Grilling, Side dish
comments 9

Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter

Grilled corn stacked on a blue plate

Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter

Corn is my go-to grilling side dish. Corn season peaks in the heart of grilling season. I can’t wait for those first ears of fresh summer corn, cooked with nothing but salt and butter. But…even the joy of summer corn wears off after a while. When the kids start saying “Corn? Again?” I turn to this recipe.

Chipotle-lime butter, ready for melting on the grill

Someday I will do full-on Elote, Mexican street vendor style corn, on this blog. Really. I am. Someday. Sigh. OK, I’ll be honest with myself. It might be a while. When I’m grilling dinner, I’m always in a hurry. The corn is a side dish, and the last thing on the grill. That extra step of brushing it with crema and sprinkling it with cojita cheese seems like a bridge too far when I’m rushing to get dinner on the table. Someday…

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Grilled corn stacked on a blue plate

Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 6 ears of corn 1x


Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter. A quick side dish on the grill with a punch of heat from chipotle powder.


  • 6 Fresh ears of corn, husked
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optionalone !important;margin: 0px !important;padding: 0px !important” src=”″ alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ />)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. Prepare the corn: Husk the corn. Put the butter, salt, chipotle powder, paprika, garlic, and lime juice in a grill-safe pot. (If you don’t have a grill-safe pot, put it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the butter is melted.)
  2. Set the grill for direct medium heat (350°F): Set up the grill for cooking with direct medium heat. For my Weber Summit, this means preheating with all the burners on high for 10-15 minutes, then turning the burners down to medium.
  3. Grill the corn in a 3-3-3-3 pattern: Put the ears of corn and the chipotle butter pot on the grill over the direct medium heat. On a gas grill, keep the lid closed as much as possible. When the corn is browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes, give it a quarter turn. Repeat, turning the corn every 3 minutes, until it is browned on all sides, about 12 minutes total. Keep an eye on the chipotle butter; when it melts, and the garlic starts to sizzle, move it to a cooler spot on the grill. When the corn is almost done, brush it with the chipotle butter. (Watch for flare-ups from the dripping butter, and move the corn around if necessary.)
  4. Serve: Remove the corn from the grill, brush with the remaining chipotle butter, and serve.


  • Chipotle powder has a lot of kick. To lower the heat without losing the hot pepper flavor, substitute ancho or guajillo powder.
  • To complete the Mexican street corn experience, after grilling the corn, brush it with Mexican crema (or mayonnaise), then sprinkle with crumbled cotija cheese
  • Leftover grilled corn? Use it to make Grilled Corn Salsa with Pineapple.


  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Southwestern

Keywords: grill, grilling, corn, grilled corn, grilled side dish

Corn and melted butter on the grill

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:
Grilled Corn (the simple version)
Grilled Corn and Pineapple Salsa
My index of Grilling Recipes

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Filed under: Grilling, Side dish


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. As promised, I tried on Saturday for just my wife and me and it was delicious. I used chipotle in adobo instead of chipotle powder. We liked it so much I trotted it out for the whole extended family on Sunday and it was an overwhelming success. This is now my favorite way to cook sweetcorn.

  2. Kyle says

    Yeah, ur right. technically, elote means corn on the cob, but sometimes they would serve it in a plastic cup, and again technically it was called esquites, but we generally called both elote, whether on or off the cob.

  3. @Beth:
    Make your own Elote – brilliant! I’ll have to try that…

    @jamminalley, @Jim Tolar:
    Thank you!

    I thought Elote style was grilled on the cob – how do you cook the larger kernel corn, if it’s not on the cob? Grilled? Boiled? Other?

  4. Hello, I’ve recently begun reading your blog because I’ve also begun blogging on the subject of cooking.
    As a kid, I grew up in Mexico and became very interested in reading this post because I ate Elote quite a bit in Mexico. I like that you keep it simple but true to Mexican tradition (crema, cheese, lime, and paprika) as opposed to traditional American corn. As far as your future project of Mexican street vendor style Elote, it would be cool if you could find large corn not on the cob. Its a special kernel much bigger than our regular corn. Anyways, love it and nice work.

  5. Beth says

    We love Elote at our house, and find kt’s an especislly good use for corn we foegot sbout for a couple of days. To simplify it for the dinnertime rush, we put all the condiments in bowls and everyone dresses up their own at the table. So there’s crema (or mayo- just as good), cotija (or Parmesan or Romano), ground chilis of some sort- I like ancho best, and lime wedges. And mercifully no more work than setting out burger condiments.

  6. Man, this sounds good enough to move from side dish to center stage. I am definitely trying this next time.

  7. jamminalley says

    Love it, Mike. We just grilled some Iowa sweet corn last week and like you, I wanted to keep it very simple, so I just went with olive oil, salt and pepper. But I’m going to try this recipe next time for variety and a bit of kick. It’s also an excuse to add Chipotle powder to the pantry.

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