15 Best Ways To Cook Corn On The Cob

15 Best Ways To Cook Corn On The Cob
15 Best Ways To Cook Corn On The Cob

Corn on the cob is a classic summer food and close to many hearts.  I like to pick mine up at a local farmstand so I know it’s as fresh as possible.

But what’s the best way to cook it?  If you talk to 10 people, you’ll probably get 10 different answers but I’m here to tell you there’s more than one way to get it done and they all work great!  No matter where you are or what cooking facilities you have available, there’s a way to cook your corn.

Here, for your cooking pleasure, is my list of the 15 best ways to cook corn on the cob.  You’re welcome.

Perfect Boiled Sweet Corn

Perfect Boiled Sweet Corn
Perfect Boiled Sweet Corn

Put water in a large pan (enough to cover the corn).  Add 1-2 tsp sugar and put it on the stovetop on high heat.

Remove husk and silk from the ears of corn.  Trim or cut in half if needed to fit into the pan.

When the water comes to a boil, add corn on the cob.  Cover and boil for 2 minutes.  Turn off heat and let rest for 8-10 minutes, depending on taste.  Remove with tongs and serve immediately.

Variation:  Add one cup of milk, 1 stick of butter, 2 tbsp honey and 2 sliced jalapenos to the water before adding corn.

Roasted Corn in the Oven

Roasted Corn in the Oven
Roasted Corn in the Oven

Easy baked corn on the cob
Preheat oven to 400℉.  Place cobs, hucks and silk intact, on the oven rack and cook for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven with tongs and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Peel off husk and silk to serve.

Garlic butter corn on the cob
For each cob:
1 tbsp butter, room temperature
¼ tsp garlic minced
Pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350℉.  In a small bowl, mix butter, garlic, salt and pepper.  Remove husks and silk from corn.  Spread butter mixture over kernels, wrap individually in aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.  Remove from the oven.  If desired, expose the top of the corn and broil on high for 3-4 minutes or until browned.

Variations:

  • Add ¼ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper. ¼ tsp cilantro and ¼ tsp lime juice to butter mixture.
  •  Add ¼ tsp brown sugar and ¼ tsp smoked paprika to the butter mixture
  • Add ¾ tsp hot sauce and 1 tsp feta cheese

Roasting Corn on the Grill

Roasting Corn on the Grill
Roasting Corn on the Grill

Easy grilled corn on the cob

Heat the grill to high.  Trim exposed silk from the end of the corn and place directly on the grill.  Cook for 20 minutes, turning frequently.  Remove from the grill with tongs and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Peel off husk and silk to serve.

Garlic butter corn on the cob
For each cob:
1 tbsp butter, room temperature
¼ tsp garlic minced
Pinch of salt and pepper

Heat the grill to high.  In a small bowl, mix butter, garlic, salt and pepper.  Remove husks and silk from corn.  Spread butter mixture over kernels, wrap individually in aluminum foil and grill for 30 minutes, turning frequently.  Remove from the grill and serve.

Variations:

  • Add ¼ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper. ¼ tsp cilantro and ¼ tsp lime juice to butter mixture.
  • Add ¼ tsp brown sugar and ¼ tsp smoked paprika to the butter mixture
  • Add ¾ tsp hot sauce and 1 tsp Cotija or feta cheese to the butter mixture

Corn on the Cob: Cool Gadgets Edition

Corn on the Cob: Cool Gadgets Edition
Corn on the Cob: Cool Gadgets Edition

In the Microwave
Place ears of unhusked corn in a single layer in the microwave.  Cook on high for 3 minutes and check to see if it’s cooked sufficiently.  Continue cooking at 1-minute intervals until done.  Remove from the microwave using tongs and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Remove husk and silk to serve.

In the Air Fryer
Preheat air fryer to 380℉.  Remove husks and silk from corn. Coat ears with cooking spray, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and place in the air fryer, cutting in half if needed to fit.  Cook for 12-16 minutes, flipping once.

In the Instant Pot
Remove husks and silk from corn, if desired.  Trim ears to fit in the pot, if necessary.  Pour 1 cup cold water in the Instant Pot. Place a trivet in the pot, then place the ear of corn on the cob on the trivet.

With the venting knob in the venting position, close the lid, then turn the venting knob to the sealing position. Cook at high pressure for 2 minutes (3 minutes for unshucked corn), then immediately quick release. Open the lid carefully.  Serve immediately.

Just One More Thing

Street Corn
Street Corn

Just one more thing. Not a cooking method but a classic recipe that begs to be served at your summer barbecue:  Street Corn.

For one ear of corn:
Combine 2 tbsp Cotija or feta cheese, 1 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tbsp sour cream (or Mexican crema), 1 tsp dried cilantro, ⅛ chile powder, and 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp).  Set aside.

Cook corn using one of the methods above.  Grilling or air fryer is recommended to achieve the classic charing that street corn is known for, although corn cooked using another method can be put under the broiler for 3-4 minutes to achieve the desired effect.

Coat hot corn with cheese mixture and serve with additional chile powder and lime wedges.

Hack:  To quickly soften cold butter, place the desired amount in a microwave-safe container.  Microwave at 30% power for 10 seconds intervals until softened.

Hack: To effortlessly remove husk and silk from cooked corn, place the ear on a flat surface.  Hold firmly, using a towel or pot holder to keep from burning your hands.  Cut off the bottom (stem end) of the corn about one row of corn in from the stem and slid off the husk and silk.

Hack: When the corn on the cob is fully cooked the yellow color of the corn is more intense. The kernels are plumper and more tender. You can test it by pricking a kernel with the tip of a sharp knife.  If it’s done, liquid will drip from the kernel.

I hope you’ve found this information to be useful and keep in mind they’ll all work whether you’re making a single cob or cooking for a crowd.

And, ok, I will ask.  What’s your favorite way to cook corn?

All my best,

Cynthia
cynthia@cynthiaeats.com