How to Cook Corn on the Cob

Platter of broiled corn on the cob

Corn on the cob is an all-American classic. Many cooks like to boil their corn until it's juicy and tender, but there are a number of ways to prepare delicious corn that will make your mouth water. Don't pick your favorite until you've tried them all!

Roast

You can roast your corn before or after shucking; it's your choice. Roasting with the husks on adds an extra, subtle layer of flavor.

Directions for Corn in Husk

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel back the husks on each ear (as many as you need), but don't remove them.
  3. Remove all the silks.
  4. Wash each ear of corn under cold running water.
  5. Fold the husks back over the corn.
  6. Soak the corn in cold water for 15 minutes.
  7. Place the corn in a single layer in a baking dish.
  8. Roast for approximately 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes, until the husks are light brown.

Directions for Shucked Corn

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Shuck each ear of corn.
  3. Soak the corn in cold water for 15 minutes.
  4. Rub each ear with butter.
  5. Place the ears in a single layer in a baking dish and cover with foil.
  6. Roast for approximately 30 minutes, turning after the first 15 minutes.

Broil

Broiling corn gives the ears a very nice color and really brings out the flavor.

Directions

  1. Prepare the corn as described above for roasting shucked corn.
  2. Roast the corn at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.
  3. Remove the foil cover, and turn up the oven to broil.
  4. Broil, turning the ears often, until they are browned or slightly charred, whichever you prefer.

Grill

Grilling imparts a wonderfully smoky flavor to corn on the cob. Since each ear will be roasted individually, you can roast as little or as many ears as you desire.

Directions

Foil-wrapped corn on the grill; © Lschirmbeck | Dreamstime.com
  1. Shuck as many ears of fresh corn as you need.
  2. Lay each ear on its own sheet of foil for wrapping.
  3. Melt butter, approximately 1 tablespoon per ear.
  4. Brush the butter lightly on each ear.
  5. Wrap the ears in their foil sheets.
  6. Grill the corn at medium high heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

Microwave

You can easily microwave corn on the cob, but this cooking method works best in small batches. You'll need a microwave-safe dish that comes with its own lid, or you'll need some plastic wrap to drape over the corn before cooking.

Directions

  1. Shuck 3 to 4 ears of fresh corn.
  2. Place the ears in the dish.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of water to the dish.
  4. Cock the lid at a slight angle over the dish, or cover the dish with plastic wrap and leave it slightly open on one end to vent the steam.
  5. Microwave for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Take care not to burn your hands with the steam when you uncover the corn.

Pressure Cook

Although this method of cooking corn on the cob is probably used less often than most other methods, pressure cooking provides yet another way to produce fast, tasty corn.

Directions

  1. Pour 1 cup of water in the cooker.
  2. Place 4 shucked ears of corn inside.
  3. Put on the lid and seal.
  4. Allow the cooker to reach high pressure, and then cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the stove, run cool water over it until the pressure releases, and remove the corn.

Tips for Tastier Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob has plenty of flavor on its own, so you can enjoy it without any other added flavors if you wish. However, some people do like to enhance the flavor of their corn in a several ways.

Sugar

If you like your corn slightly sweeter, you can add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the water when you boil or pressure cook your corn. You can adjust the amount of sugar up or down to suit your tastes.

Salt

Add two teaspoons of salt to the water you're going to cook your corn in. The savory flavor of the salt really highlights the sweetness of the corn. You might also want to try sprinkling a little seasoned salt on your corn instead of regular salt.

Corn on the cob with herb butter

Flavored Butter

Butter is a favorite with many corn lovers, and several of the cooking methods call for using butter. However, you might enjoy slathering a cooked cob with herb butter or garlic butter for a real flavor boost.

Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Pepper is another seasoning that goes very well with corn on the cob, and the zesty punch of lemon adds another dimension to the flavor. Simply butter your cobs and sprinkle them lightly with the lemon pepper seasoning, and you're in for a treat.

Always Use the Freshest Corn Available

You'll always get the best results when you start with the freshest corn you can find. Look for healthy green sheathes and plump kernels that go all the way to the tip of the cob. When you use corn at the height of its sweetness, you can't go wrong no matter how you cook it.

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How to Cook Corn on the Cob