Corn on the Cob: Three Ways to Cook Sweet Corn

There are few things better than summer sweet corn. Of course we could say that about many things this time of year! But there really is something special about corn on the cob served steaming hot and slathered in butter, don’t you think? Here are three ways to cook it perfectly every time.Remember, sweet corn waits for no one and it’s best served the same day it’s picked. With every subsequent day, the sugars in the kernels get more starchy and that mouthwatering flavor starts to fade.

1. Boil It Up - Boiling is the classic way to prepare sweet corn. You can either use a wide, flat pan and lay the corn on its side, or use a taller stock pot to boil a big batch at once. Either way, fill the pan with enough water to cover the corn and bring it to a boil.

Shuck off the outer husk and silk from the corn. Dissolve a tablespoon of salt in the water and add the corn. If your corn is very fresh, cook it for 3-5 minutes. For corn that’s a few days old, go for 6-8 minutes.

2. Microwave Method - We like this microwave method if we’re just cooking a few ears of corn for dinner and don’t want to trouble with boiling a big pot of water. Leave the corn in their husks and microwave them two at a time on HIGH for 4-6 minutes, depending on the age of your corn. Let them cool enough to handle and then strip off the husks and silk. (As a bonus, we think shucking is easier after microwaving!)

3. On the Grill - Roasting on the grill gives the corn a smoky flavor we absolutely love. Peel back the husks, but leave them attached at the stem. Remove all the silk and then brush the corn with olive oil (butter can sometimes burn). Cover the corn back up with the husks and secure them closed with a piece of string or aluminum foil.

Roast the ears of corn over a medium-hot grill, turning occasionally, until the outer husks are charred and toasted. This usually takes about 15 minutes. Let the corn cool enough to handle, then strip off the husks and eat.

Do you have another favorite method for cooking corn?

Related: Street Fair Food: How to Make Elote (Roasted Sweet Corn) at Home

(Image: Flickr member Greencolander licensed under Creative Commons)