I did a version of Mexican Street Corn a few years ago that was a huge hit. Five adults polished off a dozen ears and more than one person asked if there were any left as we could’ve easily pounded out a good 18 ears. I decided to come up with another version of this. The only problem is I came up with another one and another one and another one until I had a half dozen new Mexican street corn recipes. That’s when I decided to combine all of them together into an Mexican Street Corn Bar (elotes bar if you wish) for guests to choose from an almost limitless combination of flavor options.

What is Mexican street corn made of?

Traditional Mexican Street Corn (or Elotes – pronounced ee-lōt-ays) is roasted corn slathered in mayo and lime juice, topped with cotija cheese. Like any recipe, there are many variations of this. Many use sour cream or crema rather than mayo. As time goes on, other ingredients were added and replaced until the elote has morphed into roasted corn with all manner of tasty ingredients applied.

Mexican Street Corn BAR?

The basic premise is this: each guest grabs an ear of corn and sets it on a sheet of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil and then spreads one of three different compound butters on their ear and wraps in a sheet of foil. And to add another level of flavors, basil pesto was used as a fourth “butter”:

I LOVE me some basil pesto

Each ear is cooked (in a foil wrap) on the grill and then the foil is used as a nest to hold in all the toppings that are applied along with that glorious compound butter. That’s it. So simple and yet so much fun and adventurous.

Multiple Compound Butters

For these Mexican Street Corn recipes I’m going to list the ingredients for each compound butter as well as the added toppings we put on after the corn had been cooked in the butter or pesto. This is not one of those recipes to follow to a T. This is one of those recipes to get inspiration from and create your own Mexican Street Corn Bar with ingredients you love.

For this post we used Reynolds Wrap Aluminum foil for a few reasons in no particular order. One, they sponsored this post and have partnered with us for many years now, which is something I’m very proud of. Two, it’s the best foil out there. Three, it’s made in the USA in Louisville Kentucky. Four, dad and Reynolds Wrap were born in the same year – 1947. Now that the procedural stuff is out of the way, let’s get on with the recipe(s).

Compound Butter Ingredients:


  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tsp ranch dip mix


  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha


  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp lime juice

As far as the basil pesto. I’m not going to lie. I bought it pre-made. Hey, I’ve got a wife, four kids 10 and under and essentially three jobs other than being a father. I’ve got to save time somewhere.

How to make compound butter

To make each butter, it’s best if if you soften up the butter ahead of time to make it easier to mix the ingredients in. Once you combine each set of ingredients in a mixing bowl, use a spatula to scoop each one onto a sheet of wax paper and roll up into giant candy shapes. Expect about one tablespoon of compound butter per ear and adjust your ingredient amounts accordingly:

Ranch Srirachagarlic and herb

Feel free to make up the butter the night before or even days before.

Mexican Street Corn Toppings

On top of the compound butter we also had the following toppings:

  • Cotija cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Asiago cheese
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges
  • Lime zest
  • Crumbled bacon

I don’t say amounts here because it is very dependent on how many folks you’re having over and what they have a penchant for. It’s OK if you run out of a few of these. It will force some to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. That’s what set up like this is made for.

Is Cotija cheese the same as parmesan?

It’s similar but not the same. Despite Cotija being called Mexican Parmesan, it’s pretty different. First it’s saltier than Parm. Also, it doesn’t melt like Parmesan. That being said, if you can’t find Cotija, substitute that Parm. 

But let’s start with the corn. I went with yellow and bi-color because I felt it would take the best pictures, but I actually prefer white corn:

Crickets chirping baseball hot lazy days and fresh corn this is what summer is all about

Once all the corn has been shucked get all the ingredients ready for your Mexican Street Corn Bar:

Whole lotta flavor going on here

How to make Elotes

Before we set up the bar near the cooker, let’s start slathering on some compound butter and basil pesto:

My <a href=httpsgrillinfoolscomcategorygrillskamado grill>kamado<a> is ready to devour some corn

First let’s slather on some of the ranch butter:

Now the Sriracha garlic:

The herb lime:

And finally the obligatory drip shot of the basil pesto being spooned over the corn:

Its not easy getting this shot with how gloppy the pesto is We got not one but two This is my fave And yes gloppy is a technical term

Once you coat all the ears with the flavors your guests pick, roll the corn up in the Reynolds Wrap:

Time to make an aluminum foil sleeping bag for the doctored corn

How to Roast Mexican Street Corn (or Elotes)

Load up the cooker:

My grill is loaded

Target temp here inside the cooker is anywhere between 275-350

Also, if you are a little daring, feel free to grill that corn naked!

