A-maize-ing Spices for Corn

Ariana Cuadra
Savory Spice Team
Savory Spice Shop

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A-maize-ing Spices for Corn

Summer. It means something a little different to everyone, but to me it means running through sprinklers, hiking, road trips, good vibes, strong fruity drinks, and all the best summer foods - especially corn on the cob.

I’ve been eating corn on the cob every summer since I was a little girl. Haven’t we all? Growing up, whenever we would have a big BBQ, it was always my job to shuck all the corn. There’s an unbreakable connection between me, summer, and grilled corn.

I think, like most people, my family has always kept their corn on the cob recipe fairly traditional. Not me. No way. I’m a Savory Spice gal through and through. So, I had an idea…

Experimenting with Corn on the Cob

My boyfriend and I had just committed to starting a certain very trendy low carb, high fat diet. As we were planning our groceries and meals for the first week, I began to reminisce about all the foods we soon would not be enjoying. Rice, potatoes, ooooh- French fries, corn on the cob…CORN ON THE COB. It struck me that I had committed to penning this article, an ode to summer corn on the cob, and I had less than 12 hours to make what I had originally intended to be over a week’s worth of corn to taste. Challenge accepted.

We returned from the grocery store with 8 yellow ears of corn. As I removed them from the bags I realized I had to formulate a plan of attack. So, I dove through my hundreds of Savory Spices to pick the 8 I most wanted to experiment with. Next, I had to establish rules: All 8 ears of corn would be cooked using the same method. They would be partially husked, corn silk removed, smattered with butter and a seasoning, tightly wrapped in foil, and grilled for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.

Corn on the Cob
On left: Barrier Reef Caribbean Mix. On right: Corn ears ready to go!

The spice contestants were:


Santa Maria Sea Salted BBQ Rub Bajan Seasoning
Berbere Ethiopian Seasoning Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend
Chicharron Salt TSM Kansas City BBQ Rub
Barrier Reef Caribbean Mix Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

The Results

Which was the winner? Hands down, Chicharron Salt. It brings out the sweetness of the corn beautifully. The flavors of sweet corn and salty, tangy, meaty goodness dance together on the tongue like star-crossed lovers. It’s the one I would definitely make for guests and parties because it’s so approachable.

My second favorite was Berbere. I love a good spicy seasoning, and Berbere is definitely that. The subtle notes of allspice, ginger, and cardamom with the heat make a warm, exotic tasting corn that I could have had seconds of (if I didn’t have so many others to taste!).

Corn on the Cob
All the corn! 

To be honest, I was surprised by the results. Obviously, they all tasted amazing. But, some had a different interaction with the corn than I expected. For example, while I made some life changing zucchini with Hidden Cove the other day, it didn’t pair as well with corn as I thought it would. On the other hand, I wasn’t sure how a Caribbean corn on the cob would turn out and both the Barrier Reef and Jerk seasonings were so good. 

What did I learn? A favorite summer classic like corn on the cob deserves some experimentation and creativity. Try out some different spices and seasonings with your corn and let us know how it goes! 



Need some more direction? You can’t go wrong with our SouthwesternBBQ, and Buffalo style street corn recipes. Seriously, I’ve made all three several times and they are incredible. If you’ve never upgraded to street style corn before, now is the time to do it. 

Grilled Corn Recipes
Left to right: Southwestern, BBQ, and Buffalo Street Corn

Do you have a favorite corn on the cob recipe? Let us know in the comments!

Comments on this Article

(guest), on July 07, 2018

The notion of cooking the corn wrapped in foil is off-putting to me. Seems like you are more or less steaming it. Try grilling it first (either plain or in the husk--maybe soak them first so they don't burn), then smear on a mixture of mayo and sour cream, followed by a sprinkling of your seasoning. Then you will have a crispier corn with a bit of charred taste.

(guest), on July 07, 2018

Cooking them in foil is fine. The butter keeps the corn from sticking to the foil, adds fats and allows the corn to brown giving it a slightly charred flavor while carmelizing the sugars in the corn. Mmm...mmm good

(guest), on July 07, 2018

A wonderful article. It gave me more ideas for grilling corn. As a result I will probably order the Chiccaron Salt. Thanks for the wonderful article.

(guest), on July 07, 2018

Loved all your suggestions. My favorite on hand seasoning for corn and green beans and peas: Dill Dip. In fact, I don't think I've ever used it as a dip. Just sprinkle it on. The Chiccaron Salt sounds interesting and will pick up some Hidden Cove for my abundance of Zucchini.

(guest), on July 07, 2018

I'm partial to the combination of parmesan, garlic and either paprika or chili. Even your Pesto blend would be delightful!

(guest), on July 07, 2018

I always eat at least 2 ears of corn! One gets Whiskey Barrel Smoked Black Pepper & Hickory Smoked Salt with melted butter. The other gets .Makrut Lime Sea Salt with a dash of Hot Red New Mexican Chile Powder ;-P

(guest), on July 07, 2018

Glad you tried all the great ways to roast corn. Fresh vegis are so healthy. Couldn’t help but notice the low-carb high fat diet You were planning to go on. YIKES. Please don’t do that!! Eat your veggies instead. Much more healthy for you. Enjoy your corn.

(guest), on July 08, 2018

I find that you do not need any seasoning when you grill corn. It masks the flavor. I soak my corn with the husks on for 10 minutes and throw them on the grill I rotate them and pull them off when the husks are brown. They stay hot until you want to eat them. Corn has such a great flavor, why would you want to add anything?

(guest), on July 09, 2018

Makrut Lime Salt would be fantastic on corn on the cob. I'm surprised I haven't tried that because I do enjoy that blend on popcorn. Thanks for the feedback!

Ariana (registered user) on July 09, 2018

Thank you all for your comments. So many great ideas on seasoning corn on the cob. I want to try them all!

(guest), on July 09, 2018

The best corn is Olatha (that is Olatha, Colorado) sweet corn; usually available at the end of July. Also rather than shuck the corn then wrapping it in foil, soak it ice water, then BQ with husks on.

(guest), on July 11, 2018

One of the things I miss most about my hometown in Western Nebraska is the Mexican food, the best Mexican food! Any festival in the park included stops at every Mexican food vendor for authentic tacos and lemon pepper corn on the cob, grilled and buttery and delicious, then a sopapilla--so good! My favorite will always be the corn, so I vote for the Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper blend for grilled corn on the cob, extra butter!

(guest), on July 13, 2018

Loved reading this today. I have been shopping for Christmas in July with my in-laws in MI at the lake. The family part of their gift will be Chiccaron Salt. I better buy one for me and bring it so we can use it to grill corn at the lake!

danchick (registered user) on July 03, 2019

This looks delicious!!

danchick (registered user) on July 03, 2019

and i love the pun in the title!!

danchick (registered user) on July 03, 2019

keep up the corny humor!

danchick (registered user) on July 03, 2019

one more for good measure!!

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