter mixture has solidified at all while you're grilling, it should still be soft enough to brush onto the corn. If not, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds.
How to Make it
- Add the lemon juice, pepper and salt to the melted butter. Set aside.
- Preheat a stovetop or outdoor grill with high heat.
- If the husks are still on the corn, peel them off and remove any excess silk that sticks to the corn kernels. If they don't have husks on, wash and dry them. Place the ears of corn on a plate or baking sheet and drizzle them generously with olive oil.
- When the grill is very hot, add the corn. You should hear a sizzling sound — if you don’t, the grill isn’t hot enough. Wait for the sizzle! Grill until each side is nicely charred and the corn is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- While the corn is still warm, use a heat-proof pastry brush to coat the cobs with the butter mixture.
Other Delicious Corn Recipes
- Roasted Baby Corn with Chili and Lime
- Sheet Pan Chicken with Corn Salsa
- Fire Roasted Jalapeño Corn
- Vegan Creamed Corn
Lemon-Pepper Corn is excellent with grilled steak or chicken and salads. It makes for the perfect summer feast! Here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with it:
- Chopped Mexican Salad with Spiced Pepitas
- Watermelon Basil Salad with Avocado
- Shredded Chicken Cobb Salad
- Mediterranean Marinated Flank Steak
- Grilled Jalapeño Pepper Jack Turkey Burgers
Can you make it ahead?
Lemon-Pepper Corn on the Cob is at its best hot off the grill, when the butter mixture has just melted over it and seeped into the crevices. (How much do you want a bite now!?)
You can however make it ahead, as it's also good at room temperature. If you have leftovers (which I suspect you won't 😉 ), store the corn in an airtight container in the fridge, and warm it briefly in the oven or microwave.
I hope you love this scrumptious Lemon-Pepper Grilled Corn as much as my family and I do.
Lemon Pepper Corn Recipe
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground if possible)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ears fresh corn (with or without husks)
- olive oil for drizzling
- Make the Lemon-Pepper Butter. Add the lemon juice, pepper and salt to the melted butter. Set aside.
- Preheat a stovetop or outdoor grill with high heat.
- Prepare the corn. If the husks are still on the corn, peel them off and remove any excess silk that sticks to the corn kernels. If they don't have husks on, wash and dry them. Place the ears of corn on a plate or baking sheet and drizzle them generously with olive oil.
- Grill. When the grill is very hot, add the corn. You should hear a sizzling sound — if you don’t, the grill isn’t hot enough. Wait for the sizzle! Grill until each side is nicely charred and the corn is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Use kitchen tongs to turn them. (If they're becoming too charred, turn down the heat and loosely cover the corn with foil until it’s ready.)
- Add the Lemon-Pepper Butter. While the corn is still warm, use a heat proof pastry brush to coat the cobs with the butter mixture.