Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Corn on the Cob

By • June 26, 2012 • 35 Comments

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Finished corn

Nothing should have to be confusing about corn.

But your mom may have told you to boil it for ten minutes; your mother-in-law, for seven. Your dad may have let it roll on the stove until he remembered it. There’s been an age-old debate on the best way to cook corn on the cob – and, at the center, how long to boil it.

Shucking corn

Get this: we don’t boil it at all.

Instead, we boil water on it’s own, then toss in the corn. Once the water gets back up to a boil, we simply shut off the heat. You can let the corn hang out in the pot for a few minutes, or until dinner’s ready, or until you just can’t resist the promise of its perfection.

Corn in pot

So no need to worry about timing; no need to worry about wrinkly kernels; no need to worry about upsetting the family tradition. The best way to cook corn turns out to be the easiest.

Finished corn with butter

Best Ever Corn on the Cob

Serves 4

4 ears shucked fresh corn
Butter and salt, for serving

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add the corn. Once the water gets back up to a boil, shut off the heat.

2. Let the corn sit the pot for a few minutes (or until dinner’s ready).

3. Serve with butter and salt.

 

Tags: corn, how-to, summer, how-to & diy

Comments (35)

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10 months ago Malek Alahmar

http://howlongneedtoboilcorn... check out my new site for new steps how to boil corn

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over 1 year ago Cinnamin

Sheesh! And to think it was that easy!

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over 1 year ago jtrueblood

I love how we all have such strong opinions about how to cook corn. I usually nuke: 4 minutes for one ear in the husk. Tried a new method for grilling corn, though. I nuked it for 2 minutes, then shucked (heating up the corn makes the shucking so much easier). I sprayed it with olive oil spray and then grilled it for a few minutes, turning it as it browns a little. Either the corn I bought was exceptionally good, or the roasting brought out the sweetness. It was sooo sweet!

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over 1 year ago jtrueblood

I love how we all have such strong opinions about how to cook corn. I usually nuke: 4 minutes for one ear in the husk. Tried a new method for grilling corn, though. I nuked it for 2 minutes, then shucked (heating up the corn makes the shucking so much easier). I sprayed it with olive oil spray and then grilled it for a few minutes, turning it as it browns a little. Either the corn I bought was exceptionally good, or the roasting brought out the sweetness. It was sooo sweet!

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over 1 year ago Julie O

Deep into an early corn season here in New England. Steam for a few minutes ... eat - all by itself. If it's good corn it doesn't need butter and it certainly doesn't need salt. And if it does, it isn't good corn so find a better place to buy it! YUM.

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almost 2 years ago jane.pilcher1

Wow! Just tried this the other day & it couldn't be any easier. Corn was cooked perfectly!

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almost 2 years ago harleyjo

The best way to enjoy corn on the cob is right off the stalk...........raw! Its fabulous. No need for butter, salt, pepper, or whatever else you put on the corn. This is the simplest and best method. Of course, its best when you have organic, non-GMO corn.

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almost 2 years ago Pat in SoCal

Isn't this amazing? So many great ways to accomplish delicious corn. I always put cleaned corn into cold water with a little sugar (never salt) cove and and bring just to a boil "until it smells like corn" and then turn it off. It can sit for a while if you need it to...yum!

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almost 2 years ago Peggio

My new favorite way to get "roasted" corn flavor when you don't have fresh... you can use frozen kernels, add to a pan on high heat with canola or corn oil and just LEAVE it alone for a few minutes, then start shaking pan every minute or so to expose all kernels to get them brown. I then remove from heat, add some salt & freshly ground black pepper & a tablespoon or two of butter. So easy & YUM!

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almost 2 years ago MicronCat

The best corn on the cob we ever had happened TOTALLY by accident. I put the corn on the stove to boil in salted water, then something or other happened around the house and we forgot about it. Came back to the pan boiled dry and the corn scorched black where it was touching the pot. Ate it anyway. Crispy, super sweet AND salty from the salted water - have tried unsuccessfully to duplicate.

