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How to Cook Fresh Corn on the Cob

Updated March 18, 2020
What's the best way to cook fresh corn on the cob? We have a few delicious ideas.

Maize, better known as corn in the United States and other English-speaking countries, was first domesticated about 10,000 years ago. Corn is the most cultivated grain in the world, with the U.S. producing over 300 million tons each year. Let's face it—there's just no substitute for a fresh, sweet ear of corn dripping in melted butter and a sprinkle of salt.

Depending on where you live, fresh corn on the cob may only be available for a few short summer months. When purchasing fresh corn, peel back the husk to look for any damage or browning of the corn. Larger cobs will typically have larger and thus sweeter, more flavorful kernels.

While corn can be prepared in a variety of ways, fresh corn on the cob tastes awesome and it's also pretty easy to make—especially if you use one of these three methods.

How to Microwave Corn

We’ll start with the easiest way to prepare corn—in the microwave.

Take a fresh cob of corn with the husk intact and put it in your microwave. Heat the corn for about 1 ½ - 2 minutes per cob. Four cobs would be about 6-8 minutes and so on. Stop the corn about halfway through the cook time and rearrange the cobs so they are evenly heated.

Once done, put the corn on a plate or towel and let cool off for about five minutes. Be sure to use an oven mitt to remove the corn as it’ll be hot! Peel off the silk and husk and serve with butter and salt.

If you prefer to clean your corn before cooking it, you can remove the husk and silk, wash the corn and wrap it in a small piece of wax paper. Use the same microwave times listed above and you should be set.

How to Boil Corn

achiote corn on the cob

A more traditional way of cooking fresh corn on the cob is via boiling water.

Clean the husk and silk off the corn. Rinse the corn in cold water and place it in a pot of boiling water. Make sure you have enough boiling water to fully cover the cob when it’s submerged. Let the corn boil for about seven minutes. Remove the corn with a set of tongs and let cool for a few minutes on a plate. Serve with butter and salt.

How to Grill Corn

Grilled Chimichurri Pork Tenderloin

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, give grilled corn on the cob a shot.

Preheat your grill on its medium setting—about 350-375º F. As in previous methods, remove the husk and silk. Rinse off the corn in cold water.

Place each cob (still somewhat moist from the rinse) on a piece of aluminum foil. Rub about ½ - 1 tablespoon of olive oil on each cob. Sprinkle the cob with your favorite herbs or spices—you can’t go wrong with garlic, salt and pepper.

Wrap the corn in the foil and twist the ends to keep moisture in. Grill the cobs for about 15-20 minutes turning each cob every 4-5 minutes. Remove from the grill and let cool for a few minutes before opening the foil. Serve with butter.