How to Boil Corn on the Cob: The Ultimate Guide

Craving a taste of summer? Look no further than the humble yet oh-so-delicious corn on the cob! It’s a classic staple at picnics, barbecues, and family dinners, bringing sunshine and smiles to every table. But have you ever wondered how to perfectly boil corn on the cob, leaving everyone asking for seconds? We’ve got you covered! In this guide, we’ll dive into the delectable world of boiling corn on the cob, ensuring you’ll become a corn connoisseur in no time. So, grab your favorite pot and some fresh corn, and let’s get started!

how to boil corn on the cob - skewered corn that is seasoned on a plate

How to Boil Corn on the Cob: The Ultimate Guide

Choosing the Right Corn on the Cob

First things first, you’ll need some top-notch corn on the cob. Look for ears with bright green husks and golden, plump kernels. Give the corn a gentle squeeze to ensure the kernels are firm and filled out. And don’t forget to check for any sneaky critters hiding between those silky corn strands!

Ingredients Needed

Alright, now that you’ve got the perfect ears of corn, it’s time to gather your ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh corn on the cob (as many as you plan to devour)
  • Water (enough to cover the corn)
  • Salt (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Butter (optional, but let’s be honest—who doesn’t love buttery corn?)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Remove the husks and silks from your corn. Feel free to challenge yourself to a corn-husking race if you’re feeling competitive.
  2. Fill a large pot with water—enough to cover the corn—and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  3. Gently place the corn in the boiling water, being careful not to splash yourself with any of that scalding hot liquid. Safety first, corn lovers!
  4. Now, let’s talk about how long to boil corn on the cob. The ideal boiling time is between 7 and 10 minutes, depending on the size and freshness of your corn. Keep an eye on the clock and feel free to do a little corn dance while you wait.
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how to boil corn on the cob - corn chopped into smaller pieces boiling in a pot

When Is Corn on the Cob Done Boiling?

Wondering how to tell when your corn is ready to be devoured? The kernels should be tender but still have a slight crunch to them. If you’re unsure, use a fork to pierce a kernel. If it’s easily pierced, your corn is ready for its grand debut!

Boiled Corn on the Cob Serving Suggestions

Here’s where things get extra corny. Serve your boiled corn on the cob with a side of melted butter for drizzling (or dunking, we won’t judge). Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and maybe even a dash of smoked paprika for an extra kick. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try some of our delicious spaghetti recipes as a tasty side dish.

Want more scrumptious ideas? Check out our must-try bread pudding recipes for a delightful dessert pairing or whip up a classic negroni cocktail to really impress your friends and family.

What to Serve With Corn on the Cob

Not sure what to serve alongside your perfectly boiled corn on the cob? We’ve got you covered! Here are some mouth-watering dishes that pair perfectly with corn on the cob:

  1. BBQ favorites like grilled chicken, ribs, or burgers. Check out our summer BBQ recipes for inspiration.
  2. A fresh and colorful salad, like one of our best summer salad recipes.
  3. Cornbread or biscuits—because you can never have too much corn, right?
  4. A zesty coleslaw or a tangy potato salad for a classic cookout vibe.
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how to boil corn on the cob - large number of corn ears in a big pot

How to Store Corn on the Cob

Got leftovers? Here’s how to store your corn on the cob:

  • Uncooked: Keep uncooked corn on the cob in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic or stored in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for up to 3 days.
  • Cooked: Place cooked corn on the cob in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Can You Freeze Corn on the Cob?

Yes, you can! Freezing corn on the cob is a great way to preserve its deliciousness for later. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Allow cooked corn on the cob to cool completely.
  2. Wrap each ear tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  3. Place the wrapped ears of corn in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container.
  4. Label and date the container, then pop it in the freezer. Your corn should stay fresh for up to 6 months.

To reheat, simply steam or microwave the frozen corn on the cob until heated through.


How long should you boil corn on the cob?

Boil corn on the cob for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the size and freshness of the corn. Smaller or younger ears may cook faster, so keep an eye on them and test for tenderness using a fork. The kernels should be tender but still have a slight crunch to them when they’re perfectly cooked.

Do you put corn on the cob in cold water or boiling water?

Put corn on the cob in boiling water for the best results. Adding corn to cold water and then bringing it to a boil can result in uneven cooking, with some kernels overcooked and others undercooked. Starting with boiling water ensures that all the kernels cook evenly and reach the perfect level of tenderness.

Do you put corn on the cob in boiling water or before it boils?

Add corn on the cob to boiling water for a perfectly cooked ear. As mentioned earlier, starting with cold water can lead to uneven cooking. So, wait for the water to come to a rolling boil, then carefully add your corn on the cob and start your timer.

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How long to boil corn on the cob without husk?

Boil corn on the cob without the husk for 7 to 10 minutes, just like when it’s husked. The cooking time remains the same, but removing the husk and silk beforehand can make it easier to serve and eat. Be sure to keep an eye on the corn and test for tenderness to make sure you don’t overcook it.

Is 20 minutes too long to boil corn?

Yes, 20 minutes is too long to boil corn. Boiling corn for that long will result in mushy, overcooked kernels that lose their natural sweetness and appealing texture. Stick to boiling corn on the cob for 7 to 10 minutes for the perfect balance of tenderness and crunch.

How do you know when corn is boiled enough?

Corn is boiled enough when the kernels are tender but still have a slight crunch to them. To test if your corn on the cob is ready, use a fork to pierce a kernel. If the fork easily pierces the kernel and the juices run clear, your corn is perfectly cooked and ready to enjoy!

Final Thoughts

There you have it, corn lovers—a comprehensive guide to boiling corn on the cob! Now that you’re armed with all this corny knowledge, it’s time to get in the kitchen and start boiling. And hey, don’t forget to share your corn-tastic creations with us by tagging @nomtasticfoods on social media. Happy boiling! 🌽

Looking to up your kitchen game in an affordable way? Check out our recommendations for everything from small kitchen tools to appliances!


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