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Tutorials & Tips

How to Cook Corn on the Cob 5 Ways

Roadside stands and grocery store produce aisles are bursting with fresh corn this time of year, and we know you won’t resist. Inexpensive, tasty and downright fun to eat, corn on the cob is versatile enough to complement weeknight meals and weekend picnics alike. Plan for two ears per person because appetites run high when a platter of hot corn is on the table.

Is there a best way to cook it? It really depends on your preference. Corn can handle a variety of cooking methods—from boiling to grilling. We review all the options so you can decide what’s best for you. There’s no wrong way here, as our Test Kitchen experts have tried them all.

Boiling
Fresh-picked corn on the cob, quickly boiled, spread with soft, sweet butter, and sprinkled with salt is a summer classic. This is hands down the most traditional way to cook corn. Simply shuck the corn and add to boiling water. Simple and quick, in a few minutes, drain and it’s ready to serve. For extra-decadent corn, southerners swear by boiling it in milk. Need a one-pot meal? Go with our recipe for Slow Cooker Lowcountry Boil, but make it on the stovetop instead of a slow cooker.

Roasting
Don’t want to deal with boiling water and steaming up the kitchen? Consider roasting it. Shuck the corn, spread butter on each ear and wrap in aluminum foil. The kids can even pitch in with this type of preparation. Roast for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees or for a bit quicker cooking time use a convection oven. Feeling fancy? Spread compound butter on the corn before or after roasting.

Grilling
With the right amount of smokiness and a bit of char, it’s no wonder grilled corn is a state fair favorite. There are a few schools of thought whether to leave the husk on while grilling or not. We’ll let you decide, but we prefer putting shucked corn directly on the grill for the best flavor. It’s the only way to get a nice sear on the kernels. With an indoor grill, rain won’t be a barrier to get grilled corn on the table. Be sure to make extra for this satisfying grilled corn and black bean salad to serve the next day.

Steaming
You can steam corn several ways. A steamer can be a quick method for cooking a few ears. For larger quantities or for an event where you want to keep the corn warm for several hours, consider using a roaster oven. Simply add 3 cups of water, and preheat to 400 degrees. Place the shucked corn on the rack. Cover, and cook for 25 minutes. To keep the corn warm, reduce the roaster oven temperature to 300 degrees. Any leftover corn can be cut off the cob and turned into another delicious meal like zucchini corn pie, Mexican corn and avocado salad or zucchini boats.

Slow Cooker
Come home to the smell of delicious, sweet corn after an afternoon of sports practice? Sign us up! Slow cooker corn on the cob is so easy to prepare, you’ll definitely want to try this method if you haven’t already. Ears can be put in the slow cooker husked and wrapped in foil or for this recipe you don’t even have to husk it. Change up the flavor by adding in favorite seasonings before wrapping in foil. If you are feeling adventurous, opt for Buffalo or Italian inspired corn on the cob.

Try a few different methods to find your family’s favorite. Any way you cook it, corn on the cob will always be a summer success.

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