best way to cook corn on the cob

best way to cook corn on the cob

best way to cook corn on the cob

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best way to cook corn on the cob

Boiling corn with a cup of milk and a stick of butter creates the most delicious corn imaginable. Truly the BEST way to cook corn on the cob!


  • 6-8 ears of corn, husks and silks removed and cut in half (if desired)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick Challenge butter


  • Fill a large pot about halfway with water.
  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Add milk and butter. Add corn and reduce heat.
  • Simmer corn for 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Remove corn from cooking liquid and its ready to serve.

best way to cook corn on the cob in instant pot

Total time: 15 minutes — including the time it takes for the Instant Pot to pressurize

Rating: 7/10

About This Method: As a big fan of the Instant Pot, I was excited to give this method a try. You start by shucking and halving your corn, then lining them up vertically on top of the trivet insert inside of the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes, quick release the pressure, and take them out. The recipe suggests melting butter in the still-warm insert and pouring it over the cobs, so that’s exactly what I did.

Results: The corn came out similarly to boiled corn with plump kernels that were juicy and bright yellow. They didn’t dry out and were tender without being overcooked or mushy. Adding the melted butter on top was a nice touch, and melting it in the Instant Pot was an easy way to avoid having to dirty another dish. This yielded a delicious, basic version of corn. It was simple and unfussy.

My takeaway: If you’re pinched for time (and own an Instant Pot) this method is a great option. It produces delicious, simple corn that’s tender and moist. It’s an unfussy technique that makes cleanup a breeze.

best way to cook corn on the cob
best way to cook corn on the cob

best way to cook corn on the cob in boiling water

Boil in VERY salty water.

Use the largest pot you have, fill it with water, and salt it really well. One of the first lessons I remember at culinary school was my chef calling all of us over and having us taste a spoonful of his pot of salted water. It tasted like the ocean and he proudly stated that every single pot of salted water we use for boiling ANYTHING should taste like that. So don’t be shy. Your corn won’t taste salty in the end — the salt will just help bring out its flavor. Bring your nicely salted water to a boil.

2. Shuck it good.

While your water is heating up, pull off your corn husks. This can get messy thanks to all the tiny strings (AKA stilk), so we recommend doing it over a trash can. Starting at the tip, grab all of the husk and as much of the silk as possible and pull downwards, toward the thickest end of the corn. Repeat until all of the husk is off. Rub off as much of the lingering silk as possible. (You’ll often see that a hack for removing the silk is to use a clean toothbrush — we don’t buy it.)

3. Boil ’em quick.

How long to boil corn is the biggest issue here. There aren’t great indicators for when it’s done, but they will look bright yellow, a little plumper, and will be soft and juicy. Using tongs, drop your corn into the boiling water. Return the water to a boil, then cook your corn for 5 minutes. Set a timer because if you let your corn overcook the kernels can become tough. The goal is juicy, crunchy kernels, not mushy dry ones. Fresh corn typically cooks faster that older corn, so keep that in mind and adjust cook times as necessary.

4. Butter it up. 

Brush with melted butter, season with salt and pepper, and let summer begin.

This boiled corn can be served with pretty much anything, but if you want to go the summer potluck route, potato salad and burgers certainly fit the bill.

best way to cook corn on the cob
best way to cook corn on the cob

How to grill corn in the husk: basic steps

Ready to try this method? Grilling corn in the husk requires a bit of prep work, but it’s well worth it. Here are the two steps you’ll need to do that you might not think of before starting:

  • You’ll need to remove the silk. Yes, it’s a little fussy! Remove the silk of the corn, then pull the husks back up. This makes eating it easier once it comes off the grill.
  • Soak the cobs for 20 minutes. The husks are going to get very blackened on the grill grates. So to prevent them from catching fire, you’ll need to soak them first!
  • Preheat the grill to medium high: that’s 375 to 450 degrees.
  • Grill for 20 to 22 minutes. Turn them to get even blackening on the outside of the husk.

best way to cook corn on the cob in the micowave

These instructions are for one ear of corn. If you want to microwave more than one ear at a time, increase the cooking time by 2 minutes for every additional ear of corn, depending on the power of your microwave and the size of your ears of corn. You may need to experiment to find the right time for your microwave.

Put the corn in the microwave:

Place the corn in the microwave, do not remove the husk. Microwave the corn on the high setting for 4 minutes.

Note that every microwave is different. If this timing over-cooks the corn in your microwave, reduce it to 2 to 3 minutes the next time.

Cut the bottom off the stem end:

Use a kitchen towel or pot holder to remove corn from the microwave (it’s hot!) Cut off the bottom of the corn, stem end, about one row of corn in from the stem.

Remove the husk:

Slip off the husk and silk.

That’s it!

best way to cook corn on the cob on the grill

Grilling corn in husks is a unique method that’s absolutely worth trying! It’s easy and results in deliciously moist, sweet flavor.


  • 8 ears corn
  • Butter and salt, for serving
best way to cook corn on the cob
best way to cook corn on the cob


  1. Remove the silk: Remove any loose husks from the corn cobs. Shuck the corn by peeling down the outside layers one at a time and keeping them attached, facing downwards away from the cob. Remove the silk, then pull the husks back up over the corn (it can be a bit messy, so it doesn’t have to be perfect!).
  2. Soak 20 minutes: Soak the corn cobs in cool water for at least 20 minutes to prevent scorching.
  3. Preheat: Heat a grill to medium high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit).
  4. Grill the corn: Place the corn directly on the grill grates and cook until the husk begins to blacken, then turn. Cook 20 to 22 minutes total, until the corn is cooked through (the outside husk will be charred). To check whether it’s done, pull back the husk on one corn to make sure it is bright yellow and cooked through all the way to the bottom of the cob. (You can err on the side of over-cooking it, since you may find the cooking is fairly uneven in the husk.) Serve immediately with butter and salt.

How To Shuck Cooked Corn In The Husk?

There are 2 ways to take off the husk from cooked corn:

1) Cut to the bottom end and slide husk off

Put the corn on a cutting board and cut off the bottom end of the corn (where the stem is).  Then grab the hulk by the top (where the silk strand are), pull on it and it will slide right off in one piece.  Pure magic!

2) Husk as usual

I’m too lazy to do the cutting, so my preferred way is to just remove the husk as usual (over the garbage can).  Just peel off the husk from the top, and it will come right off.  A huge difference of cooked husk vs. raw is that the cooked one doesn’t stick, doesn’t makes a mess, and it peels off very easily.

best way to cook corn on the cob
best way to cook corn on the cob

Health benefits of corn

Corn or Zea mays kernels are low fat, fibrous, and a starchy complex carbohydrate. When eaten straight from the cob, it provides a source of sustained energy and nutritional benefits. One serving is notable in the levels of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C.

The yellow pigmentation provides antioxidants called lutein, good for eye health and zeaxanthin for skin health. It has a higher amount of insoluble to soluble fiber, providing digestive benefits. Try to purchase organic corn if available for the most nourishing crop.

How do you store corn on the cob?

Store corn in the refrigerator in its husk. Make sure to wrap it tightly in a plastic bag, the dry air is the enemy. If the kernels dry out, it will taste starchy. Taking it a step further, you can wrap the cobs in damp paper towels, and then place inside a plastic bag to keep them moist. Eat corn on the cob within 3 days.

How do you prepare corn on the cob?

Depending on how you cook the corn, simply peel back the husk and remove the silk. Wash and then dry if you are oven roasting or grilling. The corn husk can be left on for methods like microwaving and on the barbecue. Some people like to peel back the husk and remove the silk, and some leave it intact, cooks choice.


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