Now it’s time to lay out the toppings to make my Mexican Street Corn Bar:

Mexican Street Corn Bar
Nice spread

Here’s an overhead shot:

Mexican Street Corn Bar
Everything to make any number of great ears of Mexican Street Corn

Now you can use the little ceramic corn boats like the white ones in the above picture, or you can simply pull back the Reynolds Wrap and make boats out of the foil. Want to guess what we did?

Easy clean up no dishes Once the foil was pulled back from the hot corn the heat dissipated immediately and was quite cool to the touch Heck yeah No dishes

And here we have the overhead shot of our three different compound butters and the basil pesto:

Top is herblime second is Srirachagarlic third is basil pesto and fourth is the Ranch With the Ranch make sure to roll it in the butter right before adding toppings as we lost a lot of the butter into the foil boat while getting these pictures

Now time to hit that toppings bar and load these bad boys up!

My favorite Second from the bottom

OK, so what did we do with each of these? We’ll start at the bottom which was the Ranch compound butter. Topped with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon:

The crunch of the bacon adds an amazing texture to this option

Now on to the basil pesto ear of corn. All it needed was some asiago cheese:

This was my favorite Simple yet elegant

The Sriracha/garlic had some cotija cheese and cilantro added:

I cant stand cilantro so I ate around it It was phenomenal with just the Srirachagarlic butter I probably shouldve just done sour cream cotija cheese and some BBQ rub

And finally the herb/lime had sour cream, cotija cheese, lime zest and a squeeze of lime (optional):

If you really dig lime go for the extra squeeze of lime juice

Another shot of those four combos:

Mexican Street Corn Bar Summary

Some of you have noticed that the feta wasn’t used. Now that the rest of you know the feta wasn’t used, some of you are wondering how it would be used. It’s hard chunks of cheese, not grated asiago or cheddar. It would just fall off, right? That’s what the sour cream is for. In that link to the other recipe I did like this, the sour cream is the binder that really holds just about anything to the corn. Think of the sour cream as tasty glue.

The message here is to follow the basic formula: Slather on a compound butter or pesto, wrap in Reynolds Wrap, cook the corn in the foil and then get creative with the toppings. It really is a fun food project that children and adults can enjoy.

Other possible toppings that would be fun to play with:

  • Guacamole
  • Your favorite BBQ rub
  • Crema
  • Minced onions
  • Any manner of aioli
  • Flavored oils
  • Cooked sausage crumbles
  • Whatever other compound butter you can think of
  • Toasted seeds
  • Crushed nuts

The options are limitless. Get crazy with it, and create your own Mexican Street Corn recipe. 

If you have any questions or comments on this cook, feel free to leave them below or send me an email and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can. 

Also, you can follow us on our GrillinFools Facebook pageInstagram, and YouTube feeds

Here’s the recipe card for those compound butters:

Mexican Street Corn Bar

Complete instructions on how to create a Mexican Street Corn Bar from compound butter to cotija cheese. This is more of an entertaining direction than a recipe
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Finger Food, Side Dish
Cuisine: Corn on the Cob, South American, Southwest
Keyword: Aluminum Foil, Bacon, Corn on the Cob, Elotes, Foil, Grilled Corn, Heavy Duty Foil, Mexican Street Corn, Reynolds Wrap, Side Dish, Street Corn



  • 4 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tsp ranch dip mix


  • 4 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha


  • 4 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp fresh sage chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp lime juice


  • Cotija cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Asiago cheese
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro chopped
  • Sour cream
  • lime cut into wedges
  • lime zest
  • bacon crumbled


  • Let the butter get soft on the counter and transfer into three separate bowls
  • Add each set of other ingredients into one bowl and mix through
  • With a spatula, scoop the butter onto wax paper and form into giant butter candies
  • Slather each ear of corn with one tbsp of compound butter and roll up in a sheet of Reynolds Wrap
  • Cook the corn in the foil at 300 for 15-20 minutes (until it starts to soften)
  • Then create a nest out of the Reynolds Wrap and top the corn with your favorite toppings





Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

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Great post, Scott! I could tear into some of that corn and be a happy man. I grew up in Kentucky and had no idea that Reynold’s Wrap was made there. Gives me another reason to buy that stuff 🙂


Great suggestions.
Love grilled ear corn.
Do you pre-condition some ears and wrap in wax paper to marinate or is that just for the camera?
Better to make the butters at least 24 hours in advance to let the added flavors bloom.
I actually prefer to grill corn in the husk after removing the silk. One can also give the ears a short bath in salt water bath before dropping on the grill.


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