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 US 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.
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 half way 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.
For a fun and flavorful microwave corn recipe, try this: Savory Corn on a Stick
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.
Boiled corn is great as it is, or use the corn in other recipes like Shrimp, Sweet Corn and New Potato Boil
and Homestyle Chicken and Corn
Break Out the Grill
If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, give grilled corn on the cob a shot.
Preheat your grill on its medium setting -- about 350-375 degrees 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 a ½ - 1 tablespoons of olive oil on each cob. Sprinkle the cob with your favorite herbs or spices. Garlic, salt and pepper are my personal faves.
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.
Want some more grilled corn recipes? Try these:
Now you know how to cook fresh corn on the cob in any situation -- quick and easy in the microwave, boil it when Mom is in town or grill it to impress your friends.
Try some mouthwatering sauce recipes
for your corn on the cob, too!
How do you make corn on the cob and what do you serve it with?