Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Corn on the Cob

By • June 26, 2012 • 43 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.

 

Jump to Comments (43)

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

Comments (43)

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2 months ago rick maynard

I use a similar method for my corn with one exception........I add 2 tablespoons of sugar and a splash of lemon or lime juice to the water.
The sugar sweetens it,the lime juice makes it tender. TRY IT, you'll love it.

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3 months ago Locavore42

Our favorite corn: Using organic corn, boil briefly then put in an oven on the lowest rack directly over the red hot elements to caramelize or roast. Turn as often as needed with tongs until golden all around. Drenched in butter and a bit of salt .... whoohoo.

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3 months ago Locavore42

Anyone know where I can get organic corn that's NOT sweet, but starchy and packed with great taste?

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3 months ago Locavore42

Got a tough one here. We don't want sweet corn. Organic corn is GMO free so we get that, but whatever happened in this country that now seems devoid of starchy corn that makes the best "creamed" corn and is loaded with corn taste that's NOT sweet? Diana Kennedy spoke of this in more than one of her cook books. If I want sweet, I'll get a cookie. Why oh why must everything be sweet to be good?

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3 months ago John Nelles

Growing up in Iowa, corn country, we were told to add a bit of skim milk to the pot when boiling, and then cook like you recommend: once the water returns to a boil, shut off the heat and it's ready.
It also tastes good by just steaming it. Very versatile.
I, too, am concerned about GMO corn. Buy organic if you can find it. I don't want to eat Monsanto's surprises.

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4 months ago sir_ken_g

http://youtu.be/U10MkdbzS54...

Nuke it - no husking, no threads.

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4 months ago Horto

nuke corn????

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6 months ago Doug Barnhard

Best way ever to cook corn is in a fire with a really hot bed of coals made from apple wood. Get a really good fire going in a fire pit. While the wood is burning down to nice hot bed of coals place corn in bucket of water. If you have lots of corn I will use a picnic cooler. You want the corn to soak for about 1 hr. Take the corn right out of the water and carefully place in the coals. You must have a nice bed of coals or the water from the corn can cause the coals to be put out. Occasionally turn the corn on the coals with a long pair of tongs. The outside parts of the husk will actually start to burn off. Don't worry if some of the corn kernals get darkened because of the fire. They are just carmelizing and it is oh so good. They will be in the fire about ten minutes or so. Remember you put the corn in the fire with the husk on. The husk actually holds in the heat to make it cook. Soaking it keeps the ear of corn from just catching on fire. Enjoy

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over 1 year ago Malek Alahmar

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

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about 2 years ago Cinnamin

Sheesh! And to think it was that easy!

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about 2 years 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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about 2 years 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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about 2 years 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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over 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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over 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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over 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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over 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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over 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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over 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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over 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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over 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.