How to cook corn on the cob perfectly so that it turns out sweet, succulent, and delicious every single time! I've included my favorite methods with steps as well as a few helpful tips to try! Summertime is here, and corn is the ultimate summer side dish!
Best Methods For Cooking Corn On The Cob
When it comes to making corn on the cob, there are a number of different cooking methods you can use. You can grill it, and you can steam it, you can even toss it in your smoker!
I tried all the methods above and then some, then narrowed it down to the easiest recipes that had the most delicious results. I also picked up some useful tips and tricks along the way that can help streamline the whole process and shared them below!
- Best Methods For Cooking Corn On The Cob
- 1. Steamed Corn
- 2. Instant Pot Corn On The Cob
- 3. Air Fryer Corn On The Cob
- 4. Crockpot Corn On The Cob
- 5. Grilled Corn On The Cob
- 6. Milk Boiled Corn On The Cob
- 7. Smoked Corn On The Cob
- 8. Microwave Corn On The Cob
- Tips For Making Corn On The Cob
- 🌽😋 More Tasty Corn Recipes
- 📋 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
1. Steamed Corn
This is a classic method for making corn on the cob that never disappoints. Follow these few easy steps, and you'll have perfectly cooked corn in 15 minutes!
- Prep the corn. Shuck 4 ears of corn and cut them in half if desired. The halves are easier to steam by standing them on their ends.
- Add water. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the bottom 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. Place a steamer basket or a heat-safe plate that fits the pot into the water.
- Add corn. Add the halved or whole corn cobs to the pot.
- Steam. Put a lid on the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to a low boil and let steam for 12-15 minutes.
- Season and serve. Use tongs to transfer the hot corn to a plate and add divide 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of butter between each corn cob. Season with salt & pepper (or your desired seasoning) and cover with foil if not serving immediately.
The Instant Pot is an amazing tool for cooking delicious food in half the time it would normally take. Luckily, that applies to corn on the cob!
- Set up your Instant Pot. Put the trivet in your Instant Pot and add 1 cup of cold water. Put 4 shucked ears of corn into the trivet.
- Cook. Close the lid to your Instant Pot and ensure the valve is sealed. Manual pressure cook on high for 1-2 minutes.
- Pressure release. Carefully turn the valve to the vent position to perform a quick pressure lease. Once the pressure has been released, open the lid and carefully remove the corn.
- Season and serve. Divide 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of butter between the corn and season with salt & pepper or your desired seasonings.
Your air fryer is a convenient and delicious way to quickly whip up some tender corn on the cob. All you need is 4 ingredients and about 15 minutes of time!
- Prep. Lightly coat 4 ears of corn with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (optional), then either cut the corn cobs in half or leave them whole. Place the corn into your air fryer basket.
- Cook. Cook the corn in the air fryer at 380°F (193°C) for 5 minutes. Open the basket and turn the corn, then cook for 5 more minutes. Check for doneness. The corn kernels should be juicy and tender.
- Season and serve. Use tongs to get the hot corn out of the air fryer and put them on a plate. Divide 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of butter between each piece of corn and season as desired.
>>>>See all of my recipes HERE<<<<
If you prefer to 'set it and forget it', try making corn on the cob in your slow cooker! This cooking method is practically hands-off, so anyone can do it!
- Prep. Shuck 4-8 corn cobs and coat them with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on all sides. *If desired, you can season your corn and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil.
- Add water. Add ½ cup of water to your crockpot and the corn (you can place foil in the crockpot). Replace the lid.
- Cook. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or until the corn kernels are tender and have a bright yellow color.
- Season and serve. Use tongs to take the corn out of your crockpot and coat each corn cob with butter. Season with desired seasoning or salt & pepper. You can serve them right away or let them sit in the crockpot set to warm until ready to serve.
Tossing your corn cobs on the grill while you cook the main course is a great way to tackle an entire meal at once! I love the slightly charred and roasted flavor of hot corn off the grill.
- Prep. Peel the husks from the corn without fully detaching them. Remove the silk from the corn cobs and fold the husks back up.
- Soak. Put the corn in a bowl with enough water to cover them for at least 15 minutes (you can leave them up to overnight).
- Preheat. Preheat your grill to 375-450°F (190-°230C).
- Grill. Once hot, take the corn from the water and shake off the excess. Put the corn cobs directly on the grill grates and close the lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Make seasoning. Mix together 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of butter, 1 teaspoon (7 grams) of salt, ½ teaspoon (0.7 grams) of pepper, ½ teaspoon (0.7 grams) of garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon (4.5 grams) of paprika.
- Season and serve. Once your corn is ready, take them off the grill and brush them with the butter mixture. Serve right away.
When I'm making a delicious homecooked meal that could use a side of corn, milk butter boiled corn on the cob is always my first choice. It makes for the most succulent, buttery, and sweet corn, and it's so easy to do!
- Prep. Fill a large stock pot with just enough water to cover the corn. Add 1 cup of heavy cream, ½ cup of milk (118 milliliters), 6 tablespoons (85 grams) of butter, and ¼ cup (50 grams) of sugar to the pot.
- Boil. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes. Carefully check the corn for tenderness before removing it from the pot.
- Brush with seasoning (optional). Melt 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of butter and mix it with ½ teaspoon (1 gram) of paprika. Set aside.
