Charles Gaines’s Grilled Corn

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Jeremiah Tower Cooks

By Jeremiah Tower

Published 2002

  • About

Charles Gaines is one of America’s best writers on fishing. He and his wife, Patricia, are wonderful cooks. Like Charles, I have never seen the point of grilling corn with the husks on—seems like steaming to me, and I would rather quickly boil them.

One summer night at Charles and Patricia’s Nova Scotia property, watching the resident martins catch the bugs that were trying to catch us, we grilled this corn and ate it along with mussels from nearby Prince Edward Island.

Marinating the corn in the lime juice instead of putting the juice in the sauce is very effective.


  • 8 ears very fresh corn
  • 1 ripe lime, freshly juiced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ tablespoon ancho chili powder


Shuck the corn, wipe clean of all the silk, and rub with the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let the corn marinate half an hour, turning the cobs a few times, and grill it over a medium real charcoal fire for 10 minutes, or until the corn is cooked and slightly caramelized.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and serve with the hot corn.