The Best Way To Make Corn On the Cob

The Best Way To Make Corn On the Cob: Corn on the cob is a classic summer favorite, adored for its sweet flavor and satisfying crunch. But what’s the best way to make corn on the cob? Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or just cooking up a quick meal for your family, mastering the art of cooking corn on the cob can elevate this simple dish into a delightful treat. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various methods to prepare corn on the cob, tips for selecting the best corn, and some creative toppings to enhance its flavor.

Selecting the Perfect Ears of Corn

Look for Freshness

Before diving into cooking methods, let’s talk about selecting the best corn. Freshness is key. Look for ears with bright green husks, moist stems, and silky, sticky tassels. These indicators suggest the corn was recently harvested and still retains its natural sweetness.

Feel the Kernels

Gently feel the kernels through the husk; they should feel plump and firm. If you detect any soft spots, it might mean some kernels have started to spoil.

Traditional Boiling: A Timeless Method

Boiling Corn on the Cob

Boiling is perhaps the most traditional way to cook corn on the cob. It’s simple, straightforward, and quick.

Steps to Perfectly Boiled Corn

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. No need to add salt as it can toughen the corn.
  2. Husk the corn and remove silk. Clean it thoroughly.
  3. Place the corn in boiling water. Cover the pot to return to a boil quickly.
  4. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. The kernels should be tender and juicy.

Why Boiling Works

Boiling is effective because it uniformly cooks the corn without the need for any added fats. It’s also a great method when you’re cooking for a large group.

Grilling: For a Smoky Flavor

Preparing Your Grill

Grilling corn adds a delicious, smoky flavor that’s tough to beat.

Grilling Steps

  1. Preheat your grill. Aim for a medium-high heat.
  2. Prepare the corn. You can grill with the husks on for a steamed effect and a smoky taste or husk them for charred kernels.
  3. Grill the corn. Turn every couple of minutes for even cooking. It should take about 10 minutes.

Tips for Grilling Corn

Brush the kernels with olive oil and season with salt before grilling if husked. If in the husk, soak the corn in water for 10 minutes to prevent burning.

Roasting: An Oven Approach

How to Roast Corn in the Oven

Roasting corn in the oven is an excellent alternative if you don’t want to fire up the grill.

Oven Roasting Technique

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Prepare the corn. Remove the husks and silks.
  3. Butter and season. Coat each ear with butter and your choice of seasonings.
  4. Wrap in foil. Place each ear on a piece of aluminum foil and wrap it.
  5. Roast for about 20-30 minutes. Rotate halfway through for even cooking.

Why Roasting?

Roasting deepens the corn’s natural flavors and gives you control over the seasoning.

Enhancing Your Corn on the Cob

Creative Toppings

After cooking, why not jazz up your corn with some creative toppings? Here are a few favorites:

  • Butter and herbs: A classic choice. Try melting butter with garlic or adding fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.
  • Cheese and spices: Sprinkle grated Parmesan or Cotija cheese and a dash of chili powder.
  • Lime and paprika: A squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of paprika can add zest and warmth.

Storing and Reheating

Best Practices

If you have leftover corn, wrap it in foil and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave with a touch of butter, or cut the kernels off and toss them into a salad or soup.


Whether boiled, grilled, or roasted, corn on the cob remains a versatile and beloved dish. Experiment with different cooking methods and toppings to find your personal favorite. With these tips, you’re sure to impress at your next summer gathering.

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