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almost 2 years ago Alexis Rhone

The best way to cook corn is to husk, de-silk, & slather with butter, salt & pepper, roll it up in wax paper, crimp the edges, then put it in the microwave for 8 minutes. Perfect, every time! No boiling, with all the vitamins leeching out into the water. Just perfect corn, every time! Try it!

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almost 2 years ago Alice_

I totally agree! Although I don't wrap it, i leave it with the inner layer of husks and silks, which come off very easily I also don't cook it that long, maybe 4 minutes, and I find i don't need salt and butter this way, the flavor becomes very intense and concentrated. . Notice the "it"....this works for one cob, not for a lot! But if you're cooking for one, it's a great method.

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almost 2 years ago Lilah

Just clean corn and wrap in a damp dish towel. Flour sack is best. Then microwave for 2 minutes per ear. Crunchy and delicious Use organic it is better.

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almost 2 years ago Kt4

Super easy method when making fresh corn for a large crowd... while getting a huge pot of water boiling, clean a large cooler that was used to carry all the food to your destination and remove nature's corn packaging [aka husks & silk]. Put the corn into the cooler and pour in the boiling water then promptly close the cooler's lid. When all the rest of the food is set out, reveal the surprise in the cooler (maybe it should be called a hotter for this?) and watch eyes light up at the delicious surprise of sweet hot COTC [Corn-On-The-Cob]!

Thank you Mom for discovering this super easy method and texting it to me at the feast I was preparing high in the VA mountains, where I thankfully had some limited cell reception.

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almost 2 years ago phyllis

I've been cooking corn this way forever. It's the best. Thanks for making it public!!

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almost 2 years ago Pmudpies

Well, maybe it has to do with living in So California, looking out over an ocean, but we love corn, so I I husk fresh organic corn on the cob, lightly spray butter, salt and put on hot grill. Turn four times, and eat with melted butter and if you wish grated hard cheese. I always hope for extra to cut from cob, and then use in cold salad next day.

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almost 2 years ago Alexis Rhone

The best way is to slather the shucked corn with butter, salt & pepper, then roll up in wax paper & microwave for 8 minutes. Perfectly cooked. Already seasoned. Delicious.

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almost 2 years ago Funwithme

Funny, I really think the big question here is not how to cook the corn but where on earth to find corn worth eating!!! Organic non-GMO!!! Either the public is really ignoring the problem in this country or maybe they really don't care. Even China labels their GMO foods!! I for one have totally banded Corn from my diet unless it's organic.

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almost 2 years ago Lindini

my fave way to cook corn......
clean the corn of all silk & husks
put cleaned corn cob(s) into an empty pot
cover the corn with water so all is covered by the water
add about 1 heaping TBL of white sugar and 1/3 c milk
turn heat on med high, uncovered
cook until fluid comes to a boil, turn heat off.
corn can be served immediately or stay in fluid for up to 1 hour before serving
enjoy the sweetest, tastiest corn on the cob EVER!!!!

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almost 2 years ago bnirvana

The thought of taking nice fresh corn on the cob and wrapping it in plastic wrap to cook it gives me the shivers.......why do you want a bunch of chemicals leaching out of the plastic wrap into your fresh corn? It might be easy but I think there are much healthier ways to cook corn. If you are going to microwave try abstaining from the plastic wrap - I think it will cook just fine without it!

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almost 2 years ago ramblinbob

I've used Judy's bbq corn technique. Tastes great, but the blackened husks are messy. The right way to boil corn is to bring the water to a boil, dump in the corn, submerge it and remove after 5 minutes. The only thing your hypothetical family was doing wrong was boiling it too long. And, BTW, "put corn in hot water and take it out when you feel like it" is _not_ a recipe.

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almost 2 years ago pschissel

All wrong! Shuck fresh corn. Put it on a plate (6-8 at a time - you can even stack!) with a teaspoon of water. Cover with plastic wrap leaving a little opening at one side for air to escape or with a plastic plate cover. Microwave for ONE MINUTE per ear of fresh corn - no more! 4 ears = 4 minutes, 5 ears = 5 minutes, etc. "Fresh corn really needs nothing. No butter, salt, pepper, or fancy combos. It's sublime in late June, better in July and August! Totally terrific!