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How Long Do You Boil Corn On The Cob

Updated on November 15, 2011

How Long Do You Boil Corn On The Cob

Fresh corn on the cob is one of the tastiest foods out there. It's healthy and nutritious, and is very easy to prepare. Corn is in season from early summer to mid-autumn, which is when you'll get the tastiest varieties. Make sure to select good corn for this - you want the outer covering to be a nice vibrant green. If your local grocer or market has loose corn, you can also go ahead and peel back the covering to check if the corn looks good - the kernels should be tightly packed together, and should look nice and yellow.

This article will tell you how long you boil corn on the cob, and will show you two methods to do so. You can start either from cold or hot water - both are very easy. I personally season the corn only with a little butter and salt - I love the taste of freshly-boiled corn. I won't be covering boiling in the microwave, though if you look at the cold water option below, you should be fine. You will only be able to do small quantities of corn, though.


First Steps

You should always remove all the green leaves from around the corn before cooking. Make sure to also remove the stalk. You can boil the corn with the 'silk' strands still attached, though I prefer to remove them at this stage - I prefer to do this when the corn isn't piping hot, and I prefer my corn hot when I eat it. I also like to wash the corn. This isn't necessary at all, but it helps with the removal of the silk.

From Cold Water

This is the simplest method to cook corn. Simply take a large pot and put in the corn. Pour in just enough cold water to cover it, and place it, covered, on your stove. I like to put a pinch of salt into the water - not much at all, but it adds flavor to the corn, and you can avoid the salt later.

When the water boils, your corn is ready. I prefer to give it another 1-2 minutes to boil, but that isn't strictly necessary.

From Boiling Water

If you have a water cooker, it's probably easier to use this option. Cook up enough water to cover the corn in your water cooker. Pour it into the pot, add a pinch of salt for flavor (see above), and place the corn in carefully - you don't want to splash yourself with the boiling water, so use tongs or a ladle (carefully balancing the corn). Cover the pot, and boil for 5 minutes or so (err on the side of generosity).

A Few Extra Tips

It's best to put the corn onto some kitchen paper or a few towels for a minute or two before putting it on the plate. This will soak up the boiling water, and you won't have to deal with burns. You'll also want to use

I like my corn with a little butter and a little salt, because I think this brings out the flavors wonderfully. I'll also eat it without adding anything, or in combination with a more complete meal such as with pork chops and potatoes.

With that, I will wish you bon app├ętit! I hope you enjoy one of my favorite foods - corn on the cob.


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    • rjsadowski profile image


      7 years ago

      We used to grow our own corn when I was young, so I know what fresh corn tastes like. If the corn is fresh and a good variety, you can't mess it up unless you grossly overcook it. For supermarket corn, I like to add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the water to make up for that which was lost standing around


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