How to Cook Corn on the Cob 6 Different Ways—Including Boiled, Roasted, and More

·4 min read
Grilled BBQ Corn Cob with Herbs, Lime and Garlic Sauce. Mexican Street Food or Summer Garden Party Snack
Grilled BBQ Corn Cob with Herbs, Lime and Garlic Sauce. Mexican Street Food or Summer Garden Party Snack

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. On This Page

    • Boiled

    • Roasted

    • Grilled

    • Instant Pot

    • Air Fryer

    • Microwave

Corn on the cob is a bright, summery side that comes together quickly, no matter what approach you take. You don't need a grill or any sort of fancy gadget to prepare corn; here, you'll be sure to find a method that works for you and your kitchen. The most important step is to buy the freshest possible corn, which will reward you with sweet, juicy kernels. As for serving, nobody will complain if you set out some room temperature salted butter to slather on top and leave it at that.

Keep reading to learn our six go-to strategies for cooking corn on the cob at home.

How to Boil Corn on the Cob

With this classic method, you can boil as much corn as you can fit in your largest pot. Boiling is a gentle way to cook corn, and yields tender, golden kernels.

  1. Remove the husks and silks from the corn.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  3. Add the corn to the boiling water and cook, uncovered, until the yellow color has intensified and the kernels are plump and tender, roughly 3-5 minutes.

  4. Use tongs to remove the corn from the pot and transfer to a serving platter.

RELATED: 3 Surprising Ways to Use Cream-Style Corn

How to Roast Corn on the Cob

There are different ways to roast corn on the cob, but we think the easiest and best one is to shuck it and wrap it with foil, which allows the corn to steam in the oven. If you'd like, you can dab the corn with butter before wrapping it up.

  1. Remove the husks and silks from the corn.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  3. Wrap each ear of corn individually in tin foil.

  4. Place the foil-wrapped corn on a baking sheet.

  5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, turning the tray halfway through.

  6. Remove corn from the oven, unwrap it, and transfer it to a serving platter with tongs.

How to Grill Corn on the Cob

There are several different corn-grilling methods, but one easy method is to grill shucked corn until charred. Grilling caramelizes the corn and brings out a smoky sweetness that's perfect for a backyard BBQ.

  1. Remove the husks and silks from the corn.

  2. Preheat grill to 400 degrees.

  3. Place corn directly on grates and turn every 2 minutes, until it's completely charred, about 8 minutes total.

  4. Use tongs to remove the corn from the grill and transfer to a serving platter.

RELATED: 19 Surprising Foods You Didn't Know You Could Grill

How to Cook Corn on the Cob in an Instant Pot

Use the Instant Pot for fast, reliably delicious corn on the cob. By pressure cooking on high, you can have perfect corn on the table in less than 10 minutes.

  1. Remove the husks and silks from the corn.

  2. Place the rack in the pot, and pour in 1 ½ cups of water.

  3. Stand as many ears of corn on the rack as you would like to cook and can fit.

  4. Lock the lid and pressure cook on high for about 3-4 minutes.

  5. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for a quick release of the pressure.

  6. Once the quick release cycle has finished, unlock and remove the lid.

  7. Use tongs to remove the corn from the Instant Pot and transfer to a serving platter.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob in an Air Fryer

Like a grill, the air fryer gives the corn a caramelized effect and crisps up the kernels. Unlike the grill, the air fryer requires very little cleanup.

  1. Remove the husks and silks from the corn.

  2. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may want to cut the corn in half.

  3. Lightly coat the corn in oil, then place it into the air fryer basket.

  4. Cook at 375 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or until tender.

  5. Use tongs to remove the corn from the basket and transfer to a serving platter.

RELATED: 13 Best Air Fryer Recipes That Are Almost Too Good to Be True

How to Cook Corn on the Cob in a Microwave

The microwave is your best bet if you're only cooking one or two ears of corn. By leaving the corn in its husk, the kernels steam and retain a concentrated corn flavor.

  1. Without removing the husks, place the corn in the microwave. (If you're cooking a lot of corn, do this step in batches and be careful not to overcrowd the microwave.)

  2. Microwave corn on the high setting for 3-4 minutes for one ear, and about 2 minutes longer for each additional ear. (Note that every microwave is different, so you mat need to play around with timing.)

  3. Use a kitchen towel or tongs to remove the corn from the microwave.

  4. Cut off the stem end, then slip the corn out of its husk.

  5. Transfer corn to a serving platter.