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Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)
Grilled Mexican Street Corn is the perfect combination of salty, spicy and tangy; and it’s utterly fantastic!
This summer don’t miss making Grilled Mexican Street Corn with fresh sweet corn! This super side is a wonderful, flavorful, delicious summer treat everyone will love.
We live about 10 miles from one of the last working farms in our area. They send out daily email updates on their crops, when they’ll be ready, and if the fields are open to pick-your-own berries. They do a great job of enticing me to drop all plans and “come to the farm” to grab everything fresh and available.
I’ve figured out the perfect time to snag fresh corn. I check my email every morning, and once they start picking, I make an early morning trip to Miller Farms Market.
For the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to arrive at the farm at the perfect moment; when the tractor rolls in the parking lot. The tractor is pulling a trailer loaded with local high school kids working their summer jobs, sitting with buckets of fresh picked corn.
As soon as they dump the (still warm-from-the-sun) corn in the bin, I make my selections and head home to enjoy the sweetest corn I’ve ever had. I’ll be making a few more trips to the farm before the corn is gone, and later to pick blackberries, raspberries and blueberries too. What a treat!
What is Mexican Street Corn?
Mexican Street Corn, or Elote, is made with fresh sweet summer corn slathered in a mixture of mayonnaise, garlic, lime juice, chili powder and Cotija cheese, then grilled to perfection. There are many variations to this recipe, but this combination is our favorite.
How to pick the best corn on the cob:
Fresh is best when it comes to corn! The longer it sits, the less flavor it will have. That’s why buying local is best when it comes to corn.
If the corn has to be shipped to your local grocery store, it’s already spent too much time on the road. Farmer’s markets, working farms, and even road-side stands are all great places to pick up fresh corn.
When picking out corn, select ears that are:
- Firm and plump, no skinny minis;
- Select ears that feel heavy for their size;
- Look for deep green husks; and
- the silk should be dry.
You’ll love this easy recipe that produces juicy, tender, tasty grilled corn.
Maybe you’ve never tried street corn because what you’ve seen looks overcooked and dried out, and not very appealing. If you’re like me and haven’t loved all the Mexican Street Corn recipes you’ve tried, perhaps you’ll give this one a whirl.
I created a recipe that cooks the corn without drying it out, and delivers the signature grilled flavor and beautiful charred kernels we love.
This is the BEST Mexican Street Corn you can make at home.
Try this easy summer recipe perfect for big or small gatherings alike.
Whether you’re having a small family party on the deck, or a big block party with plenty of hungry folks, this is the perfect side dish. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled, depending on how many you plan to entertain.
You don’t need forks or knives to eat Mexican Street Corn. The built-in handle makes it easy to enjoy, just about anywhere!
How to make Mexican Street Corn:
You can do all the prep ahead of time by cleaning the corn, and removing the husks and silk. Leave the stalks intact, to use like a handle while grilling and eating.
- Brush each ear of corn with melted butter, and season with salt and pepper.
- Wrap each ear individually in aluminum foil and set aside until ready to cook.
About 30-minutes before serving, put the foil wrapped corn on the preheated grill and cook for about 20 minutes, turning once.
- Next, remove the foil and slather the corn with the mayonnaise mixture.
- Place the corn directly on the grill for just a few minutes to finish cooking and to get that critical char.
- Serve garnished with more cheese, lime wedges and extra sauce!
This grilling method helps prevent the corn from drying out.
I love this easy method for cooking and serving Mexican Street Corn. The corn doesn’t have time to dry out by spending too much time on the grill.
All you have to do is pass the leftover sauce with the hot corn and enjoy. Garnish each ear with a little extra of everything, especially fresh ground black pepper. Friends – you are going to love our take on the Mexican classic. Enjoy and grill on!
Thanks for PINNING!
Let’s be grilling friends! When you try our recipe please leave a comment on this post. If you loved this recipe we’d appreciate a 5-star rating! Sharing your experience, variations and insights will help all our readers, and it helps me too.
Mexican Street Corn (Elote)
- 6 ears of fresh corn husks and silk removed, stalks left intact for easy grilling
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup Cotija cheese crumbled, plus extra for serving
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro plus more for garnish (parsley is fine too)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder regular chili powder is fine too
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Additional lime wedges for serving
- Brush each ear of corn with the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper and wrap each ear individually in aluminum foil. The stalk does not need to be wrapped in foil.
- Preheat one side of your grill to 400°F. If your grill doesn’t have a temperature gauge, it should be too hot to hold your hand about 12-inches above the fire.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Place the foil wrapped corn on the hot grill leaving the stalk handle/end on the cold side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Turn each ear, close the cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, for a total of about 20 minutes.
- Unwrap the corn from the foil (discard the foil), and brush the mayonnaise mixture evenly on all sides of the corn. Reserve any remaining mixture for serving. Place the corn directly on the grill grate and cook, turning frequently, until lightly charred on all sides, about 5 minutes.°
- Serve immediately with lime wedges, any leftover sauce, a sprinkle of Cotija cheese, cilantro, black pepper and chili powder.
- This recipe may also be made in the oven set to 400F, then broiled briefly to get the appropriate char
Here are a few more sweet summer corn recipes you might like:
Spicy Corn Relish – a sweet and spicy corn relish terrific served on hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, sandwiches or even a cracker. This relish is also the perfect tangy topping for grilled meats and fish too!
Corn & Zucchini Casserole ~ Summer vegetables are plentiful in this crustless quiche-like casserole. Delicious for breakfast, brunch or a meatless dinner everyone will enjoy.
Cheesy Corn Casserole with Jalapeños ~ a lightly spicy casserole sweetened with summer corn. A terrific adaptation of an old favorite.
Here are a few more corn recipes from some of our awesome and talented friends!
Bacon Ranch Corn Dip is a real crowd pleaser perfect for any occasion.
We love this easy Corn and Bacon Casserole and could eat it for any meal, any time of day!