How To Cook Corn on the Cob

updated Jul 2, 2020
How To Cook Corn on the Cob
Our favorite way to cook corn on the cob is to boil it. Here's how.


Prep5 minutes

Cook6 minutes to 8 minutes

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Corn on the Cob
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

You want to serve corn on the cob and you want to do it the classic, old-fashioned way. Got it. Then you’ll need to grab a pot of water and put it on the stove to boil before you read any further because that’s about all the work you’re going to need to do to make delicious corn on the cob with this method.

So pick the best corn you can find, shuck it, and let’s get you on your way!

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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 and then rinse it to remove the silk.
  • Boil until tender. Cover the pot for cooking and boil the corn for at least four minutes.
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

A Few More Ideas for Corn on the Cob

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

How To Cook Corn on the Cob

Our favorite way to cook corn on the cob is to boil it. Here's how.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 6 minutes to 8 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 4

    ears of corn

  • Water

  • Salt and butter (optional)


  • Large pot

  • Forks or tongs


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