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How to Cook Corn on the Cob

Few things are as satisfying as a buttery corn on the cob, and learning how to make it is easy. Follow these easy steps for how to cook corn on the cob on the stovetop, grill, microwave, and oven. Quoting the now-famous corn kid, “It’s corn. I can’t imagine a more beautiful thing.”

A close up of cook corn on the cob in a serving dish.

Summer is one of the best times of the year, with warm weather, peachestomatoes, strawberries, and fresh summer CORN! These crops come during a small window, making summer even more special! If you’re looking for the best way to cook corn on the cob, we have a few methods to help you prepare it.

What You Need to Make Corn on the Cob

  • Corn on the Cob: Look for corn with bright green husks wrapped tightly against the corn. The tassels (the things sticking out of the cob) should be brown. If they are dried out and black, toss them back because they’re likely old.
  • Milk: I use milk instead of water to boil corn on the cob on the stovetop.
  • Butter: Butter and corn on the cob go hand-in-hand.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob

How to Make Corn on the Cob on the Stovetop

The stovetop is my favorite way to prepare corn on the cob, and this cooking method for boiling corn is easy and delicious. The butter bath imparts so much flavor! How long you cook the corn depends on how much you’re boiling, but it shouldn’t take more than five minutes.

Step 1: Add room-temperature ears of corn to a stockpot and poach them in water, milk, and butter.

Corn on the cob boiling in a pot with milk and butter.

Step 2: Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for 3-5 minutes over medium heat.

Corn on the cob boiling in a pot with milk and butter.

Step 3: Using tongs, remove the corn and place them into a serving dish.

Stovetop corn on the cob on a serving tray.

How to Make Corn on the Cob on the Grill

Grilling isn’t the fastest way to prepare corn, but grilled corn on the cob just hits the spot! Grilled corn has a smoky flavor that cannot compare, and when you use them to make recipes like elote with cotija cheese or add them to a summer corn salad or dip – they’re outstanding! 

Step 1: Preheat the grill by setting all the burners to high heat for about 10 minutes.

While the grill is coming to temperature, shuck the corn and give them a good wash.

Peeled and washed the corn on the cob in a colander.

Step 2: Wrap the corn in aluminum foil and add a tablespoon of butter before closing it.

Butter on an ear of corn in foil.

Step 3: Add the corn to the grill and turn down the heat to maintain a grill temperature of 450°F (232°C).

Foil-wrapped corn on the cob cooking on the grill.

Step 4: Grill for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Remove the corn from the foil to serve.

Grilled corn on the cob on a serving tray.

How to Make Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

For the longest time, I had no idea you could cook corn on the cob in the microwave. It’s an easy way to prepare corn and perfect for single servings (where was this hack in college). All you have to do is throw the corn in the microwave with the husk and fire away.

Step 1: Add an ear of corn to the microwave with the husk intact. Microwave for 2-4 minutes.

An ear of corn in the microwave.

Step 2: Remove the corn using oven mitts. Then, cut off the ear and remove the husk.

Cutting the off end of the cob.

Step 3: Coat the corn with butter to serve.

A table of butter on a cooked ear of corn.

How to Make Corn on the Cob in the Oven

You will love my hands-off method for oven-roasted corn. I recommend removing the outer green husk before cooking them in the oven to make it easier. However, you can cook corn on the cob in the oven with the husk on, wrap it, and shuck it after you bake it.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). While the oven is coming to temperature, shuck the corn and give them a good wash.

Peeled and washed the corn on the cob in a colander.

Step 2: Wrap the corn in aluminum foil and add a tablespoon of butter before closing it.

Butter on an ear of corn in foil.

Step 3: Line the corn onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Corn on the cob wrapped in foil on a baking sheet.

Step 4: Remove the corn from the foil and serve.

Boiled corn on the cob on a serving tray.

Expert Tips

  • I have provided the cooking times for corn on the cob in the FAQ section below. However, it is a good idea to check the corn for tenderness since cooking times can vary. It’s worth noting that the cooking time for fresh corn on the cob is shorter, while older corn takes longer to cook.

If you enjoy corn on the cob, pair it with one of these dinner recipes!  

Peeling the husk back to reveal the corn on the cob.

Toppings for Corn on the Cob

Serving Suggestions

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
  • Reheat: Warm leftovers in the microwave and enjoy!
  • Repurpose: When it comes to corn on the cob, the possibilities are endless – it’s CORN! Use the leftover corn to make black bean corn feta dip, creamy corn chowder, corn casserole, esquites, cowboy caviar, or corn succotash. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to cook corn on the cob?

The answer to that question depends on what matters to you the most. For flavor without many add-ons, the stovetop corn on the cob is hands down the best method. However, if you prefer convenience, I recommend using a microwave.

Why do you put milk in water when boiling corn?

Milk is my secret ingredient for the best stovetop corn on the cob. Poaching corn in milk and butter draws out its natural sweetness and enhances the flavor. Some people do this by adding sugar to the boiling water, but I love this combination to make the juiciest corn.

How long to cook corn on the cob?

Cooking times depend on two things, the freshness of the cook and how you decide to prepare it. If you don’t feeling like reading through this whole page, I made it easy for you. Here are the cook times for corn on the cob:

Stovetop: 5 minutes
Grill: 30 minutes
Microwave: 4 minutes
Oven: 20 minutes

More Side Dish Recipes:

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Peeling the husk back to reveal the corn on the cob.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob

Tressa Jamil
Learning how to make buttery corn is easy. Follow these easy steps for how to cook corn on the cob on the stovetop, grill, microwave, and oven.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Preparations
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 191 kcal
Equipment
Ingredients
  
  • 4-8 ears of corn
  • 1 stick butter, (stovetop)
  • 1 cup milk, (stovetop)
  • butter, to garnish
Instructions
 

For Boiled Corn on the Cob:

  • Add room-temperature ears of corn to a stockpot and poach them in water, milk, and butter.
  • Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for 3-5 minutes over medium heat.
  • Using tongs, remove the corn and place them into a serving dish.

For Grilled Corn on the Cob:

  • Preheat the grill by setting all the burners to high heat for about 10 minutes. While the grill is coming to temperature, wash and shuck the corn.
  • Wrap the corn in aluminum foil and add a tablespoon of butter before closing it.
  • Add the corn to the grill and turn down the heat to maintain a grill temperature of 450°F (232°C). Grill for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Remove the corn from the foil to serve.

For Microwave Corn on the Cob:

  • Add an ear of corn to the microwave with the husk intact. Microwave for 2-4 minutes.
  • Remove the corn using oven mitts. Then, cut off the ear and remove the husk. Coat the corn with butter to serve.

For Roasted Corn on the Cob:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Then, shuck and wash the corn.
  • Wrap the corn in aluminum foil and add a tablespoon of butter before closing it.
  • Line the corn onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Remove the corn from the foil and serve.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • I have provided the cooking times for corn on the cob in the FAQ section below. However, it is a good idea to check the corn for tenderness since cooking times can vary. It’s worth noting that the cooking time for fresh corn on the cob is shorter, while older corn takes longer to cook.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Ear of Corn | Calories: 191 kcal | Carbohydrates: 9 g | Protein: 3 g | Fat: 14 g | Sodium: 138 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 4 g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Noreen

Monday 28th of November 2022

Very helpful write up, thank you.