- Season and serve. Use tongs to take the corn out of the pot carefully, then brush with the seasoned butter if using. Serve right away.
For tips specifically on how long to boil corn, see my full post on the topic!
The smoke penetrates the corn and gives it the most wonderful flavor! This is my go-to side dish for when I'm smoking meat.
- Preheat. Heat your smoker to 225°F (105°C).
- Smoke. Put 4 shucked ears of corn directly onto the grates of the smoker and let them smoke for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Make seasoned butter. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and mix in ½ teaspoon (0.78 grams) of garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon (0.3 grams) of parsley, and ⅛ teaspoon (0.2 grams) of salt, pepper, and onion powder.
- Season and serve. Remove your corn from the smoker and brush it with the seasoned butter, then serve immediately.
This isn't the first cooking method I would recommend for the most delicious corn ever, but it still turns out pretty darn tasty! When I'm in a hurry and I need my corn ready in a flash, I follow these steps.
- Prep. Remove the husks and silk from 2-3 ears of corn and put them in a microwave-safe bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water (30 milliliters) and cover with a lid or a microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the corn is bright yellow and the kernels are tender.
- Season and serve. Coat with butter and season as desired. Serve while hot.
Tips For Making Corn On The Cob
Once you've chosen the method above you want to try, follow these tips for the best results! Starting with fresh corn is the most important thing.
- Fresh is Best: For the best-tasting corn, you want to buy the freshest corn cobs available. When choosing your corn, look for bright green husks that are tightly wrapped and plump corn kernels. Remember, the fresher the corn, the sweeter and juicier it will be!
- Don't Shuck Until Ready to Cook: Don't remove the corn husks until just before cooking the corn. The husks keep the kernels protected, which helps them retain their sweet taste.
- Butter and Season While Hot: Right after cooking, while the corn is still hot, add your desired butter and/or seasonings. This will help the butter melt and will help your seasoning stick to the corn.
- Remove Silk Easily: The easiest way to remove the silk from the corn is to rub a damp paper towel over the corn kernels after removing the husk.
- Cover With Foil: If not serving your corn immediately, always cover it tightly with foil to keep it warm.
- Use Skewers for Easy Handling: To more easily handle hot corn on the cob, insert some skewers or corn cob holders into each end. This is particularly helpful for kids!
With these tips, tricks, and recipes, your corn on the cob will taste better than ever! Let me know which cooking method is your favorite in the comment section below!
🌽😋 More Tasty Corn Recipes
- Corn Soup - A rich and creamy soup that can be made with frozen corn and potatoes!
- Southern Corn Fritters - The perfect Southern side dish to add to your favorite meals!
- Creamed Corn - If you've never tried homemade creamed corn, the canned stuff just cannot compare!
- Corn Fries - Golden french fries topped with corn and all the usual elotes (Mexican street corn) toppings!
- Mexican Street Corn - Roasted corn on the cob coated with a zesty blend of Mexican seasonings and queso fresco.
- Southern Fried Corn - A quick and easy recipe for fried corn with bacon, onion, and garlic.
Do you love a recipe you tried? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Stay in touch with me through social media @ Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! Subscribe to the newsletter today (no spam, I promise)! Don't forget to tag me when you try one of my recipes!
How To Cook Corn: Steamed Corn On The Cob (+More Easy Methods!)
- 4 ears corn (shucked)
- water (enough to cover 1-inches in your pot)
- 2 tablespoon butter
- each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- Shuck your 4 ears corn and set them aside. The ears of corn can be cut in half if desired, or left whole. *Cutting the corn in halves works best for setting them on end while steaming.
- Add enough water to a large pot to cover the bottom with about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water. Place a steamer basket or a large plate that fits within the pot (heat-safe dish) over the water.
- Place the corn into your pot, whole or halved. Whole corn can be laid flat or stood upright (depending on how much corn you have and your pot), but I like to stand halved corn on the cob upright.
- Cover the pot, then bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. As it starts to boil, reduce the heat to keep the water at a low boil and cook for 12-15 minutes without removing the cover.
- Remove the corn from your pot with tongs. Transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to serve later or serve immediately.
- Serve with 2 tablespoon butter then season with each, salt & pepper (or your favorite seasonings) to taste.
Equipment You May Need
- Keep an eye on your water level so that it doesn't a) boil over and b) dry out.
- If you choose to steam frozen corn, you'll need to add about 3-5 minutes to the cooking time.
- Once your corn is fully cooked, you can allow it to rest for a few minutes so that it's easier to handle.
- Aside from the classic butter, salt, and pepper, you could add other flavors or seasonings like chili powder, lime, herbs, cheese, or a tasty spice rub!
- To store: Allow your corn to completely cool, then wrap each ear with aluminum foil. Transfer your leftovers to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and enjoy within 3-5 days.
- To freeze: Let your corn cool down all the way, then wrap each corn on the cob with plastic cling wrap. Store your corn in an airtight freezer container or in a heavy-duty resealable bag. If using a plastic bag, press out any excess air out then write the date on the bag. Freeze for up to 6 months.
- To reheat: Reheat your leftover corn in a microwave covered with a dampened paper towel for 1-2 minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat it in a steamer basket over simmering water until it is tender and warm to your liking.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!