How To Cook Corn on the Cob

How To Cook Corn on the Cob

Leela Cyd
Aug 1, 2017
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

If you are lucky enough to still be able to get the last of summer's sweet corn, do yourself a favor and cook it over the stove in a pot of boiling water. This easy method couldn't be simpler and the results couldn't be finer!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

The Best Way to Cook Corn on the Cob Is to Boil It

Fresh corn on the cob can be a wonderful addition to any barbecue or special touch for a weeknight meal. It is delicious grilled, but my favorite method is so simple and consistent. When I want a bunch of corn done right, I love to boil it. There's no messy husk to attend to and the flavor is pure!

This method can easily cook more than four ears of corn — just make sure you have a very large pot for cooking adequately.

Key Steps for Boiled Sweet Corn

Boil the Water First. Bringing a big pot of water to a rolling boil takes time, so start the water as soon as you get home from the market with your fresh corn.

Shuck the Corn for Boiling. You can technically boil corn in it's husk, but it will take much longer to cook, so husk the corn then rinse it to remove the silk.

Boil Until Tender. Cover the pot for cooking and boil the corn for at leas t4 minutes.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

Serving Boiled Sweet Corn

You can plunk the ears of corn right out of the boiling water with tongs — ideal if you plan to cook more corn in the same water. Butter and salt are all this simple sweet boiled corn needs for serving.

How To Cook Corn on the Cob

Serves 4

What You Need


  • 4

    ears of corn

  • Water

  • Salt and butter (optional)

  • Equipment
  • Large pot

  • Forks or tongs


  1. Boil the water. Heat a large pasta pot full of water to boil. The water will take at least 20 minutes to boil, so do this before your prepare the corn.

  2. Shuck the husks. Shuck the corn husks, then rinse off the corn to remove the silk.

  3. Drop the corn in the water. Carefully add the corn to the boiling water. Poke the ears a little bit so each side gets covered in water.

  4. Cook the corn, covered, over medium heat. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium.

  5. Set a timer. For just softened corn kernels, cook for 4 minutes. If you like softer corn, cook for 6 to 8 minutes.

  6. Serve the corn. Serve the corn immediately with butter and salt if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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