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Summer BBQ Grilled Scallops and Corn Recipe

Excerpted from ‘Chiles and Smoke: BBQ, Grilling, and Other Fire-Friendly Recipes with Spice and Flavor’ by Brad Prose

spinner image grilled scallops and corn on plate
Brad Prose

Serves 4 to 5

Grilling in the summertime reminds me of basting food with barbecue sauce, piles of grilled corn, and lots of bright citrus slices. Summer recipes are typically simpler to prepare and quicker to cook, as everyone is looking forward to kicking back and relaxing. Scallops are incredible right off the grill, seared quickly to caramelize the outside while adding a bit of char. They absorb flavors very well, and brushing them with the barbecue butter adds just enough seasoning without overwhelming their natural taste. If you haven’t tried scallops or are intimidated by them, this is the recipe for you. I recommend using a spicy barbecue sauce for the compound butter, which counters the naturally sweet flavors.

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  • 2 pounds jumbo scallops
  • 1/3 cup Nashville-style BBQ sauce (or preferred barbecue sauce)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon slices
  • Kosher salt to taste



Preheat the grill for direct cooking at high heat.

Take the scallops out of their packaging and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place them on a wire rack in the fridge until ready to cook. Do not season them ahead of time.

Melt the Nashville hot BBQ sauce and butter together in a small saucepan until they combine.

Add the corn to the grill and cook, turning often. Closing the lid between flips will help the corn cook a little faster. Once the corn starts to char, baste it lightly with the BBQ butter and continue to flip. The corn will be ready after about 10 minutes total. Set the corn on a plate covered lightly with foil while the scallops cook.

Remove the scallops from the fridge and place them on a tray. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, coating the scallops on all sides. Season with salt and pepper on all sides as well.

Make sure your grill grates are very clean and lightly oil them if you can. Clean, slick grates make sure the scallops cook properly without sticking.

Grill the scallops directly over the coals for about 3 minutes and carefully flip with a thin spatula (avoid using tongs). They should easily release from the grill grates. Brush the scallops with the barbecue butter and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Flip one last time, baste again with the barbecue butter, and remove the scallops from the grill. The internal temperature should be about 115 to 120°F; they will continue to cook as you take them off the grill.

Shave the corn off the cobs and serve with the grilled scallops, garnished with chopped parsley and lemon slices. Season to taste.


Try More Grilling Recipes

Black Bean Quinoa Burger with Baby Artichoke and Fingerling Potato Fries from Southern Cooking, Global Flavors by Kenny Gilbert and Nan Kavanaugh

Grilled Chicken with Apricots, Red Onion + Basil from Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit by Abra Berens

Barbecue Ribs and Baked Beans from Southern and Smoked: Cajun Cooking Through the Seasons by Jarred I. Zeringue 

Citrus and Spice Costillitas from Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling by Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral 

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