These Grilled Corn Ribs Will Be the Hottest Item at the Barbecue

They're almost too cute to eat. Almost.

Grilled corn ribs with chipotle honey sauce on a blue platter

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 48 corn ribs
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
268 Calories
22g Fat
17g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 268
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 489mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 185mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Corn ribs are one of many recipes to go viral on the internet in recent years. Corn is cut into wedges through the cob and when cooked they curl up a bit. The hard cob acts as a “bone” and the curled shape kind of resembles a pork rib and should be eaten similarly. 

The best part of  corn ribs is that you can eat as much or as little corn as you want. No need to commit to a whole ear of corn on the cob (I know we’ve all been there). Wow your guests at your next cookout with this fun way to prepare and serve corn.  

In this recipe the sweetness and char from the corn ribs pairs well with the smoky chipotle and sweet honey in the dipping sauce. Using a combo of mayonnaise and sour cream gives the dipping sauce a lighter feel while still being satisfyingly rich.

How Do You Cut Corn for Ribs?

Cutting an ear of corn into ribs isn’t the easiest of tasks but I have plenty of tips to make your corn rib journey as simple as possible. First and most important, use a sharp and sturdy knife to cut through the hard cob. Second, snapping the corn in half allows for more control when cutting the corn into ribs. 

Third, when making the first cut through the cob standing up on the flat end you want to use a slow and gentle rocking or see-saw motion to cut through the corn cob (applying too much force could result in an unsteady corn cob). You want the knife to be long enough to create a good rocking motion. 

Finally, when splitting the cob into ribs, the easiest and most efficient way to split them is by using the knife as a wedge and then using a mallet or heavy rolling pin to whack the spine of the knife. This will help split the corn cob into ribs fairly quickly. It’s also a great release for those who have had a frustrating day. 

Tips for Making Corn Ribs

  • Keep the cutting board from sliding — Grab a damp paper towel or two (depending on the size of the cutting board) and place under the cutting board to keep it in place.
  • Prevent slipping — Place a folded up kitchen towel on the cutting board when cutting up the corn ribs. This will help prevent any slipping and will help dampen the noise when splitting the corn into ribs.
  • Protect your fingers — Wear an oven mitt or use a towel to protect the hand that is on the blade end of the knife when cutting the corn cob into ribs.
  • A trick for stubborn cobs — If the cobs are still too hard to cut, then we suggest boiling them for about 5 minutes then cooling them down before proceeding with the recipe. Cooking the corn helps soften the cob slightly.
  • Make ahead — The corn ribs can be cut up and seasoned up to one day ahead. Make sure to toss corn ribs before grilling to make sure they’re well coated with the seasoned oil. The chipotle-honey dipping sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead.

"I couldn't stop eating these corn ribs, and the chipotle dipping sauce was out of this world! Cutting the corn cobs was easier than expected, but you need a sharp knife. I will definitely make corn ribs again, and the dipping sauce is going into my recipe box!" —Diana Rattray

Grilled Corn Ribs with Chipotle Honey Sauce/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Corn Ribs

  • 6 large ears of corn, shucked

  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil, more for oiling grill grates

  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (with salt)

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

For the Chipotle-Honey Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1 canned chipotle pepper, finely chopped, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for serving

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus wedges for serving

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Fine salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

Prepare and Season the Corn Ribs

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make grilled corn ribs

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Using a large sturdy and sharp knife, trim off about 1/2-inch of the bottom end of the corn cob (this will provide a steady and flat base when cutting further). Using your hands, snap each corn cob in half.

    Corn cobs with flat-cut bottoms on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. To split the corn cob lengthwise, stand corn cob on one flat end. Working slowly and carefully, cut through the cob using a slow rocking or see-saw motion, repeat with remaining corn cobs.

    Hands holding a knife, cutting downward through the top of a corn cob

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. To cut into ribs, lay halved corn cobs on the cutting board flat side down. Using the knife as a wedge, whack the knife hard with a mallet or heavy rolling pin 2 to 3 times to split the corn cob lengthwise into two ribs. Repeat with remaining corn (you should have 48 pieces total).

    A rolling pin hitting a knife to cut a corn cob section into quarters on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Combine the oil, taco seasoning, and salt in a large bowl or zip-top bag. Add corn ribs and toss well to coat; set aside.

    A large zip top bag with oil, taco seasoning, salt, and corn cob quarters

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Dipping Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make a chipotle honey dipping sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, cilantro, honey, lime juice, and garlic powder in a medium bowl until well combined; season with salt to taste. Cover dipping sauce and refrigerate until ready to use.

    A bowl of combined mayonnaise, sour cream, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, cilantro, honey, lime juice, and garlic powder

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Grill the Corn

  1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Clean grill grates and brush with oil.

    A pastry brush brushing oil on the grates of a charcoal grill

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Grill the corn, cut-side down. Cover grill and cook until corn ribs are starting to char, about 4 minutes.

    Quartered corn cobs, cut-side down, on a charcoal grill

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Flip corn to the other cut side, cover grill, and cook until corn ribs char and ends start to curl, about 4 minutes more.

    Quartered corn cobs, flipped over, on a charcoal grill

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Flip one more time onto the kernel side, cover grill, and cook until kernels are browned in spots and crisp tender, another 1 to 2 minutes. Watch grill closely and reduce heat if corn ribs are charring too quickly.

    Quartered corn cobs, kernel-side down, on a charcoal grill

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Transfer corn ribs to a serving platter and season with kosher salt to taste. Serve corn ribs warm with dipping sauce on the side and topped with cilantro leaves, as well as lime wedges for squeezing over.

    A platter of grilled corn "ribs" topped with cilantro leaves, and served with lime wedges and chipotle-honey dipping sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

How To Store

Leftover corn ribs and chipotle-honey dipping sauce can be refrigerated in airtight containers for up to 3 days. Corn ribs can be reheated in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel to ensure they don’t dry out.

Recipe Variations

  • Switch up the seasoning: We used taco seasoning here but feel free to substitute with another seasoning blend like chili powder or Cajun seasoning.
  • Prefer a milder dipping sauce? Substitute the chipotle in adobo with about 1 teaspoon smoked paprika.
  • No grill no problem: Place the corn ribs on a parchment or foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast on the top rack of a 400 F oven until kernels are golden and browned in spots, about 30 minutes (no need to flip).