Stick To Your Ribs

For years, I’ve resisted the lure of corn ribs. Despite the fact that they were everywhere I turned, plastered over Instagram and Pinterest, playing on an endless loop in TikTok videos, it wasn’t hard. The whole concept was a turn off. Who really wants corn that eats like ribs, with all that sticky, messy sauce coating your fingers as much as the food? In age and wisdom, I’ve come to realize two simple truths:

  1. I need to take myself less seriously.
  2. Being messy and playful is the whole point.

The reason why it took off as a food trend is exactly why I couldn’t stand the idea to begin with, which is more of a personal failing than a dig on the social media complex. Yes, some of the appeal is novelty, like most “stunt food,” but it goes deeper than aesthetics. If you let yourself get dirty, digging in with both hands and throwing caution to the wind, you might just enjoy it.

Besides that, the technique yields effortlessly tender-crisp fresh corn with beautifully charred, lightly caramelized edges.

If BBQ isn’t your bag, there are plenty of alternative seasonings to consider for corn ribs:

To be honest, no further garnishes need apply. A touch of green scallion is nice for color and a gentle hint of allium flavor, but you can happily take those corn ribs from the kitchen to the table as is. When you want to pull out all the stops, that’s far from the only choice. Dipping sauce on the side is always welcome for a cooling contrast too.

More tasty toppings for your corn ribs includes:

An air fryer makes easy work of this recipe without heating up the whole house, but it’s a snap to toss into a conventional oven as well. Double, triple, or quadruple as needed to feed a crowd; the formula is flexible and infinitely scalable like that.

If you’re going to serve corn this summer, you might as well have fun with it. Stop worrying and learn to love the mess.

Yield: Makes 2 Servings

BBQ Corn Ribs

BBQ Corn Ribs

Sweet, spicy, sticky, and delightfully messy, BBQ corn ribs are as fun to eat as they are delicious! This technique yields effortlessly tender-crisp fresh corn with beautifully charred, lightly caramelized edges.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes


  • 2 Ears Corn
  • 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 - 1/3 Cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 - 2 Scallions, Thinly Sliced (Optional)


  1. Microwave or lightly steam the corn for 2 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to comfortably handle. Husk and clean the corn, removing any remaining silk.
  2. Use a very sharp knife to quarter each ear of corn lengthwise, creating four equal planks, complete with the cob intact at the center. Toss the corn with olive oil to coat and transfer to an air fryer rack or baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with salt.
  3. Air fry at 370 degrees for 10 minutes, or bake in a conventional oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Transfer the hot corn carefully to a heat-safe bowl and toss with the BBQ sauce. Make sure they're thoroughly covered, including all the nooks and crannies between kernels. Add more sauce as needed.
  4. Spread the corn back out on the air fryer sheet or baking rack in an even layer. Air fry for another 5 minutes or bake for 5 - 10 minutes, until lightly caramelized around the edges.
  5. Top with scallions if using and serve hot!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 647mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 4g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

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