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Cooking delicious summer corn on the cob the right way is easy; learn the best ways to cook corn on the cob.
Cooking delicious summer corn on the cob the right way is easy; learn the best ways to cook corn on the cob.

With summer comes nature’s bounty and nothing may taste as good as eating corn on the cob. It is one of nature’s finest culinary treats.

Good corn on the cob always begins with selecting the freshest, just ripe ears of your favorite variety of corn. Best of all is picking ripe corn straight from your own vegetable garden!

A few of the best varieties of corn for cooking corn on the cob include:

Ashworth – an early season corn variety, New York heirloom produces sweet, crisp, golden corn kernels in seven inch ears. Flavor is sweet and delicious.

Country Gentleman – an old fashioned shoe peg corn variety which produces seven inch ears with white kernels that are great for canning or creamed corn, but also great on the cob.

Golden Bantam – the gold standard, all other corns are compared to the standby Gold Bantam, with six-and-a-half to seven-inch ears filled with sweet, yellow kernels for old-fashioned, tasty corn on the cob.

Stowell’s Evergreen – this standard white variety of sweet corn dates back to 1848, producing eight inch ears with sweet and tender kernels. Great for your next barbeque cookout or picnic!

Once you have selected the fresh ears of choice, you have several basic methods to cook corn on the cob. The method you use will be determined by how much time you want to spend and preferences such as the crisp, fresh taste of steamed corn on the cob or the smokier flavor of grilled corn on the cob!

Follow these tips to prepare fresh, delicious corn on the cob every time:

Corn on the Cob Preparation

  1. Regardless how you prepare it, the first step is to wash the ears of corn thoroughly in cool, fresh water.
  2. Cut off any excess silk that may be hanging from the end and remove loose corn husk.
  3. Some people like to submerse the ears in water and let them soak for 15 minutes; this step is optional and a matter of personal preference.

Microwave Corn on the Cob

Not my first choice, but if you’re in a hurry, a microwave will be the quickest method for cooking corn on the cob. Follow these steps:

  1. Place one to three ears of corn in your microwave oven; leave the husk on the ears of course.
  2. Actual microwave times vary depending on how big and how hot yours is, but a general rule of thumb is to cook one ear on high for about three minutes, pausing once at about 90 seconds to turn the corn over.
  3. Experiment with your microwave oven to find the right cooking time. Avoid trying to cook more than about 3 ears at one time; the more ears you cook at once, the more time will be required to microwave them.
  4. The silks will come off with the husks more easily after cooking. Let the ears cool, butter and salt to taste and let the eating begin!

Boiling Corn on the Cob

A standby method, boiling corn on the cob is easy; all you need is a cooking pot large enough to contain the number of ears you want to cook:

  1. Fill the pot about half way with water and bring to a boil and place the ears in the boiling water.
  2. Boiling time is a matter of taste; some people like to just boil them a minute or two to warm their corn on the cob, leaving the kernels crisp and fresh. Others like to let them boil three to ten minutes for softer kernels.
  3. Let the ears cool, using oven mitts if needed to remove the husks; timing is everything as you want the corn to still be nice and warm by the time it hits the table!

Steaming Corn on the Cob

Steaming takes a little longer than either the microwave or boiling methods and you do need a BIG pan and steam insert:

  1. Husk and remove silks, bring the water to a boil, place the ears in the steamer and cover.
  2. Everyone will tell you they know the perfect amount to time to steam corn on the cob, but we all know it’s a matter of preference. Generally it will take about twice as long to steam corn on the cob as to boil it.  Try steaming for six minutes and then experiment from there until you find the steaming time you like best!

Cooking Corn on the Cob in a Pressure Cooker

  1. Husk and de-silk your corn ears.
  2. Put a cup of water in your pressure cooker with a trivet or steamer basket in the bottom and place the ears in on top.
  3. Cooking time varies with different makes and models of pressure cookers, but a medium-high heat should do the job in about two to three minutes.

Baking Corn on the Cob

  1. Remove the husks and silks from your corn ears, placing each ear of corn on a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.
  2. Some people will sprinkle chopped roasted red peppers on the ears and a little butter and salt; wrap the ears lengthwise in the foil and twist the ends.
  3. Bake the corn in your oven at 450 degrees F for 25 minutes; time may vary depending on the size and number of ears you are baking.

Grilling Corn on the Cob

The method I like best is grilling corn to add a nice smoky flavor and crunchy bite.

  1. Leave the husks and silks on the ears for best grilling results; this protects the kernels from getting charred. Some people prefer to remove the husks first; again a matter of personal preference.
  2. Pre-soaking the ears is also a matter of preference, but the smoky taste does seem to come out more if you do not soak them first; some people even steam or boil the ears briefly before throwing them on the grill.
  3. Get your coals nice and hot; if you grill the corn first, the coals should settle a bit, making them perfect to grill your meat afterward!
  4. Depending on how hot your grill is, you will probably want to put them on for five to ten minutes; be sure to turn them regularly while they grill!
  5. Some people like to remove the husks after grilling the ears for a few minutes; for a little more zest, put some tasty lime juice, pepper sauce or your favorite spicy sauce on the ears and put them back on the grill for a minute or two. Yum, let’s eat!



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