Grilled Creamed Corn
This Grilled Creamed Corn recipe is extra delicious when made during sweet corn season, with charred smokiness from first cooking the cobs directly on the grill grates. And it freezes beautifully, for an easy side during the winter!
An Easy Corn Side Dish
I developed a love for creamed corn many years ago, when my cousin’s wife fixed up a huge pot of it for a summertime family reunion. And now when sweet corn season rolls around, my cravings kick in!
While my cousin’s recipe was a super easy one that used frozen corn, I decided to take advantage of grilling season and the first summer sweet corn to try something new. This delicious Grilled Creamed Corn has now been on repeat all summer long. I love how this dish is just lightly creamy, plus that smoky char on the sweet corn kernels is AMAZING!
The corn is first cooked directly on the grill grates, to get that beautiful char and a bit of rich smoky flavor.
After cutting the kernels from the cobs, the dish is mixed to sweet creamy perfection in a hot cast-iron skillet on the grill.
The skillet goes directly from grill to table, making for a fun presentation for any casual gathering. This is a great side for any grilled meat, especially if barbeque sauce is involved.
But also know that this grilled creamed corn is perfect for the holiday table, too. You can easily freeze the charred corn and pull it out of the freezer to make this for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any special meal!
What You’ll Need
This easy corn side dish requires less than 10 ingredients!
- Sweet corn – You’ll need 8 large ears of husked corn for this recipe.
- Unsalted butter
- Milk – Whatever milk you have on hand will work.
- Cream cheese – Makes this creamed corn extra creamy!
- Sugar – Just a little bit to enhance the flavor.
- Salt & black pepper
- Cayenne pepper – Adds a hint of heat to the dish. Of course, you could always delete it entirely or add more!
How to Make Grilled Creamed Corn
Making creamed corn is an easy process and once the corn is grilled, it all comes together quickly!
- Grill the corn. Grill the corn on high until the kernels are charred and softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Once cool enough to handle, remove the corn kernels from the cob. Scrape the cobs with the backside of a butter knife to release the pulpy corn milk.
- Prepare the sauce. On the grill (reducing heat to medium) or on the stovetop, melt butter in a cast-iron skillet and whisk in the flour until combined and foaming. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream cheese, whisking constantly, until smooth and thick. This should take 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the sugar, charred corn kernels, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.
Tips for Success
Here are a few things to consider when making this dish:
- Be sure to grill the corn on high heat. Try to grill the corn hard and fast, to get a quick char without overly cooking the corn.
- Reduce grill heat before melting the butter. If you’re going to finish the rest of the recipe on the grill, it’s very important to get the heat lowered after the first step – otherwise the butter will burn.
- Add in more flavors. While I kept the seasoning simple to keep the focus on the delightful charred flavor, you can also add some garlic when melting the butter or even stir in some cooked bacon for extra flavor. Parmesan cheese makes a great addition as well. And some chopped fresh herbs would be wonderful – just stir them in right at the end.
I’ve also been known to serve this dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, with grilled corn that I’ve frozen from the summer. It’s always such a treat!
Also, you can easily use this grilled creamed corn as an ingredient itself. Mixed with salsa, it’s a creamy, heavenly dip. Layered in quesadillas, it’s a sweet, smoky filling. And stirred into some roasted or mashed potatoes, it’s a spud reinvention!
How to Make Ahead & Store Leftovers
- How to prepare the corn in advance.The last time we made this, I cheated a bit and grilled the cobs the day before our backyard gathering. I then cut off the kernels and stored them in a bowl in the fridge until the following day. I didn’t want to take time away from our guests to cut off the kernels, but still wanted to serve this wonderful dish.
- How to store leftovers. Leftover creamed corn will be good for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- How to reheat leftovers. Reheat leftovers in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- How to freeze. Grill the corn and cut the kernels off the cob, then freeze flat in ziploc bags. Allow to thaw and then continue with the rest of the recipe.
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Grilled Creamed Corn
- 8 large ears sweet corn husked
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1.25 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat a grill to high. Arrange corn on the grate and grill, turning every couple minutes, until the kernels are charred and softened, about 8 to 10 minutes total. Try to grill the corn hard and fast, to get a quick char without overly cooking the corn. Remove corn from the grill. Once cool enough to handle, remove the corn kernels from the cobs. And then scrape the cobs with the backside of a butter knife to release the pulpy corn milk – this starchy liquid will add more creaminess and fresh corn flavor to the dish. Discard the cobs.
- Now heat the grill to medium (or use the stovetop). It is very important to get the heat lowered after the first step, so the butter doesn’t burn. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over the grate. Once hot, add the butter to melt, then whisk in the flour until combined and foaming, about 1 minute. A flat whisk works great for this.
- Gradually whisk in the milk and cream cheese and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth and thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in sugar, followed by the corn kernels, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes.
More Corn Side Dishes:
- Mexican Grilled Street Corn Salad
- Grilled Sweet Corn and Jalapeno Slaw
- Creamy Cheesy Sausage and Corn Dip
- Zesty Corn Refrigerator Relish
This post was first published in 2010, and then updated in 2021.