How to Cook Corn on the Cob 6 Different Ways

There's nothing quite like a fresh ear of corn come summer, although we could eat corn on the cob all year long. Learn the best ways to make corn on the cob to keep your seasonal menu fresh and exciting.

There are almost as many ways to cook corn on the cob as there are to eat it, so there's a cooking method for any amount of time you've got or type of meal you're planning. Boiling corn on the cob isn't the only option. You can cook corn on the cob a new way almost every day of the week! With our Test Kitchen's go-to tips and tricks, we'll teach you how to boil corn on the cob, microwave corn on the cob, and grill corn on the cob for the ultimate summer treat. Or if you prefer a hands-off, set-and-forget method, try our slow cooker corn on the cob. Have your ears of corn at the ready, because you'll want to sink your teeth into these asap.

Boiled-in-the-Husk Corn on the Cob
Andy Lyons

1. How to Boil Corn on the Cob

If you want to cook a few ears quickly, boiling corn on the cob is the way to go. You can even speed up the process by peeling off the husks and silks while you wait for the water to boil. Follow these three simple steps for how to boil corn on the cob:

  1. Remove husks from fresh ears of corn.
  2. Scrub with a stiff brush to remove silks and rinse.
  3. Cook, covered, in a large pot ($38, Target) of lightly salted boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes or until kernels are tender.

Prefer to leave the husks on? Try this recipe for boiled-in-the-husk corn on the cob.

2. How to Microwave Corn on the Cob

When you're short on time but craving an ear of corn with dinner, knowing how to cook corn on the cob in the microwave is a must. Follow these instructions to get a stack of sweet corn on the picnic table in a matter of minutes. Just be sure to let it cool first!

  1. Remove husks from fresh ears of corn.
  2. Scrub with a stiff brush to remove silks and rinse.
  3. Wrap each ear in waxed paper; place on microwave-safe paper towels in the microwave. Microwave on 100% power (high) 3 to 5 minutes for one ear, 5 to 7 minutes for two ears, or 9 to 12 minutes for four ears, rearranging once.
Grilled Corn with Smoky Lime Butter
Andy Lyons

3. How to Grill Corn on the Cob

Preparing grilled corn on the cob can be a little more involved, but the delicious result is worth the extra effort. The high heat caramelizes corn's natural sugars, and the char adds a pleasant smoky element.

Follow these steps for cooking corn on the cob on the grill:

  • Peel back the husks, be careful not to tear them. To remove silks, start at the tip of the cob and work downward, pulling silks off with your fingers. You can also gently scrub with a vegetable brush.
    If desired: Spread room-temperature butter over the entire surface of the corn. If the butter is melted, it's harder to make herbs stick to the corn.
  • If desired: Space herbs evenly around the ear (we recommend trying cilantro or basil).
  1. Replace husks around corn. Place corn with husks in a bowl or pan. Cover with water. Soak 1 hour; drain.
  2. Tie the top of the husk with strips of husk or 100% cotton kitchen string. Be sure to use cotton; synthetic strings can melt in the heat.
  3. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. Grill corn, covered, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Remove husk strips or string and pull husks down to serve your grilled corn on the cob.

4. How to Roast Corn on the Cob

On a rainy or chilly day, try making corn on the cob in the oven (this chile butter version is especially delicious). You won't get quite the same smoky flavor as you'd score on the grill, but the results are still tender and sweet. And it only gets better once doctored up with compound butter.

Follow these directions for cooking corn on the cob in the oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the corn, untrimmed and in the husks, directly on center oven rack.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes or until corn is tender.
  4. Peel back husks and remove silks (this should be a little easier to do after roasting; most of the silks should peel off together).
  5. Spread with butter (or desired toppings) and serve.
Slow Cooker Corn on the Cob
Matthew Clark

5. How to Cook Corn on the Cob in Your Slow Cooker

Is there anything this trusty appliance can't do? You can add corn on the cob to the long list of slow cooker dinners, sides, desserts, and other recipes out there because the low-and-slow method is both easy and delicious. Give our Test Kitchen-approved method a go:

  1. Start by removing the husks and silks from 8 small ears of corn.
  2. Place 1 ear of corn in a square sheet of foil.
  3. Top with 1½ tsp. butter (we recommend using a compound butter).
  4. Wrap corn and place in a 6-qt. oval slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining corn.
  5. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours. Serve with additional compound butter, if desired.

6. How to Cook Corn on the Cob in an Electric Pressure Cooker

Love the trendy countertop appliance as much as we do? Then try cooking corn in an Instant Pot. Here's how to easily cook ears of corn in a pressure cooker or electric multicooker:

  1. Remove husks from fresh ears of corn.
  2. Scrub with a stiff brush to remove silks and rinse.
  3. Place ½ cup water in the bottom of your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
  4. Place 4 ears in the pot and lock the lid in place.
  5. Cook for 3 minutes under high pressure.
  6. Quick-release the pressure.
  7. Open the lid carefully and use tongs ($9, Crate & Barrel) to remove the warm ears of corn on the cob.

Just because you're cooking your corn on the cob doesn't mean you have to eat it that way. Of course, the most obvious way to remove corn from the cob is to use a knife, but do you know about our other hacks for making this task a little easier (like using a bundt pan)? Whether you want to cook it and eat it now or freeze it for later, be sure to check out our best recipes featuring fresh corn so you can enjoy those golden kernels in different ways all summer long.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles