This post is all about the “tea party,” or recipes that contain tea. My contribution is this southern sweet tea roasted corn, and it is Super Delicious. As a bonus, you can also make this on the grill. Tea grilled corn will be the hit of your cookout!

Southerners are known for loving our sweet tea, and sweet tea is the perfect, thirst-quenching soft beverage to serve at a cookout. I figured brushing the corn with a sweet tea reduction would be a great way to add that Southern flavor, and I was right!

If you’re in the mood for more corn recipes, give my spicy deviled corn or spicy succotash a try as well.

Whether you decide to roast or grill, consider making this for your next cookout or barbecue. Enjoy!

For ease of browsing, here are all of my side dish recipes in one place. Thanks so much for visiting.

3 whole ears of roasted corn in a basket with a small plate of pink salt to serve with it.

Adding Flavor with Reductions

A “reduction” is one of those cooking terms that can seem a little intimidating. I know I used to be intimidated before I learned how easy they were to make.

A reduction is a sauce or glaze whose volume has been reduced through boiling or simmering. As you boil the liquid, flavor concentrates, sugars caramelize, and water evaporates.

This leaves you with an intense sauce with lots of body and flavor at the cost of just a few minutes of watching a pot boil.

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A reduction sauce is a sauce that has been made, at least in part, by reducing either cooking liquids or other liquids.

To make my tea roasted corn, I made a quick reduction of tea, sugar and a touch of soy sauce to balance out the sweetness and to tame any bitterness that would come from reducing tea and concentrating the tannins.

Two-Stage Reduction for Tea Roasted Corn

A cloth-lined basket of tea roasted corn.

The reduction is made in two stages for two different purposes.

  1. Reduce the liquid by half to brush onto the corn before roasting or grilling.
  2. Reduce the glaze you have remaining after brushing the corn by about half again to end up with a thick glaze to brush on for serving.

I made the reduction in two stages because I didn’t want the sugars to be too concentrated before grilling or roasting.

If the glaze were too intensely sugary at the outset, it would’ve burned before the corn finished cooking.

The second stage was to make sure the reduction was thick enough to cling to the corn once it finished cooking. It’s like waiting until the last minutes of cooking ribs before adding barbecue sauce and then serving additional sauce on the side. Except with roasted corn.

Serving Suggestions

This corn makes a great side dish for a burger. Go old-school with my smashed bacon double cheeseburgers or head off the beaten path and make the roasted corn as a side for my ultimate gordita burgers.

Make this corn as a part of a traditional Southern meat and three.

I love my mom-style macaroni salad would also be appropriate as would this tortellini Caprese salad or Mexican Pasta Salad if you need a vegan option.

And for dessert, you can’t beat a sonker (a North Carolina cobbler). Try strawberry peach sonker or this blackberry cherry sonker.

And now, on to the Sweet Tea Roasted Corn. You guys are really going to enjoy it.

Southern Sweet Tea Roasted Corn

4 ears of corn with husks on a metal baking tray. One of the ears of corn has the husk pulled back so you can see the corn. Tea reduction and brush are ready to coat corn.
Leave some of the inner leaves on your ears of corn, peel them back, and clean off all the silk. You can hold onto the stem end and the leaves, or do what I did for serving: tie a cloth napkin around each end.

An easy-to-make, 3-ingredient glaze is all you need to up the flavor in your corn on the cob. Make these on the grill or in the oven.

I roasted mine at 375F for 25 minutes, turning once. Let me show you how easy these guys are to make.

Grilled corn in a basket with a plate of salt for serving.
5 golden stars for rating recipes

Southern Sweet Tea Roasted Corn on the Cob | Progressive Eats

Jennifer Field
This Southern Sweet Tea Roasted Corn tastes just like summer in the south. Easy to make and even easier to eat, add some extra "southern" to your next picnic or tailgating!
Instructions for making the corn on the grill are in the Notes at the end of the recipe.
5 from 3 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 142 kcal

Ingredients

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup strong brewed black tea (I used large 1 Luzianne teabag steeped in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes)
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce

For the Corn

  • 4 ears sweet corn on the cob
  • kosher (or other) salt, to taste (I used Hawaiian red salt)

Instructions
 

For the Glaze

  • Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. (I did this by weight. The ingredients weighed 10.5 oz, so I reduced until I had right around 5 oz of liquid). Cool to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Shuck (leave some leaves on for serving) and clean corn of silk.
  • Line a pan with parchment or foil.
  • Brush the ears of corn all over with the glaze and season all over with kosher (or other) salt. Place on the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, reduce the remaining glaze down to a very thick syrup. Be careful, because it can burn wihen the sugars get really concentrated. You’re looking for about the consistency of sweetened condensed milk.
  • Take the corn out of the oven, brush any glaze that has run onto the pan back onto the corn. Turn the ears over and continue roasting for another 15 minutes. You may need to cover the loose leaves (if you left any) with some foil to prevent them from burning.
  • Once the corn is finished, brush each ear with some of the thickened glaze and sprinkle with kosher salt or finishing salt of your choice.
  • To make these look pretty for a party, tie a cloth napkin around the husks for serving.
  • Enjoy hot!

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

The reduction is made in two stages for two different purposes.
  1. Reduce the liquid by half to brush onto the corn before roasting or grilling.
  2. Reduce the glaze you have remaining after brushing the corn by about half again to end up with a thick glaze to brush on for serving.

To Grill the Corn

Prepare the tea reduction and shuck the corn as described in the recipe.
Set your grill with coals on one side. You'll be grilling over the cooler side.
Brush the ears with the glaze and grill over indirect heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until corn has taken on a bit of golden brown color.
If you leave some of the leaves on the corn, make sure to position the ears so the husks/leaves stick out over the edge of the grill so they do not catch on fire. You'll also be able to grab the ears by these leaves to turn them rather than using tongs.
Remove from the grill, brush with the second glaze reduction, and serve hot with salt

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 3gFat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 567mgFiber: 2gSugar: 20g
Keyword corn, grilled corn, roasted corn
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

And there you have it, you guys. Southern Sweet Tea Roasted Corn. It might become your new favorite! Extra good news? The flavor is so good, you may decide it doesn’t need butter. But I won’t tell if you decide to use some anyway. Enjoy!

Thanks for spending some time with me today, friends. Take care, and have a lovely day.

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19 Comments

  1. We love corn on the cob and your tea glaze is a yummy way to shake up our plain ol’ butter routine!! Your blog looks fabulous!!!

  2. 5 stars
    My grandma used to make corn roasted on the fire with cane syrup. Interesting your process, the tea should add a very particular flavor. Looks delicious and reminds my childhood. Tx

    1. I bet it has a bit of a similar flavor, Rodrigo. I even debated adding a splash of molasses–I bet that would be even closer to your grandma’s roasted corn. So glad I could bring back good memories for you! If you try this, do let me know how it compare’s to what you remember growing up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 5 stars
    What a great new way to enjoy corn on the cob Jenni! I cannot wait to try this with your sweet tea and soy sauce! The flavor must be incredible. So glad your site is back up and running again – and beautiful new design! Brava my friend!!

    1. I hate that the outage and the new design sort of dovetailed. One didn’t have anything to do with the other. Just bad timing. But I love my new look and am so happy to be up and running again! And eating corn! Enjoy, Jane! xo

  4. As is typical of the land where I live; it is now raining with a forecast of it turning to snow, so reading about a summer dish helps me to remember that a day like this is fleeting and warmth will return again soon along with barbecues and delicious corn on the cob.

    What a great southern combination…and even better? EASY!! I can’t try it for awhile; corn in Colorado isn’t worth buying until mid summer, but I can imagine a lazy evening with corn and sweet tea and nothing else for dinner. Heaven.

    1. Thank you, Anshie! I love it–Charissa did a wonderful job on the site! Plus: I took the photos on a super rainy, dreary day, which is my favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚ And: delicious. It seriously is really good. Would probably be good using other veggies as well. I am so happy to be back doing PE again–I missed you!

    1. Thank you, Susan! I had a vague idea about using “some sort of vegetables” with “some sort of tea glaze,” but when I saw the corn in the store, I knew exactly what I was going to do!

5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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