Baked Chipotle Butter Smoky Corn Ribs

For me, fresh sweet corn cobs slathered in butter and Summer just go together. As kids, we would watch the trucks drive past our farm every Summer full of just picked, fresh ears of corn cobs. While I tried a couple of years back to grow corn, I had mixed results. I now stick to buying them from our local market all through the Summer season. Because hot buttered corn cobs dripping down one’s chin is a Sunday BBQ essential. This oven baked, seasoned corn ribs recipe is super simple and easy to make when you’ve got a crowd gathered. And they can be prepared ahead of time, which is a lifesaver for us time-poor cooks.

What are corn ribs?

It’s when a cob of fresh corn has been cut into quarters lengthways creating “ribs”. This is the best corn ribs recipe for littlies that can’t eat a whole corn cob all to themselves or you’re having a large bbq that requires a large number of portions.

Here’s a few simple ingredients you need to get started with oven-baked corn

  • fresh corn cobs – remove the leaves and husks so you are just left with the corn cob, then cut into “ribs”


  • salted butter – I used Lurpak salted butter. It’s been my favourite for years!


  • sweet smoked paprika – If I only have one spice in my pantry, this would be it. It’s so versatile and gives such an intense, next level, smoky flavor. Try it sprinkled on sweet potato with a little salt and pepper for an easy weekday side.


  • ground chipotle powder. Most good food stores stock dried chili or ground-up versions. If you can only get a whole dried chipotle, you can make it into a powder by blending it in a high-speed blender.


  • fresh garlic – 3 good, sized cloves, crushed. Alternatively, you could substitute with 1 teaspoon of  garlic powder


  • lime mayonnaise and coriander leaves to finish (optional)

Here’s how to make corn ribs in the oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.

  2. In a small bowl, combine butter, paprika, garlic, and chipotle chili powder. Mix together and incorporate the spices into the butter. 

  3. Using a pastry brush (or your hands) coat each corn rib in butter and place it in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (optional). If there is any leftover butter, just scoop dollops onto corn cobs randomly.

  4. Season corn with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

  5. Pop the sweetcorn ribs into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes

  6. Remove from the oven. Give the pan a good shake to get butter in all the right places

  7. Season again (if required). Transfer the corn cob ribs to a plate and drizzle with lime mayonnaise sauce, and scatter fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves on top. Optional, a squeeze of lime juice

What do I serve this roasted corn cob recipe with?

The best way is with a weekend BBQ as it makes a great side dish. Throw some meat on the grill. Whip up a bowl of the BEST potato salad and pour a glass of wine.

We also love to eat these Mexican street corn ribs with anything Mexican like burritos, tacos, etc or this Mexican shredded beef cheeks recipe. Corn ribs are an easy little side to throw together while I’m prepping our dinner.

The equipment needed

So little is needed for this corn recipe. Just a cutting board, mixing bowl, roasting tray, and some simple knife skills with a large sharp knife. When choosing which knife to use for cutting the corn cobs into ribs, go with a sharp 20cm cook’s knife. Anything smaller will get stuck. Be sure not to use your best Japanese steel knife for this. While they are beautiful to use for most kitchen tasks, the core of the corn is much too hard and may chip the knife. European-made knives are generally tougher and better suited to this job.

How I do make smoky corn ribs in the oven ahead of time?

Easy! Just complete steps 2 through 4. Cover or put in an airtight container and pop into the fridge until you are ready to bake. When you are ready to go, just preheat the oven and cook as per the remaining recipe steps! They can easily be prepared up to 24 hours before cooking.

Can I cook this on a bbq

Definitely. Instead of cooking this corn riblets recipe in the oven, try grilling the corn pieces on the bbq instead. As a bonus, you’ll be rewarded with that delicious smoky flavor that only a bbq can give. When using the bbq, I like to make a bit extra of the butter mixture, so there’s that dripping, melted butter all over those ribs on the table! Bbq corn ribs anyone? Another great cooking option is air fryer corn ribs.

Have leftovers?

If you’ve been following me for a bit, you’ll know how much I love leftovers. Especially rehashing them into something completely different for the next night’s dinner. If you have any of these smoky corn on the cob ribs leftover, here are a few ideas to use them up

Firstly remove all the corn kernels from the husks. You can then use the pieces of corn in a Mexican salad alongside rocket, tomatoes, avocado, and some corn chips. Or what about a Cajun chicken pizza? I’m thinking of grilled cajun chicken, mozzarella, corn rib kernels, English spinach, and Spanish onion on a tomato pizza base. Once cooked, drizzle with chipotle mayonnaise. Pizza heaven right there!

A few more BBQ recipes…

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A stack of smokey chipotle corn ribs drizzled with lime mayonnaise and scattered coriander leaves

Baked Smoky Chipotle Buttered Corn Ribs

  • Author: Emma Lee
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Because hot buttered corn cobs dripping down one’s chin is a Sunday, Summer BBQ essential.  


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 corn cobs, leaves, husks removed, cut into ribs (see notes)
  • 100g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle, ground
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • sea salt flakes & pepper
  • lime mayonnaise and coriander leaves to finish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees c. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine butter, paprika, garlic, chipotle. Mix together and incorporate the spices into the butter. 
  3. Using a pastry brush (or your hands) coat each corn rib in butter and place on a roasting tray. If there as an remaining butter, just scoop dollops onto corn cobs randomly.
  4. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Pop into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven. Give the pan a good shake to get butter in all the right places
  7. Season again (if required). Transfer to a plate and drizzle with a lime mayonnaise and scatter fresh coriander leaves on top.


Notes

To create corn “ribs”

Firstly chop off each end of the corn cob so you start with a flat surface. Stand the corn cob on one of the flat ends and slice straight down the middle with a knife. Be very careful, this part can be a little tricky if the corn cob has quite a woody interior. Once the corn cob is sliced longways in half, lay the cut side flat on the chopping board, and slice again longways, creating your “ribs”.

Keywords: BBQ, Corn, Chipotle

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