Grilled Corn With Chile Butter

Grilled Corn With Chile Butter

In South Africa, charred ears of corn (called braai mielies) are year-round, smoky-sweet roadside snacks. This version is a side dish for the American summer, when corn and grilling are both in season. The cobs are slicked with butter and sparked with chile heat; in South Africa, they would be served alongside a pile of charcoal-grilled lamb chops or steak or giant prawns, or all of the above. For a more rustic effect (and more effort), use the corn husks as a wrapper instead of aluminum foil. Soak the unshucked cobs in cold water for at least 15 minutes. Peel back the husks but do not detach them from the cobs; remove all the cornsilk. After rubbing on the butter, rearrange the husks around each cob and tie in place with twine.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Prepare a grill for high-heat cooking. For each corn cob, tear a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap it completely.
  2. Step 2

    In a bowl, combine the butter, chile, garlic (if using), salt and pepper. Mix well and taste. Adjust the seasonings; add drops of hot sauce if the butter is not spicy enough. Set aside.
  3. Step 3

    Shuck the corn. Use your hands to rub butter mixture thoroughly onto each cob, reserving about 1/4 of the mixture for basting. Wrap each buttered cob in aluminum foil.
  4. Step 4

    When ready to cook, place cobs on the grill (or, if the fire is low, in the coals) and cook 12 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until steamed and cooked through.
  5. Step 5

    Unwrap and place on the grill. Use remaining butter to baste the corn as it grills, turning it until lightly charred and cooked through. Serve immediately with lime wedges, if using.