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Boiling corn on the cob is a cinch! You will love this juicy corn on the cob to put on the side of any summer meal.
Corn is the ultimate side dish at BBQ’s and boiling corn on the cob is so simple, as is heating it in the microwave! Pair it with some Grilled Steak, Macaroni Salad, and fresh fruit for a full spread!
A Classic Side Dish!
Corn on the cob is classic! It goes with almost any meal and is so easy to make – especially when you boil it.
We love eating corn on the cob during these hot summer months. It’s juicy, crisp, and always hits the spot. Spread butter over the kernels and sprinkle with salt and pepper! YUM.
Boiling corn on the cob is also great for salads and other dishes. Just slice off the corn from the cob and mix it in with your favorite salads or eat it as is. Perfect for Corn Salsa or this Summer Corn Salad.
Choosing the Best Corn
The best corn on the cob starts with fresh corn.
- Try not to open the husk to look at the corn.
- Probe the ear of corn with your fingers. If you feel soft spots or missing kernels leave it behind.
- Look for a bright green and tightly wrapped husk.
- The tassels should be silky and a bit sticky.
How Long to Boil Corn on the Cob
Follow these easy steps on how to boil corn on the cob for a quick and tasty side!
BOIL. Fill a large pot with water. Pour 1 quart of water per ear into your largest pot, add kosher salt, then bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling add the corn. Be sure you do not overcrowd the pot.
As soon as the water returns to a boil, the corn is done. This should only take 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover the pot with a lid. The corn can stay in the hot water for up to 30 minutes.
Boiling corn on the cob is crazy easy, these tips will help!
How much for a crowd. Boiling corn is a great way to cook a large amount. If I’m having a party where the corn on the cob is a main side dish, then I plan one whole cob per adult and half a cob per child. If I have a lot of other side dishes, then I plan for half of a cob for children and adults.
Cutting the cobs in half. The easiest way I have found to break the cob is by hand. Once the cob has been shucked firmly grip the cob with both hands and bend at the center. It should break with a nice snap.
No need to presoak. When boiling corn on the cob there is no need to presoak it. Some people choose to presoak their unhusked corn cobs before placing them on the grill, but not when you are going to use the boil-only method to cook them.
Boiling frozen cobs. You can boil frozen corn on the cob. It will only take 2-3 minutes longer for the water to come to a boil signaling that the corn is done.
Flavoring Your Corn
Once you’ve mastered the best way to boil corn on the cob it’s time to decide how to season it!
- Sweeten it up. Some people really like sweet corn on the cob. To help sweeten this dish up you can add ¼ cup – ½ cup granulated sugar to the boiling water. Then, immediately add the corn cobs to boil.
- Rich flavor. Using milk along with water to boil your corn cobs can add extra flavor and richness. Add 1 cup of whole milk to the water. Bring to a boil and cook according to the recipe.
- Season it. Once the cobs are cooked, add a layer of butter and sprinkle on delicious seasonings such as salt, pepper, paprika, parmesan cheese, cotija cheese, lemon juice, or lime juice. Depending on the flavor profile you are going for you can add fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or cilantro.
- Butter it. You can also whip up some garlic butter or herbed butter to slather on the cobs.
- Spicy. Add a coat of wasabi sauce over the cooked cobs, sprinkle on red chili flakes, chili powder, or drizzle on hot sauce.
Storing + Serving Tips
Store uncooked corn. The sweetest corn is freshly picked so buy local corn from the side of the road farm stand or your local farmers market when it’s in season. You can store fresh sweet corn in the fridge, with the husks on, for 2-4 days.
Store cooked corn. Cooked corn on the cob can last in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container or stored in the freezer for up to 6 months in a freezer-safe container.
You can also remove the kernels from the cob and store them in a Ziploc bag in the fridge or freezer.
Use Cooked Corn in These Recipes:
If I’m hosting a party where corn on the cob is a main side dish, then I plan one whole cob per adult and half a cob per child. If I have a lot of other side dishes, then I plan for half of a cob per child and adult.
Do not add the corn until the water reaches a full boil. Bring to a boil a second time and cook the cobs until the kernels are golden yellow. The exact length of time will depend on how tender you like the kernels, but generally about 4-5 minutes. Boiling it for too long will cause the kernels to absorb too much water and become soggy.
You can boil frozen corn on the cob. It will only take 2-3 minutes longer for the water to come to a boil signaling that the corn is done.
For More Summer Sides, Try:
How to Boil Corn on the Cob Recipe
- 3-4 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3-4 cobs of corn
- As soon as the water returns to a boil, the corn is done. This should only take 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover the pot with a lid. The corn can stay in the hot water for up to 30 minutes.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.